South San Francisco, CA November 11, 2018 Submitted by SSF Chamber of Commerce
Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Hisense Project located at 200 Linden Avenue, South San Francisco is scheduled for Thursday, November 15 at 10:00 a.m. at the project site.
The community is invited to learn more about the project as the contractor prepares for the start of construction.
Hisense will develop a seven-story, 97-unit condo project with 6K SF of ground-floor retail. The project, which would be the first U.S. development for the Chinese developer, also will include 19 affordable housing units.
South San Francisco has approved the sale of three city-owned sites downtown for the development of more than 180 homes under its plan to revitalize the city’s transit-rich commercial core.
The city sold the development site at 200 Linden, 212 Baden and 216 Baden for $3.5 million to Chinese developer Hisense Real Estate, the real estate arm of Chinese multinational corporation known mainly for manufacturing appliances and electronics.
In what would be their first project in the United States, the developer plans to build an eight-story 97-unit condo project at the site with around 6,200 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
Under the city’s inclusionary housing program, the project will include 19 on-site affordable units. Hisense’s proposal beat out other plans for the site including plans for apartments and a hotel.
“The council was particularly interested in for-sale housing and the possibility of bringing more homeowners downtown,” said Alex Greenwood, the city’s director of economic and community development. “They were also excited about the possibility of street-level retail. High-quality design and strong financing were also selling points.”
The project is set to start demolition of the existing buildings in December and start ground-up construction next spring.
South San Francisco has also approved the sale of the sites at 201-219 Grand Ave. and 418 Linden Ave. to Roem Development for a total of $1.7 million
“We’ve seen the downtowns of neighboring cities throughout the Peninsula completely revitalize and transform in recent years, so why wouldn’t South San Francisco be an obvious choice to deliver more quality housing and retail space?” said Roem Vice President Stephen Emami
The Santa Clara-based developer plans to build 46 apartments at the Grand site, nine of which will be below-market-rate. The project will also have approximately 6,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space.
The 418 Linden project is entitled for 38 apartment units, and was initially approved in 2015. Roem took over the development when Brookfield Equities dropped out of the project after issues with financing the project.
To support the developments, the city is offering $525,000 from its affordable housing in-lieu fees, and a $1.23 million grant from its affordable housing bond funds for each project, totaling as much as $3.5 million in city support. The project sites were also sold for $500,000 less than the $2.2 million initially offered by Roem Development.
“The $3.5 million was offered to ensure the financial feasibility of having 20 percent affordable units at the projects,” Greenwood said.
The projects are entitled. The Roem Development buildings are scheduled to break ground in April or May of next year.
The next city-owned site downtown ripe for development is the retired historic firehouse at 201 Baden, which was recently opened up for a request for qualifications. The 22,500-square-foot site is currently zoned for up to 62 units.
Developers have been scrambling to meet the housing needs of the city’s growing biotech workforce. Chinese developer Greenland USA started to explore adding housing to its massive waterfront biotech development, the Landing at Oyster Point. A possible sale to Kilroy Realty has called those plans into question.
Earlier this year, a six-acre development site on Mission Road zoned for up to 1,000 units for housing was opened up for a request for qualifications. The city expects to narrow down the list of possible developers for that site in the coming months.
In 2015, the South San Francisco approved a new downtown plan that allowed for denser housing and encouraged more public open space and the addition of bike lanes. Another improvement will be the relocation of the Caltrain station closer to downtown by 2019.
A number of projects have been approved in the city’s downtown since the adoption of the plan two years ago. A 260-unit development by Sares Regis at the corner of Airport Boulevard and Miller Avenue is in the works and an 81-unit affordable senior housing project at 300 Miller Ave. recently broke ground.
“Downtown is alive with urban high-quality housing,” Greenwood said. “We’ve seen a strong renaissance in our downtown in the past three years.”