Development of former Schlage Lock site expected to create lower housing costs than elsewhere in city 

click to enlarge The Board of Supervisors is set to vote on a 1,679-unit housing development at the site of the former Schlage Lock factory in Visitacion Valley that will set aside 15 percent of units for below-market-rate residences. - MIKE KOOZMIN/S.F.EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • mike koozmin/s.f.examiner file photo
  • The Board of Supervisors is set to vote on a 1,679-unit housing development at the site of the former Schlage Lock factory in Visitacion Valley that will set aside 15 percent of units for below-market-rate residences.

A two-bedroom rental for $2,700 or a two-bedroom condo for sale under $500,000 in San Francisco may sound too good to be true, but they are among the projected costs for the more than 1,600-unit development proposed for the former Schlage Lock site in Visitacion Valley.

Granted it's not in the heart of the Mission or in and around South of Market, but in San Francisco's red-hot real estate market that may be as good as it's going to get in terms of low prices for nonsubsidized housing.

On Monday, the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee approved land-use zoning changes to allow for the housing development with 1,679 units, of which 15 percent will be dedicated to below-market-rate housing, on the former Schlage Lock factory site.

It is estimated that one-third of the new units would be for rental and two-thirds condominiums for sale. Cost estimates provided by city officials during the hearing would place both rentals and home sales at about half of what are found in comparable units in the heart of The City. The sales prices for condos are expected to be in the range of $500 to $550 per square foot, with a two-bedroom, 800- to 900-square-foot unit selling for about $500,000. A two-bedroom rental is projected to cost between $2,700 and $2,800 per month.

"We are really excited about the ability to build this many units that are naturally affordable at a middle-income level," Ken Rich of the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development said.

Supervisor Scott Wiener highlighted the fact that this development, along with those in Hunters Point and Parkmerced, will provide housing affordable to those earning middle income. For a family of three, the area median income is between $104,900 and $122,350. "$2,700 for a two-bedroom ... in my district would probably be $4,000 rent, unfortunately," said Wiener, who represents the Castro and Noe Valley.

The development will rehabilitate 18,000 square feet of historic office space, add a grocery store of at least 20,000 square feet, and add 26,700 square feet of retail space along an extension of Leland Avenue. The project is also expected to feature more than 2 acres of open space and parks.

Schlage Lock opened as a metal locks manufacturer in 1926 and for more than 70 years distributed them nationwide. The company vacated the site in 1999, leaving the industrial site vacant ever since. The full board is expected to vote on the development agreement with Universal Paragon Corp. and land use zoning changes next week. Construction is expected to begin next year.

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