A roundup of news and multimedia from the Unfamiliar Terrain team:
- National Insight on Downtown San Francisco Recovery (Urban Land Institute): San Francisco can create a more commercially vibrant and socially inclusive downtown that attracts a diverse range of industries and employers, advances housing attainability, and promotes stronger leadership.
- Why SF’s ‘doom loop’ fears are premature, city economist says (SF Chronicle): The City showed strength in metrics like job growth, and signs of a “doom loop” — a vicious cycle of residents fleeing, forcing service cuts and plunging tax revenue — aren’t borne out by data.
- San Francisco Mayor Floats Teardown Of Westfield Mall, Advocates ‘Reimagining’ Of Downtown (Bisnow): San Francisco Mayor London Breed told an audience at the Bloomberg Technology Summit investors should consider demolishing the Westfield mall in downtown and put something new in its stead.
- Breed, Peskin aim to open up S.F.’s clogged housing pipeline. Here’s a look at their proposal (San Francisco Chronicle): San Francisco officials hope to reignite housing development in the City and get thousands of new homes built by lowering the percentage of affordable units developers need to include in their projects and slashing the fees they are required to pay.
- Reducing tax on sublease space would fill some San Francisco offices – but at a cost (Business Journals): Mayor London Breed has proposed adjustments to the 3.5% commercial rent tax levied on subleased spaces through 2029. But according to a report by the Controller’s Office of Economic Analysis, the revenue losses would likely outweigh the benefits.
California and Beyond
- ‘Godzilla next door’: How California developers gained new leverage to build more homes (CalMatters): A new interpretation of an old law gives homebuilders leverage over California cities and their zoning codes. They’re using it to push through thousands of new apartments around the state.
- American Cities Have a Conversion Problem, and It’s Not Just Offices (NY Times): Piles of regulations, or “kludge,” and a culture of “no” are limiting the ability to turn building blocks into something new.
- How Parking Ruined Everything (The Atlantic): America has paid a steep price for devoting too much space to storing cars.
- The Case for Ending Free Parking (NY Times): The parking problem has an economic origin and an economic solution.
- Site Check (Governor’s Office of Planning and Research): Site Check is a free public mapping tool that helps developers and public agencies find parcels where housing projects may qualify for streamlining and exemptions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).