Potrero Yard Project Reaches Major Milestone – Learn How Your Feedback Helped

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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Rendering shows the Potrero Yard Modernization Project. Aerial view of a multi-unit building with green spaces. Across the street, we see a large green park and cars on a street. Buildings cover a hill in the background.A rendering of the Potrero Yard Modernization Project. Learn more about our plan to replace a 100-year-old bus yard with new transit infrastructure and up to 465 affordable housing units. (Arcadis IBI Group

Maintenance and repair work are key to your smooth rides on Muni. That's why we're working hard to improve infrastructure at the Potrero Yard. Recently, we reached a major milestone. 

Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors approved legislation that lets us move forward with the Potrero Yard Modernization Project.  

Learn why the legislation could spell big wins for transit and housing. See how your feedback shaped its success.  

Understanding Entitlements: the path ahead for Potrero 

Potrero Yard was built in 1915 to serve 100 streetcars. The 4.4-acre site is bordered by Bryant, 17th, Hampshire and Mariposa streets.  

We plan to replace it with a new facility to maintain and store our electric trolly buses. The project site could also include up to 465 units of housing above and beside new transit infrastructure. No other development is set to combine a working bus facility with new affordable housing. That makes this initiative the first of its kind in the nation. 

Entitlements are the green light from city lawmakers to proceed with the Project as proposed. To facilitate development of the Project, they include Amendments to the General Plan, the creation of a Special Use District and amendments to the Planning Code and Zoning Map.  

Securing entitlements allows us to continue with the project development. Now, we can move closer to creating final designs. With this legislation, city lawmakers have allowed us to: 

  • Build transit infrastructure and housing units in the same space. We’ve created a Special Use District for the project site. It includes public transit infrastructure plus commercial spaces and residential housing units. The entitlements allow the site to expand beyond its current “public” use as a transit facility to also include housing and commercial components. 

  • Define structure height and bulk limits for the zone. Before, structures on the site could only be 65 feet tall. Now, with the new Special Use District, we can exceed that limit. The transit facility will reach 75 feet and proposed housing will reach up to 150 feet. Also, the legislation describes the size, shape and placement of buildings on the site, which are the bulk requirements. 

We want to thank Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Shamann Walton, who sponsored the legislation. Each played a leadership role, and we’re grateful for their partnership. 

Rendering shows a low angle view of the new bus yard and its trolley bus entrance. We see two people talking on a sidewalk and a bus heading toward the bus yard.
Rendering of the new bus yard and trolley bus entrance on Mariposa and Hampshire streets. (Arcadis IBI Group)

Community feedback has been essential 

As we celebrate this milestone, we’re grateful for the community feedback that helped make it possible. 

 Since the project started in 2018, our agency and city partners have worked closely with the community. During the approval process for the Entitlements, lawmakers and others noted our extensive outreach efforts. They include: 

  • 140 community meetings, tours and events held by our project team and partners over the last six years 

As city leaders reviewed the legislation, individuals and organizations showed their support by submitting letters on behalf of the project to the Recreation & Park and SF Planning commissions. You can read them on this SF.gov repository for letters submitted on behalf of the Potrero Yard Project. We want to thank everyone who wrote in for their support. 

Infrastructure and housing possibilities 

With the green light to continue planning, we’re excited to share more about our vision for Potrero. 

Modern and spacious transit facility 

Public transportation is one of the best tools we have to fight climate change. It's crucial that we replace our outdated facility with one that will make it easier to service and store our electric trolley buses. This work is key to maintaining our fleet, the greenest of any major city in North America. 
The new facility is designed to: 

  • Have capacity for 54% more electric trolley buses 

  • Help crews be more efficient with maintenance and repairs  

  • Give more than 800 SFMTA staff the space and tools they need to keep Muni running 

Affordable and workforce housing 

The proposed housing would also add more affordable rental units in the Mission. These units and commercial spaces would sit next to and above the bus facility. You can learn more on our Potrero Yard Modernization Project - Proposed Housing and Commercial Component webpage. 

Area Median Income  (AMI) will determine who is eligible to live in the new housing units.  

  • Affordable housing: Households with incomes between 30 and 80 percent of the AMI will be eligible. 

  • Workforce housing: Households with incomes ranging from 80 to 120 percent of the AMI will be eligible. 

Many staff at our agency, including operators and maintenance staff, have incomes that would qualify for the workforce housing component. We’re working to create a preference for our staff for the workforce housing units. 

We’re glad to partner with the Potrero Neighborhood Collective (PNC), our developers for the project. The city selected a proposal from this consortium because it offers technical expertise and global experience. The PNC team includes affordable housing developers with local ties.  

We’re thrilled to be part of this unique public private partnership. It allows the city to build the transit infrastructure, while the PNC team finances and constructs housing. 

Rendering shows a red kiosk with a red and white umbrella. It's on a sidewalk next to shadows of people biking and customers standing by.Illustration shows plans for a protected bike lane along 17th Street and vendor kiosks. (Arcadis IBI Group) 

What’s next: creating designs, preparing for construction 

So far, the modernization project has moved from conceptual design to 100% Final Schematic Design. It also received California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) clearance in March. This step paved the way for the Entitlements stage.  

Now, we are able to move the project through the Design Development phase. Then, we can create construction documents for the bus yard. The housing component will have its own schedule and financing structure. The transportation infrastructure will be funded through transportation dollars.  

As the project moves forward, we continue to welcome feedback. You can contact us by phone or email: 

Visit the Potrero Yard Modernization Project webpage for the latest information and events.