Potrero Yard Modernization Project: Planning History

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Prior to the selection of the Potrero Neighborhood Collective (PNC) developer team in November 2022, the SFMTA had engaged in public outreach about the Project since 2018. This page contains historical information from 2018-2022 about SFMTA project planning and concepts, which is different from the current PNC designs of the project. This early planning process also showcased a virtual tour of the Potrero Yard, which used early conceptual renderings. 

Future Facility

The new facility will be designed to fit in better with the surrounding neighborhood by breaking up the massing and introducing active uses where possible along the street frontages. The facility will have three main levels for bus maintenance and storage that will measure up to 75 feet in height from the corner of Mariposa and Bryant streets. The modern yard will be able to store 213 buses or approximately 50 percent increase in capacity.

Axom Potrero Yard

In addition, the facility will include the following features:

  • LEED Gold Certified

  • Built to an elevated structural and seismic standard

  • Infrastructure for battery-electric buses

  • Centralized location for Street Operations, Muni’s “first responders”

  • Centralized, modern Muni operator training

  • Ground floor active uses on Bryant and possibly 17th streets

Housing on Top of a Bus Yard?

The 4.4-acre site presents an opportunity for the SFMTA to add another land use or “joint development” above the rebuilt bus facility.

The SFMTA has partnered with other City departments (SF Planning, Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development, and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development) to explore housing above the Yard. Guided by input from the community, the City and the SFMTA have concluded that housing is a feasible, compatible use at the site and are currently proposing that housing be a principal component of the project.

The City and SFMTA are proposing approximately 560 residential units that include seven (7) additional floors above the bus facility with a total height of up to 150 feet at the tallest location (the 150-foot maximum height includes the 75-foot bus facility).

There are many factors that have informed the size and unit count of the project, including building height, massing, financial feasibility, and shadow considerations on Franklin Square. The SFMTA has worked with the City family and the community to propose a project that is ambitious, achievable, and compatible with the bus yard and its surroundings.

The SFMTA and City has established a 50% affordability starting point for this project. All the while challenging the developer teams to maximize the number of affordable housing units on the site as part of the Request for Proposals (RFP) process and welcome 100% affordable housing programs. 

The Developer Procurement Process

There is a multi-step process to bring a developer partner under contract with the city.  

1. Begin the Search: Issue Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

The RFQ began our search process to obtain a developer partner to design and build the project. The RFQ process evaluated the qualifications of proposed project teams and determined three top responders based on an evaluation of relevant experience and qualifications. 

Announcement of the List of Top Qualified Developer Teams

2. Set the Rules: Project-specific legislation

The City’s codes were written for typical public delivery of capital projects. Typically the City designates funds in its annual budget to pay for a project and contracts with a developer to build it. Because the Potrero Yard project needs a long-term agreement with a developer team to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the new yard, special legislation is needed to set rules around this type of agreement. The legislation also obligates the project to prevailing wages, a Local Business Enterprise (LBE) program, the City’s local hire policy and first source hiring ordinance. The ordinance also allows payment of a design stipend to up to two unsuccessful respondent teams.

Project-specific Legislation Passed, Mar 16, 2021

3. Invitation to Top Responders: Request for Proposals (RFP)

The top responders were invited to submit a full proposal through a subsequent Request for Proposals (RFP) process that was issued in early 2021. The city strongly encouraged all potential respondents to elevate the participation and contribution of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and underrepresented voices as teams are formed. Respondent teams reflected the racial and ethnic diversity of San Francisco and participation of underrepresented communities.

Announcement of Proposals Received from Developer Teams

4. Awarding the Agreement: Selecting a Development Team 

On November 21, 2022, the SFMTA Board of Directors approved the recommendation to award the Potrero Yard Modernization Project’s predevelopment agreement (PDA) to Potrero Neighborhood Collective, LLC (PNC) as lead developer. This milestone serves as a starting point for Potrero Neighborhood Collective to work together with the City and project stakeholders to further develop the current concept design and start the process that will produce the final project and housing agreements. 

Announcement of Awarding Predevelopment Agreement to Lead Developer




Contact Information

Potrero Yard Reimagined – Building a Bus Yard that Blends in with the Neighborhood

Conceptual Design Sketches

Drag the divider between the before and after views to compare them.

17th and Bryant streets

Mariposa and Hampshire streets

A detailed version of the before/after images is available.