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Potrero Yard Modernization Project Spring 2024 Newsletter

Neighborhoods Affected

Hello, Neighbors! Welcome to the third edition of the Potrero Yard Modernization Project newsletter. Check out our updates since November to replace Muni's obsolete, century-old bus yard with a modern, efficient bus maintenance and storage facility that integrates proposed new affordable housing and retail spaces. 

In This Issue:

  1. Recent Milestones

    1. Have you seen us in the neighborhood? 
    2. Project Entitlements Approved: March 22, 2024 Update
    3. Final Environmental Impact Report Certified by the San Francisco Planning Commission
    4. Shadow Study at the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission meeting on December 21, 2023
  2. Project Updates

    1. Refined Project Variant (Paratransit)
    2. Housing
    3. Public Art
    4. Contractor Procurement
    5. Local Business Enterprise (LBE) Plan and Lead Developer (LD) Liaison
  3. Upcoming Events & Engagements


 

I.Recent Milestones
 

 

A. Have you seen us in the Neighborhood? 

 

Many exciting activities have occurred in 2024 so far that have brought the Potrero Yard Modernization Project team to neighbors and members of the community. Take a look:

  • January and February Neighborhood Working Group meetings.
  • CANA’s Mardi Gras Celebration on February 13.
  • Community listening sessions with neighborhood organizations, including the Latino Taskforce, and PODER’s Bicis del Pueblo
  • Listening sessions and collaboration with local business organizations.
     

B. Project Entitlements Approved: March 22, 2024

 

On Friday, March 22, 2024, Mayor London Breed signed legislation to approve Entitlements for the Project, following unanimous approval by the Board of Supervisors (BOS). The Entitlements legislation amends the General Plan, Planning Code and Zoning Map to facilitate development of the Project. The ordinances were co-sponsored by Supervisors Ronen and Walton. The Entitlements are a major milestone for the proposed project, which has been a collaboration with the community since 2018. 

Entitlements are the green light from city lawmakers to proceed with the Project as proposed and include Amendments to the General Plan, the creation of a Special Use District and amendments to the Planning Code and Zoning Map. These changes allow the site to expand beyond its current “public” use as a transit facility to also include housing (“residential” use) and commercial (“non-residential” use) components. The height of the site's structures are approved to rise beyond the current zoning regulation of 65 feet: The transit facility will reach 75 feet, while the proposed housing would reach up to 150 feet. The bulk requirements for the building are also specified in the Special Use District. The legislation reflects input received from the community.

Prior to appearing at the full BOS, the Project went before the Land Use and Transportation and Budget and Finance committees in February for discussion.

See the official minutes from each meeting:

  • February 26, 2024  San Francisco Board of Supervisors: Land Use and Transportation Committee Hearing (minutes)
  • February 28, 2024  San Francisco Board of Supervisors – Budget and Finance Committee (minutes)
  • March 5, 2024  SF Board of Supervisors (First Reading) (minutes)
  • March 12, 2024  SF Board of Supervisors (Final Reading) (minutes)
     

C. Final Environmental Impacts Report Certified by the San Francisco Planning Commission

 

On January 11, 2024, the Project reached a major milestone when the San Francisco Planning Commission voted unanimously to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The commission also recommended that legislative amendments to the General Plan, Planning Code, and Zoning Map to enable the Project be adopted by the Board of Supervisors. Through the Environmental and Entitlements process, the SFMTA received 21 letters of support from community members. All letters received were shared with the Recreation and Parks Commission, Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. Read the meeting minutes here

mage describing CEQA process from NOP, Draft EIR, to Final EIR

Illustration of the CEQA process from NOP, Draft EIR, to Final EIR

The Draft EIR together with the Responses To Comments document constitute the final EIR for the Refined Project. You can find these documents on the SF Planning website bit.ly/SFPlanning_PotreroYard as "Responses to Comments (RTC)" and the various "RTC Attachment" links. (The Draft EIR [DEIR] and Appendices from 2021 are also located in that document repository.)
 

D. Shadow and Environmental Impacts Hearing at the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission meeting on December 21, 2023

 

On December 21, 2023, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission voted unanimously to recommend the Project. They reviewed two versions of the Project — the Refined (or Proposed) Project and the Pararansit Variant. The commission considered the times and locations of shadows cast within the park and determined that the shadow cast by the Project would not significantly impact Franklin Square. Read the meeting minutes here

The Refined Project is the four-story bus facility with housing adjacent and above. It maximizes housing units and affordability with up to 465 units of affordable all-family and workforce housing. That remains the primary alternative. The Paratransit Variant studied an option where the top of the bus facility could be used for the SFMTA’s paratransit fleet. This variant is a backup alternative to the housing proposed above the bus facility, which remains the primary project. The Project would increase the annual shadow load on Franklin Square by 1.87%, resulting in a new total shadow load of 3.23%. 

Diagram of affected shadow area in proposed project option shown in orange. Blue Illustrates Proposed Project net shadow impact from spectrum of occasional shadow to frequent.
Image: Diagram of affected shadow area in proposed project option shown in orange. Blue illustrates Refined Project's net new shadow impact from spectrum of occasional shadow to frequent.

Diagram of affected shadow area in the Refined Project Variant (Paratransit) option shown in orange. Blue Illustrates Proposed Project net shadow impact from spectrum of occasional shadow to frequent.

Image: Diagram of affected shadow area in the Refined Project Variant (Paratransit) option shown in orange. Blue illustrates the Paratransit Variant's net new shadow impact from spectrum of occasional shadow to frequent.

See what the Commissioners had to say in regard to the Project: 

“The affordable housing we all know is valuable and so necessary in our city and this neighborhood in particular. I love the partnership between the City Departments and all these amazing community organizations and you can just see the demonstration of how much can be accomplished with collaboration and shared resources.... I’m really excited to see this project come to light.”
– Commissioner Jupiter-Jones

 

II. Project Updates
 

A. Refined Project Variant (Paratransit): 

 

In order to maximize funding opportunities, the SFMTA and PNC created the design alternative which includes designated paratransit vehicles and solar panels on the roof of the facility. This variant sees a reduction in dwelling units from 465 to 104. It maintains public benefits such as a new SFMTA facility, a public restroom at the corner of 17th and Bryant streets, public art installations, street improvements and affordable housing. 

B. Housing

 

The SFMTA and PNC are committed to maximizing the number of housing units and their affordability. To ensure competitiveness for State tax credits and other funding sources, the unit mix for any affordable family housing project in the State must have a combination of 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom units. In order to stay competitiveness for these sources, PNC and the SFMTA have chosen to modify the housing that was formerly designated senior housing to all-family affordable housing.

Side by side images of original rendering of proposed senior housing with revised family housing next to it)

Image: Side by side images of original rendering of proposed senior housing with revised family housing next to it

Area Median Income (AMI) will be used to determine who is eligible to live in the housing units. The designated Workforce Housing on the eastern side of the facility will range from 80% to 120% AMI.

The SFMTA and PNC requested the Potrero Yard Modernization Project be entitled for up to 465 residential units with up to 776 bedrooms. Unit development will be subject to funding sources and market feasibility. Housing construction will begin with Bryant Street as Phase 1 and continue with the housing on top of the Podium as Phase 2. The Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development has committed $35 million to the Project. Additional funding sources that are being sought include:

  • Infill Infrastructure Grant (IIG) - May 2024
  • California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) - September 2024

image highlighting sections of the development that will be different phases of the housing

Image: Side by side images of proposed housing phases.

Learn more about the Housing component here.
 

C. Public Art

 

The SFMTA and PNC are partnering with the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) to create inviting artwork that:

  • Illuminates and celebrates the people, history and diverse cultures of San Francisco’s Potrero Hill and Mission neighborhoods and adjacent American Indian and Calle 24 cultural districts, and;
  • Highlights the SFMTA’s goals to promote environmental stewardship and provide reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for all.

There are three unique areas on the bus yard facility that were identified for public art installations. Materials under consideration include glass and ceramic or mosaic tile, which will allow for the translation of two-dimensional mediums such as murals, paintings, photographs and prints into durable, permanent public artworks.

elevation diagram of a multi-story, multi-use urban building highlight broad segments of the façade along 17th Street indicating the placement of art installations.

Locations of art opportunities along 17th Street.(Arcadis IBI Group)

elevation diagram of a multi-story, multi-use urban building highlight broad segments of the façade along Mariposa Street indicating the placement of art installations.

Locations of art opportunities along York Street. (Arcadis IBI Group)

A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was released to artists 18 years of age and older nationwide on October 23, 2023 and closed on January 22, 2024.  

225 submissions were received. These submissions were then sent to the Qualification Panel, for evaluation:  

Qualification Panel

Role: Review and evaluate qualifications of artists who submitted applications to the Request for Qualifications.  Recommend a shortlist of ~30 artists for each artwork opportunity (glass, tile) for consideration by the Artist Review Panel

  • John Angelico, Public Information Officer, Building Progress Program, SFMTA*

  • Kerstin Magary, Section Director, CSO Facilities and Real Property Management, Deputy Program Manager (Building Progress), SFMTA*

  • Mary Chou, Public Art Program and Civic Art Collection Director 

  • Trisha Lagaso Goldberg, Artist and Curator

 

The shortlist of ~30 artists was then sent to a larger Artist Review Panel for further evaluation:
 

Artist Review Panel

Role: Review and evaluate qualifications of artists selected by the Artist Qualification Panel. 

  • Abby Schnair, Arts Commissioner 

  • John Angelico, Public Information Officer, Building Progress Program, SFMTA * 

  • Jolene Yee, Potrero Yard Neighborhood Working Group, Friends of Franklin Square Park

  • Kerstin Magary, Section Director, CSO Facilities and Real Property Management, Deputy Program Manager (Building Progress), SFMTA * 

  • Mary Travis-Allen, Potrero Yard Neighborhood Working Group, American Indian Cultural District

  • Tony Gill, Project Architect, IBI Group

  • Trisha Lagaso Goldberg, Artist and Independent Curator 

  • Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen, Artist and Independent Curator

* indicates shared vote.

 Two Neighborhood Working Group members, Mary Travis-Allen and Jolene Yee, are panelists on the Artist Review Panel. See what they have to say about the Project’s art component:

“I am committed to listening to each of the artists about their ideas, inspiration, background and motivation for what they propose to create. I also pledge to listen and ask my fellow judges on the panel about their own viewpoints and why he/she/they feel about each proposal. It will be a difficult process selecting one piece of artwork, but I hope to incorporate what I learn from the artists, my fellow panelists, and consider and judge each work within the context of our community and history. Art fills my heart with love, joy and awe and makes me feel so satisfied. Public art is especially important as it gives everyone access and ability to appreciate the artwork and, if done well, can capture the human spirit of a community. I love the Mission for all of its amazing artwork and I'm so excited to learn and be part of the selection process.”  Jolene Yee, Friends of Franklin Square 

The Project's Art initiatives give me, as a former SFMTA employee and lifelong resident of San Francisco, with roots in both the American Indian and Calle 24 Cultural Districts, the opportunity to provide input into the selection of the art for the redesign of the Potrero Yard Bus Facility. My ability to give input and support the project's goal to capture the history of this area and give recognition to the original people, the Ramaytush Ohlone, and current inter-tribal American Indian and Latino communities,  gives each community presence and identity and acknowledges the diverse population and cultures that co-exist and have blended together to enrich our community today.”  Mary Travis-Allen, American Indian Cultural Center

D. Contractor Procurement

 

After releasing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Bus Yard Infrastructure Facility to 20 California-licensed general contractors, PNC recommended to the City three qualified contractors (“Shortlisted Respondents”) proceed to the Request for Proposals (RFP) phase. The following recommended bidders accepted the invitation to continue to participate in the procurement of the Bus Yard Infrastructure Facility (in alphabetical order):

  • Build Group
  • Hensel Phelps
  • Webcor

Below is an update on upcoming key milestone dates in the procurement of a Design-Builder for the Bus Yard Infrastructure Facility:

Table 1: Bus Yard Infrastructure Facility Prime Contractor Procurement Schedule*

Activity

Date

RFQ released to Respondents

July 5, 2023

Deadline for submission of SOQs

September 1, 2023 at 2:00 PM PT

Interviews 

September 2023 – December 2023

Anticipated selection of Shortlisted Respondents

January 2024

Select LD LBE Liaison

January 2024

Anticipated release of RFP

Spring/Summer 2024

LBE Contractor Outreach Event 

TBD

Anticipated Proposal due date

Summer/Fall 2024

Anticipated Preferred Proposer selection

Fall 2024

*Procurement schedule is subject to change

E. Local Business Enterprise (LBE) Plan and Lead Developer LBE Liaison

 

In 2023, PNC conducted listening sessions citywide, including with organizations representing the District 9 and District 10 LBE communities. Many ideas, lived experiences, and suggestions were shared as a draft Bus Yard Infrastructure Facility LBE Plan was developed by PNC, the SFMTA Contract Compliance Office (CCO) and the City Attorney’s Office.

On January 12, 2024, the Draft LBE Plan was posted on the SFMTA’s Project website for a 17-day public comment period that ended on January 29, 2024. The SFMTA received written public comments for review by the CCO and PNC. We thank you for your input. Following this review, the SFMTA released the updated LBE Plan for the Bus Yard on March 28, 2024. View the updated LBE Plan for the Potrero Yard Bus Infrastructure Facility Project.

To meet the complex nature of this Project, PNC issued an RFP in August 2023 for a Lead Developer LBE Liaison to serve between LBEs, Design-Builder, and Lead Developer. The nature of the role includes: 

  • Providing construction expertise regarding supplier inclusion principles.
  • Advocating for the LBE community and coordinating opportunities to break down construction packages tailored to small, local, and disadvantaged businesses.
  • Monitoring for compliance and implementation of the LBE Plan and facilitating discussions to resolve issues.

In January 2024, Rosales Business Partners and Yerba Buena Advisors were selected to co-lead the Lead Developer LBE Liaison efforts and fulfill this critical role.
 

III. Upcoming Tours

 

Our next public tours of Potrero Yard has been scheduled:

 

  • Monday, Apr. 22, (Earth Day), 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 22, 5:00 p.m.

Tours RSVPs generally open up a few weeks in advance of the next tour and can be accessed via the Project page.  Sign up now!

 


We appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to your continued involvement in shaping the Potrero Yard Modernization Project. For any inquiries, reach out to PotreroYard@sfmta.com or PotreroYard@plenaryamericas.com.

SFMTA.com/PotreroYard
(415) 646-2223