Rendering: Common Ground Urban Development
Common Ground Urban Development, a real estate development company focused on social impact in distressed neighborhoods, has set its focus on San Francisco’s 1850 Bryant Street property in the Mission. Their plan is to tear down the current two-story building and build a five-story, 172,000 square foot commercial building that would house 10 non-profits.
According to Mission Local, 7,000 non-profits are currently active in San Francisco, but due to sky-high real estate prices, many are being pushed out of the city.
At 1850 Bryant Street, non-profits would own commercial condos that would make them eligible to participate in the equity of the building, creating a consistent and stable economic environment for the organizations to flourish. They’re promising to aid the non-profits through the process, particularly with New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs), which could cut down development costs by 18 to 20 percent.
“With non-profits, they have to fundraise and then they get in this chicken and egg situation,” Leiasa Beckham, Principal at Common Ground Urban Development, told Mission Local. “They can’t fundraise for a building unless they have a site, but they can’t have a site if they don’t have money.”
Who the chosen non-profits will be is still a secret, but they’ll most likely be dedicated to workforce development for those with employment barriers — one of the most pressing issues in the Mission neighborhood, which has been hit hard by gentrification over the last 10 to 15 years.
The building will also be managed by a concierge, so that visitors can find the appropriate organization without confusion, and shared common areas will help to reduce overhead costs.
The next step in the process will take place on June 1st, when the Planning Commission decides whether to approve the plans for 1850 Bryant Street or not. We’ll keep you updated as the story unfolds.