Archive for January, 2014

Cesar Chavez Street Improvement Project Honored

Before & After CC Ave Project Improvement

Before & After Cesar Chavez St. Project Improvement, Photo Credit: Kimberly Chua

 

Neighbors are celebrating the completion of the 3 year transformation of Cesar Chavez Street! It’s happening Wednesday, January 29th @ 11AM with  ribbon cutting celebration for the safety and street scape improvement project.

Re-named Cesar Chavez Street in 1995 to reflect the passion and cultural shift in the area, the avenue’s original name Army Street,was first designed as a car-centric thoroughfare to connect Twin Peaks and western San Franciscans to a second Trans Bay Bridge development. Years ago, the city and environmentalists shot down the original second bridge design.

2nd Bridge map

2nd Bridge map, Photo Credit: Todd Lappin

Nevertheless, Cesar Chavez Street cuts through the Mission and Bernal Heights neighborhoods and the three lanes of traffic going each way was an unattractive river of concrete to cross if you were on foot.  Despite differences between local special interest groups who wanted easy commuter access, car parking restrictions, traffic calming, school children and cyclist travel safety, and creek daylighting, compromise was reached.

Now, the neighborhood will enjoy:

  • A Road Diet: Three lanes of traffic reduced to two in each direction
  • Left-turn pockets for vehicles
  • A bike lane added in each direction
  • A fourteen foot planted median in the middle
  • Every corner has pedestrian treatments, including bulb-outs, better crosswalks and storm-water catchment planters
  • The end of Capp Street at Mission Street is now a plaza and with crossing distances reduced
  • Upgraded Street Lighting with LED bulbs
  • Sewage & Storm water drainage management

Spearheading civilian interests, Fran Taylor of CC Puede, a local grassroots group, shared her patient success with SF.Streetblog.com reporter Aaron Bialick.

“For me, the most important improvement has been the elimination of the double left-turn that used to feed traffic from southbound Bryant onto eastbound Cesar Chavez and the freeway ramp, making the pedestrian crossing on the east side of Chavez a death-defying experience,” she said. “The median, especially now that it’s landscaped, makes the street feel smaller and cozier.”

Public Service Plan

Public Service Plan, Photo Credit: Rigoberto Hernandez

Bialick has been tracking Taylor’s and others efforts to challenge the status-quo of an outdated plan for Cesar Chavez Street and to serve its local neighbors.

Taylor’s efforts are a success. The intention for Cesar Chavez Street has been re-envisioned to enhance quality of life for the neighborhood, promoting ecological functionality in balance with high-volume traffic patterns. Enhanced greenery, trees and landscaping thanks to our Friends of the Urban Forest, evolved an auto artery into a low impact zone, transforming the livability of the neighborhood. Taylor continues the conversation with SF.Streetblog.com reporter Matthew Roth. “It could be good that it’s taken three years because people have had time to get use to the project.”

Coming together to make the best of a long term public project that impacted residents with noise, dirt and traffic, it seems to me that everyone came out a winner.  We’ve vastly improved the sewer system, created a better traffic flow with bike lanes, and there’s trees and plants where once there was only concrete.  Now on pleasant and safe walks from Precita Park to 24th Street, it is a vast difference for all to enjoy.  Safety, quality of life and neighborhood property value increases are immediate benefits of this project’s completion.

Community Action Planning

Community Action Planning, Photo Credit: Todd Lappin

Join in the celebration Wednesday, January 29th @11AM at the Si Se Puede Plaza in front of the popular eatery The Palace Steak House. To read more on the development of the plan, visit http://www.sfhomeblog.com/2010/05/cesar-chavez-sewer-streetscape-improvement-project-update.html.

References:

http://sf.streetsblog.org/2009/02/04/unclogging-the-caesar-chavez-traffic-sewer/

http://bernalwood.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/a-brief-history-of-how-cesar-chavezarmy-street-became-so-awful-in-the-first-place-3/

http://bernalwood.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/wednesday-cesar-chavez-ribbon-cutting-ceremony-to-celebrate-our-new-infrastructure/#comments

 

Rita Roti is a broker associate / assistant manager at Zephyr Real Estate and can be reached at Rita@ritaroti.com.

 

 

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2014 San Francisco Real Estate is on the Rise…Literally!

City Limits Rise

City Limits Rise

In 2014, the San Francisco skyline will adapt to the high demands for housing. As the country’s top-ranked market construction pipeline, San Francisco has approved the addition of 43, 850 new residential units, many following the trend of micro-housing. For an expanded view, roughly only 35,000 units have been constructed in the city by the bay over the past 14 years. Supporting a thriving bay area economy, positioned by an increase in equity capital and a hot job market, San Francisco’s “sustained improvement in the underlying economic fundamentals” is not the key to its klout says Peter Walker of UrbanLand Institute.  Simple timing and the pace of interest rates are developer’s tickets to rising returns, announced by experts from Emerging Trends in Real Estate.

Foreign investors, institutional investors and private equity financing have flooded the housing market, issuing a “solid buy” stamp for all property types in the gold rush city. 13% of the US real estate market transactions between January and August 2013 were compliments of foreign flex dollars. Furthermore, the increases in available debt from insurance companies, mezzanine lenders and issuers of commercial mortgage-backed securities have the highest bidders snapping up major parcels in hot neighborhoods of South Beach, Mission Dolores and Hayes Valley.

Blanca Torres, reporter for the San Francisco Business Times shares her research. “California was among a handful of states particularly hard hit by the housing bubble, seeing home values decline by 45 percent statewide, according to an analysis by the American Action Forum, a center-right policy institute. San Francisco notably stands as one of the most improved hard-hit markets.”

The next Gold Rush?

The next Gold Rush?

Confidence is spawning as promises of positive results spread to secondary markets. With many developments scheduled to be completed by 2017, if experts are accurate, the keys to success of these billion

dollar developments are simply time and the federal government. Thus, the dawn of the new San Francisco horizon will fulfill its historical destiny of boom or bust!

The next BIG conversation surrounds the basic infrastructure of the city and how it plans to sustain the environmental impact of the additional residents. Stay tuned…

 

References:

http://urbanland.uli.org/economy-markets-trends/san-francisco-is-top-market-for-2014/

http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2013/01/the_43580_units_in_san_franciscos_housing_pipeline.html

 

Rita Roti is a broker associate / assistant manager at Zephyr Real Estate and can be reached at Rita@ritaroti.com.

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