Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Octavia Boulevard Development Project

Often times in City development projects, it is difficult to come across the finer details of projects, the details that determine how these projects impact neighborhoods. I am providing all of the information I have located on the Octavia Street Boulevard project.

The most extensive information about the project is available at the
City’s official website. This site shares the extensive reasoning that led to the final project’s design plan.

Octavia Street Boulevard website offers a brief summary of the history of the project, which is all one really needs. The site shows nice pictures of the before and after if the project (don’t bother if you have dial-up), and pats itself on the back for offering traffic delay information and community outreach programs during construction.

San Francisco Transportation Authority website also relates the entire history of the project, but nothing beyond that.

It was through local bloggers
SFist that I came across the housing portion of the plan. Their diligence uncovered the fact that several city groups have come together to create a design competition for the housing that will be constructed along Octavia Boulevard. By devouring all of the information provided at SFPrize.org, the competitions official website, one is finally able to get down to some interesting facts about the Boulevard that is to come:

1. No high-rises. Competing architects are called upon to design housing that blends with established neighborhood architecture. Buildings can not be higher than 4 stories.

2. This project calls for a combination of market rate, affordable, rental and senior housing, as well as mixed use (commercial/residential) buildings on 22 parcels of land. No exact number of housing units has been identified.

3. The goal of the project is to create a pedestrian-biking-public transportation focused neighborhood. What does this mean? LIMITED PARKING. In fact, the competition clearly and repeatedly states that parking is NOT a design requirement, and if parking is planned into the design, it must meet the parking ratio guidelines outlined in the competition rules.

4. In June 2005 a winner will be selected. A jury made up of a variety of local historic and planning experts will pick the winning architectural design. However, the winning concept may ultimately be altered to the city’s liking.

If you are interested in getting continuous tidbits on the direction of the Octavia Boulevard project, I’ve found that occasionally checking SFPrize.org’s Questions/Answers section, where architects competing ask for more specific information, is a good place. Also look in the menu bar for any briefing notes the organizer’s provide.

Have more questions about trends in the housing market? Questions about selling or buying a home? Contact me today for honest, experienced answers.

Amy Blakeley, Realtor®
ablakeley at mcguire.com
(415) 296-2173 Direct

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