Affordable housing, parks and public spaces coming to SoMa neighborhood

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Mayor London Breed, executives from Brookfield Properties, Hearst Corporation and community leaders filled an empty parking lot in the SoMa neighborhood to celebrate the groundbreaking of a $1B mix-used development project.

The project, 5M, will transform 4 acres of parking lots and vacant buildings at 5th and Mission streets with two new towers, an apartment building, two parks and renovated historic buildings.

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The project will bring hundreds of new affordable units both for middle and low income families. The office buildings will also offer affordable spaces for community arts groups.

"So, it's about $76 million in community benefits, which includes about 242 affordable housing units for formerly homeless and for seniors," said Breed.

Rudy Corpuz Jr. is the executive director of the community group United Playaz. He's one of the community leaders that fought for five years to make sure developers didn't just take over his neighborhood.

"Look at what we've been able to get for sitting at the table for over five years. We have the biggest affordable housing in the whole city," said Corpuz.

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Despite the community turnout and the celebration over music and food trucks at the ground breaking, the 5M project has not been without controversy. Another community group sued the City of San Francisco to try and stop the project. Judges ruled in favor of the developers.

"We're always out there in the community. We always have an open line of communication and that's ongoing. We're investing in this neighborhood. We will be a neighbor. We have an open door policy," said Jason Bonnet, vice president of development for Brookfield Properties.

"Everyone might not agree, but there are a lot of people here, who live in the building next to it and they're all here enjoying that this project is finally happening," said Breed.
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