Developer of controversial development in Mission District offers new proposal to build affordable housing

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Bay Area is one of the most expensive places in the country to live and solutions aren't easy. A project nicknamed the "Monster in the Mission" is causing some controversy but the developer is trying to sweeten the deal.

The San Francisco Planning Commission typically holds its meetings at City Hall, except that a big space like the Mission High auditorium was needed to accommodate the hundreds of people who are on both sides of debate.

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The developer Maximus Real Estate Partners has faced tough opposition from some people in the community. The proposal calls for having three new buildings in the area of the 16th Street BART plaza- right there on Mission Street. This would bring 331-- market value-- units to the area. One of the buildings would be 10-stories high. The two other buildings would have commercial retail space on the lower levels.

"It's just time for this intersection, which has historically been a very important part of the BART system and still is, to have something new come here to fix the situation for all of the community," said Joe Arellano, a spokesperson for Maximus Real Estate Partners.

The development was proposed in 2013, yet rallies have stalled the project.

In an effort to sweeten the deal, the developer has introduced a new proposal. The developer has offered to purchase two lots with the intention of donating them so that the city could build affordable housing on them. One is on Mission and 25th, the other on Folsom and 23rd. This could potentially create 306 affordable housing units.

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Opponents are still against the new proposal.

"They're not paying to build affordable housing either so they can give us dirt, but if they don't pay to build affordable housing units, they can't take credit for building affordable housing units," said Chirag Bhakta of the Plaza 16 Coalition.

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