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The GrowSF Report: Housing is still too expensive
PLUS: GrowSF acquires The Bold Italic!
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of December 5, 2022:
- San Francisco Planning admits the City makes it impossible to build
- Gensler Architects recommits to San Francisco
- RSV cases - a new March 2020 moment
- SF’s 911 staffing shortage
- Why are we stuck with single-pane windows?
San Francisco Planning admits the City makes it impossible to build
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors have lied about our housing supply problems for so long, one might think they actually believed their own falsehoods. But reality has a way of shattering fantasies.
In this case, reality came in the form of a report from SF Planning. The report found that the cost of building is so high that even unused parking lots would not be turned into housing.
[T]he Planning Department just quietly issued a report admitting that housing is financially impossible for developers to build — and that the city is making the problem worse.
While some of these costs are out of the control of city leadership, a significant portion of them are due to our city policies. Governor Newsom is now threatening to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and funding if we don’t get our act together.
And yet, our Board of Supervisors is unwilling to take substantive action and make the changes needed allow San Francisco to grow. We need to heed this wake-up call and elect new leadership in 2024 who will help our city grow.
Gensler Architects recommits to San Francisco
Gensler Architects, “the world’s biggest architecture firm,” just signed on to help San Francisco bounce back!
San Francisco continues to see a record high vacancy rate in the office market, reaching 25.5% in the third quarter of this year. In some welcome good news, Gensler just signed a 12-year lease for 45,500 square feet in downtown SF.
It is likely that SF will need to diversify its business community post-pandemic, and having one of the world’s greatest architecture firms commit to the City is a welcome sign!
RSV cases - a new March 2020 moment
San Francisco avoided the worst of the covid pandemic due to the conscientious and consistent efforts of all of its residents. Unfortunately, SF is having a “March 2020” moment, and intensive care units at Bay Area Hospitals are full due to a spike in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases.
RSV is a respiratory infection, like COVID, influenza and the common cold. It often starts without a fever, but can get worse over time. Like other respiratory viruses, children and the elderly are the two cohorts most vulnerable to sever RSV and to need hospitalization. If you are experiencing the symptoms of RSV (or any of the other viruses), make sure to treat the symptoms, and to stay home to protect yourself and others.
SF’s 911 staffing shortage
SF 911 is suffering from chronic understaffing, according to officials and workers. The shortage is so bad that emergency calls are going unanswered. Understaffing has led to burnout for front-line employees who have to work overtime to keep critical services running. It also means lower quality services for residents.
The city has been struggling to recruit police officers, nurses and other first responders, taking an average of 255 days to hire them. But, some hopeful news: City officials have proposed changes to the hiring process in an effort to cut the hiring timeline by at least half. Not good enough, but better than nothing!
Why are we stuck with single-pane windows?
Did you know that San Francisco bans cheap and energy efficient double-paned vinyl windows in most older buildings?
Yes, really. It’s illegal to save money on heating and fight climate change because SF Planning cares more about how your windows look than how well they work.
Check out this Twitter thread to learn more 👇
This ridiculous regulation means that residents—almost always tenants—have to choose between a high heating bill in the winter, or going cold because of the wood framed single-pane windows. Removing this regulation would allow for more comfortable homes, and lower carbon emissions from building heating and cooling.
Celebrate San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city. Here’s what makes it great:
We’re Growing The Bold Italic
Every week we celebrate San Francisco, and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll now be celebrating San Francisco FULL TIME! 😍🎉
GrowSF has acquired The Bold Italic, a lifestyle blog whose mission is to celebrate the best of San Francisco. To do our best work, we need to hire an editor-in-chief. If you love writing as much as you love San Francisco, join us! Check out our job description.
SantaCon? More like SatmosphericRiverCon
Hanukkah on the Promukkah
Celebrate Hanukkah on the JFK Promenade!
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Yes, there is good stuff on Twitter. Here’s some of it:
Manny’s project to light commercial corridors has been a huge success. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
The only thing better than string lights is Chinese lanterns
I hope you got a reservation last week because you’re not gonna get it now!