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From Recession Flop to Favorite

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A former market rate condo project that stalled during the recession is about to debut its second life, bringing 196 affordable units to Bayview.

L+M Development Partners just completed Candlestick Heights' second phase, with 130 new rental units. (Phase 1's 66 units finished in January 2013.) L+M development director Robin Zimbler gave us a view from the top of its future S.F plans. She says L+M's bread and butter is in affordable housing, but the big developer also has its hand in market-rate and mixed-income housing. It's considering all three for new construction in S.F., Oakland and San Jose, she says.

S.F. is the third market for L+M, which has $2.5B of investments, mostly in the New York tri-state-area and more recently in New Orleans. When Candlestick Heights' original developer ran into financial woes in 2009, the 66 units were about 50% done. Holliday Development stepped in to figure out whether it should be completed as condos or to help the lender find a new developer. Citibank, which already had a relationship with L+M in NY, reached out about taking over the project (it's all about the connections). Move-ins are underway in the 100% affordable project. 

Robin says the neighborhood is under a ton of redevelopment pressure, with a need to map out affordable options. (Above, a rendering of the The San Francisco Shipyard and Candlestick Point, aka, the largest redevelopment effort in San Francisco since the 1906 earthquake.) Candlestick Heights' new affordable units will be preserved for decades to come, she points out. The 11-building development features a community room, landscaped courtyards and play areas, and is walkable to Candlestick Park and the emerging Third Street corridor and rail line. The demo of the stadium is scheduled for early 2015. (Probably your last chance to claim lost and found items.)

L+M is also looking at a few other potential projects in Bayview and is working to secure sites with development partners. Robin relocated to S.F. 10 months ago and says she got very lucky with her own living situation (we've all heard the horror stories about cross-country moves). It's easily more expensive here than in Manhattan, she claims.