Mayor Lee & Supervisor Cohen Announce Milestone in Schlage Lock Visitacion Valley Project
Long-Stalled Schlage Lock Project to Build Nearly 1,700 Housing Units Affordable to Low & Middle Income Families in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley Neighborhood
Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Supervisor Malia Cohen today announced the introduction of a development agreement for the Schlage Lock Development project with Universal Paragon Corporation (UPC). The agreement will transform 20 acres of vacant land at the site of the former Schlage Lock factory in Visitacion Valley into a livable, mixed-use urban community with nearly 1,700 housing units affordable to low and middle income families and well-designed parks, open space and transit accessibility that blends into the urban fabric of the Visitacion Valley neighborhood.
“At long last, the 20-acre Schlage Lock site will be reborn and transformed, from a blighted former manufacturing factory and railyard into a thriving, transit-oriented community with nearly 1,700 new homes that will enrich the unique and diverse Visitacion Valley neighborhood,” said Mayor Lee. “The development of the Schlage Lock site after 15 years, even after the State’s dissolution of Redevelopment, is a major milestone for this community and moves us closer to our goal of building and rehabilitating 30,000 homes by 2020. I would like to thank Supervisor Cohen and Universal Paragon Corporation for developing this community driven plan that will move this long-stalled project forward.”
“This is a monumental milestone not only for the Visitacion Valley community but the entire city of San Francisco,” said Supervisor Cohen. “We need to continue fighting to keep San Francisco affordable for everyone. We must keep pushing for housing that is accessible to low and middle income families. While we have been faced with challenges along the way, this project is a brilliant example of how the community, the City family and the developer can come together to make positive development a reality in San Francisco.”
The Schlage Lock project and development agreement includes improvements and community benefits including almost 1,700 housing units with 15 percent dedicated to below market rate housing and the remainder still within reach of low and middle income households. The housing produced from this project will be integral to achieving Mayor Lee’s ambitious goal of building 30,000 new and rehabilitated homes by 2020, with at least one-third of those permanently affordable to low income families, and the majority within financial reach of working San Franciscans. The Schlage Lock project will also include more than two acres of open space and parks, the full rehabilitation of the existing historic office building, a full service grocery store, retail and new infrastructure and utilities.
Schlage Lock opened its doors in 1926, and for more than 70 years, the factory manufactured metal locks for distribution nationwide. In 1999, the company sold and moved its plant and headquarters, leaving the community with an industrial site that became vacant for years.
In 2005, the City designated Schlage Lock as a Redevelopment Area, which allowed the site to access approximately $50 million to offset the costs of environmental remediation from the production of metal locks, all new infrastructure and utilities, affordable housing and other community benefits. Over the course of many years, the City, the community, and the new land owner, UPC, worked together to develop a plan for the site that resulted in the approval of the Visitacion Valley/Schlage Lock Redevelopment Plan, which included the Schlage Lock site, and the certification of its environmental impact report.
However, before the City could finalize the project’s final terms in an agreement with Universal Paragon Corporation, the Redevelopment Agency and its funding were dissolved. Without the assistance of public funding, the project, as then envisioned, was not economically feasible.
For two years, Mayor Lee, Supervisor Cohen, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Planning Department worked together with Universal Paragon Corporation, the Visitacion Valley/Schlage Lock Advisory Body, and the broader community to re-envision the development of the site that would maximize public amenities while ensuring the development project would be financially feasible, despite the loss of public funding from the former Redevelopment Agency. As a result, a new development agreement was created that increases the amount of housing units while providing subsidy to the community benefits.
“This project is a testimony to the tenacity and resilience of the Visitacion Valley community – and the dedication of countless City and State officials,” said UPC General Manager and Development Director Jonathan Scharfman. “Fifteen years after the Schlage Lock factory’s departure, we look forward to soon delivering a much needed economic boost – with housing, parks, multimodal transit connections and a retail hub-- to this often overlooked neighborhood. We’re proud to continue our long standing commitment to Visitacion Valley’s revitalization.”
“After seven years of meetings, the Advisory Body is excited that the development agreement is entering its final stages of completion,” said Visitacion Valley/Schlage Lock Advisory Body Member Douglas Fong. “We look forward to the replacement of this long empty and blighted land with a grocery store, public parks, housing, and opportunity for the Valley. Thanks to all the staff at the Redevelopment Agency, UPC, Planning Department, Mayor’s Office and Supervisor’s Office for keeping the community informed, answering our questions, and considering our responses. This truly has been a coordination of public, private and neighborhood interests, and now is the time for that work to become a reality for us all.”
Mayor Lee and Supervisor Cohen will introduce legislation for the Schlage Lock development agreement and design controls at the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. On May 8th, this legislation will be initiated at the Planning Commission. If approved, construction could begin in 2015. The project is estimated to generate 2,800 construction jobs over the life of construction and permanent retail jobs, according to a fiscal impact analysis of the development project.
More information on the Schlage Lock Development Project, go to: http://www.oewd.org/SchlageLock.aspx.