Mayor London Breed Announces Groundbreaking of First 100% Affordable Housing Complex on Treasure Island
Maceo May Apartments -- part of 8,000 new homes under development on Treasure Island -- will provide housing for 104 homeless and formerly homeless veterans once complete
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced the groundbreaking of the Maceo May Apartment complex, which will provide 100% affordable housing for 104 formerly homeless veterans on Treasure Island. The redevelopment of Treasure Island will ultimately include 8,000 new homes, over 27% of which will be affordable, 550,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, 300 hotel rooms, and 290 acres of public open space.
“The vision for a revitalized Treasure Island is to create an equitable and thriving new community that serves the needs of people at all income levels,” said Mayor Breed. “I’m glad we’re able to move this project move forward even with all the current challenges we’re experiencing with COVID-19. It’s crucial that we continue to build safe, affordable places to live for our most vulnerable residents.”
The 104-unit Maceo May Apartment complex is co-developed by Swords to Plowshares (STP) and the Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC), with 39 of the total units set aside for formerly homeless veterans currently living on Treasure Island and the remaining 65 units for currently homeless veterans. The Maceo May Apartment project is one of up to 20 buildings that will be 100 percent affordable on Treasure Island. Of the 8,000 units on Treasure Island, 2,176 will be affordable.
STP supports nearly 3,000 homeless, low-income and at-risk veterans in the Bay Area every year through employment and job training, supportive housing programs, permanent housing placement, counseling and case management, and legal services. Chinatown CDC serves as neighborhood advocates, organizers and planners, and as developers and managers of affordable housing in San Francisco.
The new apartment building is named in recognition of the dedication and advocacy of Maceo May, a Vietnam War veteran who worked at STP for 12 years and subsequently served as a board member for 14 years, until his passing in 2014. May’s advocacy played a crucial role in ensuring homeless veterans would be recognized and served on Treasure Island.
“The groundbreaking of Maceo May is a huge milestone in Treasure Island’s redevelopment that will provide critical replacement units for current residents, and house additional formerly homeless and low-income veterans,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “The Island is one the most diverse communities in San Francisco, and it’s fitting that it will be home to this project.”
“Having a home is a critical way to end poverty among veterans, and to restore hope, dignity and self-sufficiency,” said Michael Blecker, Executive Director, Swords to Plowshares. “This housing site, in memory of our first-ever Housing Director Maceo May, is critical to overcoming obstacles some veterans face.”
“This project is a step towards ending homelessness in San Francisco, and it will build community along the way through its commitment to hiring veterans during the construction process,” said Malcolm Yeung, Executive Director, Chinatown CDC.
Mike Bartell, who served in the United States Marine Corps from 1969-1973 and currently lives on Treasure Island, will be moving into a Maceo May apartment when the structure is completed in 2022. “Having housing on Treasure Island has provided a brand-new life for me. After being homeless for five years, it feels great to now have a home and a new community on a former military base,” he said.
The six-story modular construction building, designed by Mithun, includes studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units with spaces designed to serve veterans. Current plans include a meal program and common open space with a forested “healing garden,” playground, solar-powered community room and other amenities.
Maceo May is being constructed upon infrastructure built by Treasure Island Community Development (TICD), the master developer responsible for all utilities, site improvements, and other public facilities on Treasure Island. In addition to producing new, state-of-the-art infrastructure, TICD will oversee the development of nearly 6,000 market rate housing units. TICD’s first new residential project on adjacent Yerba Buena Island will be completed in 2021.
The construction team for the Maceo May project will include several contractors and suppliers that are certified Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises. Veterans participating in a construction job training program developed by One Treasure Island (One TI) are also being hired to build Maceo May Apartments.
“This program provides pathways from poverty to lasting financial self-sufficiency and progress,” said Sherry Williams, Executive Director, One Treasure Island.
One TI is a collaboration of community-based nonprofit organizations, including Swords to Plowshares and Chinatown CDC, overseeing affordable housing and economic development opportunities for formerly homeless and low-income San Franciscans. The training program culminates in real jobs hires by EcoBay Services and by other construction industry contractors.
“The timing of this training program was amazing,” said Neil Putzer, a 22-year old Navy veteran, who completed One TI’s construction training program and will be working for San Francisco-based Cahill Contractors on the Maceo May project. “I left the Navy right before the COVID crisis, so I feel lucky that I went through the job training through Swords to Plowshares, which led to a great paying job in the construction industry.”
In May, Mayor Breed announced a $43.7 million construction loan that allowed the $75 million project to move ahead. Maceo May Apartments financing support comes from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, TIDA, the State of California Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program, Raymond James, Silicon Valley Bank, and the California Community Reinvestment Corporation. Operating subsidies will be delivered through the City’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing Continuum of Care program and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program.
Community Driven Partners
Founded in 1994, One Treasure Island’s charter was to ensure that supportive housing and employment programs for formerly homeless households were an integral component of the reuse plan. Maceo May was One TI’s first Board President. Since 1999 both market rate and formerly homeless households have been living in former Navy housing on an interim basis. Well over 10,000 homeless and low-income San Franciscans have been served on Treasure Island in housing, employment and financial services provided by One TI and its members, including Swords to Plowshares and Chinatown Community Development Center who are co-developers of Maceo May Apartments. Other One TI members include Catholic Charities, Community Housing Partnership, Mercy Housing California, Health Right360, Rubicon Programs, and Toolworks.
Historic Treasure Island
Treasure Island was activated as a United States Naval Base in 1940 and played a substantial role in World War II and the Korean War. In 1993, the Federal Government placed the Treasure Island Naval Station on its Base Realignment and Closure list and it was formally decommissioned in 1997. In 1994, the City began to conduct hearings and community meetings that informed the redevelopment plan that will result in a new San Francisco neighborhood incorporating residents of various socio-economic backgrounds. The Treasure Island Development Authority was also formed in 1997 as a non-profit, public benefit agency dedicated to the economic development of the former Naval Station and the administration of municipal services.