At the heart of San Francisco’s Eastern Bayview Choice Neighborhood was the deeply distressed Alice Griffith public housing development. Also known as “Double Rock,” the modern-day Alice Griffith was isolated, obsolete, and housing of last resort for the low-income families who lived there. At the same time, Alice Griffith was an island of affordability in an increasingly expensive metropolitan area. It was also located at the center of a large, redevelopment master plan, Lennar Urban / FivePoint’s Hunters Point Shipyard / Candlestick Point project. The challenge facing stakeholders was how to maintain affordability while taking advantage of the opportunities provided through the master plan for the area.
The solution presented itself in 2010, with the debut of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s signature place-based Choice Neighborhood Initiative. Stakeholders in the neighborhood and residents of Alice Griffith partnered with McCormack Baron Salazar, the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Housing Authority, the Mayor’s Office of Housing, Urban Strategies, Inc., and Lennar Urban, to successfully apply for one of the first Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants in the country.
The goal of the $30.5 million grant is to invest in housing, people and the neighborhood to reverse the effects of historical economic and social disparities of Eastern Bayview / Alice Griffith residents. Activities funded by the grant included redeveloping the Alice Griffith public housing complex and linking housing improvements with appropriate investments in services, schools, public assets, transportation and access to jobs.
The new Alice Griffith residential community includes 339 affordable apartments and homes with one to four bedrooms. 226 of the apartments were reserved for returning Alice Griffith families. The flat- and townhouse-style apartments are built over at-grade parking structures with secure automobile and bike parking and electric car sharing stations. The apartments wrap around center courtyards providing private outdoor space. The multi-phase development includes a management and leasing office, community space, a fitness center, business center, tot lots and green space.
Alice Griffith is part of the Hunters Point Shipyard / Candlestick Point LEED for Neighborhood Development certified plan. In addition, all phases of the project are registered with USGBC under the LEED® for Homes program, with a certification goal of LEED® Gold; the first two phases are certified LEED® Gold.