The four-building development plan covers one-half of a cityblock at the intersection of Market Street and Eighth Avenue,across the street from the Orpheum Theatre, one block from CivicCenter Plaza and one-half mile from Westfield's recently renovatedand expanded San Francisco Centre shopping mall. Sangiacomo andcity officials hope the mix of tenants and community amenities aswell as the architectural concept by Miami-based Arquitectonicawill spark a renaissance in the Civic Center district.

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The first phase, at 1188 Mission Street, will be a 24-storytower with 440 units. Approximately 80% of the units will berent-controlled, replacing on a one-for-one basis those that willbe demolished to make way for the three subsequent phases, whichinclude another 1,360 units and 63,000 sf of street-level retail.The project includes parking for 1,350.

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How to deal with the tenants in the existing rent-controlledunits—a 1960s motel that Sangiacomo converted to 360 apartments inthe 1970s—was one of the main sticking points in six-yearentitlement process. Sangiacomo reportedly had every intention ofredeveloping the site 25 years ago but was repeatedly deterred fromdoing so by city officials and disgruntled citizens, according tomultiple sources.

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At one point Sangiacomo offered to relocate all of the tenantsand cover the delta in their rents for life. The tenant communitydidn't like that idea, and began gathering signatures for apetition to prevent the demolition of any rent-controlled propertygreater than 20 units. Ultimately they gathered enough signaturesbut lost in court on a technicality. When tenants began makingplans to re-launch the petition effort, the two sides came backtogether and came up with the plan for a one-for-onereplacement.

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In addition to the rent-controlled units, the overalldevelopment agreement with the city calls for 285 below-market-rateunits that will be affordable to those making 60% of the medianincome. In trade, the developers received an increased floor-arearatio, which ended up at 11-to-1, meaning the total square footageof the development may be 11 times the total square footage of thedevelopment site.

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Project approval came this time last year and excavation for thefirst phase began in November. Trinity Properties CFO WalterSchmidt tells GlobeSt.com that the pile program has been completed,the tower crane is up and the first elevated slab has been poured.The first floor likely will be poured in the middle of next monthand a new floor will be poured every 15 days if all goes asplanned, he says.

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After the first phase is completed, the existing rent-controlledunits will be demolished to make way for the second building andthe projects central plaza. The second phase of the project isexpected to be a 545-unit building on Market Street with 21,000 sfof street-level retail. To final two phases will include 915residences in two buildings along Eighth and Mission streets thatwill be anchored by an additional 40,000 sf of retail.

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