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SAN FRANCISCO-A $68-million residential-over-retail development at the corner of Fillmore and Eddy in this city’s historic jazz district is headed for a spring 2008 opening. All the funding and approvals for the project fell into place last month, and the official kick-off was held late last week. Developers and city officials feted the public-private partnership as on of the district’s most important revitalization projects to-date.

Fillmore Heritage Center will include a public parking garage topped by a commercial base topped by 80 mixed-income condominium units in a 13-story tower. Grading, shoring and excavation contractor began a couple of weeks ago. Project completion is about 18 months out.

The commercial base, which has been fully preleased, will include Yoshi’s, a 27,000-sf Jazz club with one other location in Oakland; a Jazz Heritage Center, and; the Blue Mirror Restaurant and Lounge, a 6,000-sf restaurant and lounge with an African American theme.

The condominiums above that will include 68 market rate units and 12 Below Market Rate units targeted for income levels at 100% of median. Prices for the market rate one-, two- and three-bedroom condominium units are expected to be priced between $575 and $600 per sf. Presales will begin in the second quarter of 2006. The sellout is expected to be at or above $48 million.

Fillmore Development Associates was selected in June 2001 by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency to develop the 1.2-acre Western Addition site. Bay Area-based real estate developer EM Johnson Interest Inc. is the manager of FDA and EM Johnson president Michael Johnson is the managing member.

A large portion of the project’s public financing came from the city’s redevelopment agency, which provided $15 million in land and development loans, as well as a $4.7-million grant to construct the below-grade public parking garage. The residential parking to meet the one-for-one requirement for condominium units will be constructed within a proposed second-level garage within the residential tower.

Commercial rents at the project are in the $18-per-sf range, a below-market figure that was based on what was feasible for the specific types of businesses that are in the project. The redevelopment agency required that the project attract these types of tenants and provided loan interest tenant-improvement loans directly to the tenants to help make it happen, its goal being to further revitalize the district.

Johnson says FDA will get a 5% development fee for the public parking garage and another modest fee for the commercial portion of the project, which he says will provide a “decent cash flow over time.” On the residential, Johnson says FDA will lose money on the BMR units and is projecting a 15% profit as a percentage of gross sales on the market-rate units for a net profit of about 12%.

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