What Will Happen to the Schlage Site?

Did you know that Schlage was founded in San Francisco by Walter Schlage? Schlage used to have a large site at the very southern end of the city, in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood between Bayshore Blvd. and Tunnel Ave? The site was closed in 1999, and discussion  have been underway since then about what to do with the space. At one time – in a prior century – Home Depot was interested in building a store at the site, but they’ve long since moved on to other projects.

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Visitacion Valley – Schlage Site. Source: SF Planning Department

A site concept plan was drawn up way back in 2002, and has been the basis for a community planning process that took place from 2002 – 2009. In 2009 a redevelopment plan was adopted, but things got seriously sidetracked in 2011 when Jerry Brown eliminated redevelopment agencies as part of his effort to balance the state budget. Since then, the project has been returned to the SF Planning Department, and they are trying to find ways to move forward with a project at the Schlage site.

The most recent community meeting was in January of 2013, and since redevelopment agencies are no more, the planning department is attempting to get a development program agreement in place for the site. Community feedback has resulted in some modifications to the original plan (as shown below), but we are still a long way from being able to break ground on anything.

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Development Possibilities – Source: SF Planning Department.

The cost for site clean-up, remediation, and development is fairly substantial, and since the redevelopment tax increment is no longer available, it means that the city will have to come up with other ways to fund the development project.

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Schlage Site – Rendering of One Possible Development Plan. Source: SF Planning

The SF Planning Department will be holding another community meeting in late February or early March where they hope to present the final proposed changes to the 2009 plans, as well as the “final” Phase 1 development proposal, along with projected costs and proposed funding tools. One possibility to make the project more financially viable is to increase the number of housing units. In the original plans, 1,585 homes were cleared through environmental review, but the previously approved plan had only 1,250 homes.

Regardless of how this plays out, you can expect it to be quite a while before shovels are in the ground. What are your thoughts on the former Schlage site and it’s potential redevelopment?