Black developers refuse to work with De León on $1.6-billion Angels Landing project in San Francisco
In a move that will test the relationships between high-profile developers and political leaders in Northern California and beyond, developers have expressed concerns about plans for a 22-story luxury apartment tower near the waterfront in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood, but will not work with Mayor Ed Lee’s controversial public housing secretary, Gavin Newsom, to build the project.
The controversy erupted on Aug. 4, when Lee called Newsom to propose the building as a project he said would generate $1.6 billion in economic development for San Francisco. Newsom was to have the lead role in the project, creating a complex of affordable housing and developmentally disabled housing.
The mayor and Newsom’s office would have been on the same side if there were an agreement, but after the news broke on Aug. 4, the mayor sent a letter to Lee’s office, saying Newsom should not build the project because of a pending lawsuit over the terms of a consent agreement that Lee agreed to for the site, which is being redeveloped as an anchor project for a new tech campus.
Some of the companies that signed a letter of support for the project have since walked back plans, while others have supported Newsom’s plan. And even though the mayor and the developers and the elected officials in San Francisco don’t want it built, the developers who had signed letters of support for Newsom have said they are moving forward with the project because so many of them own or have owned companies that profit from its development.
“The public housing crisis is the root cause of the homelessness crisis; building a 20-story luxury apartment building on a site where 80 percent of the residents are either living in crisis or struggling with homelessness will have the exact opposite effect of alleviating the underlying issues driving homelessness and supporting the people we serve as a City,” Mayor Lee wrote in a letter to Newsom on Aug. 5.
Since the news broke, two high-profile developers, Dan Gordon