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How can commercial redevelopment address the California housing crisis?

By Joe Distefano, UrbanFootprint, June 16, 2021

“[UrbanFootprint’s] analysis estimates that, if SB 6 were to become the law of the land, California commercial lands could increase market-feasible capacity by as many as 2 million new homes, similar to upzoning all of California’s single family homes to allow fourplex development as proposed by 2020’s AB 3040.

“More than 80 percent of market-feasible capacity under SB 6 is in the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and San Diego.

“[The market-feasibility analysis showed that] San Francisco has the potential for over 20 units per eligible acre of commercial land, while more rural areas of the state have market-feasible development potentials below one unit per acre.

“[UrbanFootprint’s] analysis shows that California’s commercial lands can accommodate significant housing growth and play an important role in addressing our deepening housing crisis.

“Further, the analysis found that the bill, as presently written, may result in relatively low-intensity housing outcomes. Lawmakers might consider allowing more intense development in targeted areas by setting higher minimum densities above the minimums already established under SB 6.

Read the full analysis of estimated SB 6 housing production and distribution. (~12 min.)

Previously in Roundup: In December 2020, UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation released a study exploring how “the development [of] new homes and mixed-use projects to be built [on commercial] sites can serve as a catalyst for new economic growth while at the same time addressing California’s ongoing housing shortage.”

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