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Kirkham Heights Redevelopment Outreach Effort In Full Swing

Hoodline by Walter Thompson

January 20, 2015

After 64 years, Kirkham Heights Apartments in the Inner Sunset is preparing for a makeover that could increase its housing stock by a multiple of five without, developers say, significantly expanding its existing footprint. If approved, the new complex will be the densest housing development between Twin Peaks and Parkmerced, but owner Westlake Urban says its plan will create affordable, accessible housing in a new setting that improves quality of life for residents and neighbors.

Built in 1950 and situated on 6.35 acres at the end of 5th Avenue, Kirkham Heights is now comprised of 86 rent-controlled units. Current tenants will have the option of keeping their apartments after construction is completed on the new market-rate units and for-sale housing that will bring the total up to 460 units.

According to Naomi Porat, co-founder of project development management firm Transform Urban, the goal is to ”create a model for environmentally and socially responsible urban infill development” and “attract a mix of income diversity, age diversity, and different types of housing.” Westlake Urban claims that 85 percent of current residents are “working professionals or students.”

Infill development is an urban planning concept where unused space is redeveloped to create greater density within built-up areas. In land-starved San Francisco, infill projects are the norm. Valencia Gardens in the Mission and Fulton Grove in Hayes Valley are two examples.

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