Australia’s Plenary to lead redevelopment of SF’s Potrero Yard

Mission District project would upgrade Muni bus yard for electric fleet, add 600 homes

Plenary Americas ceo and president Brian Budden, San Francisco mayor London Breed and Renderings of the Reimagined Potrero Yard at 2500 Mariposa Street in San Francisco (SFMTA, Plenary Group, Getty)
Plenary Americas ceo and president Brian Budden, San Francisco mayor London Breed and Renderings of the Reimagined Potrero Yard at 2500 Mariposa Street in San Francisco (SFMTA, Plenary Group, Getty)

An Australian developer will lead the redevelopment of a San Francisco bus depot into a new bus yard with 595 affordable homes.

The city has announced a joint venture led by Plenary, an Australia-based public infrastructure developer, to revamp the Potrero Yard at 2500 Mariposa Street in the Mission District, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Its partners are Mission Economic Development Agency, Young Community Developers, Tabernacle Community Development and Presidio Development Partners.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors is expected to decide this week whether to enter into a pre-development agreement with the development group.

“Transit and housing should go together, whether that’s building dense housing on transit lines or recognizing opportunities like this to not only modernize a bus facility, but also build more housing,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

In 2017, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency launched a $2.3 billion plan to repair, renovate and upgrade facilities such as Potrero yard, which is more than a century old.

Six Muni bus routes run out of the 4.4-acre yard at Bryant and Mariposa streets, across from Franklin Square Playground.

About half of the nearly 600 units would be for low-income seniors, families and single-occupant households earning 80 percent below area median income, or $88,700 for a two-person household.

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The other half would be affordable to households earning up to 120 percent of area median income, or $133,000 for a two-person household.

The bus yard project will allow Muni to transition to a battery-electric bus fleet while “increasing capacity to service the fleet as it grows by about 50 percent,” the agency said. The city aims to have all-electric buses by 2035.

Plenary has built infrastructure projects from hospitals to bridges, rail systems and convention centers, mostly in Canada and Australia.

A draft environmental review for the Potrero Yard project published last summer called for 575 affordable homes on top of the expanded bus facility, at a cost of $500 million, according to SFYimby. 

The development would take up 1.3 million square feet, with 544,000 square feet for housing, 4,000 square feet for shops and restaurants, 52,000 square feet of offices, 576,000 square feet for the bus facility and 91,000 square feet of usable open space.

Parking would be included for 213 buses, 91 staff vehicles, and 736 bicycles. The transit agency hopes to break ground next year and complete the project in 2026.

— Dana Bartholomew

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