Grand Opening of Sansome and Broadway Family Housing

Date Posted: 06.17.2015

On June 11, Daniel Solomon joined a distinguished list of speakers, including San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Chinatown Community Development Center Executive Director Reverend Norman Fong and District Six Supervisor Jane Kim, as well as 200 guests to celebrate the grand opening of Sansome and Broadway Family Housing.

The new building includes 75 affordable housing units, with retail spaces animating the ground floor. Twelve units were allocated for families who have been displaced by construction of the new Central Subway station in Chinatown, and 18 units are now occupied by formerly homeless families. Common spaces include a community room, on-site service provision for the residents, an inner courtyard and a rooftop patio with a community garden and play space.

Changing Lives

Chinatown is one of the few affordable neighborhoods left in the heart of San Francisco, but is being deeply affected by rising prices and aging infrastructure. Solomon describes Sansome and Broadway Family Housing as a chance to “give low-income housing a sense of permanence and dignity—inside and out—that is appropriate for this area.”

Andrea Mayfield shared highlights of her family’s experience as new residents of the building. “I love to cook, and I’m so happy I’ve got a kitchen. I can feed my family healthier.” She said, “It’s like a brand new life. Invigorating … My family and I, we’re so happy here.”

Responsive Design

The building is located on the edge of two very different historic building patterns, with historic warehouses to the east and the highly-articulated building patterns common in San Francisco to the west. The design responds to this, with a simple, loft-like façade on the eastern wing and a vertically articulated western wing, which steps down the hill with the building.

Sansome and Broadway Family Housing joins its sister building across the street, Broadway Family Apartments, which consists of 81 low-income units. Both buildings are located on former on- and off-ramp touchdown sites of the Embarcadero Freeway, which was demolished following the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. This natural disaster allowed for the City of San Francisco to designate the area as affordable housing.