Jesuit Foundation & SFHDC Grant
This site is made possible by a grant from the Jesuit Foundation at the University of San Francisco…
The Jesuit Foundation, established by a gift from the USF Jesuit Community, serves the purpose of helping USF become more of a university by engaging and fostering its Catholic identity. Because that identity depends considerably upon the depth and presence of Ignatian spirituality within the institution, the Foundation encourages the integration of Ignatian spirituality with the programs and structures that sustain the character and life of the University.
the San Francisco Housing Development Corporation.
The San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC) was established in 1988 to respond to the steady displacement of minorities in San Francisco, particularly African Americans, from these areas during the 1980s, due largely to gentrification and escalating housing costs. Since its inception, the SFHDC’s mission has been to foster stability in the city’s minority community through the development of affordable housing and the facilitation of home ownership. More recently, SFHDC has expanded its scope to include the economic revitalization of the Third Street corridor and other urban minority communities located in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
This blog is inspired by the dialogues of Arthur Javier and Michael Gálvez, two interns involved in the SFHDC’s joint effort to redevelop the intersection of Third Street and Oakdale in San Francisco’s Bayview/Hunter’s Point neighborhood. Their internship would not have been possible without Dr. Monika Hudson, professor of Organizational Behavior at the University of San Francisco who has extensive economic development experience as a city manager. Upon receiving the Jesuit Foundation grant, she was able to convince SFHDC to make a matching grant. A little about this blog’s format: two colors differentiate the voices of the two authors – Michael speaks in green while Arthur speaks in purple.
A little about us…
I graduated from USF’s School of Business and Management in the summer of 2009. I will soon be embarking to Europe and the Far East for two semesters as a part of USF’s pilot program, the joint Masters in Global Entrepreneurship and Management. Currently, I reside in San Francisco’s Richmond district about a five-minute bus ride away from USF. I am your typical San Francisco outdoorsman. I enjoy being outside, participating in many different sports including surfing, cycling, soccer, football and basketball. I am willing to try almost any sport or adventure. I consider this internship my first adventure into the field of economic development. I had not yet visited the Bayview/Hunter’s Point neighborhood prior to this project because I had no reason to go there and even if I had, the stereotypes of the area I learned from residents in my neighborhood encouraged me to steer clear. Upon arrival however, I was sad about what I had been missing: comparatively beautiful weather to the Richmond, great Latin and American food, Speakeasy Brewery, and as a do-it-yourself junkie, plenty of great warehouse stores and tool shops. Of course, the perks don’t do much to overshadow the problems within the community. Bayview/Hunter’s Point continues to be riddled with crime, and its high percentage of violent crimes dwarfs the rates of the City’s other communities. This is where SFHDC comes in.
While many of the older buildings in the area are falling into a state of disrepair, the SFHDC is changing the architectural face of Bayview by developing new properties to maintain residents in the area, attract new residents, and foster cross-cultural and economic synergies that arise from its work in economic development. In this way, Regina Davis and Katherine Williams are working simultaneously to change the Bayview’s public image and character for the better. They envision a direct correlation between economic development and a drop in crime in the area, a typical effect of redevelopment projects in cities across the nation.
I would like to thank Dr. Monika Hudson, the University of San Francisco, and SFHDC for giving me the opportunity to take my business knowledge outside of the classroom and into the “real world”. As I grow as an adult and being one year closer to graduating with a degree in Accounting, I have questioned my purpose on this earth. I have worked in retail, made cold-calls for USF asking for school funding (scholarships , grants, etc.), worked at the Berkeley Free Clinic offering dental health care to the homeless, and worked with inner city kids in San Francisco (Ella Hill Hutch Center, Boys and Girls Club, Colombia Park). I believe all the things I have done have made me understand more about myself. At this moment in my life, I realize that the works I have done are all different but they all share the same simple idea of helping people. I believe I have found my niche in life, which is bettering the lives of others. I am no stranger to working with those in need, so I am very comfortable being myself. I may not experience the events of their lives but I can empathize with them. Being a second generation American, I appreciate simple things and I understand the struggle of those trying to stay afloat. After looking over the project description I knew I wanted to spend my summer impacting the lives of people through public service.
By providing economic development to Bayview/Hunter’s Point the issue of social justice arises. The community of Bayview is in need of change and our project aims to help better their lives by providing a retail market, which encourages and increases spending within the community. Our project allows us to work as consultants for SFHDC and provides them with another view on their project. Our aid is unique because we have a youthfull and ambitious outlook on SFHDC’s existing goals for the redevelopment of Third and Oakdale. Mike and I spent hours on research that Regina and Katherine can use to better identify their market. With Ricardo’s direction, Mike and I ventured through the city, interviewing prospective retailers and gathering relevant information for our project.
I once read a bumper sticker on a bike at USF that had to be of Jesuit origin. It read, “If you want peace, work for justice.” Our participation in this redevelopment project is our opportunity to encourage peace in a community that is thirsty for it. We want to make the intersection an ambulator’s paradise, complete with an indoor/outdoor produce mart, retail stores, excellent public services, and food. Really good food. We know that if people come to the area to walk, talk and window shop, the people who are involved in less legitimate forms of shopping will disperse, making the area safe once again. While increased traffic should do well to prevent crime, as the community’s eye is a powerful deterrent, the other side of safety requires an added police presence. There is no doubt a need for political activism on this front, which requires hours of added work, but I am convinced that the rewards for the project’s political champions will be invaluable.
This project should prove beneficial to the supervisor of District 10, Sophie Maxwell, because she can work as a “champion” for our project. Her political power and her network can push for immediate change on and around the corridor. Her knowledge of the district cannot be found elsewhere and she has the ability to work with the SFHDC in turning the area into another walkable, community centered retail center that not only generates cash flow within the community but will also better the whole city of San Francisco.
Our project is also useful for Mayor Gavin Newsome in his run for the governor’s office. He could push for the swift implementation of SFHDC’s plans and show California his forward thinking and prove to Californians that he has not forgotten an area that has long awaited redevelopment. His help and political power would assist in the recruitment of large retailers. If the corridor is filled with appropriate retail stores, crime will ultimately be downsized. Crime would lessen because of the increased amount of foot traffic. Once people have reason to roam the corridor, loitering and illegal acts would be driven out of the area.
This internship allowed me to apply my USF education to a real life situation. I used the tools I learned from my management course and effectively carried them to my internship. After our first meeting I understood the roles of each member of my team. Mike and I were able to jump right into work without any complications because we both understood how to work well as a team from our experience in Dr. Hudson’s course at USF. After this summer, I feel confident starting my own path working in public service. I have the heart and motivation to help others and this opportunity immersed me in real life situations that taught me the practical skill set I needed for the next chapter of my life.
Arriving by T-line onto the stop at the 3rd and Oakdale intersection acquainted me with the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood for the first time. From the bus stop I could see the SFHDC building, distinguished by its modern architecture and casual façade from many of the other older and more decorative buildings in the neighborhood. The receptionist was charming and lighthearted and made me feel welcome despite the fact that I was a little late. Inside her office I expected to meet the President of SFHDC, Regina Davis, along with my partner on in the effort, Arthur Javier; all other expectations I left at the door.
Aside from what I read from the PSIP overview and the SFHDC website I was unaware of what the project entailed. I decided to leave early and drive around the area before our meeting began. Parking was very easy for me coming off 3rd street. Walking to the SFHDC offices I soaked up the sun, which was a nice change from the Inner Richmond fog. Monika and Regina had a lengthy conversation discussing the project’s direction. Just from the conversation between Regina and Monika I knew I would learn much about economic redevelopment.
Scoping out the intersection…
From the before and after shots Katherine provided us, a computer generated concept map, it was apparent that this was a tremendous project with ambitious deadlines. In its current state the intersection was filled with liquor stores, restaurants, social clubs, and small churches, the only major retail operation being the Metro PCS store. Foot traffic in the area was far less than SFHDC’s stated goal of 500 people per hour. Not including the asbestos abatement project at the public school up the block on Oakdale, the only other major construction present was at SFHDC’s latest multi level apartment complex situated right on the intersection in question.
The San Francisco Opera House is a landmark that acts as a community building. It sits on a spacious lot adjacent to the community’s recreation center. The Joseph Lee Recreation Center was recently remodeled with a playground in the front and a gym situated in the back of the lot. As we walked up the hill I noticed the public school, the Burnett Children Center, was under construction.
Flora Grubb is a garden retailer off 3rd street. We walked around the area and used them as an example of retail synergy. Flora Grubb’s neighboring retailer was an irrigation company and across the street is an automechanic shop that specializes on delivery trucks.
Flora’s garden supply store is like many large retailers in the Bayview in that it serves the entire San Francisco community and not just the Bayview neighborhood. Over lunch we discussed with Monika how Flora Grubb serves a “destination market” rather than the neighborhood. The main goal of the SFHDC on the other hand, is to create a “neighborhood-serving” retail area for the convenience of the local community. This in no way implies that the new center will serve only the neighborhood however, as the SFHDC knows that they can turn the area into a destination that the entire city will feel welcome in.
Getting acquainted with teleconferencing…
Monika set up a conference call for us to get acquainted with Ricardo Noguera, an economic development advisor for the project. Ricardo Noguera has been working in the economic redevelopment sector for some time, and assisted in the redevelopment of San Francisco’s Mission district. The conference call gave us an opportunity to use Ricardo’s knowledge of redevelopment with our own project at Third and Oakdale. During the conference call we discussed retail attraction and what retailers should be implemented to create foot traffic and synergy on third street. The teleconference enlightened us with a vision for our project and directed us where to focus our research.
Last Meeting – 7/17
The final meeting incorporated Ricardo Noguera, who came from Visalia to take a look at the area of our project. Our meeting consisted of a group discussion on the information we compiled from weeks of interviews and research. This meeting shed light for the need of a “champion” for the project, an outside source who can carry the project forward with their networks and fundraising ability. We walked the corridor and showed Ricardo the opera house, the recreation center, the public school, and the retail stores along third street.
It’s no wonder why caffeine is substance of choice on which to carry conversations about business best-practices. Sitting down with a couple espressos at Flora Grubb, I think we both felt thoroughly locked in on the conversation as it was a privilege to learn from a few of the best when it comes to economic development. Still, it was apparent that this was going to be a real challenge that would test their expertise and our creative talents as intern consultants. We would be taking into consideration a few archetypical redevelopment projects from other cities around the nation and tailor them to our needs at Third and Oakdale to formulate our recommendations for the SFHDC. I was excited, and jittery.
Introduction Of The Bayview Area
The Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood is located along the City/County of San Francisco’s southeastern waterfront. The area historically had a relatively self-sufficient economy based on manufacturing, shrimping and shipbuilding.
Since 1941, however, Bayview/Hunters Point has been dominated by the presence of the Naval Shipyard. During World War 2, newcomers poured into Bayview/Hunters Point to support the wartime demand for battleships. The war effort destroyed pre-existing industries, leaving shipbuilding-related activities as the employment base for the area. Although the war brought money to Bayview/Hunters Point, the associated economic boom was not sustainable.
In 1974, the Navy deindustrialized and decommissioned the shipyards, leaving many of the area’s existing residents in search of work. Joblessness created as a result of the closure posed a growing challenge for the district. In addition to economic turmoil, the area suffered from the residual effects of ship and munitions production including an over-concentration of heavy metals and oils in the ground and water table.
In addition to the environmental challenges associated with the shipyards, Bayview/Hunters Point was also the location for a PG&E power plant (only closed in 2005) and a City/County of San Francisco wastewater treatment plant. County health statistics indicates that the neighborhood has higher incidences of asthma and cancers than other parts of San Francisco. Since 1974, residents have worked actively to encourage federal, state and local officials to investigate neighborhood impacts from residual contamination and take action to clean up the shipyards, the power plant and the wastewater treatment plant.
In a neighborhood already experiencing job loss, poverty, continuing under and unemployment, and environmental insults, since 1980, Bayview/Hunters Point has also experienced high levels of drugs and violence. Its isolation from other parts of San Francisco and limited employment opportunities, has often meant that Bayview/Hunters Point youth get involved with gangs and crime, continuing in a cycle of poverty and segregation. The district has one of the highest crime rates in San Francisco. Despite having less than 5% of San Francisco’s population, Bayview/Hunters Point consistently accounts for 20-30% of San Francisco’s homicides, a record that peaked at 50% in 2004.
All of the news about Bayview/Hunters Point is not negative. The demographics of the area are changing and the integration of the T-line on Third Street offers the population new transportation options to seek and maintain work. An intensified commercial façade program and the influx of new businesses have given area residents a reason for walking along the Third Street corridor, other than to cash a check or purchase liquor. As the area develops, high-volume retailers and its central location are creating the beginnings of a solid neighborhood-serving economic base.
PURPOSE OF OUR PROJECT
Given its history, Bayview/Hunters Point community calls out for economic development that encompasses a social justice focus and creates long lasting positive change. Towards that end, USF students were invited to work with a local housing community development housing organization on a project designed to stimulate the same.
Our economic revitalization project aims to better the lives of Bayview/Hunters Point residents by analyzing the potential for developing the Third and Oakdale Street intersection as a small business centered retail hub, similar to what has evolved at both 16th and Mission Streets and 24th and Mission Streets. Our internship allowed us to serve as consultants to San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC), a nonprofit housing developer. This report documents our research about some specific ways to stimulate public and nonprofit centered redevelopment of the Third/Oakdale intersection. As a result of our analysis, our SFHDC contacts, Regina Davis and Katherine Williams, should have a wider range of options to consider as they determine how the Third/Oakdale intersection can be enhanced with targeted public, private and nonprofit sector actions over the next nine to twelve months.
In summary, our project was designed to:
• Analyze and document the current economic conditions at the Third Street/Oakdale intersection.
• Identify “best practices” from comparable State of California small scale redevelopment projects that might assist in revitalizing the Third/Oakdale intersection.
• Prioritize the researched best practices based upon their capacity to (1) attract food and leisure service vendors to the intersection and (2) create a diverse, urban central business area within the next nine to twelve months.
• Develop a report and presentation that documents the environmental scan, best practices and priority action plan for the Third Street/Oakdale intersection.
PICTURES OF PUBLIC SITES
Artwork From Local Artists
Newly Remodeled- Burnett Children Center Auditorium
Joseph Lee Recreation Center- Basketball Court
Two kids enjoying their summer time shooting hoops
San Francisco Housing Development Corporation’s Affordable Housing
A Jump Start in the Right Direction
I came into the University of San Francisco as an accounting major, then decided to take some challenging science courses, then found myself back on track to becoming a CPA. As I look back over my most recent summer, I realize there’s no way I can ever repay Monika for the impact she has had on my life.
Not only was this a challenging summer project, it was a very time restrained project. This summer I met my teammate Mike Galvez, and had the opportunity to feed off his entrepreneurial spirit.
This project taught me skills that I will take into my accounting career.
I mastered my computer skills: Worked on excel to figure out Muni passenger counts and made a presentation for the USF Business Faculty using Microsoft PowerPoint.
I mastered my verbal and written communication skills: I met with business prospects, spoke to economic developers from different parts of California, and wrote a 22 page report about our team’s findings.
I mastered my team skills: Before this project I had no idea who Mike was, and after one summer I know I not only have a great friend but a strong business relationship with an entrepreneur.
I mastered my entrepreneurial skills: The project goal was to better the Bayview community by creating a retail hub, and our team created a strong foundation to continue bettering the historically underserved area.
This project also installed into me our core mission, “promote learning in the Jesuit Catholic tradition”. I have developed into an intelligent, sensitive, and responsible member of our society. I was challenged with the big questions such as the ultimate meaning of life and what is my purpose here on earth. To that end, I realized that I’m here to continue learning and to promote good to all cultures.
I held up to our University’s core value of “excellence as the standard for teaching, creative expression and service”. Over the summer I developed a strong student-faculty relationship with Monika and her mentoring and advising helped me grow personally and professionally.
Our San Francisco location and the diversity of the city prepared me to deal with all communities and organizations. This summer proved to me that we could make an immediate impact in people’s lives right here in San Francisco. I don’t need to fly overseas or donate huge amounts of dollars to make an impact in society.
This summer started off as a project but now public service is an integral part of my character.