In a landmark agreement, the San Francisco Bay Area’s land conservation nonprofit Greenbelt Alliance and housing developer AF Evans today announced a partnership which will, for the first time, give renters and homebuyers the ability to choose a home that is certified as good for the greenbelt.
Infill projects by AF Evans that meet Greenbelt Alliance’s standards for good development will be stamped as “Livable Communities” by Greenbelt Alliance. The certification will let potential residents know that by choosing to live in a walkable urban neighborhood, they’re helping to keep development off surrounding farmland and natural areas, and enabling the region to grow in a sustainable way.
Greenbelt Alliance, the Bay Area’s advocate for protecting land and making cities more livable, has approved an initial set of AF Evans projects in a variety of locales:
- The Market Square condominiums, 585 9th Street next to Old Oakland and City Center in downtown Oakland, opens this fall three blocks from the 12th Street BART station.
- 888 Seventh Street, in San Francisco’s Showplace Square neighborhood, will be a 224-unit mixed-income development opening in December 2007.
- Vidrio, including 200 condominiums, 40,000 square feet of retail, and public plazas, will bring new life to Old Town Pittsburg when Phase I opens in Spring 2008.
“The Bay Area is growing, and if we don’t change how the region grows, we will see our hills and farmlands paved over by uncontrolled development,” said Tom Steinbach, Greenbelt Alliance’s Executive Director. “Instead, we need to invest new growth in urban areas, to revitalize our communities and protect the greenbelt. These projects by AF Evans are examples of the kind of development the Bay Area needs, and Greenbelt Alliance is pleased to support them.”
“We’re excited to be part of this innovative program,” said Jack Robertson, President of AF Evans Development. “For thirty years, our core mission has been to create housing within reach for Bay Area residents in terms of affordability. This partnership with Greenbelt Alliance highlights the importance of housing within reach of jobs, shopping and transportation so that Bay Area residents can improve their quality of life by reducing commutes and dependence on cars.”
As part of the partnership, AF Evans will enjoy a two-year exclusive agreement to receive “Livable Community” designations for properties approved by Greenbelt Alliance. AF Evans will provide a complimentary Greenbelt Alliance membership to every household that moves into these properties. The membership provides opportunities to protect and enjoy the Bay Area’s landscapes, with events like hikes, bike rides, farm tours, and urban walks.
“We hope to give the people who live in these developments an appreciation of why their choice of where to live is good for the greenbelt—and we’ll invite them to come out and enjoy the greenbelt too,” said Steinbach. Robertson said AF Evans has done some research and has found great interest in the free memberships, which he says “provide useful information and an extra benefit” for new residents.
About AF Evans
AF Evans Development is dedicated to the development, acquisition and rehabilitation of high-quality housing, serving all income levels. Founded in 1977, AF Evans has developed more than 10,000 housing units across a variety of product types, including low-income, mixed-income, and market-rate housing in for-sale and rental multi-family properties; urban mixed-use projects; and service-enriched living environments for seniors, Alzheimer patients, and the disabled. For more information, call (510) 891-9400 or visit www.afevans.com.