Credit: Courtesy Steelblue

BRIDGE Housing, a leading nonprofit affordable housing developer, is part of a team that has been selected to work on a signature 41-story development in San Francisco.

The partnership led by Avant Housing, with Essex Property Trust and BRIDGE Housing, has entered into an exclusive right to negotiate with an intent to build the 563-unit project on Transbay Block 9 in the city's South of Market District. The project will include a 400-foot tower and a shorter podium building.

Transbay Block 9 is a 31,000-square-foot parcel, anchoring the Western edge of the Transbay Project Area, which includes the $4.2 billion Transbay Terminal project, a huge transportation and housing center.

San Francisco-based BRIDGE Housing will co-develop the affordable housing units.

The yet-to-be-named 600,000-square-foot mixed-use development will provide transit-oriented market-rate housing, including 450 residences: a mix of studios, one- and two- bedroom homes, and penthouses. Also included will be 113 below market-rate homes, below ground parking spaces, as well as amenities such as elevated gardens and a greenhouse. The team's goal is to commence construction in the first quarter of 2014, with occupancy in the first quarter of 2016.

Also included in the development is more than 6,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor along Folsom Street, which is being redesigned as a pedestrian-oriented boulevard with cafes and stores spilling out onto 25-foot-wide sidewalks and a public park with indoor and outdoor space and that will connect Folsom to Clementina Street and the proposed Oscar Park. Oscar Park is a set of open space improvements under the bus ramp to the transit center and the Interstate 80 off-ramp.

"San Francisco has a huge need for housing across the economic spectrum, and we look forward to the day when 113 working families will be able to move into this development," said Cynthia A. Parker, BRIDGE Housing president and CEO, in a statement. "For over 20 years, we have collaborated with TMG Partners on other mixed-use, mixed-income developments, so we are thrilled to be working with the stellar team of Avant Housing and Essex Property Trust."

Avant Housing is a joint venture between AGI Capital Group, TMG Partners, and CalPERS.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP is the lead architect, while Fougeron Architecture will design the affordable housing component. The tower's unique design is unlike any other on the San Francisco skyline.