Courtesy of DLR Group 
A rendering of the proposed 115-unit affordable senior housing project proposed for the Fillmore District. 

San FranciscoAffordable Housing 
May 2, 2024 Stacey Corso, San Francisco Bay Area 

 MacFarlane Partners and Avanath Capital Management filed plans April 29 to build an affordable senior housing development in the Fillmore neighborhood of San Francisco as part of Freedom West 2.0, a $2B redevelopment project. 

 The first phase of the four-block redevelopment consists of 115 units of 100% affordable seior housing and 1.2K SF of ground-floor retail on the site of a 50-year-old housing co-op for some of the city’s most underserved residents. 

Work at 880 MacAllister St. could commence by the end of 2025, Landon Taylor, CEO of MacFarlane Partners’ Investment Management Group, told Bisnow. 

The site houses 382 co-ops owned by Freedom West Homes, which MacFarlane and Avanath Capital plan to replace, maintaining cooperative ownership. According to the San Francisco Planning Commission, the companies will also “develop a long-term, sustainable financial plan for the co-op.” 

The Freedom West Homes Co-op and MacFarlane Partners have created a profit participation agreement that will enable the co-op to generate revenue from the future development of 133 affordable housing units, the market-rate apartments and commercial portion of the development, according to Taylor. 

Taylor said the types of retail tenants being considered include healthcare, banking, cafes and telecommunications companies. These retailers will be carefully selected to meet the needs of its elderly population. In addition, the co-op will own the ground-floor retail space as part of the long-term financial plan MacFarlane has for the resident owners. 

Freedom West ran into some financial trouble, with the building falling into disrepair. Legacy First Partners got involved in stabilizing Freedom West Homes in 2018 and eventually brought on MacFarlane Partners. 

“We responded to a cry for help from the co-op board,” Taylor said. 

Over the next two years, Taylor, a former resident of Freedom West Homes, worked to stabilize the co-op, refinance its existing first mortgage and better understand the needs of the community. 

Approximately 60% of its residents are low- to moderate-income seniors, many of whom are people of color, Taylor said. 

The co-op was built after a period of so-called urban renewal in the Fillmore in the 1950s and 1960s that took out vast stretches of Black-owned and operated properties. The process “wiped out 20,000 to 30,000 residents and 800 businesses from the Fillmore community, most of them never able to return,” Taylor said. 

In 1973, Bethel AME Church built the co-op for families of color to build and pass on wealth. 

At the heart of the new plan is to replace all 382 co-ops at no increase in housing costs for the occupants, as well as add 133 units of affordable housing, 

1,800 market-rate homes, a 150-room hotel, 20K SF of commercial space and a 6K SF educational center, according to a Freedom West Homes and MacFarlane Partners press release. 

Taylor said the 115 units of affordable senior housing will likely be fast-tracked due to SB 35, a new state law that provides builders with an expedited path for developing affordable housing. If successful, it would be one of the first times the new law has been used to aid in the development of affordable housing. 

So far, the Freedom West Homes Corp. has received $27M in funding commitments from several institutions as well as nonprofit entities to help stabilize the Freedom West Co-Op and prepare for the $2B redevelopment. 

The developers hope to benefit from SB 593, which creates a tax-increment financing structure to replace a total of 5,800 affordable homes San Francisco lost during the Urban Renewal movement.

CORRECTION, MAY 3, 12:11 PM ET: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect the ownership structure at Freedom West Homes Co-op and the entities responsible for its development. The story has also been updated to reflect the timeline for the project’s potential usage of SB 253. 

This article was originally published on on May 2, 2024, and has been reposted here to share and consolidate information about Freedom West 2.0. The original article can be viewed here: