New master plan reveals massive housing increase


SF State President Les Wong speaks at a meeting in the J. Paul Leonard Library at SF State, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (Oscar Rendon/Golden Gate Xpress)

Up to 8,300 new student beds will arrive on campus within 15 years as SF State accelerates its transition from being a commuter campus towards a residential campus, SF State officials announced Monday.

More than 70 people witnessed the public unveiling of the first pieces of a plan set to redevelop the campus by 2035. Lacking a written report, most of the plan’s juicy details were instead provided by paid consultants, PowerPoint slides and architectural drawings.

“I think the cost of commuting is going to escalate,” said President Leslie E. Wong in an interview following the Future State presentation. “The availability of housing will make it easier and more affordable for students to attend San Francisco State.”

Monday’s presentation provided a sneak peek for members of the public into how campus officials plan to redevelop the campus as the university goes forward with increasing its full-time student enrollment by 20 percent by 2035 – from 20,000 to 25,000 full-time students.

While many elements of the old 2007 master plan will carry over, including the enrollment increase, the new plan includes a more aggressive housing element, according to the presentation.

[/media-credit] SF State President Les Wong speaks at a meeting in the J. Paul Leonard Library at SF State, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (Oscar Rendon/Golden Gate Xpress)
Between 4,000-8,000 additional student beds are set to double or triple the current stock, resulting in up to 12,400 total student beds. Faculty and staff housing will take a massive leap from 120 units to 680 units. And there’s a curveball – a proposal to include 1,000 units of market-rate housing behind Stonestown Galleria alongside a private developer is in the works.

Jackie Foley, president of Associated Students, said in an interview that although more student housing is needed, certain segments of the student population should not be chosen over others.

“A huge majority of our students are transfer students who commute,” she said. “We cannot forget about that population.”

The parking garage will be demolished under plans proposed via architectural drawings, and replaced with a new campus recreation area.

Given the massive changes proposed for SF State, only a handful of students showed at the 1 p.m. unveiling, while only a few more students stopped by the Cesar Chavez center to look over the pictures displayed.

Biochemistry major Katie Vaccaro said SF State needs more school spirit and believes additional student housing may do the trick.

“Student housing is where I met most of my friends,” Vaccaro said. “It’s hard to meet people in classes, you’re not really talking to each other unless you join an organization or something.”

[/media-credit] People gather for a meeting in the J. Paul Leonard Library at SF State, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (Oscar Rendon/Golden Gate Xpress)
Monday’s public presentation comes months after two Future State events sought out opinions of the campus community following last semester, with the first one in May and another in late July. Opinions from both meetings culminated in the plan released on Monday. The top request for the process, according to SF State, was the campus community wanting more affordable student housing and employee housing.

But Foley, who spoke at the meeting, said the university’s outreach about Monday’s unveiling could have been better.

“I wish the meeting was marketed more,” Foley said. “I was told about it pretty last minute.”

Now that feelers have been put out for the new plan, Fall semester will see the beginning of the new master plan’s environmental review. Drawings and reports will be finalized as SF State prepares to publish the first draft of the master plan during Spring 2018.

“I’m hoping you’ll be patient when the density of traffic goes up, a little bit, as we start crafting the future of San Francisco State,” President Wong said during the presentation.