"Housing the Bay” is a new initiative launched by ULI San Francisco in collaboration with SPUR and other local partners to address the underlying issues affecting housing cost and supply in the Bay Area. Through ongoing events, research and workshops (including the October 6 Housing the Bay Summit), this initiative is dedicated to finding lasting housing solutions for the Bay Area.

On Tuesday, June 27, Housing the Bay presents "Housing the Missing Middle: A New Financial Frontier”, a lively discussion to share ideas, strategies and market-driven solutions for increasing middle-income housing throughout the Bay Area. With approaches ranging from impact funds to non-traditional equity sources to new statewide programs intended to spur private-sector development, this forum will explore multiple tools to finance housing in the Bay Area. Moderated by Eric Tao (AGI Avant), the four dynamic panelists will present their innovative approaches to housing the missing middle: Nicholas Targ (Holland and Knight), Rebecca Foster (San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund), Kevin Zwick (Housing Trust Silicon Valley) and Anne McCulloch (Housing Partnership Equity Trust).

“Housing the Missing Middle” takes place Tuesday, June 27 at 5pm. For complete details and registration, visit https://sf.uli.org/event/new-financial-frontier-leveraging-market-forces-solve-missing-middle/

Special thanks to SmithGroupJJR for hosting the event at their offices at 301 Battery Street. 

The Bay Area housing shortage leads many residents and businesses to cite housing affordability as the top issue facing the region. SPUR’s Tuesday, June 27 lunchtime forum poses the questions: Just how much housing does the Bay Area need to build? How much of that housing should be subsidized and for whom? Where are the opportunity sites to build?

Co-presented by the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition (SFHAC), SPUR’s session “How Many Homes Should We Have?” brings together private and public sector perspectives on the Bay Area’s housing challenges: Ted Egan (San Francisco Office of the Controller), Pedro Galvao (NPH), James Pappas (San Francisco Planning Department) and Libby Seifel (Seifel Consulting, active SPUR/ULI/NPH member on housing issues).

Please join the discussion on Tuesday, June 27 at 12:30pm at SPUR’s Urban Center (654 Mission Street). Tickets are free for SPUR members, $10 for non-members, and no pre-registration required. For more details/registration, visit http://www.spur.org/events/2017-06-27/how-many-homes-should-we-have.

UPDATE (July 7, 2017)
Click here to view the entire presentation!

Housing costs have continued to rise since 2014, when The Urbanist featured "The Real Cost of Building Housing” in San Francisco. SPUR’s upcoming panel, "Why Housing Costs So Much” will feature industry insiders Mark Hogan (OpenScope Studio), Ann Silverberg (BRIDGE Housing), Taeko Takagi (Pankow) and Libby Seifel (Seifel Consulting). This lively group of panelists will dissect the complex cost factors in housing development, explore the reasons for why costs have continued to increase and suggest what could be done do to help curtail them. (Mark and Libby previously examined these very issues at a SPUR session in early 2014.)

Please join on May 30 for this panel. Admission is free for SPUR members/$10 for non-members. Check out SPUR for more information: http://www.spur.org/events/2017-05-30/why-does-housing-cost-so-much

  • SPUR Lunchtime Forum: “Why Does Housing Cost So Much?”
  • 12:30pm on Tuesday 5/30, SPUR Urban Center, 654 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA

UPDATE (July 7, 2017)



What is the outlook for real estate after the first 100 days of the new Trump administration? How will real estate markets be affected, and more specifically, how will funding for new housing and infrastructure be impacted?


The 22nd Annual Fisher Center Real Estate Conference addressed these critical issues and others facing the real estate and development community on May 8 at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. The topic-driven annual spring conference of the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics (FCREUE) assembled an exceptional group of leaders and experienced development professionals who discussed the challenging complexities of today’s real estate markets. Included in the conference lineup was “The President’s First Hundred Days: Real Estate Impacts & the Emerging Policy Environment”. Moderated by Libby Seifel, session speakers Douglas Abbey (Chairman at Swift Real Estate Partners), Ben Metcalf (Director of California Department of Housing and Community Development) and Mike Novogradac (Partner at Novogradac & Company LLP) led the audience through an engaging discussion of how changing national policies and Federal budget priorities could impact housing and the broader real estate climate in California and across the nation.


The mission of the FCREUE is to educate students and real estate professionals and to support and conduct research on real estate, urban economics, the California economy, land use, and public policy. More on FCREUE’s activities can be found here: http://groups.haas.berkeley.edu/realestate/index.shtml


Full information on the 22nd Annual Spring Conference can be found here: http://groups.haas.berkeley.edu/realestate/ExecEd/conferenceoverview17.shtml

Located adjacent to the intersection of Highway 101 and 85, Ameswell Mountain View is planned as a LEED Platinum office and hotel complex featuring more than 200,000 square feet of office space and 250 modern luxury hotel rooms located at the gateway to both North Bayshore and downtown Mountain View. The City of Mountain View and the developer—Broadreach Capital Partners—entered into a public private partnership for this development at 750 Moffett Boulevard in 2015. The Mountain View City Council adopted resolutions certifying the project's Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), making required CEQA findings and conditionally approving its permits in October 2016. The developer is currently working on construction drawings and the final design elements. (Click here to take a virtual tour of the project!)

Seifel provided real estate and property development advisory services to the City in support of the 7-acre, City-owned Moffett Gateway property (now Ameswell Mountain View). Collaborating with David Babcock and Associates (DBA) who provided urban design services, Seifel evaluated the financial feasibility of alternative development scenarios and recommended the consideration of office, hotel and retail uses at the site. Seifel subsequently advised the City on the developer solicitation process, helping to prepare the Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposals, in collaboration with City staff, Maurice Robinson & Associates and Baker Street Associates. Seifel facilitated the developer evaluation process and advised the City on selection of the Broadreach development team and on the subsequent negotiation process for the area. (See here more on Seifel’s services to Mountain View for this and other projects.)

Check out the City of Mountain View’s webpage for more on the project.