San Francisco Redevelopment Successor Plans First Bonds

The successor to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency plans to sell as much as $160 million in bonds in the first issue of new debt to back a project by one of the blight-fighting organizations in California since lawmakers eliminated them a year ago.

Proceeds will be used to reimburse the developer of San Francisco’s Mission Bay South redevelopment project for public improvements, according to a staff report to the oversight board of the Successor Agency, which inherited responsibility for redevelopment in the city. The project is to include 6,000 housing units, a medical center and offices.

Acting on a request by Governor Jerry Brown, the legislature eliminated the state’s 400 redevelopment agencies a year ago to help balance the budget. Lawmakers approved a bill last year clarifying that “successor agencies” could issue new debt to fulfill contracts with developers.

“There may be people who have questions because ‘redevelopment’ is in the name, but people are familiar” with community facilities districts, said Catherine Reilly, project manager for San Francisco’s Successor Agency. “I assume the market would look at them comparable to any other CFD.”

Community facilities districts finance public improvements such as roads and sewers by adding taxes on property inside of a defined area. The defunct redevelopment agencies earmarked tax revenue from increases in property values spurred by new development to repay bonds that financed the improvements.

Pricing information and a sale date for the Successor Agency bonds haven’t been made public.

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