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Phil Matier: MTA Will Pay Chinatown Group To Expedite SF Subway

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Artist rendering of the Chinatown subway station indicating stair/escalator and elevator access. (SFMTA)

Artist rendering of the Chinatown subway station indicating stair/escalator and elevator access. (SFMTA)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Dozens of San Francisco Chinatown residents will be relocated to make room for the new Central Subway project under an agreement that would also pay $8 million to a development group to help it build the residents a new apartment complex.

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier said the agreement calls for the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency to pay the money to the politically-connected Chinatown Community Development Corp. to help build the new complex which is expected to cost about $32 billion.  Most of the money is provided by state and city grants.

The $8 million payoff is part of an $11.6 million package of local and federal funds aimed at relocating 56 residents of low-income housing on Stockton Street that will be demolished to make room for a new Chinatown subway station.

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Comments:

”Under city rules they have to replace that housing, and who’s going to replace it? The Chinatown Community Development Corporation, which is looking for about $8 million to finish off a project elsewhere in Chinatown,” said Matier. “So Muni has been told to find $8 million and hand it over and everybody is going to be happy.”

The agreement awaits Mayor Ed Lee ‘s signature.  Olson Lee, director of the mayor’s Office of Housing defended the payment, saying the MTA isn’t being treated any differently from a private developer required to pay for replacement housing.

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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