smhc-ext.jpgSan Francisco Mayor Ed Lee joined city and federal officials today to celebrate the opening of a new health center and low-income housing complex in the city’s South of Market neighborhood.

The Westbrook Plaza complex, located at 227 Seventh St. between Folsom and Howard streets, includes a 20,000-square-foot community health clinic and 49 apartment units for rent to low-income families.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building today, Lee and others cited the project as a reason why local redevelopment agencies should not be cut by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown has proposed eliminating the agencies, which use money to revitalize blighted urban areas, to help reduce the state’s budget deficit.

Lee said more than a third of the funding for the $47 million Westbrook Plaza project came from the city’s redevelopment agency.

Other speakers included officials from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

Fred Blackwell, executive director of the agency, said the project is “a shining example of what redevelopment can do, and a reason it should stick around.”

The health clinic includes space for medical exams, dental and lab work, X-rays and a public pharmacy, according to project officials.

The apartments include 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units, community rooms and open space for households below 60 percent of the area’s median income, which is $67,860 for a family of four.

The complex was jointly developed by the South of Market Health Center and Mercy Housing California, and is named after Eloise Westbrook, a housing and health care activist.

Lee said the collaboration on the project shows “we will take care of the most needy and we’ll do it the right way, together.”

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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