A department store parking lot in downtown San Francisco is the battleground for a titanic political struggle between rival factions of the city’s dominant Democratic Party.

The lot at 469 Stevenson Street, just off Market Street, would become a 27-story residential high-rise, if Mayor London Breed and other housing advocates have their way. But San Francisco’s legislative body, the Board of Supervisors, refused last year to approve the project, siding with those who oppose packing more housing and people into the densely populated city.

It was a win for Tenants and Owners Development Corporation (TODCO), a coalition of project opponents. But the action angered Lou Vazquez, one of the project’s developers, who said, “This is the right project for the right place. It’s close to jobs and transit, it’s providing transit for residents at all levels of income in the middle of a greater center.”

CALmatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California's state Capitol works and why it matters. Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers.

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