SAN FRANCISCO - Parkview Terraces sits like a glass jewel on an unlikely corner of the city. One of San Francisco’s newest affordable housing developments, it is built on land that used to be filled by a longtime freeway on-ramp.

Battered by the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the Central Freeway was demolished several years ago, giving the city a rare opportunity to reinvent several select parcels.

Parkview Terraces is the first residential development to be constructed on one of the former freeway sites. It’s an example of how the city and a development team took advantage of newly available land before it could be lost to another use.

“It was an opportunity site for affordable housing,” said Whitney Jones, director of housing development at Chinatown Community Development Center, a local nonprofit housing developer that teamed with AF Evans Development, Inc., a for-profit developer, to build the project.

Working with the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, the development team turned this corner into a home for 100 low-income seniors, including many who were homeless or at risk of being on the streets.

The $33 million development features 59 studios and 42 one-bedroom units. Twenty apartments are reserved for seniors earning no more than 30 percent of the area median income (AMI). These units are targeted to homeless seniors and receive federal Shelter Plus Care program support in the form of rental subsidies. Sixty units are for residents earning no more than 40 percent of the AMI, and the rest are reserved for those at 50 percent of the AMI. The average median income is about 33 percent of the AMI, according to developers.

In a sign of how much affordable housing is needed in San Francisco, more than 1,500 seniors applied for the apartments, according to Jones.

The seniors have access to a variety of services, including an on-site service coordinator. There is an office to accommodate regular visits from a nurse practitioner. The ground floor houses the office of RSVP, a retired and seniors volunteer program sponsored by the Northern California Presbyterian Homes & Services, which is providing resident services.

Designed by Kwan Henmi Architecture/Planning and Fougeron Architecture, the building features a modern exterior with large windows and glass storefronts. An airy, sun-lit lobby has an urban, uptown atmosphere. “It doesn’t look like any other affordable housing,” Jones said.

Located near City Hall, the development gets its name because it overlooks a neighborhood park and a ball field.

The land is leased from the redevelopment agency, so there was no acquisition fee. Parkview Terraces was financed with about $16 million in low-income housing tax credit equity syndicated by the National Equity Fund, Inc. The redevelopment agency also provided a $13.6 million loan. The Union Bank of California provided a $838,000 permanent loan. The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco provided $500,000 from its Affordable Housing Program through member Silicon Valley Bank.