San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee last week toured Hunters Point Shipyard-Candlestick Point, an up-and-coming development that has sparked the interest of Chinese investors and Asian residents who make up the area’s fastest growing population.
Mayor Lee joined Bruce J. Katz, vice president of the Brookings Institution and founding director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, and Lennar Urban President Kofi Bonner for the tour of the Shipyard. Katz, who regularly advises federal, state, regional and municipal leaders on policy reforms that advance competitiveness of metropolitan areas, is especially interested in ways this new development will contribute to the new economy.
“This project is of global significance,” Katz said as he walked the hilltop community at Hunters Point that offers expansive views of the San Francisco skyline and the Bay. “There are few places in the world that look like Hunters Point. This development will provide the first real innovation district in the United States. This should be celebrated.”
After more than a decade of community-based planning, hundreds of public meetings and final approval by the City’s Board of Supervisors, development of the Hunters Point Shipyard-Candlestick Point is underway. The multi-billion dollar, public-private partnership will transform the long-dormant Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and adjacent Candlestick Point portion of the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood.
“This project is so transformative for our city,” said Mayor Lee. “It involves literally building new villages on 700 acres that consisted of complete, utter blight. People living there had no hope. I am totally excited about this development because it does bring hope to our city.”
Following the tour, more than two dozen local elected officials, regional planning experts, labor leaders and others met with Lee, Katz and Bonner for a roundtable policy discussion on the economic benefits of the project. Attendees included Mayor of Alameda Marie Gilmore; incoming City Administrator for the City of Oakland, Deanna Santana San Francisco Chronicle Editor John Diaz; San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen; San Francisco Planning Commissioner Katherine Moore; Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s District Director Dan Bernal; Ken Jacobs, director of the UC Berkeley Labor Center; Dennis Conaghan, director of the San Francisco Center for Economic Development; Egon Terplan of SPUR; Jennifer Wolch, Dean, UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design; Deborah McKoy, director of the Center for Cities and Schools Institute for Urban Planning and Regional Development; Mike Theriault, Building and Construction Trades Council; Tim Paulson, Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Council and Conny Ford of the San Francisco Labor Council; and Ginny Fang, Executive Director of China SF and several others.
At its build-out over the next 20 to 30 years, the 700-acre development will generate a significant new supply of housing in San Francisco, including market rate and below market rate housing. The first phase of the project is already under construction and will feature up to 1,600 homes, including an affordable housing program that ensures that at least 27 percent, and up to 40 percent, of the total units are below market rates.
The project includes a 3 million square foot “innovation district,” for green office space, clean technology, research and development uses. The district is anticipated to stimulate the region’s job growth and become a major component in the Next Economy’s new green businesses.
The creation of the new community will spur an investment of more than $400 million in new infrastructure and transportation improvements to re-connect the site with the surrounding community, the City and the region. This includes a new bus rapid transit line, express bus service, pedestrian and bicycle networks and the extension of the Bay Trail.
The project also spans more than 300 acres of new and restored public parks and open spaces, including a significant contribution to the improvement of the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area. This represents the largest park development in the City’s history since Golden Gate Park was constructed.
Along with new green open space, the development will entail a number of cutting-edge, sustainable development practices including a commitment to achieve LEED Gold for neighborhood design. The Shipyard will become one of the Bay Area’s most sustainable communities, utilizing 100% clean power from hydropower and solar energy.