San Francisco's Big Renovation Project
San Francisco supervisors voted earlier this week to approve the plan for the project to transform the partially abandoned Hunters Point Shipyard into a new neighborhood with open space, over 10,000 new residential units, businesses, clean technology space and good urban design.
These plans have been in the works for years. I was somewhat surprised a few years ago when almost all of my artist friends who have studio space at Hunters Point were in favor of the development project. Many expressed the view that the neighborhood needed to be improved and felt that Lennar was working with them to create a balanced plan to keep the artists community intact, and to create housing, clean up areas that are laden with toxic waste (from the Shipyard's history as a Shipyard). And, the voters of SF voted on a few ballot initiatives. And now, after a few years, the Supervisors have voted, and voted down two ammendments that would have made the plan unprofitable and therefore unbuildable for the developer. One ammendment would require 50% of the housing to be affordable (v. the current requirement of 15% of all new developments being offered to eligible city residents at below market rates). The other ammendment that was rejected would have prevented the erection of a bridge--vital to creating good public transportation for the neighborhood. Now Lennar needs to get funding for the project--one which will reviatlize a neighborhood, expand access to the waterfront and create new jobs.