Candlestick Point / Hunters Point Shipyard
Candlestick Point + Hunters Point Shipyard is a 702 acre brownfield site on San Francisco’s southeast waterfront. With a recently approved master site plan, the project is now in the predevelopment stage through a joint initiative led by private developer Lennar Urban with partners the City of San Francisco and the State of California. The plans themselves have been strongly influenced by the local Bayview community. In over 250 public workshops, open houses and meetings, the community has worked and reworked plans that will transform the site into a thriving waterfront community that will become a nucleus for southeast San Francisco. The new neighborhood will have a generous shoreline park system, 10,500 homes, over 4 million square feet of commercial and office space creating desperately needed local jobs, community buildings and gardens, and such cultural amenities as a performance center, African International Marketplace, and artists’ studios. The site was created at great environmental expense when portions of San Francisco Bay were filled over an 80-year period to house a naval shipyard, Candlestick Park sports stadium, a State Park, and public housing. Over the years the site was degraded by the Navy activities that resulted in soil contamination and shoreline habitat destruction. Today, the site and surrounding neighborhood, despite having strategic waterfront locations between downtown and the international airport, have deteriorated to a gloomy state: the naval shipyard closed in 1974, resulting in over 5,000 local jobs lost and a legacy of environmental contamination; the infrequently used stadium and parking lot create a vacuum in the community fabric; the State Park, suffering from funding shortfalls, is in disrepair; and, the Alice Griffith public housing project is the most dilapidated in the City. Community residents speak proudly of the past vibrant times – the good jobs their families once had at the Shipyard, the community spirit and the waterfront access. However, with the Shipyard closed and gated, many families have relocated to find new jobs. This exodus has torn apart the social and economic fabric of the community. Residents want to see a re-built community that has real work opportunities, expansive park spaces that reconnect them to the water’s edge, a variety of housing options to suit family sizes and means, and the environmentally degraded shoreline and Navy work areas cleaned and returned to their natural condition. In the artifacts and grass roots activities on the site residents believe there are glimmers of inspiration that can kick-start the re-building process. There is a determined group of artists who have taken up residency in some of the naval barracks that, with more centrally located studios, will become a community focus. Green technology will be the inspiration for new research and development campus and business opportunities (The United Nations recently selected the site to be the world headquarters location for its UN Global Compact Center which will study solutions to fight global warming). And, the larger-than-life navy artifacts – the 400 foot high re-gunning crane, the quarter-mile long drydocks, and the pumphouses and buildings – will be the basis for a historic waterfront park. These ideas and others, through tremendous drive and determination of residents, have become key strategies for a new plan. This plan repairs the site and redefines sustainable development in environmental, economic and social terms by responding to local needs through four key initiatives. Jobs/Culture – Up to 11,000 new jobs will be created in local jobs programs; green-tech R&D campus; commercial center which includes a performance arena as well as small and large retail; North America’s largest artists colony; and, an African International Marketplace. The green R&D campus will be the West coast’s largest with over 3 million square feet of space. It will be built on the Shipyard’s previously contaminated piers, creating new jobs and business opportunities for Bayview residents. The artists’ community will be relocated to the center of the Shipyard, where studios will be integrated into and become a focus for the mixed-use core. The African International Marketplace, a showcase for the community’s cultural heritage, will provide additional retailing opportunities for local residents. Open Space – Almost 50% of the new development will be dedicated to parks and open space including a continuous shoreline park and 3.5 hour walking trail, enhanced State Park, neighborhood parks, sports fields and community gardens. The waterfront open space will be extended into the center of the site by wedge and rectangular-shaped parks. Streets and blocks will run perpendicular to the shoreline so that the community and the parks can be directly connected. The green spaces will flow through to the inland edges of the site where they will connect to two existing major hill parks. Housing –Throughout the new community, 32% of all homes, over 3,300 in total, are designated as affordable (low- and middle-income). These homes will be dispersed throughout the community and even within specific buildings so that the economically disadvantaged can be integrated into the fabric of the neighborhood. Additionally, the public housing site, Alice Griffith, will be redeveloped in a phased manner that results in no off-site displacement of residents. Environment – Many environmental initiatives will be undertaken to repair the many severely degraded ecosystems at this, one of the largest, Superfund sites in the nation. Several miles of the site’s dilapidated shoreline will be remediated to a more natural condition, while raising the elevation to mitigate against potential sea-level increases caused by climate change. The battered wetlands at the mouth of a creek, Yosemite Slough, will be repaired to their natural condition. Also the contaminated soils under the Navy buildings and works yards will be cleaned so that they can support various uses ranging from parks to office buildings. Finally, the utility infrastructure will feature many innovative sustainable technologies including ‘purple piping’ for in-building and landscape grey water use, district wide underground piped trash collection, and green rooftops which can filter and store storm water.