City officials to promote Bayview-Hunters Point
redevelopment amidst community fear
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
April 4, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - City officials are expected to
promote the latest plan this evening for the redevelopment of
San Francisco's southeast neighborhoods and the 49ers may not
even play a role in the proposed renaissance.
With the Board of Supervisors, Mayor Gavin Newsom and a dedicated
redevelopment company, Lennar Corporation, on board, many believe
the project, which began over a decade ago with a stadium proposal,
will transform the Bayview and Hunters Point neighborhoods for
The mayor unveiled a plan last week that aims to not only redevelop
Candlestick Point, where the 49ers' playing grounds are close
to demolition, but to build on the old Hunters Point Naval Shipyard
Lennar Corp. has already incurred much of the cost of planning
the redevelopment and is currently working on cleaning toxic materials
from the old navy base. In return, the corporation would get exclusive
negotiation rights for developing the area under the mayor's plan.
"The city remains committed to working with the primary
developer to attempt to address the 49ers' concerns consistent
with the goals and principles set forth in this Framework and
to propose a new plan that the 49ers would determine to be feasible,"
the proposal reads.
"At the same time the city's primary goal is to assure
that it can produce a plan that is fiscally prudent for the city
and that will deliver parks and public open space, jobs, housing
affordable for (Bayview-Hunters Point) residents and other tangible
economic and public benefits to the (Bayview-Hunters Point) community
and the City as soon as possible."
But while many remain hopeful that city leaders will stick to
the goals of community betterment and affordable housing in the
new plan, many remain doubtful.
Sharen Hewitt, the executive director of the nonprofit group
Community Leadership Academy Emergency Response, said the development
of Hunters Point could bring much needed job growth to the area
but with the risk of displacing much of the predominately African
"It offers a tremendous opportunity for the City and County
of San Francisco, however, at the core of that, there has to be
opportunities for the community," Hewitt said. "The
question is, is this an opportunity or will this be a plague for
the existing population?"
Sharon Hewitt at a recent
Police Commission meeting.
Hewitt said she will wait and see whether there's any substance
to this plan, but London Breed, who is close to the process said
she was optimistic that these plans would eventually lead to action.
"Definitely, this is all conceptual," said Breed, a
commissioner on the city's redevelopment agency. "There's
a lot to be approved, and we're happy that all the parties involved
are on board -- except the 49ers."
Lennar Corp. currently faces hurdles such as a
lawsuit brought forward by two former employees and a community
liaison who say they were retaliated against after complaining
of poor asbestos removal at the shipyard.
Officials from the city's Park, Recreation and Open Space Advisory
Committee are expected to give a proposal this evening at 6:30
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