Treasure Island redevelopment moves forward
By Emmett Berg, Bay City News Service
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A dozen years after the city first
began reviewing ways to redevelop the former U.S. Naval Station
at Treasure Island, a sweeping plan gained support yesterday from
the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
The legislators, in a 10-1 vote, gave their assent to a draft
blueprint spelling out a vision of new parkland, residential towers,
upscale retail shops, hotels and a ferry terminal on the side
of the island facing San Francisco.
The current housing plan envisions 13,500 people living on Treasure
Island -- there are now less than 1,500 residents -- all housed
in residential towers and apartment blocks.
A substantial portion of the units would be priced below market,
and no current resident would be displaced.
Treasure Island is an artificial landmass created in 1939 by
dredging San Francisco Bay and piling up landfill. Connected by
an isthmus to Yerba Buena Island, the U.S. Navy decommissioned
its facilities on Treasure Island in 1996, the same year of the
military decommissioning of the Presidio Army Base.
The military retains control over some facilities on the island,
including a power plant, and city officials are interested in
eventually taking control of the plant for use as a public power
Another idea under consideration is a $5 fee to be levied on
vehicles entering or exiting Treasure Island during rush hour
A planning official said the project could be accomplished without
harming other city budget priorities. The redevelopment project
would be funded
by private investors and by borrowing money against expected
future property taxes to be collected from Treasure Island, according
to city Planning Director Michael Cohen.
Base Reuse and Real Estate Development Director Michael Cohen
The only dissenting vote was from newly elected Supervisor Ed
Jew, who said his opposition was based on his desire to give greater
preferences to San Francisco residents when job opportunities
arise from the redevelopment. There is already a 50 percent threshold
for such local hiring preferences; Jew was seeking a 75 percent
threshold but had no support from others on the board.
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