Bayview dreams of stadium, renewal vanish with 49ers

The undone dream of a new 49ers stadium in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood has dashed the hopes of hosting the 2016 Olympic Games and stalled the revitalization of this neighborhood long plagued by an aging infrastructure, vacant industrial space and a high crime rate.

The new stadium in conjunction with San Francisco’s Olympic bid promised thousands of new housing units, park augmentation, improved infrastructure, a possible extension of the soon-to-open Third Street rail line to the stadium and the creation of a number of jobs to staff new retail space — all in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, where the existing stadium is located.

The 49ers were working with the Lennar Corp. to build a new stadium along with 6,500 housing units and hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial and retail space.

Lennar is already in the process of building 1,498 homes on 60 acres of the 500-acre former Navy site at Hunters Point.

Mayor Gavin Newsom was eyeing the other parcels of the Navy site to create a Olympic Village to house athletes. If The City secured the Olympic bid, “it would have expedited” the development of the remaining 400 acres, according to Sam Singer, Lennar’s spokesman.

“Now that’s in question,” Singer said.

Lennar, however, still wants to move forward with its other development near the stadium site, according to Singer.

“This is a real blow for the Bayview,” said Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, a public policy think tank. “This is a real shame because San Francisco was talking about the most innovative and progressive use of a football stadium for true community revitalization that has ever been attempted in the country.”

Once the 49ers leave, it remains unclear what will happen to the stadium, which sits on a 77-acre parcel of city land. The team’s stadium lease is up at the end of the season, although it does have a five-year option. The City, which owns the stadium, could lease it to other teams, but not to another pro football franchise.

jsabatini@examiner.com

SF Examiner
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