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Mayor: City can meet 49ers stadium timeline

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Mayor Gavin Newsom said he is optimistic that the Navy will transfer ownership of the former Hunters Point Shipyard to The City in enough time to meet a goal by the San Francisco 49ers to have a new stadium built on the site by 2012.

Although the entire 500 acres of shipyard land isslated for redevelopment, the work is being completed in parcels, with a housing development currently under construction on the first 66 acres following a $400 million environmental cleanup of pollutants left behind from the Navy’s use of the site.

It will cost an estimated $500 million to clean up the remaining acres, but The City needs only to begin its cleanup effort for the 27 acres on which it has proposed to build the 49ers new football stadium, said Jesse Blout, Newsom’s deputy chief of staff for economic and development matters.

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While in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Newsom met with Navy officials, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to talk about moving up the timeline for some of the land transfer.

“We’re moving forward,” Newsom told The Examiner after the meeting. “Nothing as relates to the details of the meeting gives us any pause that we can’t succeed in achieving our goals of an early transfer of parcels necessary to fulfill our timeline with the 49ers.”

In the plan proposed by The City, San Francisco would take ownership of the land as-is and would be responsible for taking care of the toxic cleanup, Blout said, adding that the Navy would provide a lump sum to cover the costs. That amount is being negotiated and there are hopes that Congress might allocate funding for the project.

“The question remaining is funding, which is not an insignificant hurdle,” Newsom conceded, saying that officials for the Navy and The City will continue to work on securing the money and other details in the coming weeks.

49ers and city officials have been in negotiations for nearly a decade to rebuild a new stadium at Candlestick Point to replace the team’s aging home. Last November, team co-owner John York called Newsom to say The City’s plan was unworkable and the NFL franchise was pulling out of the deal to relocate in Santa Clara. The team has since resumed negotiations with San Francisco officials — who came back with the Hunters Point proposal — but have made it clear that Santa Clara is their first option, and San Francisco only a backup.


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