Millions approved to be spent on environmental technology campus

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More than $10 million was set aside to help convert an abandoned four-story Navy warehouse into a hotspot of environmental innovation.

The Navy’s Building 813 at the shuttered Hunters Point Naval Shipyard is planned to be overhauled and reused as an incubator for startup firms operating in the clean technology field.

The campus would be used by startup firms and by the Global Compact, which is a sustainability-focused joint venture between the United Nations and some of the world’s largest corporations.

The vacant 260,000 square-foot warehouse is currently in disrepair.

San Francisco Redevelopment Agency commissioners last week unanimously approved using $9.3 million in US Economic Development Administration grants and roughly $1 million of agency funds to overhaul the warehouse and reinvent it as an environmental technology hub.

The construction project, which could begin after the Navy hands ownership of the building over to the Redevelopment Agency next year, is expected to eventually require $35 million of funds.

The shipyard is planned to be redeveloped over the coming decades with new homes, shops, parks and substantial amounts of research and development space.

City leaders imagine the redeveloped shipyard serving as an environmental technology hub, just as the Mission Bay redevelopment area operates as a biotechnology hub.

Cleantech and greentech businesses, which develop clean energy and other environmentally beneficial technologies, have been growing rapidly in the Bay Area since the California Global Warming Act became law in 2005.

The greenhouse gas emissions-limiting law, also called AB 32, has led to heavy global investment in Californian clean technology companies, which are drawn to the Bay Area because of its concentration of technology-related companies and workers.

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