S.F. project will be all condos 

First phase of construction drops plan to include rentals at former naval installation

The first major portion of development in what is slated to be one of the largest redevelopment projects in The City’s history will consist entirely of condominiums — not some rental apartments as originally envisioned.

Roughly 1,500 condominiums scheduled for groundbreaking next year at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard will mark the first construction on the 500-acre former Navy site. Pre-construction work is now under way on the once polluted land.

The first phase plans include a shopping center, five acres of parks and open space on the peninsula along The City’s southeastern waterfront between the Financial District and SFO.

While condominiums will dominate the landscape, more local builders will construct them and additional low-income buyers will be able to afford them under the latest development agreement. Prior plans called for 70 percent of the units to be rentals and30 percent of condominiums to be sold. Now, the first phase of construction will feature all condominiums.

Rising construction costs coupled with market pressures favoring condominiums prompted developer Lennar Corp. to seek the changes, said Sam Singer, a spokesman for the developer.

"I do think it’s appropriate," said Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who represents Bayview-Hunters Point. "The rental market is very, very difficult."

Under the agreement unanimously approved by the Redevelopment Agency on Tuesday, 44 percent of the units are to be constructed by local construction firms and 58 of the condominiums are designated for low-income buyers and would be priced below $120,000.

"This is the best deal Bayview-Hunters Point has seen in my lifetime," longtime resident Al Nolman said Tuesday.

Market-rate condominiums are expected to cost between $400,000 and $800,000, said Michael Cohen, director of mayor’s office of Base Reuse and Development.

Local construction firms located in the area for at least three years will be considered to build the condominiums under the agreement.

"We’ve got to have something here," resident Angelo King said during Tuesday’s meeting. "Give us the capacity to help ourselves. Time is of the essence."

The initial development agreement was approved in 2003 with discussions beginning in 1999, prompting Redevelopment Agency board member Benny Yee to question the project’s time frame.

Cohen said the first piece of land, known as Parcel A, was received from the Navy early last year.

Three million cubic feet of dirt have been moved since then, Cohen said. The Navy has reportedly paid $400 million for cleanup of pollutants left from its years of use.

Parcel B, the second of five parcels, is slated to be turned over to The City around 2010, Cohen said.

Development agreements for the remaining parcels have yet to be completed.

The project is slated for completion in about 20 years, Cohen said.

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Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014

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