Shipyard could become Olympic Village 

The site of a former Navy shipyard in Hunters Point could become San Francisco’s Olympic Village, where world-class athletes would bunk if The City were to host the prestigious international sporting event 10 years from now.

The City is on a short list of contenders — along with Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia — under consideration by the U.S. Olympic Committee to bid for the 2016 Summer Games.

City officials have said that the 2016 plan — in contrast to a Bay Area bid for the 2012 games — will be centered on San Francisco, with the staging of the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the Olympic Village, within city limits. The plan could include a new 49ers stadium, which has been discussed for years. Their stadium is in

Bayview.

Although the entire 500 acres of the Hunters Point Shipyard is slated for redevelopment, the work is being completed in parcels, with the first 66-acre area under construction — following a reported $400 million environmental cleanup of pollutants left behind from the Navy’s use. The phase-one blueprint includes a shopping center, five acres of parks and open space and 1,200 homes, more than one-fourth of which will qualify by city standards as affordable.

Redevelopment of subsequent parcels could include new housing that would be used by the Olympic athletes during their summer stay in San Francisco — then sold afterward.

"This is a path that’s already been predetermined and could possibly align very well with the Olympic bid," Mayor Gavin Newsom said of the Hunters Point Shipyard redevelopment. "The huge beneficiary will be the southeast sector. The benefits are coming with or without the Olympics, but it could come with a symbolic legacy that I think would be extraordinary."

Kofi Bonner, president of the Bay Area Urban Land Division of Lennar, the master developer for the Hunters Point Shipyard project, as well as the possible redevelopment of the 49ers stadium and its surrounding property, participated in The City’s first meeting with USOC officials in May.

Other sites are also under consideration, said Newsom, who remained tight-lipped when asked about the alternatives.

"All of this is so premature," he said. "All of this will become irrelevant if we don’t get in the next round."

San Francisco, as well as the other cities, had two different meetings with USOC officials since May. After the last meeting, in La Jolla on June 23, USOC Chairman Peter Ueberroth said the group might cut the field by one or more candidates by mid-July, but Olympic experts are still culling the best written proposals submitted by the cities last month, said Darryl Seibel, the organization’s chief spokesman.

Olympic officials have also said the committee’s board of directors may decide not to go through the time-consuming and expensive process of bidding for the games.

Rome, Tokyo, New Delhi, Madrid, Spain, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are also expected to submit bids for the 2016 games, according to Anne Cribbs, who heads up the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee, the group that put together the region’s last bid for the Olympics.

beslinger@examiner.com

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Bonnie Eslinger

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Sunday, Sep 14, 2014

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