Candlestick Park has been reduced to a large pile of rubble and a lone standing escalator, which will likely be the last thing demolished since demolition companied tend to leave one landmark intil the very end and then bring down the final piece as a ceremonial end to the structure being demolished. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

Candlestick Park has been reduced to a large pile of rubble and a lone standing escalator, which will likely be the last thing demolished since demolition companied tend to leave one landmark intil the very end and then bring down the final piece as a ceremonial end to the structure being demolished. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

Candlestick Park tear-down nearly complete, next phase will bring big changes

Candlestick Park is nearly 90 percent demolished as crews make way for new housing, a hotel, a movie theater and shopping center at the site of the former Giants and 49ers stadium.

Kofi Bonner, president of Lennar Urban, the development giant in charge of the nearly $4 billion project at Candlestick Point said demolition, which began in early February, is “pretty much on schedule.” Lennar is also developing the nearby Hunters Point Shipyard and Treasure Island.

So far, 6,000 tons of steel have been removed and the stadium’s concrete — which made up 92 percent of its weight — is being crushed to use as fill for the site. Crews recently began the grading and soil work that is expected to last six to nine months.

“The stadium is almost all the way down,” Bonner said. “The next phase … is preparing the groundwork to receive a significant amount of infrastructure.”

The last bit of tearing down the stadium mostly includes crushing concrete, developers said. That process is anticipated to take another month, and vertical construction will likely begin next spring.

At least one notable portion of the stadium remained as of Wednesday: an escalator, which developers intend to keep until the end of the demolition phase as a final iconic piece to come down. But ultimately pieces of the past will be sprinkled throughout the new site, too.

“We’re having some very interesting conversations with people who had something to do with creating the legend and history of San Francisco,” Bonner said, declining to provide further details.

Bonner did, however, hint that the public will eventually be able to utilize the old stadium seats.

“Some of the seats that were retained from Candlestick will be incorporated into the overall design,” he said.

Plans for the site include the creation of 1,500 homes, more than 750,000 square feet of retail space, a movie theater, a grocery store, a performance venue, a 2,900-space parking garage and a 220-room hotel. Rebuilding of the Alice Griffith public housing complex is also underway.

“Ultimately this will be a location that will provide the southeast part of town with a very significant entertainment venue,” Bonner noted.

The first phase of construction, including the shopping complex, is anticipated to to be complete in late 2017 or early 2018.

Candlestick Park (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

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Candlestick Park (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

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