A rendering of the future plans for Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island. (Photo courtesy of Treasure Island Community Development)

Construction begins for long-awaited Treasure Island development

Crews last week began construction on what some call one of San Francisco’s most important redevelopment projects to date: the Treasure Island Development, project officials announced Wednesday.

The effort will bring some 8,000 homes to Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island, 25 percent of which will be below-market-rate. The project also includes a combined 240,000 square feet of commercial, retail and office space, a ferry terminal and a 400-slip Marina.

The first round of construction will zero-in on two areas — the 80 acres of Yerba Buena Island north of the Bay Bridge, and on Treasure Island’s western shoreline, according to project officials.

Within the next several months, some 40 structures will be demolished to make way for the construction of 2,100 new homes and up to 500 hotel rooms.

Other construction plans include new roads, parks and safeguards against potential sea level rise. Transportation upgrades will offer an intermodal transit center and a ferry terminal, allowing service between Treasure Island and San Francisco, according to project officials.

Development companies Lennar Urban and Kenwood Investments, Stockbridge Capital Group and Wilson Meany are leading the development effort in collaboration with the Treasure Island Development Authority, the city agency charged with overseeing the project.

Mayor Ed Lee said Wednesday the construction milestone represents years of hard work to revitalize the area.

“It’s taken almost two decades to get to this point and we’re eager to transform this former naval base into a vibrant community with more housing, jobs and economic opportunities for our residents,” Lee said in a statement.

Treasure Island served as a U.S. Navy station in the 1940s where approximately 12,000 military personnel were processed as they left and returned from their service during World War II. The Navy continued to operate from Treasure Island until they shut down operations at the site in 1997.

The Board of Supervisors approved plans to redevelop Treasure Island in 2011, despite concerns that the development would result in a loss of existing below-market-rate housing and parking spaces.

In 2012, concerns over radiological contamination on Treasure Island from residents and community advocates prompted a special Board of Supervisor hearing on the matter, the San Francisco Examiner previously reported.

The development of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island could take anywhere from 10 to 15 years to complete, according to Kheay Loke, a development manager for the Treasure Island Development project.

“It’s a big milestone,” Loke said of the start of construction. “I think it’s a project that the city of San Francisco will be very proud of.”

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