Ground cleared for development

The massive redevelopment of more than 770 acres of abandoned land at Candlestick Point and the Hunters Point Shipyard will provide housing, open space, retail and a possible 49ers stadium after voters gave the ballot box nod to the plan by approving Proposition G.

More significantly, however, voters rejected Proposition F, which would have required50 percent of the homes being built to be sold below market rate — a move the developer, Lennar Corp., said would kill the project.

Proposition F was added to the ballot through a petition drive coordinated by religious leaders and labor organizers after Supervisor Chris Daly failed to convince the Board of Supervisors to support the measure.

The battle of ballot initiatives pitted Daly against Mayor Gavin Newsom, who aggressively campaigned for the project, citing the rejuvenation of the Bayview, which imploded economically after the shipyard was closed. Furthermore, Newsom noted that federal dollars hung in the balance for the cleanup of acres of contaminated land left behind by the Navy. Approximately $400 million has been spent to date on environmental cleanup and another $82 million was recently appropriated.

Newsom has said the redevelopment project was “a historic opportunity to right some wrongs.” Miami-based Lennar Corp. spent more than $3 million in its effort to pass Proposition G and defeat F, according to campaign finance data.

Under a deal recently announced by Lennar, labor organizations and community activists, an agreement was reached to make 35 percent of the housing affordable — up from an original promise to offer 30 percent.

Voter Dwight Clifford, who cast his ballot at a polling place South of Market, said he voted in favor of Proposition G, and against Proposition F. Clifford said 50 percent was unrealistic.

“I voted for Proposition G so they can hurry up with development, because it’s badly needed in Hunters Point,” he said. Local residents that supported Proposition F expressed fear that the development would have driven residents out of the low-income area. Other residents said the plans would bring needed jobs and area improvements.

jupton@sfexaminer.com

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