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City Hall approves massive Pier 70 development

Project will feature up to 3,025 new housing units

A rendering of a large public square with shops and a wooden atrium overhead. Rendering courtesy of Forest City

On Tuesday the San Francisco Board of Supervisors gave final approval to an enormous mixed-use development at Pier 70, kicking off a decade-long development process that will transform the Potrero Point area.

Altogether the redevelopment covers 35 acres and up to 3,025 new units of housing—the exact count is still in flux, with a low end of 1,645—and its roots stretch back a decade to a 2007 port plan.

According to the analysis presented to the board, the Pier 70 area is presently dilapidated but also subject to some rules around historic preservation:

The project site currently contains 351,800 square feet of buildings and facilities, most of which are deteriorating. Current uses of the site, all of which are temporary, include special event venues, artist studios, self-storage, warehouses, automobile storage lots, a parking lot, a soil recycling yard, and office spaces.

[...] The site has 12 contributors to the Union Iron Works Historic District and one non-contributor. The project includes rehabilitation [...] of approximately 227,800 square feet in buildings two, 12, and 21 for reuse.

The development also creates new parks spaces, including green space along the Bay Trail, which the the company’s promotional material claims “amounts to three times the amount of open space in Dogpatch today.”

The board approved the project unanimously with no additional debate and few remarks, after putting the vote for some final amendments.

“The defining feature of the Pier 70 waterfront is that there isn’t one,” Supervisor Malia Cohen said at last week’s meeting, praising the redevelopment for restoring access to the pier.

“[Now] people who live just a few blocks from the bay will have a way to experience the waterfront and open space in their neighborhood,” said the supervisor.

The Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association initially tried to hold up the development by appealing the project’s Environmental Impact Report, calling it “inadequate and incomplete,” but withdrew the complaint after some additional developer concessions scaled back the pier’s commercial element.

The phased project will take more than a decade to complete, with construction set to begin in February 2018.