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Planning Commission approves up to 2,150 homes at Pier 70

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28-acre site plan would transform Potrero Point

A rendering of a large public square with shops and a wooden atrium overhead.
The Forest City plan for Pier 70, east of Dogpatch.
Courtesy Forest City

The San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously approved a 28-acre mixed-use development at Pier 70 on Thursday that could create as many as 2,150 new homes and millions of square feet of commercial space east of Dogpatch.

But the precise specs of any eventual development at the pier remain ambiguous, as the city and developer Forest City weigh two different visions of the pier plan. One pushes more housing:

Development under the Maximum Residential Scenario on the 28-acre site would include a maximum of up to 3,410,830 square feet in new and renovated buildings (excluding square footage allocated to parking).

Under this scenario, there would be up to 2,150 residential units (up to approximately 710 studio/one-bedroom units and 1,440 two- or more bedroom units) [...] as well as approximately 1,095,650 square feet of commercial space and 445,180 square feet of of RALI [restaurant, arts, light industrial] space.

But the package also comes with a competing Maximum Commercial Scenario:

The Maximum Commercial Scenario would include [...] up to 1,100 residential units (up to approximately 365 studio/one-bedroom units and 735 two- or more bedroom units) [...] as well as approximately 2,024,050 square feet of commercial area, and 441,215 square feet of RALI space.

In the latter arrangement, the Environmental Impact Report says that the project would provide only about 30 percent of the housing needed to meet the demand generated by the commercial element.

The Maximum Residential plan, on the other hand, accounts for 94 percent of its own housing needs. The question of which plan the city will go with—and which Forest City really wants—remains up in the air.

If given final approval, the phased construction would take some 11 years to complete. The developer promised at the Thursday hearing that phase one would include more than 900 new home no matter what.

The Board of Supervisors will consider the Pier 70 proposal next.