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San Francisco Chronicle

March 30, 2016

Crews begin work on redevelopment of S.F. Bay islands

By Lizzie Johnson

After nearly two decades of planning, the $1.5 billion redevelopment of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island has begun.

Bulldozers and demolition crews have started the removal of former Navy buildings on Yerba Buena Island. In the first phase, those aging buildings will be replaced with a hotel, a ferry terminal and 300 condos. In late 2018, 285 of the condos will be offered for sale at market rate and 15 will be rented at a below-market rate. Development of 45 acres of western shoreline on Treasure Island is also included in the first phase.

Following demolition, crews will pour concrete for new roads, build parks and shoreline open space, and make geotechnical adjustments to better shield the island from earthquakes and sea level rise.

“A lot of smart people have devoted thousands of hours in crafting plans for these islands,” said Chris Meany, managing partner at developer Wilson Meany. “During the next decade, we will be creating a new place with panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay.”

In total, the development of the islands — a partnership among Lennar Urban, Kenwood Investments, Wilson Meany and Stockbridge Investments — is expected to create up to 8,000 residences, with more than 25 percent designated as affordable housing, most of which will be on Treasure Island.

Last fall, about 100 people in 40 households were evicted because their residences were marked for demolition. They fought for the opportunity to return to the island, but the city said they had signed away those rights in their leases.

Affordable-housing advocates have criticized the city for not earmarking a higher percentage of the units at below market rate. In October, Supervisor Jane Kim pushed the city to set aside 40 percent of the units for affordable housing, but the amount remains at the original 25 percent.

The redevelopment plan will take about 10 years to complete.

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