Thursday, August 13, 2009

UN greenplex to dock at Navy Shipyard after $500 million environmental clean up

Will Hunters Point become another SF landmark?
The much maligned Hunters Point Shipyard on San Francisco Bay - a site poisoned by toxic waste for most of its 100 year life - is getting a lifeline extended to it by the UN after a $500 million cleanup that has been ongoing since the 1990s is completed.

When it's completed in 2012, the 80 000 square foot complex will be home to the UN Global Compact Sustainability Center. The think tank will address climate change challenges and include a conference center and UN offices.

"We are excited to partner with the City of San Francisco to work towards securing a sustainability center for the UN Global Compact", said Gavin Power, Deputy Director of the UN Global Compact. "California, in general, and San Francisco, in particular, have been at the forefront of environmental sustainability for many years and all the right ingredients are here. This would also have poignant significance given that San Francisco is the birthplace of the United Nations," he added.

The UN greenplex is but one component to the redevelopment of the 500 acre site. A site once so contaminated that it qualified as a Federal Superfund Site. Hunter's Point is now the focus of a $2 billion revitalization project that will see the lands transferred back to the City of San Francisco.

A major aspect of the urban renewal project is affordable housing. One-third of the more than 10 000 housing units to be developed on the site are to be set at or below market values. A key component of the housing initiative is the rebuilding of a nearby public housing development.

Encircled by 300 acres of parkland Hunters Point, as envisioned by planners, will also include an office park and retail shops in addition to the UN greenplex and housing components.

The developer, Lennar Corp., states that Hunters Point, "will be the first neighborhood in San Francisco powered entirely by clean, reliable public power."

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