Authority backs Treasure Island development plan 

Blueprint that goes to supes calls for 6,000 condos and apartments, 338-acre park

A long-awaited $1.2 billion plan for Treasure and Yerba Buena islands received unanimous support Monday despite concerns about transportation, the amount of retail space and the size of proposed housing units.

The developer, Treasure Island Community Development LLC, aims to build five residential high-rises, 6,000 environmentally friendly condominiums and apartments and a 338-acre park, which will include an off-leash dog area. Three ferries are slated to provide residents with transportation across the Bay as part of an effort to minimize the use of cars.

The latest plans for the former naval station include a total of about 8,300 total parking spots and a $5 fee for residents who drive a car on or off the island as part of an incentive plan to encourage residents to take Muni or the ferry.

The U.S. Navy still owns the man-made island between Oakland and San Francisco that served as a base during World War II. The City aims to buy the two islands for $40.5 million — the estimated cleanup cost for the 450 acres.

Under the proposal, renters or homeowners would be required to purchase a transit pass estimated to cost about $50 a month, said Jack Sylvan, project manager with the Mayor’s Office of Base Reuse.

Sierra Club member Howard Strassner said the proposal relies too heavily on cars in a world where gasoline will one day hit $6 a gallon.

"It’s too many parking spaces," Strassner said.

Treasure Island Development Authority member Matthew Franklin said he wants to see more than the proposed 30 percent of new units cater to families with two-bedroom and larger units.

The plan includes 1,800 affordable units, of which more than 30 percent are designed to accommodate families with two or more bedrooms.

Roughly 45,000 square feet, or about one-third of the proposed retail space, is designed to cater to residents, said Chris Meany of Wilson Meany Sullivan, one of the developers who are part of Treasure Island Community Development.

Authority member John Elberling said he’s not convinced that 45,000 square feet of retail space, such as dry cleaners and a grocery store, would meet the needs of residents.

Despite the criticism, the plan was unanimously approved Monday by the authority and will now head to the Board of Supervisors this year for their blessing before an environmental review can begin.

"This is an extremely important milestone," said Michael Cohen, of the Mayor’s Office of Base Reuse and Development. "This sets a powerful foundation for work that needs to occur."

mcarroll@examiner.com

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