Former Schlage site ready for renaissance 

A barren specter of Visitacion Valley’s vibrant past was torn down, and pollution left behind by the former lock factory is being removed to clear a path for the site’s renaissance.

The Schlage Lock Factory provided scores of jobs that supported a lively local economy from the 1920s until it was closed in 1999.

The factory sat idle and its triangular site remained unused for nearly a decade afterward because of a legal wrangle between the lock company and a neighboring landowner.

The neighboring landowner, Universal Paragon Corp., alleged that underground pollution from the lock company’s operations had infested its property.

The parties settled the suit with Universal Paragon taking over the lock company’s land in mid-2008, kick-starting redevelopment efforts under the leadership of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

The 46-acre redevelopment area incorporates the factory site plus bordering thoroughfares and several blocks of Leland Avenue, where trees will be planted and storefronts will be rejuvenated.

The 390-person population within the boundaries of the redevelopment area is expected to swell to more than 6,000 by 2025, city documents show.

Demolition of most of the factory buildings on the 12-acre factory site was completed in December and heavy machinery began moving across the land this month to support environmental cleanup efforts.

Cleanup efforts involve injecting microbes into the ground to break down volatile organic compounds, removing underground storage tanks and excavating and aerating soil.

The northern part of the site, which is less heavily polluted than its southern stretches, is planned to be cleaned and redeveloped first.

Redevelopment plan

46 acres: Redevelopment area
20 acres: Land owned and planned to be developed by Universal Paragon Corp.
1,250: Homes planned at Schlage Lock factory site
350: Homes planned along Bayshore Boulevard and Leland Avenue
25 percent: Homes to be sold or rented at below-market-rate prices
100,000: Square feet Neighborhood-serving retail space
1 acre: Park at heart of redevelopment project

Source: San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, Universal Paragon Corp.

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