Mayor Ed Lee sends letter to Star Wars creator to keep Lucas museum in San Francisco 

Mayor Ed Lee is attempting to entice George Lucas to locate his art museum on a waterfront parcel by extolling the virtues of the site and promising to help the project through San Francisco's notoriously challenging approval process, according to a letter he sent Thursday to the "Star Wars" creator.

The letter comes as there has emerged a real possibility that the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, which would contain a collection of fine art and Hollywood memorabilia, could end up outside of San Francisco after an initial bid to locate the complex in the Presidio was rejected in February by the overseeing board of trustees. Chicago has proposed a site near Solider Field for Lucas' museum.

Lee outlines the benefits of a 2.3-acre parcel known as Seawall Lot 330. It was the site the Warriors were eyeing for mixed-use development as part of the arena complex. But it was freed up last month when the franchise announced it would pursue an arena at Mission Bay instead.

The site, Lee wrote, is "within walking distance of local and regional public transit hubs, wind-protected, and enjoys sunshine an average of 300 days per year."

Lee also mentioned the possibility of Lucas investing in and using Piers 30-32, where the Warriors had planned on constructing its arena, across from Seawall Lot 330, which "offer a unique opportunity to partner with the city and the Port to transform crumbling piers and parking lots into complementary new waterfront educational and public open space."

The mayor also addressed what can often be a cumbersome approval process for any major development.

"We are committed to being your partner through every step of the process, from environmental review to construction to opening day."

The letter is typed, but Lee personalized it with a handwritten note that, in part, reads "George -- Thank you for your utmost consideration."

Chicago has offered Lucas 17 acres between Solider Field and McCormick Place over a 99-year term for $1, according to the Sun-Times. It would be next to The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium.

David Perry of the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum responded Thursday, thanking the mayors of both San Francisco and Chicago for their interest.

"The museum team is analyzing all the options now presented," he said.

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