Small portion of Hunters Point project set to begin this summer 

It will be a largely symbolic press event on Wednesday morning, considering the main visual is streetlight installation. But the Hunters Point Shipyard project developer – Miami-based Lennar Corp. – is using it to present the fact that construction will begin this summer on a small portion of the massive proposed development.

The project aims to eventually build enough housing to bring 25,000 new residents to Southwest San Francisco and double the population of the Bayview District. The bulk of the plan – known as “phase II” – is still tied up in Superior Court litigation, awaiting a judge’s decision on whether the environmental impact report properly considers health risks at the former U.S. Navy base, considered highly toxic by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The nonprofit groups Greenaction and People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) filed suit in September accusing Lennar and San Francisco of violating state law by assuming that the Navy will properly clean the base, which was the site of an underground fire in 2000 that burned for a month. A judge verbally cleared The City of wrongdoing during a hearing in March, but is still considering Lennar’s part in the cleanup.

Lennar is set to begin construction in July on 240 homes. If it moves forward as planned, the full project will add more than 10,000 new homes and 885,000 square feet of retail space.

In July, the Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 to approve an environmental impact report for the project’s second portion, contingent on the Navy properly cleaning the shipyard before the land is transferred to Lennar. In hearings, Lennar attorneys said the company will likely conduct the cleanup on behalf of the Navy.

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Dan Schreiber

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