Treasure Island project offers many benefits to San Francisco 

The Board of Supervisors today will decide on a redevelopment plan for Treasure Island. Created for the 1939 World’s Fair and once a naval base, Treasure Island is now home to a growing neighborhood and community with sweeping scenic views of the San Francisco skyline.

The redevelopment plan being considered is a smart one that provides benefits not only to current and future residents, but to all San Franciscans — creating jobs, housing, parks, new transit and adding another iconic community to our city’s storied neighborhoods.

Our city has created, discussed and dissected plans for Treasure Island for decades. City planners and others have gone to unprecedented lengths to assure that this is a quality development plan — a plan that has already received widespread support from federal and local leaders.

Treasure Island has the potential to create hope for families who want to stay in San Francisco. At least 25 percent of the planned 8,000 residential units will be offered at below market rates. If the state allows The City to capture a higher share of the additional tax increments generated by the redevelopment of the island, the number of below market units will be increased to 30 percent. Nearly one-fourth of those units will be offered to the formerly homeless through the Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative.

In addition to being a source of hope for many, Treasure Island will be a boost to our city’s long-term financial health. San Francisco’s budget analyst concluded in May that the redevelopment of Treasure Island will generate $95 million in net revenue to the general fund over 20 years with financial risk and all up-front investments borne entirely by the private developer.

Treasure Island is a job creator. The development itself is expected to generate 2,000 annual construction jobs. Under the current plan, an estimated 3,000 jobs will be permanently in place on Treasure Island. Nearly $4 million will be committed to job-training and hiring programs, most of it for city residents.

The Treasure Island plan supports our city’s transit-first policy. Planners have created options such as ferry service to San Francisco, expanded bus service, on-island shuttles and other alternative transportation.

These are all investments we are making for San Francisco families, and I am asking our supervisors to again support our working families and to approve this sensible, sustainable redevelopment of Treasure Island. Now is the time.

Edwin M. Lee is the mayor of San Francisco.

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