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SAN FRANCISCO-An environmental impact statement for the largest redevelopment here in more than a century has been released for review and comment. The document examines the potential impacts of redeveloping 700 acres at Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point with 10,500 housing units, 2.65 million square feet of work space, 885,000 square feet of retail, an 8,000-seat performance theater, a 220-room hotel, a 300-slip marina, 300 acres of parks and open space and possibly a new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers.

The biggest environmental issues are traffic congestion, and light-, noise- and air pollution both during construction and after completion, and the current ground contamination at the Shipyard. A couple of public hearings will be held next month. Comments are due by the end of the year. The EIS would then go before the Planning Commission sometime early next year en route to the Board of Supervisors for final approval sometime in mid-2010. If approved, the area would be built out over a 20-year period.

Miami-based Lennar Corp., one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, holds agreement to build out the Shipyard and Candlestick Point, which would generate 30,000 construction jobs, 10,000 permanent jobs and rebuild the run-down Alice Griffith Public Housing project. In 2008, more than 62% of San Francisco voters endorsed the conceptual plan and vision for the redevelopment by adopting Proposition G. The measure serves as the framework for the community-led planning process now underway.

Last month, the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission granted Lennar more time to fulfill the initial phase of the redevelopment due to the poor economic climate. Infrastructure for the the first 1,500 housing units is largely in place. Vertical construction on the first 88 units was previously slated to get underway in mid-2007. This latest time extension gives Lennar until late 2011 to complete those first units.

Lennar reportedly believes it won’t turn a profit on the first 1,300 units planned for the Shipyard but is moving forward regardless because it believes it can make a profit on future phases—future phases it may not maintain the rights to develop if it does not clear certain development hurdles, such as getting this first phase up and running.

Whether an NFL stadium is built depends upon whether the San Francisco 49ers opt to build a new stadium in Santa Clara, next to its headquarters and practice facility as well as the Santa Clara Convention Center and Great America Theme Park. A final EIS for that proposed development was recently issued. Santa Clara citizens will have the opportunity to vote on the $937-million development deal between the team and the city in April or June.

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