A Defining Moment for Jobs

The rubber is finally meeting the road for the city’s single largest job-creating project of the decade. Next week, the Board of Supervisors will vote whether or not to approve the Hunters Point Shipyard Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The result will either usher in a new era of jobs and economic growth or kill one of the nation’s largest ongoing development projects. As the city continues to face high unemployment and plummeting tax revenues, the Board should jump at this extraordinary opportunity to stimulate our economy and improve one of the city’s most underserved communities.

The enormity of the Board’s upcoming decision can not be understated. At stake are more than 10,000 permanent and 1,500 constructions jobs, millions of dollars of contracts for local businesses, and more than $27 million in net revenue for the city each year. These economic impacts are significant by any measure, and would be the envy of most municipalities. But in today’s difficult economy, they are a lifeline for our city’s businesses, workforce and residents.

The Hunter’s Point Shipyard project is also a significant step forward in San Francisco’s long-term economic development. It delivers 2 million square feet of office and R&D space for emerging cleantech companies. It provides 9,000 square feet of retail and commercial space for local businesses. And, it includes a potential site for a new 49ers stadium. As San Francisco competes with other Bay Area cities for emerging cleantech companies – as well as our professional football team – this project will help us keep and grow these important economic assets.

For the residents of Hunters Point, this project brings hope and new opportunity. In addition to delivering more than 11,000 new homes for working and low-income families, the development provides hundreds of jobs for local residents, enhanced transportation, and 336 acres of open space – all meeting the highest standards of environmental sustainability. Developer Lennar Urban is also pledging a package of community benefits including a $2 million health and wellness center, a $3.5 million scholarship fund and $17.8 million for workforce development programs.

A decade of planning, review and debate has come to a close. Now, it’s time for the Board of Supervisors to act. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA), the city’s public health, planning and redevelopment commissions have all approved the project. The Labor Council, the Building and Construction Trades Council and the San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association (SPUR) have endorsed the development. Hunters Point Residents overwhelmingly support the project and San Francisco voters passed the Bayview Jobs, Parks and Housing Initiative (Proposition G) outlining the principals for the area’s redevelopment. We hope the Board of Supervisors will join the Chamber – and these many other supporters – in voting for this unprecedented project.

This year, the Chamber has made a point of recognizing the Supervisors who are doing the most – and the least – to create jobs and grow the economy through our Paychecks & Pink Slips scorecards. Supervisors now have a telltale moment to demonstrate their commitment to jobs and economic growth. As the most significant vote for jobs and the economy this year, the Hunters Point Shipyard project will clearly separate those elected officials who are serious about economic solutions from those who are only paying lip service to job creation and economic growth.

4 responses to “A Defining Moment for Jobs

  1. Very well written Steve, congratulations. You articulate your arguments very well. How much more “buy-in” does your Board of Supervisors need for this project? Seems like every significant group under the Sun, including the voters, support this. Good luck and I would certainly hope even the SF Board of Supervisors can see the benefits of this project for your City.

    Nice job,

    Bob Canter
    Emeryville Chamber of Commerce

  2. Mike Popovich

    I can’t imagine the board blowing up this once in a generation opportunity. But if they do, it better have some significant reasons why they feel we can’t move forward or why the issues raised can’t be mitigated…

  3. While I appreciate the proposed Shipyard Plan, I am concerned about the 3rd Street Commercial Corridor in the Bayview…the existing and historical major artery and transportation hub where City investment is little and none. The commercial property owners are again being overlooked by SF City Agencies. Please tune in to KBLX 102.9FM to hear the media campaign that addresss this issue.

  4. Actually, it’s over 20 years of planning with extensive community involvement. As a member of the Mayor’s Hunters Point Shipyard CAC and Chair of the CAC’s Planning & Development Subcommittee I’d like to say thank you for your support. This project is dedicated to sustainability and the highest levels of environmental sensitivity. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t been paying attention.

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