Voters to decide fate of Hunters Point

February 12, 2008 8:54:26 PM PST
In San Francisco, in June, people may be voting on competing measures that could determine the fate of one of the most economically depressed areas of the city: Bayview Hunters Point.

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce used its annual luncheon to release results of a poll on a proposed June ballot measure.

It calls for building housing, offices and possibly a new 49er stadium on a site covering Monster Park, Candlestick Point and the old Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

The chamber's survey found 55 percent of city voters support it, 24-percent are opposed and 18 percent undecided.

Reverend Arelious Walker's church is in the Bayview neighborhood that will be profoundly affected. He thinks the measure will be an economic engine.

"Instead of people talking about this poor crime ridden neighborhood, there will be hope," said Rev. Walker.

The Lennar Corporation wants to be the developer and is proposing up to one-fourth of the housing they build will be for lower income residents.

Supervisor Chris Daly believes that's not enough.

"If we don't set aside a significant percentage of that land or the new housing units on that land to be affordable for everyday San Franciscans, then lets be honest with ourselves, 20 years from now everyday San Franciscans aren't going to live here," said San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly.

Daly helped organize a petition drive for a competing ballot measure to force Lennar to make half the homes affordable.

Community activist James Queen thinks Daly's measure compliments the mayor's stated goal of keeping blacks in the city.

"If the mayor, the city and redevelopment are truly interested in keeping the black community, this offers something we thought it was something everybody would love," said community activist James Queen.

But Lennar says a 50-percent affordability requirement would kill the project, which is estimated to cost $1.4 billion dollars.

"Trying to raise the affordability levels to 50 percent in this project will make the numbers such that nobody could provide for a commercially reasonable return. No other investor would be interested," said Kofi Bonner from the Lennar Corporation.

Both sides have turned in the signatures they collected to the San Francisco election department to be certified. We'll know soon if either or both have qualified for the June ballot.


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