The Board of Supervisors yesterday approved a plan for the India Basin waterfront project, certifying the environmental impact report that would combine two existing parks with a long-vacant lot.
“India Basin will transform an abandoned industrial site into an important community space that will serve Bayview residents and visitors from across the Bay Area,” said Mayor London N. Breed in a statement. “I want to thank Rec and Park, the numerous community organizations, and Bayview residents for their hard work to make this plan a reality.”
The bayside lot at 900 Innes Ave., acquired by the the city in 2014, will ultimately be connected to India Basin Shoreline Park and India Basin Shoreline Open Space. Both parks are slated to undergo significant improvements, according to SF Rec and Park. A new playground, recreational facilities, and biking and walking paths are some of the amenities slated for the revisioned spaces.
Once completed, the bay trail will be tied to the eight-acre waterfront park, which will provide nearby public housing residents — currently isolated on the hills above — with access to the coastline. A former shop leftover from the site's boatyard days will remain and be refreshed to offer boat-building workshops and other creative classes to the community.
Bayview community stakeholders and local property owners spearheaded much of the programing and design process, according to Rec and Park.
Maya Rodgers, co-founder of Parks 94124, a local parks advocacy group, said that the India Basin project is "an example of demonstrated commitment and collaboration in a tenuous economic climate."
Rodgers cites the project's potential to create opportunities and "positive exposure to and of this neighborhood amidst a long history of marginalization and inequality."
District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, who represents the neighborhood, called the India Basin Park a "crown jewel of San Francisco's waterfront park system."
"It has the best views in the city ... I'm proud to see this project move forward," she said.
In addition to beautifying and making the space more accessible, there's a community employment component to the project as well. Rec and Park is partnering with Hunters Point Family, which provides job opportunities for low-income African American residents in the neighborhood. Funded in part by an EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant, the nonprofit has already trained more than 60 students in environmental remediation and plans to place many of its graduates at the 900 Innes Ave. project.
Remediation and grading of the site will run $11.5 million, $5 million of which will be covered by Measure AA funds. Additional financing comes from the California Conservancy, EPA grants, the Trust for Public Lands, Build Inc., San Francisco Parks Alliance, and the city's Open Space Acquisition Fund, as well as the General Fund.
“We are very excited to engage in the work of restoring the community through restoring and healing the land alongside our partners at the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department,” said Hunters Bay Family executive director and founder Lena Miller in a statement. “We are providing career pathways for some of our community’s residents who have been most impacted by environmental pollution, thereby becoming the change we wish to see in the world.”
The parks project is not the only development in the works for the neighborhood. At 700 Innes Ave., developer Build Inc. is planning to construct more than 1,500 homes, including 400 units marked affordable. A planned public park with a playground, perched beach, walking trails, a boardwalk and enhanced wetlands are also slated for the development. The Board of Supervisors approved the development at yesterday's meeting, and the project should break ground in late 2019.