Decades after the Navy pulled out of San Francisco’s Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, leaving a ghost town of maritime past, the first families are poised to move into new homes that represent a new future for the site.
This winter, developer Lennar Urban will begin moving families into newly purchased town homes in the shipyard, representing the first wave of transition from shipyard to neighborhood.
“Within the next three months you will see families living here,” said Kofi Bonner, President of Lennar Urban.
This week, the shipyard hilltop was awash in construction as Bonner walked through the development, taking photos with his iPhone. He pointed to sweeping views emerging through the haze of newly framed homes, stepping into one of new town homes set to open soon.
“People create these places,” said Bonner. “We can’t wait to have families running around here.”
The first phase of building will cover 63 acres with 1400 homes. It will include 10,000 acres of retail space and 25 acres of new parks. The work is part of a sweeping plan to transform the entire area - from the shipyard to Candlestick Point, where Candlestick Park will soon be torn down to make way for even more development.
“It will be the next full neighborhood in San francisco,” said Shipyard sales agent Sheryl McKibben. “Almost a city within a city.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy continues to clean plots of toxic soil on other parts of the shipyard, with plans to begin transferring the parcels to the city beginning early next year.
“I like to see progress because it’ll help a lot of people in the neighborhood,” said Robert Pinkard, who’s owned the Surfside Liquor store down the street from the shipyard for forty years.
Outside the store, a group of locals sat playing dominoes, as they do every day. Pinkard remembered the days when the shipyard was in full swing.
“Oh my God,” Pinkard said, “around four o’clock, around 4,000 people come out of there - every day.”
Back then Pinkard needed two cash registers to keep up with all the business. Today, he makes due with one. He said he’ll welcome the new faces who will begin moving into the area in the coming months.
“Once they come in here and meet me,” Pinkard said, “I am all good.”