Santa Clara

Future of Candlestick Park: “Urban Outlet” Shopping Center

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on Monday unveiled the future of the now-defunct Candlestick Park, in what developers hope will be an "urban outlet" mall, featuring an African diaspora-themed market, movie theaters and 6,000 homes - despite some objections from lower income residents who fear the gentrification of their neighborhood.

"I am overjoyed," Lee said at a news conference. "As painstaking as it was to have the Niners leave us on this stadium...We are now ready."

Candlestick Park, built in the 1950s, was decommissioned after the 49ers football team left the San Francisco stadium, nicknamed the 'Stick, for a new $1.2 billion stadium nearly 40 miles south in Santa Clara earlier this year.

Demolition of the storied venue is expected to begin this winter.

The new Candlestick development project, which is expected to largely be completed by 2017, is a partnership between Miami-based real estate developer Lennar Corp. and shopping mall operator, Macerich.

The hope for the former 49ers football stadium is to create a 500,000-square-foot “urban outlet” shopping center, which may resemble a shopping center much like Santana Row in San Jose. In a statement, Lennar and Macerich said the project is expected to create more than 3,000 permanent jobs and build 6,000 homes.  The Wall Street Journal estimated the cost would be more than $200 million.

“Rebuilding and redeveloping Candlestick and The Shipyard is helping us deliver on our promise to make sure San Francisco remains a city where families at all levels of the economic spectrum can succeed,” Lee said. “This is an important milestone in our revitalization efforts in this important community and we are bringing housing, jobs, parks, open space and economic growth through this public-private partnership and laying the groundwork for more housing for our low and middle income families.”

But Hunters' Point resident Espanola Jackson is worried that Gucci- and Armani-type stores will make her low-income neighborhood unaffordable. "This is not being built for the people here," she said. "It's being built for those people coming here."

Construction has already been underway in parts of the San Francisco's Hunters Point Naval shipyard.

Candlestick Point developers promised that 50 percent of the jobs will go to those living in Hunters Point, and they expect to demolish the park in about four months.

In a joint statement, the developers said that Candlestick Point will be one of the largest urban mixed-use projects in the United States, the companies said in a joint statement.  In addition to the "urban outlet" component, it will feature a diversity of commercial offerings, including neighborhood retailers, a restaurant village, an African diaspora-themed marketplace, movie theaters, a performance venue and hotel.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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