SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Community Innovation Lab, a tech, sports and recreational programming hub for the Bayview-Hunters Point community, opened Sunday amid celebration at the India Basin Waterfront Park project’s Fall Festival at India Basin Shoreline Park, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today.
The celebration included a ribbon cutting by the India Basin Waterfront Park project partners, local organizations, and community members. The Fall Festival featured free kayaking, a pumpkin patch, local vendors, and more.
“The Community Innovation Lab is a great example of what’s possible when we work together to envision word-class parks and recreation spaces that can support and uplift our communities,” said Mayor London Breed. “I was excited to be part of the Fall Fest as it offered a glimpse of what India Basin Waterfront Park will offer the Bayview and San Francisco in the future and for generations to come.”
The Lab is an expansion of the park's Tech Hub, which has offered free Wi-Fi access, laptop and tablet lending and technical support, and a variety of community services to neighborhood residents since 2021.
“I’m thrilled that Bayview-Hunters Point will have the Community Innovation Lab as an enhanced resource that builds on services offered at the park through the India Basin Waterfront Park project,” said District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton. “The lab will empower our residents to explore their talents, spark creativity, and cultivate skills.”
It now offers a range of new services including free rentals of sports and activity equipment; space for community organizations to host their programming, workshops, networking events, and more; as well as free Wi-Fi access, laptop and tablet lending, technical support, and community services.
“This event and the opening of the Lab offers a sneak peek for what is in store programmatically at India Basin Waterfront Park,” said SF Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “We can’t wait for the second phase of the project to be completed next year, where we can continue expanding park programing for this neighborhood and the Bayview-Hunters Point community.”
The expansion of the Tech Hub into the Lab was outlined in the project's Equitable Development Plan, a first for San Francisco, which ensures that the waterfront park will benefit current Bayview-Hunters Point residents while preserving the culture and identity of the historic neighborhood. It provides a blueprint for delivering a park designed by and for the community while improving economic opportunity and environmental health for its residents.
“This project aims to uplift the community and hosting events like Fall Fest at the park does just that,” said A. Philip Randolph Institute San Francisco Executive Director Jacqueline Bryant. “We’re thrilled to not only implement the Equitable Development Plan, but to build on its successes to ensure that programming responds to the needs and desires of the Bayview.”
"I'm beyond thrilled to witness the inauguration of the Community Innovation Lab at India Basin Waterfront Park, a testament to everyone’s commitment to equitable development across San Francisco. We at Trust for Public Land believe that the development of India Basin Waterfront Park, which starts with giving residents a voice in not only the design of this park but also delivers on workforce development and economic opportunities for the community and future generations, is the blueprint for how all parks should be built going forward,” said Guillermo Rodriguez, California State Director and Vice President-Pacific Region for Trust for Public Land. “When you listen to the community, you can not only deliver a great park but use the opportunity to hire locally, address transit and housing issues, and develop plans to make sure the residents living here now benefit for years to come because of this park project."
"The Lab is an incredible learning opportunity that will help us ensure that when India Basin Waterfront Park is open, there will be programming from day one that resonates with the community," said SF Parks Alliance CEO Drew Becher.
The Fall Festival also featured a special concert organized by Hip Hop for Change (HH4C), celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. It featured a number of workshops including hip-hop fashion, breakdancing, airbrush art and more. The day served as a preview for the Hip Hop in the Park Initiative, a program supported by a grant from the San Francisco Foundation, in partnership with the California Arts Council. This initiative will organize a number of workshops and activations at India Basin Shoreline Park beginning in January 2024 that will be based out of the lab.
“We’re very excited about this partnership in order to support and amplify the many artistic voices in the community that use hip-hop as their form of expression,” said Hip Hop for Change. “By pairing them with artist mentors, we’re creating a new ecosystem for culture in San Francisco.”
Illuminate, which curated music for the Fall Festival, recently debuted the Sounds of the Street music series at the park in partnership with the Bayview Opera House, and will now run at the Lab. The series brings music to the park on select Saturdays through November, featuring musicians and artists, including those from or connected to the Bayview-Hunters Point, representing a variety of genres.
"Music unites people in harmony and movement," said Illuminate CEO Ben Davis. "Illuminate is honored to help spread that positive energy to India Basin through our Sounds of the Street music series."
The India Basin Waterfront Park project is a partnership between the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Trust for Public Land, San Francisco Parks Alliance, A. Philip Randolph Institute, and the Bayview-Hunters Point (BVHP) community. The project, which is currently under construction, will build a 10-acre waterfront park. Once complete, it will seamlessly combine the historical former ship-building site at 900 Innes Ave. that is currently under construction, with India Basin Shoreline Park, which will also undergo improvements. The final product will create a spacious park in the city’s Southeastern neighborhood, featuring shore access, sports courts, gathering spaces, multi-use trails, and much more.
The roughly $200 million project was made possible through public and private funding, including $54 million in state funding; $29 million through San Francisco’s 2020 Health and Recovery Bond; and $14.3 million from two Proposition 68 grants. In addition, the John Pritzker Family Fund provided a $25 million donation.
Phase two of the project at 900 Innes Ave. includes the rehabilitation of the historic Shipwright’s Cottage and the construction of two new public piers, a food pavilion, a maker’s shop, a new floating dock, and much more. It is anticipated to be completed in late summer 2024, at which point phase three is set to commence. Phase three at India Basin Shoreline Park consists of the construction of a new boat house and pier, a new adventure playground, two new basketball courts, and further shoreline habitat and marsh restoration efforts. The entire project is anticipated to be completed in summer 2026. For more information, including project updates, visit ibwaterfrontparks.com.