SAN FRANCISCO – On Thursday, SF Rec and Park moved one step closer to rebuilding and restoring a thriving shoreline at India Basin, which is currently suffering from decades of environmental contamination and industrial deterioration.
At the monthly SF Rec and Park Commission meeting this Thursday, Commissioners approved a construction contract with Rubecon Builders to remediate the 900 Innes Ave site of the India Basin Park project. Set to break ground in Spring 2021, the cleanup efforts will restore a critical tidal marsh and wildlife habitat in the southeast corridor of San Francisco. This restoration is the first step in a plan to revitalize and unite a series of existing waterfront open spaces into a 10-acre seamless design. Once complete, it will provide unrivaled recreational access for 2,500 units of public and affordable housing, either existing or planned, within one mile of the future park.
“Today marks a critical checkpoint for this project,” said SF Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Not only are we preparing to remove decades of hazardous contamination to revive a critical ecological habitat, but our general contractor is based right here in the Bayview – five minutes from the park. This kind of meaningful, equitable investment in the neighborhood has been our goal every step of the way.”
A key goal of the India Basin project is to serve as an anchor for equitable and inclusive economic growth. As certified San Francisco Local Business Enterprises (LBE), the general contractor and several subcontractors for this project will create meaningful investment in the community, providing job and business opportunities alike.
“For the past year, community leaders have been meeting with project partners to ensure the neighborhood’s residents have a voice in this project,” said Jacqueline Flin, Executive Director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, which works for civil rights and fair labor practices and is among the project’s partners. “The India Basin project represents an opportunity to develop a park that prioritizes equity for the community in every aspect. This contract will support the Bayview community through the hiring of a local business to perform critical work to help restore a once ecologically thriving shoreline.”
Set to begin in spring of 2021, remediation activity will occur on land as well as within the shallow waters immediately north of the 900 Innes Ave site. The project scope includes removal of debris and dilapidated structures, targeted excavation of soil, placement of backfill material to support future park design, and abatement of hazardous building materials from the Shipwright’s Cottage.
Funding for remediation comes, in part, from $2 million in grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), a $4 million allocation from the state budget secured with the help of Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, and $4.99 million from Measure AA funding, which was approved by the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority to remediate and restore the soft-bottom intertidal and subtidal habitat and remove dilapidated structures at 900 Innes Ave.
Additional funding for the India Basin Shoreline Park Restoration Project, separate from its remediation funding, includes a $25 million donation from the John Pritzker Family Fund, $8.5 million from Proposition 68, and funding from the recently passed $487.5 million Health and Recovery Bond, of which approximately $239 million will go to park projects such as this.
About India Basin Park Project:
The India Basin waterfront project is a partnership with the Bay View Hunters Point community, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Trust for Public Land, and the San Francisco Parks Alliance. The project will combine the abandoned industrial site at 900 Innes Avenue, which the City acquired in 2014, with two existing parks that border it: India Basin Shoreline Park and India Basin Shoreline Open Space, both of which would undergo significant improvements as part of the broader vision. Once complete, the new park will include gathering docks for people to socialize along the restored shoreline; an accessible walkway and stairs to connect Bayview-Hunters Point with the expanded park, gardens and natural habitats; a public plaza for fitness classes, performances, and farmers markets; a lighted bicycle and pedestrian path that will close a gap in the Bay Trail, linking the Embarcadero to Candlestick Point; and an ecological education area where visitors can observe tidal mudflat habitats and native birds through small paths, decks and viewing platforms.
At India Basin, the Recreation and Park Department endeavors to build a park that is meaningful, equitable, and essential to the health of San Francisco’s southeast communities. The clean-up and development of this site provides a tremendous opportunity to address environmental contamination and physical blight left by historic, industrial uses, while improving overall public access, recreational programming, and providing workforce development opportunities to help address social equity issues in a historically underserved neighborhood.