HOUSING DEAL WOULD AID SAN FRANCISCO PORT TO GAIN TERMINAL SPACE

HOUSING DEAL WOULD AID SAN FRANCISCO PORT TO GAIN TERMINAL SPACE

The Port of San Francisco said it stands to gain 20 acres of terminal space and pocket over $100 million if a large city residential housing deal goes through.

San Francisco is considering an ambitious 315-acre residential development in a neighborhood now devoted largely to industrial uses. The development, known as Mission Bay, would have 70 acres of new park land and 8,000 new apartments. Even if all necessary environmental and other approvals are gained, however, the project is still several years off.Part of the land earmarked for development belongs to the port. As outlined, however, the port would exchange 14.8 acres in the Mission Bay neighborhood for 34.5 acres immediately adjacent to the port's Pier 80 container terminal. The 34 acres are owned by the city and Santa Fe Pacific Realty.

But the port would retain six acres in the area behind Piers 48 and 50 that would be used as a staging and expansion area for its breakbulk terminals. The port will consider building wider roads for easy truck access to port terminals. "The port intends to continue its mandated maritime activities along the waterfront," the port said.

The conversion of port land to non-maritime uses is a controversial issue in San Francisco, a city where public support runs high for continued maritime uses.

Also as part of the proposed Mission Bay project, the port will lease 22 acres of its land to Santa Fe Pacific Realty, the developer, for use as a park. The port would receive $60 million, but with escalation, the total license payments are expected to exceed $100 million.

Michael Huerta, port director, termed it a "win-win" situation in a prepared statement. "We were able to make a valuable contribution to this important new San Francisco neighborhood, and the port gained land that will go a long way in increasing its cargo-handling capabilities," he said.