SF’s India Basin to be transformed into new neighborhood

A developer got the city’s approval Tuesday to convert San Francisco’s largely empty India Basin into a new community with tall residential buildings, commercial space and a public park.

The project will transform a portion of Hunters Point east of Third Street and south of Islais Creek with 150,000 square feet of commercial space and 1,575 units of housing — 25 percent of which would be affordable — and several acres of parks and public spaces. Despite multiple appeals over the past few months, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the plan.

“The project will undoubtedly be a benefit to the community,” said Malia Cohen, supervisor for District 10, where the project is located. “Not only does it provide a beautiful space for residents, but it also gives us an opportunity to show what a thoughtful project looks like.”

Two appellants — Archimedes Banya, a Russian bathhouse that sits on the edge of the site, and the nonprofit Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice — were concerned that construction would fill the air with dust, impacting the surrounding community.

But the Planning Department said there are prescribed ways to mitigate dust during large development projects, such watering the site daily — or, in some cases — hourly.

But it’s not just the dust, said Abhishek Vaidya, general manager of the bathhouse. Vaidya said the constant sounds of banging and digging from the construction will impact the serene atmosphere inside the bathhouse, which he said serves over 1,000 customers a week.

The proposed buildings will also affect the sprawling view of the water and open land from the facility’s roof deck, Vaidya said.

“Be sensible,” he said. “Just because you can build, doesn’t mean you should build everywhere.”

Vaidya said Archimedes Banya will continue to appeal the building permits as the project moves forward.

credit: sfgate