Redevelopment Megaproject Might Be Most Consequential Post-Covid Groundbreaking Yet for City, Trades

By Robert Fulton | contributing writer

The Bay Area’s next big redevelopment megaproject just got underway in the first weeks of this month, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Ground broke on the first phase of the Potrero Power Station redevelopment project on Thursday, October 12. The 30-year-scoped waterfront project promises thousands of construction jobs, much-needed housing, and revenue for decades to come. The 29-acre site calls for more than 2,600 homes, 1.6 million square feet of commercial space, a 250-room waterfront hotel, and 100,000 square feet of retail.

The project’s first phase includes what will become 1212 Maryland Street, rising 84 feet, with studio and one-bedroom apartments. The building’s total 83,000 square feet will comprise 105 units of workforce housing, meaning that residents making an average of 80% of the area median income will be targeted as potential tenants. Move-ins are anticipated for the third quarter of 2025.

SF Building Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Rudy Gonzalez gives a lot of credit to developer Associate Capital and its managing partner, Enrique Landa, for moving this all-union project forward. (Landas was unable to return requests for comment before this article’s deadline.)

Gonzalez said that the development, in part financed through an enhanced infrastructure finance district designation, has brought together various political and community groups in support. He thinks it will ultimately benefit construction workers, community advocates, environmental advocates, hotel workers, and more.

“I think this is San Francisco at its finest,” Gonzalez said.

John Doherty, IBEW Local 6 business manager and a council vice-president, echoed Gonzalez’s praise of Landa and Associate Captial.

“They’ve been a good partner all the way along,” Doherty said.

Of benefit to the IBEW is that the Potrero Power Station project will be the first at its size to be built under San Francisco’s All-Electric New Construction Ordinance. Essentially, this means gas piping systems are not permitted in new construction and cannot be added. That includes space-conditioning, water-heating, cooking, lighting, and clothes-drying.

The ordinance is part of the City’s efforts to decarbonize.

“It does add some work,” Doherty said, admitting that it will take some hours away from pipefitters.

Gonzalez trumpeted the estimated $40 million in annual tax revenue the project will bring to the City, all without new bonds or taxes.

“This is going to create economic activity that funds basic services at a time when the City has a structural deficit,” he said.

Following the pandemic, the construction industry — among so many others — has been hit hard. That the Power Station project got underway this month is, hopefully, a sign of good things to come.

Gonzalez said that though the council was the tip of the spear on this project, it was only possible thanks to help across the board.

“We could not have done it without the support and encouragement of our other siblings in the public sector,” he said.

Organized Labor


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