Pier 70’s shipyard, which shutdown last spring after 150 years of continuous operation, could have a new tenant by the end of the year. “Port Commission selection, award, and lease approval could be complete as early as October 2017, subject to the completion of required due diligence on the property and detailed analysis of qualified responses,” a Port spokesperson said.
Last winter, Puglia Engineering announced that it was ceasing its Pier 70 shipyard activities as a result of legal disputes with the prior operator and port tenant, BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair. According to Puglia, BAE didn’t perform required maintenance and repair of the dry docks, causing significant infrastructure degradation, and withheld material information regarding the facility’s condition. Although BAE disputed the claims, Puglia abandoned the shipyard at the end of May.
The Port of San Francisco, which owns the dry docks, reached its own settlement with BAE. The firm will pay the Port $4,900,000 to cover upkeep and shipyard improvements that’ll help make the facility more attractive to a replacement operator.
“While the legal dispute continues between the Port’s former operators, the Port appreciates BAE working diligently with the Port and City Attorney’s office to reach this settlement, which will help recover operations at the shipyard quickly,” said Elaine Forbes, Port of San Francisco executive director. “The Port is grateful for its dedicated labor and development partners that have helped ensure local jobs at the shipyard during this interim period of operations.”
The Port is searching for a new tenant for a facility that includes 15 acres of land with numerous buildings, more than 17 acres of submerged property, and Port-owned equipment, such as cranes. Last month, the Port Commission approved a marketing effort to secure a new shipyard operator.
“The Port believes that there is a viable future for the shipyard, and it remains committed to continuing this important maritime activity and protecting local union jobs at San Francisco’s shipyard,” the Port said in a press release.
The Port reached an agreement with Orton Development, which is rehabilitating existing Pier 70 buildings, to hire former shipyard employees to perform custodial work on the yard to prepare it for a new tenant. The Port anticipates several entities will be interested in pursuing long-term shipyard tenancy.