The 21-acre Potrero Power Plant site is slated to be developed into housing, retail, and open space. The power plant, once one of the dirtiest in California, was shuttered in 2011 after more than a decade of advocacy by nonprofit San Francisco Community Power, among others.
After it was closed the power plant site was divided into seven remediation areas as part of an effort to remove manufactured gas plant residues, including heavy metals, left behind from decades of use. Former plant owner, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), has completed cleanup efforts in three of the areas: the PG&E-owned Hoe Down Yard, the Switchyard/General Construction Yard, and Station A, which is now owned by Associate Capital. Work continues in the four remaining areas: Northeast – including a portion of the Pier 70 property – Offshore Sediment, Tank Farm, and former Power Generation, according to PG&E.
PG&E sold the property to Southern Company in 1999; the site has since changed owners a few times. In September, Associate Capital purchased the property for an undisclosed amount.
According to Associate Capital spokesperson P.J. Johnston, it’s too early to specify particular development plans. “Associate Capital was entirely focused on doing due diligence, putting forth the bid, and once it was selected, finalizing the purchase, and now setting its sights on development plans for the future,” he said.
Johnston said Associate Capital isn’t ruling out proposals developed by Mission Bay Development Group, the previous owner. According to a May San Francisco Chronicle story, those plans included constructing between 1,000 and 2,000 housing units and one million square feet of commercial space. “It’s still to be determined who Associate Capital is working with,” Johnston said. “During the bid process and then the period leading up to final closure, the buyer was not able to speak directly with previous partners or consultants. Now that the purchase has been finalized, they’re talking to lots of people, including previous participants.”
Johnston added that the vision outlined by Mission Bay Development Group is likely to remain a consideration. “It’s an exciting time with lots more in terms of details to follow,” he said. “Finalizing the purchase is a milestone opportunity to move forward with what eventually will be a more appropriate use for the neighborhood. This was a power plant that was a source of great consternation and worry for many decades and it was a great achievement to get it closed down. Now we’re getting closer to the day when the site is revitalized for public use and it’s a beautiful location close to the bay. It has a bright future.”