SF Projects In Doubt After Gov Works To Kill Redevelopment Agencies

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A construction crane. (AP)

A construction crane. (AP)

PhilMatier01-370 Phil Matier
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The governor’s plan to abolish redevelopment agencies has put a cloud over San Francisco’s plans to build communities at Mission Bay, Treasure Island and the Bayview, to name a few. The list of projects that hinge on redevelopment’s tax increment funding is long: The Transbay Terminal, Mission Bay, Hunters Point Shipyard, Treasure Island and affordable housing around the city, even a possible 49ers stadium.

Tiffany Bohee, project manager of the massive shipyard development, said San Francisco is counting on the agency’s resources to make it happen.

”That land requires over one billion dollars in infrastructure investment because it’s not currently connected to the city grid. There is no there there. It is vacant land,” said Bohee.

Redevelopment Director Fred Blackwell said projects with signed contracts like the Hunters Point Shipyard, Transbay Terminal and Mission Bay still should be safe, but there’s no guarantee.

”The worst case scenario is that we would not have the ability to make the kinds of investments in land that has been laying fallow for decades, for decades into the future,” said Blackwell.

The governor’s proposal would abolish redevelopment agencies in July, and mandate voter approval for future financing.

Meanwhile, other California cities in the state are rushing to lock up the money in projects, before it could be used by the state.

KCBS’ Phil Matier on How Cities Are Working to Approve Projects Now:

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier said that this is kind of an end run around the governor’s plans. Ballparks, BART stations and apartment complexes are all hot commodities as cities rush to tie up those funds. They’re hoping to spend the money before the governor can get his hands on it.

San Jose is having a special meeting on how to use the money on Wednesday, and Fremont has just approved the funds for a new BART station. Some cities, such as Citrus Heights even convened meetings on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to make plans for the money.

Matier said that one of the positive effects of this rush is that redevelopment committee meetings can usually drag on and on, with projects often taking months or years to approve. This speeds up that process.

He also points out that these aren’t projects that were created just to tie up the money, but instead plans that have been a long time in the coming, and are now being rushed through approval.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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