Chinese Financing For Major SF Housing Developments Falls Through

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee confirmed on Thursday that efforts to secure Chinese financing for the Hunters Point Shipyard and Treasure Island housing developments were unsuccessful.

Lennar Corp. plans to build over 12,000 homes on the land formally used as a navy shipyard and high-rises on Treasure Island, but hopes of financing from China Development Bank, a government-controlled institution, have fallen apart.

Mayor Lee pitched the $1.7 billion project to top government officials during his eight-day trip to China, but said they would not agree to some city conditions, including issues such as local hiring.

However, Lee remains confident the project will go forward.

“The real-estate market is very hot in the Bay Area and San Francisco in particular, so we’re going to take advantage of that. We’re going to get this project started. We’re going to turn over spades on the hillside of Hunters Point this summer,” Lee said.

Lennar has enough money to begin construction on about 200 housing units and the mayor isn’t concerned about finding the rest, but the developer will need to find some source of financing to make good on its promise to the city.

“I still think we’re going to be in a very competitive atmosphere for financing maybe both local and international,” Mayor Lee said.

In a statement following the mayor’s announcement, Lennar said, “We are continuing to move forward with development of Hunters Point Shipyard and are expecting to start home construction this summer. At the same time, lenders continue to have significant interest in financing The Shipyard and Treasure Island, which they believe are extremely attractive projects.”

Governor Brown has fared better on his China trip this week, announcing that a Chinese investor has agreed to foot the bill for a $1.5 billion dollar development project in Oakland near Jack London Square.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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