Re-development on the Expansive Potrero Power Station Site Forges Ahead

The 28+ acre site known as the former Potrero Power Station in the Central Waterfront District east of the Dogpatch and American Industrial Center directly faces the San Francisco Bay. It is a vast real estate that’s very attractive to developers. The site was a power plant for over 150 years operating on a range of industrial uses from barrel-making and sugar refining to power generation, before the then-owner Mirant Potrero LLC decommissioned it in 2011.

Today, the site is proposed to be re-developed to yield nearly 2,700 units of housing; 1.6 million square feet of commercial space (including office, retail, research and industrial); a 220-room waterfront hotel; parking for around 2,600 cars and 1,950 bikes; and 6.2 acres of new open space/parks.

SocketSite reports that The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) has just released Volumes 1 and 2 reports, as part of the protocol, on the environmental impact of the development project, plus a scheduled public hearing about it all on November 8.


The report highlights five most “significant and unavoidable impacts” to the environment by the re-development. They include:

1. Historic architectural resources – impacts on individually significant buildings and the integrity of a historic district
2. Transportation and circulation – with respect to transit capacity and operations
3. Noise – in terms of both construction noise levels and operational noise increases from new traffic
4. Air quality – emissions during construction and ongoing operations
5. Wind – potential for hazardous wind conditions during construction and/or due to changes in the building layout and/or massing


In addition to the report, the developers are working on obtaining permission to demolish around 20 existing buildings on the site, including four historic resources: the plant’s Gate House, Meter House, Compressor House and Station A:

These 4 have been identified as contributors to San Francisco’s Third Street Industrial Historic District, and permission is needed to proceed as proposed. Otherwise, the vast development will have to be reduced.

Another subject being worked on is the modification of the existing zoning for the site which currently limits development to 65-feet – too short for the project team who would like to build up to 300 feet in height.

The team, which includes Meg Whitman and Associate Capital, is positioning to break ground and begin construction in 2020. The plan is to build in seven overlapping phases over the course of 15 years (yes, 15 years!) potentially completing the development by 2034.


Source: SF Planning, San Francisco Planning Department, SocketSite

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.