In a recent community meeting, Michael Yarne, principal of Build Inc., and Courtney Pash, a senior project manager for the firm, presented the firm’s latest proposal for 30 parcels at 700 Innes Ave., which it purchased for $15 million in 2014. The latest plans calls for constructing a ‘residential village’ of 1,240 housing units—up from the 980 units previously proposed—with 275,330 square feet of ground-floor retail, commercial and flex space.
Build Inc. also plans to renovate 5.94 acres of public streets throughout the site, to make India Basin a “pedestrian-priority district” that emphasizes walking, biking and public transportation.
For its part, Rec & Park plans to improve 14.2 acres of adjacent publicly owned parcels along the shoreline—900 Innes, India Basin Shoreline Park and India Basin Open Space—to be used as public open space. The department also plans to renovate 1.58 acres of “unimproved paper streets to create a publicly accessible network of new and/or improved parkland and open space,” according to the latest documents filed with the Planning Department.
Build Inc.’s latest renderings offer a closer look at the project’s proposed public amenities.
The current plans call for constructing a market for various vendors and a farmers’ market along a modernized “New Hudson Avenue.” South of the public market would be a “Town Triangle,” comprised of public plazas full of art, retail spaces and community-serving businesses. A K-8 school facility is also included in the proposal.
Build Inc. recently won a grant from the Oakland Museum of California to obtain old steel from the Bay Bridge, which will be used to create public art for the site. When the time comes, the firm will look to commission local artists, Pash said.
Another major feature of the proposed development is the “Big Green,” 5.63 acres of publicly accessible space managed by Rec & Parks. According to city documents, the Big Green is included in both variations of Build Inc.’s proposal, would retain the land’s existing natural character, and “could include grasslands, stormwater wetlands, a wet meadow, and groves of trees.”
Next to the city’s Big Green, Build Inc. plans to construct a perched beach, where residents and visitors can view and access the bay for swimming and kayaking.
The development’s primary transportation hub would be the “Transit Plaza” at Arelious Walker Drive and Innes Avenue. Yarne said that the Hunters Point Express (HPX)—a new bus route the SFMTA has already proposed to run between the Transbay Terminal and the nearby Candlestick Point/Hunters Point Shipyard project—would also service this new community.
“If all goes according to plan, this project could take up to 15 years to complete,” said Yarne. “Our goal is to increase the economic lifestyle of the Bayview community by building homes, and creating spaces for business incubators and jobs for the community. This is intended to be a neighborhood not a private closed off development.”
Since purchasing the land in 2014, Build Inc. has hosted 75 community meetings, 22 stakeholder meetings and 27 public workshops to shape the proposal.
“We continue to make adjustments to the rendering based on what we have heard from the community,” said Pash. “Based on what we’ve heard, India Basin has been designed as an open, inclusive, vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood with a variety of building types and configurations, ample neighborhood-serving retail and a new 11-acre public park.”
The project’s environmental impact report is under development, and Build Inc. is continuing to finalize a community benefits package that is expected to reach $125,504,029 in public benefits. The firm expects the full project to be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors as soon as the first quarter of 2018.
“I’ve been working on this project for three and a half years and it’s been productive,” Yarne said. “This project is easily worth one billion dollars, and we have to continue to raise money and make a profit for our investors, but we are a values-driven company.”
Fore more information on the India Basin proposal, visit the project website.
“There’s a good way to do things and then there’s a conventional way,” Yarne continued. “The good way is always the harder way, but it’s more rewarding. I’m trying to make this project exceptional in every respect so that it’s inclusive and serves the Bayview community. That’s what I’m most passionate about.”