SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - San Francisco Giants representatives joined city leaders Wednesday to unveil plans to create a new neighborhood next to the team's home ballpark.
Mission Rock, a site across McCovey Cove from AT&T Park, is set to be transformed from a parking lot for the ballpark into a vibrant area with residential, office and retail space as well as a large waterfront park.
Plans for the $1.6 billion development are the product of several years of work, team president and CEO Larry Baer said at a news conference at AT&T Park Wednesday morning.
"We've looked for ways to see that this neighborhood not just preserves its charm and its character but can add to the economic viability and the economic potency of this city," Baer said.
Construction would begin in 2015 at the 27-acre site, which would eventually feature about 1,000 residential units, up to 1.7 million square feet of office space, stores and restaurants and 8 acres of open space, including Mission Rock Square and China Basin Park.
Pier 48, an aging part of the city's waterfront, would be revitalized and could provide space for special events. A parking garage would be built on the southern end of the property to counteract the loss of the lot that is being taken away, Baer said.
He said there is also still the possibility that the Golden State Warriors basketball team, currently based in Oakland, could eventually move to a site near the ballpark.
"If the Warriors want to move over here, they will be accommodated," he said. "They've got to make their own decision, but I believe there's some sites we'd be able to coordinate with."
The Giants are funding half of the project, while another partner, the Baltimore-based real estate developer The Cordish Companies, is providing the other half, Baer said.
Mayor Ed Lee thanked the team for its contributions to the city and its commitment to improve it in the coming years.
"They're a very successful, not just baseball franchise ... but successful corporate citizen with the city and successful philanthropist," Lee said. "They're a part of our lives. They're part of what we think about in San Francisco."
The project is expected to bring at least 4,800 temporary construction jobs, as well as 6,900 permanent jobs once it is built, and could end up providing an additional stream of $13 million annually to the city's general fund, he said.
The mayor joked that he wanted to drag out Wednesday morning's news conference until the start of the final Giants spring training game, which was set to start at 12:45 p.m. at AT&T Park against the Oakland A's. The team begins the regular season on Friday in Arizona.
Plans for the project have been submitted to the Port of San Francisco and will make their way through the city's approval process over the coming months and years.
Lee said that because the project is on the waterfront and must be approved by the port, the process is twice as complicated as that of a landlocked development. However, he said, he does not anticipate any significant roadblocks.
"There's been dialogue around this for quite some time," he said. "We're not surprising anybody ... we're going to play ball here."
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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