The office of San Francisco mayor London Breed has announced a five-year, $25 million gift from the John Pritzker Family Fund in support of a waterfront park on the city's southeastern edge.
The single largest private gift ever for the creation of public parkland in San Francisco will support the design and partial construction of a park in the city's Bayview district. The India Basin Restoration Project entails renovating three city-owned sites — India Basin Shoreline Park, which opened in 2000; a closed boat-repair complex that the city purchased in 2014; and the India Basin Open Space — to create a unified waterfront park. The first phase of the project will involve the cleanup of the boat-repair site, where the soil has been contaminated by decades of industrial activity, followed by reconstruction of the India Basin Shoreline Park — rated by the city's Recreation and Park Department to be in "poor" condition — with a target completion date of 2025.
The project also includes the restoration of tidal marsh and wildlife habitat in the area, as well as an Equitable Park Development Plan designed to provide jobs and workforce development opportunities for local residents. The Trust for Public Land will help manage aspects of the design effort and community engagement, while the San Francisco Parks Alliance will assist with programming.
"Gifts like this are what make a project happen," Alejandra Chiesa, Bay Area program director for the Trust for Public Land, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's a signal that a large donor believes in the importance of investing in the wider community." While lining India Basin with top-flight parks has been an aim of community groups and the city since 2009, Bayview, unlike the Presidio, has a high poverty rate and relatively few private funding resources to draw on.
With the Pritzker gift and recent government grants, the city has raised roughly one-third of the estimated $120 million needed to transform what will be called India Basin Park. The goal is to raise half of the project's cost from private sources and the other half from government agencies.
"This park is an important investment in the Bayview Hunters Point community and a big step in creating equity when it comes to healthy neighborhoods in our city," said Breed in a statement. "All San Franciscans deserve a beautiful, safe place to gather, exercise, and play. This donation will help achieve a measure of environmental justice for our southeastern neighborhoods and create a beautiful new space for generations to come."