The acquisition and development of Treasure Island is being executed through a public-private partnership between the City of San Francisco and Treasure Island Community Development LLC (TICD) that was established in 2003. Treasure Island is currently owned by the U.S. Navy and is being conveyed pursuant to the rules of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC), which mandates an extensive planning and review process. The City determined in 2003 that it would rely on TICD to assist it with the BRAC process, and that work has been ongoing ever since.
The framework for the redevelopment, including the conceptual design, engineering principles, financial structure and community benefits, was first detailed in an extensive Term Sheet between the City and TICD, which was endorsed by the Board of Supervisors in 2006. Subsequent work, including the negotiation of the terms required by the Navy for transfer of the property, was endorsed by the Board of Supervisors in 2010. The 2010 Updated Term Sheet included an increase from 6,000 to 8,000 homes to better support on-island services, including transportation, retail, schooling and a health clinic, and to accommodate the Navy’s required terms.
The project approved in the 2010 Updated Term Sheet, and analyzed in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that was certified by the San Francisco Planning Commission on April 21, 2011, includes:
- Up to 8,000 residential units, including 7,700 to 7,850 units on Treasure Island and 150 to 300 units on Yerba Buena Island;
- At least 25%, or 2,000, residential units will be offered at below market rates.
- Up to 140,000 square feet of new retail and 100,000 square feet for office and commercial space.
- The adaptive reuse of Building 1 and Hangars 2 and 3 on Treasure Island and the historic buildings on Yerba Buena Island;
- Up to approximately 500 hotel rooms;
- New and/or upgraded public facilities, including a joint police/fire station, a school and other community facilities;
- New and/or upgraded public utilities, including water distribution system, wastewater collection and treatment, recycled water system and stormwater collection and treatment;
- Seismic stabilization of Treasure Island and the causeway connecting it to Yerba Buena Island;
- Addition of fill to raise the surface elevation in developed areas on Treasure Island to address flood protection and potential sea level rise;
- Approximately 300 acres of parks and public open space (this represents approximately two-thirds of the project area);
- New and/or upgraded streets and public ways;
- Bicycle, transit and pedestrian facilities;
- An Intermodal ferry quay/bus transit center.
Treasure Island was built by the Army Corps of Engineers between 1936 and 1937 specifically for the Golden Gate International Exposition, a World’s Fair in 1939 and 1940 that celebrated San Francisco’s two newly built bridges. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was dedicated in 1936 and the Golden Gate Bridge was dedicated in 1937.
After the exposition, the 403-acre man-made island was to be used as an airport for Pan American Airline's Pacific Rim service of flying boats. The location was selected because it was accessible to all parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.
However, in 1940, the U.S. Navy offered to exchange Mill Field in Millbrae for Treasure Island. The City and County of San Francisco accepted the offer and Treasure Island remained a naval air station until 1993.
The Navy base was decommissioned in 1996 as part of the U.S. Congress Defense Base Realignment and Closure plan. Redevelopment of this property will transform this island into a thriving, mixed use, master planned community featuring unsurpassed waterfront location and expansive parklands, with stunning views of San Francisco, the Bay and the East Bay Hills. Redeveloping Treasure Island will rekindle’s San Francisco’s vision for progress and urbanity first displayed at Treasure Island 75 years ago.