The old saying that you can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends does not accurately portray the Speaker of the House feelings toward either.
In her case, her family, including in-laws, has come in very handy.
The History of the Hunters Point Giveaway:
- According the Lennar’s Hunters Point Web site2, the description of this region of San Francisco and Lennar’s vision for this area is described as follows:
- History: “Hunters Point Shipyard is located within the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, in southeastern San Francisco. From World War II until 1974, the 500-acre Shipyard was a major source of jobs for the community, employing up to 17,000 people at its peak. The current redevelopment project is designed to transform the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard into a thriving neighborhood with new homes, parks and jobs for local residents”
- Radioactive Concerns:
- What they are leaving out in their narrative is that there has been much local concern over the Navy’s use of the Hunters Point Shipyard. It was used by the Navy since the 1940’s and supposedly included the storage and testing of atomic/nuclear materials. There have been hundreds of articles and blogs written about the residual radioactive materials on this site and that the site was never adequately tested nor decontaminated by the Navy. That said, the Navy has issued an HRA (Historical Radiological Assessment) of the site. The study concluded: “…that only low-level radioactive materials have been found to date, and the public and the environment are, and will continue to be, safe.” At issues are the materials that were stored there from our atomic testing at the Bikini Atolls in 1946. Detractors believe that the site is still contaminated and that the Navy white washed the study due to political pressure. Today there are no definitive answers if you doubt the Naval report. I guess we will just wait to see if the new neighborhoods don’t need street lights for the residents to be able to see at night!
- SF 49’ers:
- Hunters Point also includes the Candlestick Park area that is to be included in the redevelopment. In addition to the Pelosi Clan joining in on the push for redevelopment, the 49’ers jumped on board as well. Carmen Policy, the ex-CEO of the niners appeared at hearings and helped push through ballot initiatives to support the redevelopment. The Hunters Point redevelopment was not devoid of highly placed supporters who could collectively get anything done needed to make sure the project went forward.
- The San Francisco Chronical’s columnist Matier & Ross wrote that “…that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, is a partner in the new United Football League team for Northern California and is a college roommate of former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and a longtime friend of UFL head Mike Huyghue.” I am sure it is just a coincidence that there is a new NFL stadium planned for part of Hunters Point.
- My Comment about the Site:
- Hunters Point has some of the best views in the Bay Area, especially from the 63 acre hill property. The dirt alone should be valued in the Billions. The only negative is that the weather there sucks most of the time.
The balance of this article will be devoted to laying out as many facts as possible to help you form a picture in your own mind as to the “right” or “wrong” of the project and the pureness of its backers. There are key missing points of information that are still being researched. Admittedly, some are key pieces but we are not the FBI or part of the Justice Department prosecutorial staff, we have limited means with which to gather this information. It is too bad the media won’t do their job and either clear up the misconceptions or sunshine the wrongdoing. It is equally as bad that the house is controlled by Pelosi so there will not be any Congressional Hearings, yet… I also apologize for repeating the relationships between many of the players but it is important to drive home the seemingly incestuous relationships that aided in the culmination of the Hunters Point Agreements. The information would include:
- What financial gains, if any, did any of the Pelosi Clan realize from steering the project through and insuring that Lennar was the sole developer?
- Laurence Pelosi was a VP with Lennar until the deal was signed by the Navy. Was this a coincidence?
- Gavin Newsom was and is the Mayor of SF. He presided over the City negotiating and signing the Conveyance Agreement with the Navy. He is Laurence’s Cousin and Nancy’s nephew. Coincidence? No Conflicts of Interest? No monetary gain?
- Did Murtha receive Nancy Pelosi’s support to be House Majority Leader due to his pressuring the Navy to approve the Conveyance Agreement for Hunters Point to the City of SF?
- Lennar’s employees contribute heavily to democrat candidates. Did their contributions land them the sole and exclusive development contract for Hunters Point?
Hopefully we will be able to uncover enough info to help you draw accurate, ultimate conclusions.
Major Components of the Hunters Point Story:
- March 31st, 2004: Hunters Point Shipyard Conveyance Agreement
- Lawrence Pelosi (nephew of Nancy Pelosi and cousin of Gavin Newsom) was the Director of Acquisitions for Lennar Corporation out of Florida from January 2002 through March of 20051.
- Gavin Newsom is Lawrence Pelosi’s Cousin who was and is the Mayor of San Francisco and has been since 2003.
- Lawrence Pelosi was also reported to be Gavin Newsom’s Campaign Treasurer in the 2003 Election.
- On March 31st, 2004. Mayor Newsom signed the Hunters Point Shipyard Conveyance Agreement along with H. T. Johnson, Assistant Secretary of the Navy that would transfer title to the Hunters Point property to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency once the US taxpayers cleaned up the site.
- The Navy (you) agreed to spend $120M to clean up the site. (still trying to find out how much the Navy actually spent)
- Following the Cleanup and certification by the EPA, CDTSC, CRWQCB and an independent consultant, parcel A was transferred to the City of San Francisco in April of 2005. (one month after Lawrence Pelosi resigned from Lennar).
- The Bottom Line is that the US Taxpayers received $1.00, the one with George Washington’s picture on it; the US Taxpayers then paid at least $120M to clean up the site.
- The City of SF granted Lennar the sole and exclusive development right for Hunters Point. Gee, who got the shaft in this deal, was it the US Taxpayers?
- May 2004 or March 2005; Laurence Pelosi resigns his position at Lennar. Job done ushering Lennar through the bureaucratic maze of local, state and federal bureaucracies.
- It is not clear exactly when Laurence Pelosi resigned from Lennar. An article posted on SF Bay View on April 5th, 2009, the author, Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, M.D., stated; “After resigning from Lennar in May of 2004 – immediately before the shipyard conveyance legislation went before numerous City boards and commissions for approval – Laurence Pelosi joined the board of directors of the influential urban development think tank SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research) and went to work for Morgan Stanley. However, Laurence Pelosi’s LinkedIn account states that his remained at Lennar until March of 2005 then went to work at Morgan Stanley sometime thereafter. If his resignation from Lennar was in 2004, it is “fishy”, if his resignation was in 2005, it is legally suspicious at best. If his resignation was March of 2005, then he was instrumental in working with Lennar, with the full force and effect of his Aunt Pelosi’s backing, to pressure the Navy to complete the agreement with the City of SF so the City could complete its agreement with Lennar… Conflicts anyone? Lennar had been selected as the developer for Parcel A in 1999 so Laurence Pelosi, Mayor Newsom, and Speaker Pelosi knew of the conflicts of interest they all had in the project well before 2005.
- January 2005: Gavin Newsom (Nancy’s nephew) signed the Hunters Point conveyance agreement with the Navy and paid the Navy $1.00, one US dollar, for the property. This event was preceded by the Navy getting cold feet about signing the agreement due to the negative press and corruption allegations (swamp) surrounding the City of San Francisco and the current Speaker.
- April 2005, Hunters Point Officially Conveyed to the City of San Francisco:
Edward Epstein, in the SF Chronical wrote on April 1st, 20044;
“ The agreement came a few weeks after the Navy sent Newsom a letter saying that it was having doubts about going ahead with an agreement that was announced with great fanfare in Washington in January 2002 by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, then-Mayor Willie Brown and Navy Secretary Gordon England.” Epstein went on to write about Congressman’s John Murtha’s involvement in this affair. This may shed some light on why Nancy favored John Murtha over Jane Harman when it came to key committee assignments. Epstein wrote: “When he (Newsom) was in Washington last Wednesday, Newsom met in the Capitol offices of Pelosi, the House minority leader, with Pelosi, Navy Assistant Secretary Hansford T. Johnson, representatives of California Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a big gun brought in by Pelosi to convince the Navy the time for delays had passed. (emphasis mine)
Murtha, the powerful ranking Democrat on the House military appropriations subcommittee, made it clear to the Navy that he wanted a binding agreement signed by Wednesday. Another meeting was held in Pelosi’s offices Wednesday, minus Newsom, and the Navy signed the accord.” On April 20th, the SF Redevelopment Agency board approved the agreement and the die was finally cast after 10 years of intense political maneuvering that included the City of San Francisco, Newsom the Mayor of SF, two US Senators from California, the Speaker, John Murtha and the US Navy.
- Did you Know that Nancy Pelosi is Gavin Newsom’s (Mayor of San Francisco) Aunt?
- Did you Know that Nancy Pelosi is Lawrence Pelosi’s Aunt? (his parents are Ronald Pelosi and Belinda Barbara Newsom)
- Did you know that Laurence Pelosi was a Vice President of Lennar Corporation of Miami, Florida (more in a bit) until March, 2005 ?
- Did you know that the US Navy in 2004 Conveyed ownership of the Hunters Point Shipyard to the City of San Francisco?
- Did you know that Lennar/BVHP was awarded the EXCLUSIVE Rights for the redevelopment of the Hunters Point Shipyard in 1999.
- 6Proposition G on the SF ballot in 2008 was “helped” by Lennar Corp spending of over $3.3 million on Proposition G, and against the community-initiated Proposition F. These propositions dealt with how Bayview/Hunters Point would be developed. Lennar was coupled with Carmen Policy, the former CEO of the SF 49’ers. The 40’ers will get a new stadium once Lennar’s plans are completed and the final funding is obtained.
Conclusions: The Hunters Point redevelopment will costs Billions of dollars to complete and a lot of taxpayer money will ultimately go into the project. The Naval cleanup alone was $120M and it is impossible to estimate the costs that the City of SF has incurred to get this deal through nor the political favors made to grease the skids.
- The Project will include the following phases and infrastructure:
- Phase I: (Hunters Point Parcel A)
- 63 total acres
- Up to 1,400 new homes with approximately 30% affordable to low-income families
- 25 acres of new parks, trails and open space featuring spectacular views of the bay and city
- 9,000 square feet of retail and commercial space for local businesses
- Phase II: (Candlestick Park)
- Approximately 10,500 homes for working families
- More than 300 acres of parks, open space, and active recreation areas
- Includes a New NFL Stadium
- 2 million square feet of commercial space including a Greentech Research Park
- Speeds up environmental cleanup of Hunters Point Shipyard
- Rebuilds Alice Griffith public housing project
- Permanent home for Shipyard artists
- Phase I: (Hunters Point Parcel A)
I am no rocket scientist but this is a rather large city in itself and Lennar has the exclusive development rights. I assume Lennar will not be donating the housing, the commercial properties, the parks, or the NFL stadium when Lennar builds them and that Lennarwill charge for these developments. I am not against a company engaging in for profit activities but not when the taxpayers have to foot a lot of the bill. The city’s financing plan for the project includes lease backs for the park areas. Lennar has to “give” the dirt to the 49’ers to build their new stadium. Wonder who will get that bid to build the stadium? All in all, this deal is in the 10’s of billions of dollars ultimately. Did our politicians do all of this out of their commitment to SF? One can hope… If they did, why has there not been full disclosure?
- 3The Historical Timeline for Hunters Point:
- 1867: Shipyard established as first dry dock on the west coast.
- 1941: U.S. Navy operations begin at Hunters Point Shipyard. The Shipyard plays a critical role in the World War II effort.
- 1974: Hunters Point Shipyard Closed.
- 1993: Congress authorizes transfer of Shipyard to City and County of San Francisco.
- 1999: Lennar selected as the primary developer.
- 2000: Preliminary development concept created.
- 2003: Parcel A approved for residential reuse by federal, state and local agencies. SF Redevelopment Commission approved a Disposition and Development Agreement granting Lennar exclusive development rights for the Hunters Point Shipyard.
- 2004: U.S. Navy transfers Parcel A to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.
- 2005: San Francisco Redevelopment Agency transfers a portion of Parcel A to Lennar/BVHP.
- 2006: Grading stage of construction begins on Parcel A (January).
- 2007: Major grading operations are substantially completed (September). Infrastructure phase of construction begins (September).
- 2008: Infrastructure Phase of construction continues. Home construction expected to begin. San Francisco voters adopt Proposition G, outlining the community’s vision for the revitalization of Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point
- 2009: Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) issued for Phase 2 of project at Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point
- 2010: EIR certified and Development and Disposition Agreement expected to be approved for Phase 2 Home Construction at Parcel A expected to begin
1Lawrence Pelosi LinkedIn Info: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/laurence-pelosi/8/a60/b00
Executive Director, Morgan Stanley, (Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; MS; Real Estate industry), Currently holds this position
Director of Acquisitions, Lennar, (Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; Real Estate industry), January 2002 — March 2005 (3 years 3 months)
2Hunters Point Website hosted by Lennar:
3Hunters Point Historical Time from Lennar Site:
SAN FRANCISCO Navy signs binding pact on first parts of shipyard, 1,600 housing units planned in area — cleanup key to deal
Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau Thursday, April 1, 2004
5Hunters Point Approved Site Plan: http://www.hunterspointcommunity.com/docs/pdfs/Exhibit_A_Preliminary_Site_Plan.pdf
6Fog City Journal, May 28, 2008: http://www.fogcityjournal.com/wordpress/2008/05/bayviewhunters-point-communityhosting-debate-on-proposition-f/