potrero power station
Potrero Hill

Potrero Power Station

The Potrero Power Station Mixed-Use Project (PPS) will open a large portion of the City’s Central Waterfront to the public for the first time in 150 years. It will be the location of new homes, office uses, laboratory uses, retail, PDR (light industrial/arts) uses, community facilities, and nearly 7 acres of open space. The Project Master Plan and Development Agreement were approved by the Board of Supervisors in April 2020 and enacting legislation signed by Mayor London Breed became effective on May 25, 2020. Visit the tabs below for additional project information.

Background

San Francisco’s Central Waterfront has been a center of industry for over 150 years. While industrial uses will continue to be an important element of the urban fabric in the Central Waterfront, including at PPS, the City’s Central Waterfront Area Plan identifies the site as a location for additional growth and a wider range of land uses, including residential, commercial, and parks.

For decades before it was decommissioned, the Potrero Power Station supplied a significant portion of the city’s energy. However, as a coal-powered facility, it was also a significant source of pollution, particularly in San Francisco’s southeast quadrant. Through efforts spearheaded by both City and community leaders, the City and facility owner, Mirant Potrero LLC, signed a Settlement Agreement to permanently cease power-generating operations at the Power Station as soon as redundant energy sources could come online. This occurred in the late 2000’s and the Power Station ceased operations in 2011. 

Planning Process

The Settlement Agreement contemplated future uses for the property and committed the City and the property owner to collaborate on a redevelopment proposal for the site. In 2016, Associate Capital/California Barrel Company (Project Sponsor) purchased the Potrero Power Station from then-owner NRG Energy and in 2017 began an extensive planning process with City agencies and the community to develop a master plan for the site. In late 2017 Associate Capital initiated preparation of the environmental impact report for the master plan. Also around this time, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), an earlier owner of the site, began environmental remediation under the review of the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The overall vision is for PPS – along with the Pier 70 site just to the north – to be a key element in the ongoing transformation of the Central Waterfront to a neighborhood that provides thousands of new homes and jobs, community-serving retail and services, new space for light industrial businesses and arts uses, a hotel, several acres of new parks, community facilities, and unprecedented waterfront access. 

The Project’s Master Plan and Development Agreement (DA) – the latter establishes the terms of the PPS project between the City and the Project Sponsor – were unanimously approved by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in January 2020 and April 2020, respectively. Mayor London Breed signed the legislation enacting the Development Agreement on April 24, 2020. The Effective Date of the DA is May 25, 2020.

Legislation

Mayor London Breed signed the legislation enacting the Development Agreement on April 24, 2020. The Effective Date of the DA is May 25, 2020.

Program Elements

The Project, as described in the DA and Master Plan document – also known as the Design for Development or “D4D” – will include the following program elements:

  • Housing: Approximately 2,477 dwelling units (30% below market rate)
  • Open Space: Approximately 6.9 acres of new open space with amenities including a rooftop soccer field, passive and active recreation areas, a playground, Bay Trail extension, and waterfront access. Three signature open space areas include:
    • The ~1.2-acre “Power Station Park” 
    • The ~0.6-acre “Stack Plaza” 
    • The ~3-acre waterfront park, which opens up over 1,000 linear feet of shoreline to the public for the first time in 150 years. 
  • Commercial Uses: Approximately 1.8 million gross square feet of commercial uses, including:
    • 100,000 sq ft retail
    • 800,000 sq ft office
    • 650,000 sq ft life science/laboratory
    • 240,000 sq ft hotel (250 rooms)
    • 35,000 sq ft Production, Distribution, and Repair (“PDR” i.e. light industrial/arts) uses
    • 25,000 square feet of entertainment/assembly uses
  • Community Facilities: Approximately 50,000 sq ft of community facilities
  • Childcare: Approximately 12,000 sq ft dedicated to childcare facilities
  • Parking: Approximately 2,686 off-street automobile parking spaces
  • Urban Form: Building heights ranging from 65 to 240 feet
  • Transportation: Transportation and circulation improvements, shoreline improvements, and utility infrastructure improvements including a new multi-modal street network, bike infrastructure, and new Muni bus route terminus
  • Environmental Resilience & Sustainability: Sea level rise adaptation and green infrastructure; all buildings to be built to LEEDv4 Gold standard or better
  • Historic Preservation: Preservation of Station A, the iconic Stack structure, and potentially the Unit 3 power block. Design standards and guidelines in the Master Plan will govern new development on the site to ensure compatibility with on-site and adjacent historic structures and districts.

Included in the 29-acre PPS Master Plan is a 4.8 acre parcel at the corner of 22nd and Illinois Streets currently owned and operated by PG&E as an electrical switchyard. PG&E granted the Project Sponsor approval to include this switchyard site in its planning and environmental clearance for the project. Ultimate built-out of the PG&E lands according to the Master Plan will depend on the relocation of the switchyard and the property coming within the legal jurisdiction of the Development Agreement. 

Potrero Power station boundary aerial view
Potrero Power Station Project Boundaries

 

Information found here is related to the planning and approval process for the Potrero Power Station leading up to its final approval in April 2020. For additional information related to community outreach conducted by the Project Sponsor, visit their website here. To view the Project’s approved documents, see the Supporting Info tab.

For information related to Project implementation, including upcoming community meetings and workshops, see the Project Implementation tab.

Planning Milestone and Approval Timeline

Date Description Materials
May 25, 2020 Development Agreement Effective Date Development Agreement
April 21, 2020
  • Board of Supervisors Project Approval Hearing (second reading)
  • Approved unanimously

     

April 14, 2020
  • Board of Supervisors Project Approval Hearing (first reading)
  • Approved unanimously

     

April 13, 2020
  • Board of Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Committee Hearing
  • Recommended unanimously
January 30, 2020
  • Planning Commission Project Approval Hearing
  • Commission voted 5-0 to certify the project EIR and to adopt resolutions recommending approval of the project by the Board of Supervisors
  • Calendar (see Agenda, Supporting, and Minutes)
September 5, 2019
  • Informational Presentation to the Planning Commission
  • Initiation of General Plan Amendments related to the Project
August 22, 2019 Second publication of Public Review Draft Project documents
See Adopted Project Documents
  • Public Review Draft #2 Design for Development 
  • Public Review Draft #2 Infrastructure Master Plan 
  • Transportation Demand Management Plan Draft
  • Draft Development Agreement Key Terms
April 25, 2019 Public Presentation to the Planning Commission on the draft Design for Development document
November 8, 2018 Public Presentation to the Planning Commission
October 3, 2018 First publication of Public Review Draft Project documents
See Adopted Project Documents
  • Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR)
  • Public Review Draft #1 Design for Development
  • Public Review Draft #1 Infrastructure Master Plan
August 23, 2018 Public Presentation to the Planning Commission
August 1, 2018 Public Presentation to the Historic Preservation Commission
April 16, 2018 Public Presentation to the Eastern Neighborhoods Citizens Advisory Committee
March 21, 2018 Public Presentation to the Architectural Review Committee
November 15, 2017 EIR Notice of Preparation Scoping Meeting
November 1, 2017 EIR Notice of Preparation Filed
September-December 2017 Submittal of Preliminary Project Assessment and review by the Planning Department

Adopted Potrero Power Station Project Documents

Background Documents

Upcoming

Information on upcoming events and milestones will be posted here when available. Please subscribe to the project to receive email notifications.

Project Phases

The Potrero Power Station project will be built in multiple phases over a 30-year period. Prior to the commencement of each project phase, the Project Sponsor is required to submit a Phase Application for approval to the Planning Department describing the proposed development program of each phase. Phase Applications and related information will be posted here when they are available.