An investor group backed by failed gubernatorial candidate and Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman just purchased a huge swath of land on the eastern edge of San Francisco, setting the stage for what could be a massive development in the Dogpatch. The Business Times reports that the property is the old Potrero Power Plant, a 21-acre site on the San Francisco Bay, and that the group Associate Capital purchased it for an unknown sum.
The site's previous owner, Houston-based NRG Energy, had recently been working with a different developer to create a plan for 3 million square feet of retail, open space, and housing. That deal obviously did not go through, although the reason for the failure is unclear.
Where the property sits at 1201 Illinois Street is not that far from another huge proposed developed in India Basin. Developer Build Inc. intends to construct 1,000 condos on a plot of land just south of the recently purchased power plant. That project alone would have transformed the eastern side of the city, however if plans for the Illinois Street site are proposed (and approved) that resemble the now-discarded NRG Energy plans we could see an even more substantial change to an already bustling neighborhood.
The Business Times reports that Associate Capital beat out ten other bidders for the site, and represents a new trend with large-scale developers. Specifically, Chris Foley of Polaris Pacific, a company that researches and markets condos, told the publication that the super wealthy are increasingly looking outside of the stock market and tech for places to put their money, and San Francisco real estate is an attractive proposition.
That being said, approval for large-scale developments in San Francisco rarely comes easily. However, with Foley calling the lot “one of the last premier large-scale development sites in San Francisco,” we're sure Associate Capital will try very hard to get it done.