The Real Deal New York

San Francisco’s housing shortage is so bad that an $8 billion development is rising on a former nuclear test site — here’s what it’s like

By Business Insider | December 24, 2017 10:00AM

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A sprawling middle-class neighborhood is rising on the site of the retired San Francisco Naval Shipyard in Hunters Point. But before residents arrived at this long-forgotten patch of the city’s waterfront, the area was home to a federally run nuclear test site.

In a secret laboratory used for decades after World War II, the US Navy ran tests on ships exposed to atomic weapons and conducted research about the effects of radiation on living organisms. The shipyard’s closure in 1994 left behind San Francisco’s worst toxic-waste dump.

Developer Five Point, a spinoff of Lennar (the nation’s largest housing builder), has set out to transform the abandoned San Francisco Naval Shipyard and the neighboring Candlestick area into a bustling live-work community with 12,000 new homes and roughly 5 million square feet of office and commercial space.

Business Insider recently explored what is left of the shipyard before the new residential community takes its place. It was not pretty.

After the shipyard closed in 1994, the site was left abandoned for 19 years.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Buildings that once contained barracks, schools, a cafeteria, and other non-industrial facilities were emptied and left to rot. Paint now chips away like fingernail polish.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency

There are few reminders of what was there before, save for some signage and furniture.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Most doors have been chained closed.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Sunlight streams through broken windows.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider