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What's next for Candlestick Park?

  • Candlestick Park in San Francisco was the first waterfront ballpark in the Bay Area. With an ever-changing and modern city skyline, Candlestick, however unique, was not updated to fit the changing needs of fans and sports culture, Friday Dec. 20, 2013. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

Likely more than a year after Monday's final regular-season 49ers home game, developers will destroy what a devastating earthquake could not, leveling Candlestick Park for retail and residential construction.

An earlier-than-expected 49ers departure to Santa Clara next year has accelerated plans for the stadium site within the massive Hunters Point/Candlestick Point project. The first homes are going up within the former shipyards and in four years a huge outdoor urban shopping center is set to rise where the stadium stands.

"The 49ers moved along at a very good clip. We moved our timeline up. It's a great piece of property and enables us to move faster to realize the program, dream and vision," said Kofi Bonner, regional vice president for Lennar Communities, the developer chosen by the city of San Francisco.

Candlestick Park Through the Years

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In planning since 1999, the project began as an effort to build a new football stadium with housing, retail and office space.

With the 49ers ultimately pulling up stakes in San Francisco, the master plan for the nearly 800 acre area features 12,500 residences, 800,000 square feet of retail and more than 3 million square feet of office, research and development space. Parks, trails and open space would span some 320 acres.

"So this is a big, big development project, over a couple decades, and the work is already underway. This is gonna be one of San Francisco's newest and more robust neighborhoods a generation from now," said Phil Ginsburg, general manager for the city of San Francisco Recreation and Parks.

The retail hub for the project is the stadium site.

The shopping center will be outdoors, anchoring the project's Candlestick Point portion. In addition to parking and transit services, plans also call for a hotel, 500 condominiums and apartments, and a 2,000-to-4,000-seat entertainment venue on the stadium site.

But first, the concrete edifice that is Candlestick Park must come down. Demolition is expected in late 2014 or early 2015.

Leveling the 12-story stadium constructed from 50,000 cubic yards of concrete and 9,000 tons of steel is a science of sorts. Not yet known is whether Candlestick comes down in a day or longer.


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