The Navy will host an Open House at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard on Wednesday, February 8th
The sidewalk rising from behind The Storehouse located just inside the gates forces a decision. To the right is a climb into asphalt and cement where sections of the massive building project emerge in various stages of completion. To the left is public art and a football field-sized patch of green grass at the crest of the hill.
Either way you proceed, you can get to the visitors’ center, a pleasing Southern California-esque structure where salespeople await. Never far away is what may be the development’s major sales point, a grand view of a long-neglected swath of the SF Bay’s waterfront.
Text and images: Jeffrey Betcher
Through the month of January, the Navy is inviting community members to weigh in on the cleanup activity at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Find the survey online.
Innovative entrepreneurs in Bayview Hunters Point are balancing a timely entry into the Bayview Business Boom with the risk of investing too much too soon.
Neil Cayabyab, behind the counter at The Storehouse, points to the wall behind him. “It’s movable,” he says. “So when the Shipyard starts filling up and business increases, we can expand the space.”
The Storehouse is a gleaming little cafe “slash” corner store on Galvez Avenue at Hunters Point where a typical customer carries a hardhat and works at building a new town on the City’s industrial and maritime past. The business provides what sells now: coffee and tea, chips and snacks, sodas and juices from a bank of refrigeration units.
But for what seems like a flexible business plan come to life, that could change. Along with pushing out the walls, Neil tells me, the owner has a plan to do outdoor seating and landscaping as things pick up.
Outdoor seating is in the plan at Simply Delish Bistro, too. The Saiseubyat family has created a restaurant with a more homespun feel. Their menu features standard breakfast and lunch items alongside Asian dishes, all at very affordable prices.
The wall behind the counter doesn’t move, but it can be erased. It’s painted in chalkboard paint so the menu can be changed and customers can share thoughts with a piece of chalk.
Ploy Saiseubyat Fong says the place is really a family affair, and calls to her sister Pearl in the Kitchen to come out for a picture.
We’ve signed a lease for the space next door, and hope to keep this place going while we open a larger restaurant and create outdoor seating,” Ploy tells me.
She knows both the risks and her market. The Wing Stop restaurant that had occupied the space her family is taking over stayed in business a meager eight months. The senior housing above the business is occupied by fixed income folks without much disposable cash.
Ploy’s family moved from Los Angeles, and is now rooted in Bayview where family members have lived for years as renters and homeowners. Ploy’s husband is a fifth generation San Franciscan and a committed member of Bayview’s Redeemer Church faith community.
Ploy waves to a customer as he leaves. “Thanks, Phil!”
Like The Storehouse, Simply Delish is a restaurant that seems to straddle eras. Inside is what feels like a traditional Bayview family business where customers are known by name and the wafer-board walls are just fine for now. But the view through the large front windows is of light rail and other markers of opportunity for future-oriented enterprises willing to grow along with a rapidly changing neighborhood.
In a new SF Business Times video about waterfront development, reporter Cory Weinberg starts at the Giants’ ballpark and heads south. The story suits a pro-business perspective, of course, and jumps over some cool stuff from India Basin to Candlestick. But Cory mentions environmental issues a couple times, and the video is a nicely produced overview of the massive changes underway where we live.
A workshop at the Southeast Community Facility this evening to help list and prioritize the technical assistance that community members need from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Updates about work at Yosemite Slough and Hunters Point Shipyard were kept brief to leave time for a process facilitated by a Technical Assistance Services for Communities (TASC) representative.
TASC is “a third-party, non-advocacy, neutral technical analysis” designed to “help identify community concerns, review documents, present technical information, and provide other technical assistance.”
Emails and calls are invited:
Jackie Lane, EPA Community Involvement Coordinator 415.972.3236
Lily Lee, EPA Remedial Project Manager (for the Shipyard) 415.947.4187
Yvonne Fong, EPA Remedial Project Manager (for Yosemite Slough) 415.947.4117
More information is online:
Karen Slater took a moment while preparing food for Yom Kippur to tell us that the upcoming Open Studios at Hunters Point Shipyard “is shaping up to be a very different experience for artists and for visitors.”
Expect food trucks, live music, a shuttle cart bringing visitors from the main parking areas up to Building 101 and the Auction Tent, and a beer and wine garden run by the Bayview Opera House and featuring Speakeasy beer, and a Shipyard Trust for the Arts pre-auction party at 5pm offering goodies from Auntie April’s.
ArtSeed will be showing selected work from its summer programs along with Studio Affiliate Joseph Aponte. ArtSeed has a new program coordinator, too. Meet Mark Harris when you visit the Shipyard on Saturday and Sunday October 18th and 19th from 11am to 6pm. Organizers could use some help. Call 415.656.9849 to volunteer.
As a part of its continuing efforts to reach out to the community, the Navy invites you to participate in one of the bus tours of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard on August 23rd.
The Navy will lead two guided tours of its cleanup efforts on the former Shipyard and answer questions related to those activities. Prior to boarding the bus, participants will meet inside HPNS Building 101 where the Navy will provide information about the cleanup and sites on the tour.