There are about fifty blocks full of surveyed and zoned "water lots" in South Basin, southeastern San Francisco -- property which is presently part of the San Francisco Bay. See these blocks on Zillow; 5000 square feet of bay appears to change hands for a few hundred dollars.

Water lots in the port section of the city were once the subject of speculation and political drama. The city government was badly indebted and not supposed to draw or sell off water lots, but did so. Much of today's downtown is land that was once water lots.

On the southern waterfront near the present county line, quite a few city blocks of South Basin were never filled in. Maybe it had somehow to do with the adjacent naval shipyard at Hunter's Point or the establishment of today's Candlestick Point State Recreation Area.

When were these blocks and lots defined?


Presumably this had to do with the Save the Bay movement that started in the early sixties. This movement was a backlash against the filling that had happened up unto that point:

While Reber’s plan never broke ground, many others did and by 1961, the Bay was a third smaller than it was a little more than a century before.

The particular trigger was a map printed by the Oakland Tribune that predicted that at current rates, the San Francisco Bay would be nearly gone by 2020.

What the exact history of the development you mention is not clear, but the backlash in the sixties put a stop to nearly all infilling of the bay.


In 1955 the State Assembly passed AB3806, creating the Hunters Point Reclamation District. According to G.R. Dow's thesis "Bay Fill in San Francisco", the City government was bullish on locating a new wholesale produce terminal at South Basin and the Board of Supervisors passed some measures for this project (Dow cites 1955/1573, 1957/1999, and 1963/1273). In 1964 the project was still a going concern, with 70 acres filled and more expected soon, per the report of the San Francisco Bay Conservation Study Commission (map on pages 23-24, data on page 34).

In 1965, thanks to the organization Save the Bay, the state passed the McAteer-Petris Act, so creating the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which soon ended up opposing development in court. In the 1970 case Candlestick Properties, Inc. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission a state appeals court held for the SFBCDC, which seems to have put the kibosh on further filling in South Basin.

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