The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on August 31, 1975 · 203
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 203

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San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 31, 1975
Page:
203
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The City: Will Butchertown Get The Business? By Gerald Adams Wedged on an artificial sandspit between the housing developments of Hunters Point and the new LASH terminal of Pacific Far East Lines is the last place in San Francisco where you could build an industrial park of any size. That may not seem important to you, but a lot of people in the know believe there's hardly a more promising chunk of land in an economic sense than that of India Basin, better known as Butchertown. That's if we're to de-fuse the social dynamite represented by some '40,000 jobless people perhaps a fourth of them living around the Hunters Point hill, the 89,000 people on food stamps, the 157,000 on public assistance not to mention the uncounted thousands who just got rent raises following the assessor's boosts in property tax assessments. These 73 acres contain the one place big enough, flat enough and subsidized enough (it's an urban renewal program) where as many as 4,000 blue collar jobs might be created. It has been over six years since the federal government gave the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency the official go-ahead to develope Butchertown-India Basin Industrial Park. Since then, taxpayers have spent more than $22 million to remove both the remaining slaughter houses and some auto wrecking yards and to bulldoze the earth. It seems time, then, to ask where the factories and the jobs are; when the buyers are coming in; whether any prospects have spurned this place for another;' how Redevelopment hopes to buck a two-decade, national trend of blue collar jobs to leave cities; whether Hunters Point's old reputation for social unrest inhibits progress and . what, if anything, is delaying matters. The first day I went there (maybe I picked a bad day), bulldozers were shoving masses of carmel-colored dirt the size of great ocean breakers. Winds were trying to i i i i i -v. AT i wrest the tiny flags from dozens of subdivision stakes. Every few hundred yards, a wooden sign proclaimed "Sites available." Each bore a name and telephone number, but in print so small that I eventually climbed a large mound of soft earth to read where to call. The signs said to call Earl P. Mills, but gave no address. By calling the number, I eventually made my way to his office, an army barracks-style building in the housing project, about a half mile away. "Sorry, Mr. Mills is out." Is there a salesman around? Anyone who can answer a few questions? "No, but if you"ll just leave your name and telephone . . ." Have you sold any sites in the industrial park? "Not yet," a secretary smiled, "but quite a few real estate firms are interested." Couldn't I come back this afternoon? The secretary gave me a small brochure touting Butchertown-India Basin Industrial Park and I left. Other than that brochure and the signs on the site, I saw no sign, poster nor promotional material in the public portions of that office. "We're finding not many people are interested in manufacturing in San Francisco," says Richard J. Marshall, a jolly looking, thirtyish fellow. He's friendly, natural and persuasive. "We've done a lot of local advertising and contacting and not had much response." "So far," says Morris E. Phillips Jr., "we haven't brought in one new job." Phillips is area director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency for the India Basin and Hunters Point Area. He has just added Earl Mills' job to his own tasks. Mills, the man whose name was on all those signs, is doing something else now. Marshall, together with Ed Smith, has been named business development specialist for the industrial park, a position something like that of sales manager. Although the park has theoretically been for sale for years, these salesmen have only been promoting it since March. Phillips says they do have commitments not contracts, mind you from several companies: Pacific Rendering Co., which has a plant nearby and wants two acres in the park; Le Fiell Manufacturing, which makes butcher shop equipment and 10 Auguft 31, 1975Son FrancHoo Sunday Enminar & Chnmid

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