Plans to build upward of 20,000 new homes in San Francisco got a big jump-start this week, as sources said that homebuilder Lennar has come to a basic agreement with the government-owned China Development Bank on a $1.7 billion loan for major construction at Hunters Point and Treasure Island.
Those two shuttered U.S. Navy bases are at various stages of being obtained by The City, and Chinese capital behind the projects could mean 1,400 newly built homes for sale at Hunters Point by the end of 2013, sources close to the negotiations said.
Smaller aspects of the deal are still being discussed, and could come with conditions that the Chinese Railway Construction Co. — the world’s second-largest construction company — becomes the general contractor on the project.
China’s involvement in U.S. development on this wide a scale is largely unprecedented. The accelerating superpower focuses on the developing world for most of its foreign construction projects.
Sources said that besides the predetermined general contractor and closing the deal before a foreign federal tax deadline Dec. 31, the project will have to comply with all of San Francisco’s many other development regulations — including The City’s local hire ordinance, requiring a portion of workers to be residents. China’s development activities abroad often involve importing a massive Chinese workforce to complete projects such as new arenas, roads and other infrastructure.
Read more: San Francisco Examiner China Development Bank to begin building 20,000 new San Francisco homes