Mirant, now NRG Energy, owned the Potrero Hill Power Plant for a few years before this project. The plant was the only remaining power plant in San Francisco and faced community and political pressure to close. BMWL was hired to strategize and negotiate a financially attractive shutdown and reuse plan. Part of the difficulty facing Mirant was that it couldn’t make a unilateral decision about how and when to close Potrero, first needing state regulators to confirm that the city had a firm, reliable source of electricity and the plant was no longer needed. The new Mirant leadership had one opportunity to reintroduce itself to a key group of elected officials and experienced neighborhood activists. BMWL embarked on two tracks — first, negotiating with the City to determine the parameters for shutting down the plant if and when state regulators gave approval and second, beginning a “community planning process” with surrounding neighborhoods to explore the highest, best use of the land after the plant was shut down. In the end, Mirant successfully negotiated the parameters of shutting down the plant and redeveloping the property with the City Attorney. Eventually state regulators authorized the closure and, while not final yet, plans for turning these 22 acres of bayside land into a mixed-use development are well on their their way.
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