Vigor May Purchase San Francisco Shipyard

Courtesy Forest City

By The Maritime Executive 11-22-2017 07:38:21

Portland-based shipbuilder Vigor Industrial, the owner of the former Todd Shipyard in Seattle, has expressed interest in buying the former BAE Systems shipyard at Potrero Point in San Francisco. The site has been idle since May, when current owner Puglia Engineering decided to shut it down amidst a legal dispute with BAE. 

The dispute between BAE and Puglia centered on the condition of one of the yard's drydocks and on dredging needs; Puglia alleged that it had discovered millions in undisclosed deficiencies after it bought the lease. Vigor EVP for ship repair Adam Beck told the Examiner that the possibility of a deal to take over the shipyard was quite real, but would be conditional on a due diligence review of the state of the yard and its equipment. “There are certainly some challenges in regard to the capital investments that yard needs to move forward and be viable,” he said. Vigor spokeswoman Jill Mackie added that the "outcome will depend significantly on the commitment of the port to upgrade facilities and more information on market opportunities." 

If the sale to Vigor proceeds, the shipyard at Potrero Point will be restarting its operations next to new neighbors. Within a few years’ time, thousands of residents will move into Forest City Realty's Pier 70 project, a 28-acre residential/commercial complex that is finally near to breaking ground. Last week, Forest City received the mayor's endorsement for a plan to redevelop a third of Pier 70 for non-industrial uses, including 3,000 housing units and 400,000 square feet of retail, arts space and light manufacturing. 

Forest City’s Pier 70 project site, shaded in red, and the BAE shipyard and other adjacent land uses, shaded in tan (Pier 70 EIR)

Forest City’s Pier 70 site today (Forest City / Instagram)

Future Pier 70 waterfront with the former BAE shipyard in the background (Forest City)

Future Pier 70 arts space (Forest City)

"This project will provide affordable homes for our families, residents and local workforce, and support a diverse range of local businesses and artists," said Mayor Ed Lee in a signing ceremony last week. "We are taking an underused and neglected part of our City and changing it into a vibrant community that everyone in San Francisco can enjoy."

The project will also include nine acres of parks, giving citizens access to the water once more. "In addition to over $750 million in public benefits, this project will bring access and connection to a piece of the waterfront that has never been accessible, and for that we should be incredibly proud," said city supervisor Malia Cohen.