Lucas Moves Forward on $150M Affordable Housing Project
- Apr 25, 2015
George Lucas is planning to bankroll the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest affordable housing project, an estimated $150 million development at the Grady Ranch site in Marin County to specific groups of people such as firefighters, teachers and nurses.
According to the proposal submitted to local authorities, the entertainment magnate would build 120 two-and three-bedroom workforce housing units designated for service professionals like firefighters, teachers and nurse. Another 104 one- and two-bedroom residences would be set aside for seniors. Community amenities would feature a community center, pool, a small farm and an orchard. Transportation infrastructure would include interior roads and a bus stop.
As early as 2012, the Marin Community Foundation announced that it was working with the “Star Wars” franchise creator on an affordable housing project, after local opposition scuttled Lucasfilms’plans for a major production studio. Developing a community of residents making far less than the Marin County average of $90,000-plus annually was seen as detrimental to local property values. Some have since speculated that the affordable housing project was as a form of retaliation against Lucas’ neighbors.
However, Lucas defenders were quick to point out his extensive philanthropic activity. Lucas is a member of Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge initiative, which commits some of the world’s wealthiest people to donate least half of their estates to charity.