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George Lucas' latest project offers a new hope

The billionaire plans to give up part of his property in San Francisco for a 224-unit affordable housing development.
George Lucas speaks in Washington, DC in 2012. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
George Lucas speaks in Washington, DC in 2012.

Filmmaker George Lucas, creator of the "Star Wars" movies, has a new project that's already generating buzz.

His efforts this time aren't focused on Hollywood, though, but San Francisco, where the billionaire director is offering some of his own land and money to create one of the largest affordable housing projects in city.

Lucas reportedly plans to give up part of his property in west Marin County for a 224-unit development, according to local news. He is planning to build rental housing that will accommodate senior citizens and local workers. In perhaps the most remarkable part of his idea, Lucas intends to pay for the entire project himself, without federal, state, or other grant aid, The Contra Costa Times reported on Wednesday.

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The plan, expected to be submitted to the county Community Development Agency this week, calls for 120 two- and three-bedroom "workforce" residences, and 104 one- and two-bedroom residences for seniors, according to the Times. There will also be four parking garages, but nothing would be visible from Lucas Valley Road.

Previously, his wealthy neighbors vetoed his plan to build a large movie-making studio at the Marin County Skywalker Ranch. He originally introduced the idea in 1996. But he nixed his plans 16 years later in April 2012, instead turning his focus to constructing low-income housing at the same location in the Bay Area.

Conservationists and homeowners in the area had said Lucas' housing project could never be built in such a remote, rural area, The San Francisco Chronicle previously reported.

Lucas is credited with creating some of cinema's most beloved characters, and writing and directing four of the six "Star Wars" movies, along with conceiving four "Indiana Jones" films. "Star Wars" fans had another reason to rejoice on Thursday because a new teaser the latest installment of the sci-fi saga hit the web.