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San Francisco gains edge in battle for Lucas' 'Star Wars' museum

In the fight to land George Lucas’ Star Wars Museum, San Francisco’s latest offer of prime waterfront property — which counters a lakefront offer in Chicago — may have tipped the balance towards the West Coast, a highly placed source said.

“It was more than a fifty-fifty chance that Chicago was going to get it until San Francisco made its latest bid,” the source said Wednesday.

But officially, the Lucas camp is maintaining radio silence.

“We’ll have no further comment until both cities have made their presentations to the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum,” David Perry, a spokesman for Lucas, said in an email.

San Francisco’s proposed site is near the Bay Bridge and adjacent to a pier that the Golden State Warriors basketball team had been eyeing for a new arena until regulatory obstacles and community opposition scuttled the plan, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee is expected to announce the proposal on Thursday.

The site, which is publicly owned, has been appraised at $30 million. The pier across from the site would also be available to Lucas, according to the Chronicle.

The museum would house Lucas’ lifetime art collection and movie memorabilia.

Lucas is married to Chicago businesswoman Mellody Hobson and the Second City has become his second home.

Raised in Modesto, Lucas has said he doesn’t have enough wall space at his 6,000-acre Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, and he intends to invest up to $300 million of his money for the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum with another $400 million endowment upon his death.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek