February 27, 2012

Piers 30-32 Dropped From AC34 Development Plan, Lawsuit Filed

AC34 Rendering: Piers 30-32

Following weeks of contentious negotiations, the America’s Cup Event Authority is dropping Piers 30-32 from its development plans and giving up its claim on Seawall 330, the undeveloped lot adjacent to the Watermark. Race teams will now be berthed at Pier 80.

At the same time, having unsuccessfully appealed the Planning Commission’s certification of the Environmental Impact Report for the venue work necessary to host the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco, "Waterfront Watch" has since filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block, or at least delay, any race related development.

Former San Francisco Board of Supervisors president Aaron Peskin is listed as a petitioner in the lawsuit, which appears to have been filed as leverage to renegotiate the terms of the City's Host Agreement with race organizers.

Originally scheduled to be reviewed by San Francisco’s full Board of Supervisors tomorrow, a vote on the new new terms of the old host agreement is on hold.

Pier Pressure And The Price San Francisco Taxpayers Might Pay [SocketSite]
San Francisco’s Last Minute Giveaways To Get The America’s Cup [SocketSite]
Appealing The Impact Of The America's Cup In San Francisco [SocketSite]
Lawsuit filed over key America's Cup environmental report [Examiner]
Rendering Scoop: San Francisco's Major America’s Cup Venues [SocketSite]

First Published: February 27, 2012 4:15 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Great job SF government. It will be much better to have these empty rotting piers in a prime location stay as a parking lot rather than developed into anything else. What a missed opportunity - SF, the city that knows how to convene the most reviews and committees to ensure that everything stays the same.

Posted by: SFSquee at February 27, 2012 4:23 PM

Our own little Napoleon rebel has found a new cause.

Posted by: lol at February 27, 2012 4:24 PM

Another giant failure by SF. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Pathetic.

Posted by: Old Mission Neighbor at February 27, 2012 4:43 PM

Great comment @lol: Yes, Napoleon Peskin continues his wretched self-importance and bringing down of our great City.

Posted by: futurist at February 27, 2012 4:44 PM

Did I miss something? What's the reasoning for filing the lawsuit? What's the problem with these plans? Why is anyone complaining? Are there any facts available..?

Someone needs a good dick punch.

Posted by: Rob at February 27, 2012 5:00 PM

I was a supporter of having SF host the America's Cup in the beginning, but I sure as heck don't want to see the taxpayers on the hook for any of the work needed to improve the waterfront. If Ellison and his cronies want development rights and a sweetheart lease on the piers, then they better guarantee that they're going to pay for the improvements.

Posted by: Fishchum at February 27, 2012 5:00 PM

I think that the people that are currently "running" San Francisco are getting too old. Obviously there is a giant generational gap, and the views at each end of the spectrum vary quite a bit.

Anything that improves the water front and access to the public should be extremely high on the list of priorities.

Posted by: Andreas at February 27, 2012 5:04 PM

Whoops - was trying to agree with Fishchum but Andreas got in the way.

Posted by: Legacy Dude at February 27, 2012 5:08 PM

Did you think Peskin wasn't going to insert himself into the process? Eventually? Besides, this area is just fine for Kaboom! or whatever. They should put the farmer's market here, since now we know the city thinks it's just fine to give away and so a low-income tenant would actually be a net win from now on.

Posted by: EH at February 27, 2012 6:03 PM

The SF board of [Removed by Editor] suck!!! They would rather focus on plastic bags, happy meal and gold fish bans instead of focusing on what is best for our city! You lost the 49ers ..you are also going to lose the America cup too!! Truly truly Pathetic!!

Posted by: Chiu&CoSUCKS at February 27, 2012 8:49 PM

You lost the 49ers ..you are also going to lose the America cup too!!

Given the chance, I hope we "lose" as many opportunities to subsidize private, profit-making entities as possible.

Posted by: Po Hill Jeff at February 27, 2012 9:20 PM

you are also going to lose the America cup too

LOL, AC needs SF way more than vice versa. How do you think these two massive chunks of real estate were pretty much silently dropped from the plan? Larry Ellison certianly didn't stick his neck out for it, which is de rigeur. AC needs SF more.

Of course now the question is whether dropping this and Seawall 330 was an advance on some other giveaway. Someone in another thread was talking about some development on the TH side of Embarcadero associated with this (GGAC?), so maybe that's why Peskin is on the case, timingwise: to make sure nothing like that happens.

Posted by: EH at February 27, 2012 9:31 PM

Remind me again why Peskin and the THD crew still hold such enormous power in sf?
I hate him.

Posted by: Bob at February 27, 2012 9:35 PM

I'm sure that this waterfront has a higher purpose than subsidizing a bunch of high rollers running a wealth-flaunting contest in a recession.

Posted by: heynonnynonny at February 27, 2012 11:59 PM

"Someone needs a good dick punch." Yeah, Peakin, and probably multiple times.

Pathetic. This could have all been negotiated a year ago instead of a month before construction needs to start.

What an absolute failure. Watching SF run the City is like a slow motion train wreck.

Posted by: anon at February 28, 2012 9:00 AM

For my entire life (over 50 yrs), these piers have been slowly sinking into the Bay awaiting the perfect Progressive use. This was a unique opportunity to begin creating something special on our waterfront. So what if, God forbid, someone made a profit from it. But no, once again, Aaron Peskin and his band of SELFISH old white biddies have preserved whatever it is they (and only they) love so dearly. Thank you.

Posted by: Rome is Burning at February 28, 2012 9:39 AM

Rome - I have no problem with someone making a profit, I just don't think the taxpayers should foot the bill while a private entity headed up by a billionaire makes the profit.

Posted by: Fishchum at February 28, 2012 10:18 AM

There are better uses for the waterfront than as parking for limo companies. But that doesn't mean that the city should just give it away to a developer masquerading as a non-profit sports league just because their pockets are full of cash.

Consider the Exploratarium and the Ferry Building, both recent investments on the waterfront that provide tangible benefit to residents and visitors. Few people regret the city's subsidy of those developments.

There's no problem with the PA leasing these properties to developers. But link that deal to a cash stream appropriate for the valuable central waterfront location. Don't just give it away.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at February 28, 2012 10:23 AM

If AC can use Pier 80 and save everyone time and money, this is a good thing. Why applaud giving away chunks of the waterfront if it's not necessary to holding the AC?

Posted by: Dan at February 28, 2012 10:23 AM

To all the folks who are disappointed in SF city government and the lack of development on the waterfront, remember it this November when the City wants to pass a bunch of tax increases and take your hard-earned money for doing no or counter-productive work.

Voting no to tax increases is the best way to send a collective "dick punch" to the local government.

Posted by: Live Smart at February 28, 2012 11:36 AM

Dan,

Pier 30-32 would not have been 'given away' but instead leased. It would be the beneficiary of $50MM in improvements and then be developed into something other than a dilapidated parking lot. Seawall 330 is the carrot for that development. It would be given away and in exchange it would be developed into housing.

So at the end of the day you get $50-75MM of free development plus millions a year in tax receipts.

Posted by: anon at February 28, 2012 11:39 AM

I would gladly pay more taxes to kickstart something meaningful on this pier. Anything as long as there are good sidewalk cafes and access to decent sunlight.

Posted by: lol at February 28, 2012 11:53 AM

anon - that's not my take on the deal at all. The lease were well below market rate, apparently. That $50M in improvements has also skyrocketed to well over $100M from what I've read - with no guarantee as to who's going to pay for it - meaning it'll most likely be the taxpaying citizens of SF.

Then, on top of all that, the city is supposed to reimburse the Event Authority for the improvements they've made?

In what way is this is a good deal for San Francisco citizens?

Posted by: Fishchum at February 28, 2012 12:31 PM

The way this article is written makes it sound like a City decision. This was decided by ACA, probably for financial reasons. The costs for Pier 30-32 only represented over 60% of the total construction budget and represented the greatest risks for increased costs due to unforseen conditions. No where near as many racing teams as were anticipated are signing up. This was supposed to be the pit area but none of the pit occupants actually materialized.

Posted by: oneeyedman at February 28, 2012 1:18 PM

perfect, these lots are badly needed to relieve overcrowding in the Tenderloin

Posted by: wrath at February 29, 2012 3:08 PM

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