June 3, 2013

No Wall On The Waterfront!

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The approved 8 Washington Street project would raze the existing Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club and adjacent Port of San Francisco owned parking lot and construct a 165-unit condo building rising up to 136 feet in height upon the site which was originally zoned for up to 84 feet. The development would also yield new retail, a fitness facility with outdoor pools, and 30,000 square feet of public open space, playgrounds, and parks.

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From the Sierra Club which opposes the 8 Washington Street development:

A coalition of environmental and neighborhood groups collected 31,000 signatures in less than 30 days last summer to ask voters whether they want to approve increased waterfront height limits to allow a high-rise luxury condo complex to be built at 8 Washington Street. The tower would be built on publicly owned waterfront land along the Embarcadero across from the Ferry Building and on an adjacent private lot that currently houses a well-used family recreation and sports center.
For decades the Sierra Club has worked for strict building height limits on San Francisco’s waterfront to keep it open for public use and enjoyment rather than blocked by a wall of high-rise towers, as has happened to public waterfronts in Miami, San Diego, and elsewhere.
The Club will be working throughout 2013 with a citywide coalition of neighborhood associations, waterfront businesses, and tenant groups called "No Wall on the Waterfront" to urge San Francisco voters to reject the 8 Washington waterfront height-limit increase on the Nov. 5 ballot.

As we first reported last year, the No Wall on the Waterfront initiative was funded in large part by a couple who live next to the 8 Washington site in a condo which was purchased for $2,400,000 with views over the tennis and swim club as one of its major selling points.

Consider "Liking" this post in order to show your support for the No Wall on the Waterfront ballot measure which will also register your vote in our informal poll.

And while there's no "Dislike" button for those who oppose this anti-8 Washington Street measure, there is a proposed countermeasure for you to "Like" instead: Open Up The Waterfront!

First Published: June 3, 2013 12:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

While it's unlikely anyone besides the Dwellers would support this one, the way socketsite went about addressing this issue (two competing posts) is clumsy and confusing, and unlikely to add to the discussion.

Posted by: mdreaming at June 3, 2013 10:19 AM

Dont be too sure that it is only Dwellers who oppose this. There are plenty of people who feel that building on or near the waterfront has reached an acceptable limit ... and of course these are people who are not developers but just plain San Franciscans.

Posted by: Oceangoer at June 3, 2013 1:31 PM

The opposition to 8 Washington is an example of "making the perfect the enemy of the good". Opponents want a "perfect solution" - which is a smaller building that keeps the positives of the proposal - the public park/openspace; opening up streets to the Bay; getting rid of the fences and parking lots that currently blight this location.

What we have now is pretty good - heights higher than some would like, but we get the open space/park added, we get the city re-connected with the water again (goodbye, 12' tall green tennis court fences), we get rid of the ground-level parking lot.

What we're going to end up with if opponents win, is a squat development that builds up to the allowed height, with none of the amenities. By seeking the perfect, we get something that is worse than 8 Washington as proposed.

Posted by: Mike at June 3, 2013 6:07 PM

This should be revised to be 40+ stories or higher. It allows more people to live where they work, which reduces the number of vehicles that enter downtown every day. Make 40% below market rate and everyone is happy. Its ridiculous that such prime development real estate has to be wasted on squat residential buildings.

Posted by: San Francisco Skyscraper Forum at June 3, 2013 8:58 PM

Totally agree with mdreaming: clumsy, confusing & I'll add immature as well!

Posted by: sfjohn at June 4, 2013 10:59 AM

The "Open Up the Waterfront" campaign is rather disingenuous (not to say the other side doesn't have some dubious arguments of their own), but: the pool area is going to be a membership club just like the present Golden Gateway club. They say "open membership", but it already is open membership: anyone can join Golden Gateway's club too.

The "open space"? Actually really not that much more. The triangle at the end of the parcel is already green area. They're expanding it by the length of that last tennis court.

And really, opening up the waterfront? Embarcadero is going to be fronted by buildings, rather than the chain link fence. This is opening it up?

As for the new alley down Jackson, yes, we'll get a sliver of sight line, but at the moment, if you are on Drumm looking at the fencing around the club, you have only the fence to look over and see the sky; the new development will have a 100+ ft building in front of you.

Posted by: bunt at June 4, 2013 2:32 PM

I have occasionally played at the ports club there so i will miss it but frankly this seems like a good development.

A more livable longterm solution would be to limit access to the downtown area entirely - like they do in singapore - unless you live or work there, no access.

Posted by: Wrath at June 9, 2013 9:38 AM

Posted by: SocketSite at November 5, 2013 8:18 AM

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