July 10, 2013
The Big Dollars Behind The 8 Washington Street Battle To Date
In addition, Boston Properties, owner of 4 Embarcadero Center to the west of 8 Washington Street, has spent $125,750 to block the development, second only to the individual spending of Barbara Stewart whose Bay views would be blocked by the development as well.
At the same time, Open Up the Waterfront has raised $464,990 and spent $322,000 to promote a competing ballot measure which would allow for the development of 8 Washington Street, with Pacific Waterfront Partners (the developer) having contributed $214,990, Cahill Contractors (the builder) having contributed $150,000, and Skidmore Owings & Merrill (the designer) having contributed $100,000 to the campaign.
∙ Boston Properties has spent $125,000 to kill 8 Washington [Business Times]
∙ The Money And Motivation Behind The Anti-8 Washington Measure [SocketSite]
First Published: July 10, 2013 11:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
So the Embarcadero Center isn't a wall on the waterfront, but 8 Washington is? Riiiiight.
Posted by: James at July 10, 2013 12:27 PM
I just simply love that my money has allowed all of San Francisco to validate that my living room view is of the UTMOST importance!
I love paying for democracy!
Posted by: Babs at July 10, 2013 1:01 PM
James, Embacadero 4 is set quite far back from The Embarcadero. The one-block wide Justin Herman plaza is between the building and the road.
Anyway, arguments like this are not valid, e.g. "if this bad thing exists, then another bad thing must be allowed to exist." Sorry, no.
Posted by: anon at July 10, 2013 1:13 PM
please explain how a public park and a new building lower than neighboring buildings is a bad thing.
Posted by: lyqwyd at July 10, 2013 1:19 PM
The proponents of these measures should use more honest titles. How about:
"No, don't block my view"
"Open up more sweetheart developer deals"
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at July 10, 2013 1:22 PM
No wonder MUNI is broken, when our political process is abused and dragged down like this.
Will the city the knows how to whine ever sort itself out?
Posted by: sf at July 10, 2013 2:03 PM
Ugh, I'll be voting no on both of these. This fight does not have me reconsidering my decision to vote no on all ballot props/init's.
Posted by: Rillion at July 10, 2013 2:18 PM
Sure, and all the piers also form a wall on the waterfront, quite literally. And none of these are bad things. The tennis club is currently a black chain-link fence on the waterfront that blocks the view if you're standing behind it... I'd rather have at least a wall of shops and restaurants.
Posted by: James at July 10, 2013 2:23 PM
You realize that by voting no on both, you are aligning yourself with the no wall on the waterfront people.
Posted by: Bob at July 10, 2013 2:30 PM
At this point I'd support an actual wall, if only to pizz off the obnoxious NIMBYs. Throw in some guard towers and razorwire. Forget about the stupid "Paris of the West" moniker, let's be 1970s Berlin of the West.
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at July 10, 2013 2:59 PM
Open up the waterfront is a terrible name, almost to the point of that initiatives assured loss.
Posted by: Sam at July 10, 2013 3:44 PM
If Ms. Stewart prevails and this project is rejected, I hope she will spend some of her increased net worth on connecting the neighborhood to the waterfront at Jackson Street.
Posted by: Tim Bracken at July 10, 2013 3:59 PM
Open up the waterfront! I think it sounds very reasonable.
Posted by: Snark17 at July 10, 2013 4:03 PM
Anyone against this is just an as*hole. Period!
Why is this city so anti-progress? Someone should paint that mean old hags window black.
Posted by: Moto mayhem at July 10, 2013 4:21 PM
The 8 Washington developers talk of a public park is a bit of a joke.
Posted by: DB at July 10, 2013 4:36 PM
@DB - you're totally right. The private fenced off country club is much more of a "park" than anything the developer would build!
Posted by: Bob at July 10, 2013 4:45 PM
So basically the anti-development crowds claim is that there's no park when there is, and a wall when there isn't.
Posted by: lyqwyd at July 10, 2013 5:07 PM
This feels so much like some lame high school clique brawl.
Posted by: Can't think of cool name at July 10, 2013 5:45 PM
This is obviously a terrible situation, where the neighborhood NIMBYS put on a referendum called "No Wall on the Waterfront" and the developer is forced to counteract with something, called "Open up the Waterfront." While right thinking people may well want to say a pox on all their houses and vote No on both, this would result in the worst possible conclusion: The NIMBYs would win, and a very good, modestly sized development would lose. And thus the public would lose. Because of how these measures were written, the correct vote is Yes and Yes. Yes and Yes confirms the votes of the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors (twice), the Rec and Park Commission, and the State Lands Commission. And we get 134 new housing units, $11 million in affordable housing, public parks, a rebuilt rec club, $100m to the Port and City. And replacement of an eyesore with a beautiful new civic place.
Posted by: Jim at July 10, 2013 10:20 PM
This is huge irony for owner of Embarcadero 4, a giant 30 floors concrete slab that can justifiably called a wall, to rail against a mid rise. The very existence of Embarcadero 4 should be a blessing to the much shorter 8 Washington. Look at the pictures the building step up so well to the much taller buildings in the background. Boston Properties is a total NIMBY.
Posted by: Wai Yip Tung at July 11, 2013 12:16 AM
@bob: I believe if both fail to pass then it reverts to allowing the development as the "No Wall on the Waterfront" group is trying to overturn the exemption that has been granted to the development.
Posted by: Rillion at July 11, 2013 9:26 AM
Jim, same question basically as I posed to Bob, how come if both init's fail that it results in blocking the development? My understanding of the history of this is that the 'No Wall' group went to the ballot in the first place to block this development, why do they win if their init fails? Seems to me their init would HAVE to pass in order to block this development. Am I missing something?
Posted by: Rillion at July 11, 2013 9:29 AM
@Jim, @Rillion - I agree, if a No vote on a "No Wall on the Waterfront" means the development is blocked, that's misleading the voters. The initiative should be stricken from the ballot.
Posted by: Kenz at July 11, 2013 12:55 PM
Of course the biggest irony may be this: guess who was the project manager for the construction of Embarcadero Center? Simon Snellgrove.
Posted by: JKD at July 11, 2013 4:33 PM
After reading Moto Mayhem's comment i feel i have had my first Psychiatric encounter.
"Anyone against this is just an as*hole. Period! Why is this city so anti-progress? Someone should paint that mean old hags window black."
The Redevelopment Agency sold at a low price this land to be used for recreation. Not condos.
Then after calling us (as holes) he said some one should paint the hags window black. this is a crime to do so.
Moto is a punk.
Posted by: mark at July 11, 2013 6:14 PM
My name is moto mayhem. Of course in a punk. Or at least I was 25 yrs ago:)
You know I'm not serious about painting over a window, but people's sense of entitlement is crazy! Lets block progress because we are currently on top. Well, people sitting on top always want to freeze time. Fortunately we have a pseudo democracy , to squash this type of monarchical despicable me ness
Posted by: Moto mayhem at July 12, 2013 7:05 AM
The nature of the City is that it's always growing and changing. Views are not guaranteed, and there's nothing stopping people from strolling around the Embarcadero to soak in the waterfront. It's ridiculous when the City is dealing with high housing demand and very little inventory that arguments like these still hold weight.
Posted by: Joel V at July 12, 2013 4:43 PM