August 26, 2013

Warriors Arena Plan Already Behind Schedule, Costs Piling Up

As we first wrote last year with respect to the plan to build an arena upon Pier 30-32:

With San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee deeming it his legacy project, and the project sponsors lining the pockets of nearly every political, development, and public relations consultant in the city, some might consider the Warriors Arena that’s proposed to be built upon Pier 30-32 to be too big or connected to fail. But this is San Francisco, after all.
Birds helped overturn the approved development of 555 Washington. NIMBY neighbors have stalled the approved development of 8 Washington for at least another year. And an early plan to develop the very Pier upon which the Warriors Arena would be built fell apart during negotiations of the financial terms.
The draft development deal with the Warriors would cap the City’s exposure on the billion dollar project to a $120,000,000 reimbursement for Pier rehabilitation and potential public improvements with funding of the reimbursement limited to rent credits (the piers would be leased to the Warriors for $1,970,000 a year), the sale of Seawall 330 for an estimated $30,400,000, and new property tax revenue generated by the Warriors development.
Assuming a term sheet for the deal can be agreed upon, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission approves the use, the Piers are successfully rezoned for development over 40 feet, and any legal challenges are overcome in a timely manner, San Francisco and the Golden State Warriors will have a new Arena by 2017.

While a term sheet for the project has been agreed upon, the estimated cost for improving the pier for development has since risen from $120 million to $170 million, the project is already months behind the tight schedule for meeting a 2017 opening, and not only has the BCDC not approved of the project, they're pushing for additional time and delay.

The lawsuit and referendum circus challenging the development has yet to even begin.

First Published: August 26, 2013 9:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Pier 30-32 is the most difficult spot to build an arena of any option the Warriors could have chosen.

The site is state land (not San Francisco land - so faces massive regulatory and legal hurdles), has over $200 million in infrastructure improvement costs that the Warriors want the taxpayers to pay for, and will ultimately face significant lawsuits.

Certainly the Warriors weren't looking to take the easy road with this project, at least not yet. 2017 is an impossible target.

Posted by: anon at August 26, 2013 9:17 AM

My eyes are hurting.

Posted by: RonMonster at August 26, 2013 9:41 AM

That building is gorgeous . If built would easily become the most iconic building in SF. Honestly better than the Sydney opera house and in a perfect location next to bay bridge. Please don't screw this one up San Francisco

Posted by: Jill at August 26, 2013 9:55 AM

hope this falls apart and that oakland can get their act together. keep the warriors in the town!!!

Posted by: town dog at August 26, 2013 10:04 AM

"Better than the Sydney Opera House"?!?!?
OK, let's put down the pipe and open some windows.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at August 26, 2013 10:15 AM

anon, the point about the site being inherently difficult to built upon is a good one, but as far as the schedule, they say that they took the various risks into account when they came up with the start of the 2017-18 NBA season as a completion target.

From The sfgate.com piece (link above):

The basketball franchise's representatives…maintain that the arena will be ready for the start of the 2017-18 NBA season but acknowledge their schedule is tight — and doesn't leave much room for unforeseen problems.

"When we began this project, we laid out a timeline that had a built-in cushion for the natural delays that occur on a project of this size," said Nathan Ballard, a Warriors spokesman on the arena plan. "We've got a lot of work to do in a short time frame, but we are confident we can complete it by 2017."

I guess whatever they figured to be "natural delays" didn't include a 40+ percent increase in costs for pier improvements.

I'm pretty confident they won't complete it by 2017 (at least what was originally proposed; any idiot can scale back a project from what was originally planned in order to hit a predetermined delivery date) and they'll figure out a way to shift the blame for their lack of estimation skills over to the city, just you watch.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at August 26, 2013 10:50 AM

I think it is a beautiful proposal and really if not something like this with the big money backers what for these piers?

Posted by: Zig at August 26, 2013 10:59 AM

Yea, better than the Sydney Opera House? I hope you're joking.

Yes, I think it's a great project, design wise, at this point, but thinking it will upstage Sydney is quite a stretch.

Posted by: Futurist at August 26, 2013 11:13 AM

"The basketball franchise's representatives...maintain that the arena will be ready for the start of the 2017-18 NBA season but acknowledge their schedule is tight...and doesn't leave much room for unforeseen problems."

I don't know if it was arrogance on the part of Ed Lee or the team but the development schedule did not leave enough room for foreseen problems much less unforeseen.

There is zero chance this arena will be ready for the 2017 season, wouldn't be shocked if delayed by years.

Posted by: Michael at August 26, 2013 11:23 AM

Wait, what? A project is behind schedule and over budget in the Bay Area? I'm shocked, truly shocked.

Posted by: Brian at August 26, 2013 11:38 AM

The Arena was initially projected to cost about $1b. The value of the franchise has was about $450 million when purchased a few years ago. They recently sold a partial ownership to a new investor, the sale of which was based off an $800 million value.

Considering this venue is not just for basketball - think concerts, conventions, etc. I don't think anything less than a $750 million dollar increase in costs will make these owners and investors blink.

This project actually opens up the waterfront in a way a pier falling into the water doesn't allow. Imagine the amazing water views of standing on the public walkway 25-60 feet above sea level that wraps around the arena.

Imagine not having to leave the city to see acts that normally go to Shoreline or the Oakland Coliseum.

If the Warriors manage to pull this off it will be one of the most amazing venues in the world.

Posted by: gribble at August 26, 2013 12:25 PM

I agree with gribble. Right now it is decidely not available to the public (unless you are parking your car. With a spectacular building and access all the way around, the public will be "on the Bay" not on the Embarcadero. And with the Bay Bridge hovering above, it will be incredibly dramatic. And all the naysayers said the same thing about the horrible traffic when ATT Park was proposed. We live in a "TransitFirst" city, so get used to it. Everyone wants people out of their cars and when someone proposes something like this, all people can say is, "oh the cars! and traffic"

Get over it and build it!

Posted by: marvinsnephew at August 26, 2013 12:47 PM

So am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea here? My primary issue with stadiums is that they cost a lot of money, take up a lot of space, and sit empty 300 days/year. Not exactly the highest and best use of prime SF waterfront, IMO. We already have one stadium sitting empty in this part of town, do we really need another giant hole next to it?

They should build this out by the Dublin-Pleasanton BART station, where there's plenty of open land. Or in Oakland, as town dog suggests.

I'll take the inconvenience of having to go out there 1 to 2 times a year for a game or concert vs. having one quarter of the city gridlocked every time there's an event here.

Posted by: Legacy Dude at August 26, 2013 12:51 PM

im from perth. i have been to the sydney opera house many times. i stand by this. i think the design is just as good, and the location of the warriors proposal is uch better and will be better postcard iconic material. this proposal and location is simply beautiful. most building in SF lack good design. the natural environment here is beautiful but the buldings stink. this one really fits into the environment in a way similar to GGB. IN 50 YEARS, this will be the 2nd most popular landmark behind GGB

Posted by: Jill at August 26, 2013 12:58 PM

Except that "TransitFirst" (quotation marks definitely required) is a slogan, not an actual MO. "TransitFirst" is a poor excuse used to counter all complaints about traffic and parking in SF - a way of saying to motorists, "F off, you don't have a right to complain", but it's not a social contract with the residents or visitors to SF that implies any quality of service whatsoever. If you're unhappy with Muni you can walk. That's "TransitFirst" in a nutshell.

And now you're using it as a way to dismiss the (justified) concerns about traffic jams around the arena location. All par for the course. If you really believe that 90% of event spectators will get there by means other than cars then you are seriously delusional.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at August 26, 2013 1:00 PM

Any socketsiter could have told you this project would be delayed. I would put money on the warriors winning a championship before this new arena gets built. Welcome to SF lacob & co.

Posted by: Poster at August 26, 2013 1:01 PM

My primary issue with stadiums is that they cost a lot of money, take up a lot of space, and sit empty 300 days/year.

I would agree with you for open-air large stadiums. This is an arena, which is completely different. Heck, even the nasty old Cow Palace is used around 90 days a year. The HP Pavilion in San Jose is used ~180 days a year. Why in the world would we assume that this would not be used at least as often?

PS - the Warriors claim ~250 days a year of use, which is one of the reasons that opponents are claiming traffic armageddon.

Posted by: Legacy Dude checker at August 26, 2013 1:06 PM

The new arena will enliven the Embarcadero at night. It is likely that there will be events there most nights, not just on game days. This will be bring activity and patrons to local restaurants and bars. We will have to adjust by taking transit rather than driving to the Embarcadero at night, but when we get there, there will be more to do.

Posted by: Dan at August 26, 2013 1:10 PM

If you really believe that 90% of event spectators will get there by means other than cars then you are seriously delusional.

Getting there by means other than car does NOT mean getting there by Muni. Most folks will walk from BART or Caltrain, with a sizable number walking from their homes or (more likely) offices for an after-work game.

If you seriously think that more than 10% of folks will drive to games if there isn't parking built, you're 100% delusional. The first few games, maybe, but people quickly learn about traffic cluster!@#$s and avoid them when possible.

Posted by: anon at August 26, 2013 1:10 PM

I think it's a beautiful arena, and I don't think it should be built on any pier. For the sake of traffic, noise, quality of life in that emerging neighborhood, which I think should be optimized for residents, I think all of San Francisco and the Bay Area would be better off with an arena in a different inland location. Or in the Easy Bay.

I'd rather have an arena that could be approached from 4 sides, not one. 200 nights a year would be 200 nights of 34th Street Manhattan level ped and vehic traffic - I lived in NYC for many years. 34th Street is not a happy experience to train, walk, or drive. Then again, if you don't live in the 'hood and you like the Giants-day crowds, you probably don't care. I think pro-development, non-neighborhood residents should stand with the residents there against this.

Posted by: Frank C. at August 26, 2013 1:20 PM

^Not really sure why we should want this neighborhood to be mostly a residential neighborhood. There's already a baseball stadium down the street lol. Are we planning to close that?

Posted by: anon at August 26, 2013 1:30 PM

Hi Anon, I think it's best for the city and region to have new, great, expandable, and large residential neighborhoods - because of regional growth needs. Most people do not want to live near sports arenas, and this forecloses that as an option. I would have preferred the Giants stadium be built elsewhere for the same reason - it would have succeeded in a lot of locations. Too late on that.

The city/region needs more housing units asap - and the arena area is zoned much higher than further south on the waterfront. I'd make a deal with you if we were kings: allow dense high rise development *south* of the arena (I'm talking 50k+ units, not the existing fairly pathetic height/size limits) and I'd let people build whatever they want near Market and FiDi and Giants. Right now, I see the downtown Embarc area as the only chance to build a good new neighborhood of appropriate size.

Posted by: Frank C. at August 26, 2013 1:48 PM

@Frank C:

Most people do not want to live near sports arenas, and this forecloses that as an option.

Do you have evidence of this? Property values in the area surrounding AT&T Park do not support this theory that people do not want to live near sports stadiums. I'm calling BS on this "fact" that you're suggesting that we simply accept.

I'm with you on increasing housing density, but see absolutely no evidence that the arena prevents any new housing - it's not like we're going to build housing on the pier, and all evidence points to people WANTING to live near amenities like an arena.

Posted by: anon at August 26, 2013 2:17 PM

The CHRON had a more complete article on the current status of the Warriors Arena last night.

http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Warriors-arena-schedule-reportedly-lags-costs-4760333.php

You should enjoy the remarks made by their publicists.

Posted by: d-b at August 26, 2013 2:22 PM

Strictly anecdotal, but overwhelming, in my experience, via conversations.

You tell me, who would choose to live next to a noisy crowded venue with cars and queued up in the streets, when they could choose to live next to a quiet apartment building? Is that so hard to believe? Do you, for example, have proof that people don't want to be forced to wear purple hats every day? Any evidence at all? "Then I'm calling BS!!"

I have no power to force people to "accept" anything. These are comments on a blog, so chill out. The public will fight this out, I'm just stating what side I'm on. Were I here at the time, I woulda lost the Giants ballpark fight. Nothing has changed my mind. At least the public didn't pay for it, that would have been awful, as there is mounds of documented evidence about how arenas are financial albatrosses for localities that pay for them.

Posted by: Frank C. at August 26, 2013 2:31 PM

@anon:

I live 1 block from AT@T park and I am so relieved when the Giants season ends every year. I am not alone- everyone I know that has lived here for a few years or more feels the same way. Baseball season brings confused drivers looking for parking, irate honking cab drivers, drunk fans yelling at all hours after a game ends, less to no parking in the area, and generally just more people than the neighborhood wants and needs. If you don't live here, you simply don't know.

Posted by: jp at August 26, 2013 2:38 PM

jp, why do you live there? you could find someplace farther from att and you'd probably pay less for it as well.

Posted by: OMN at August 26, 2013 2:50 PM

The absolute lack of sophistication of Bay Area sports fans is the one and only reason I hope this never gets built.

Posted by: Mike at August 26, 2013 3:08 PM

"So am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea here? My primary issue with stadiums is that they cost a lot of money, take up a lot of space, and sit empty 300 days/year. Not exactly the highest and best use of prime SF waterfront, IMO. We already have one stadium sitting empty in this part of town, do we really need another giant hole next to it?"

You are confusing your argument against urban football stadiums with this. Those proposing this arena are very shrewd business men who know this arena will actually be used more like 300 days a year.

the other point about this is the pier itself is the eyesore now. This is really the best shot to get something done. What other proposal could you imagine fixing that mess there?

Posted by: Zig at August 26, 2013 3:22 PM

jp - How long have you lived there? If you've been there prior to 2000, then you may have an argument. If not, well, I don't know what to tell you - what do people who move next to a 42,000 seat baseball park expect?

Posted by: Fishchum at August 26, 2013 3:26 PM

"Were I here at the time, I woulda lost the Giants ballpark fight. Nothing has changed my mind."

Based on what Frank? I think it is acknowledged by most now that the opponents were just plain wrong. I believe time would prove the same for this arena if built.

How could you still dislike what is one of the finest urban baseball stadiums in the US? Everything about that stadium and its location is perfect.

Just dislike being around sports and suburban people?

Posted by: Zig at August 26, 2013 3:32 PM

In regards to the site usage conversation, I believe the Warriors said the arena itself was slated for 205 events per year, 50 being Warriors games.

From a pedestrian point of view, Snohetta claims roughly 3 1/2 acres of open space will be available. I'd imagine that would be used just about every day (and there will be pedestrian traffic for retail and restaurants as well).

There's also a public Community Room in the arena that will be used an unknown amount of days per year, but I'd guess it could be booked just about all 365 of them...

Posted by: Can't think of Cool Name at August 26, 2013 4:10 PM

@OMN and Fishchum:

I've lived hear since January 2001 so the Giants were here when I moved to the neighborhood. In the beginning I loved living in this neighborhood and went to a lot of games. I still do like this area and still go to a few games. It is probably me that has changed since I am older now and maybe have less tolerance for the zoo this hood can become during games. I am looking to buy (I am a renter). So I do plan to move in the next year or so.

Why do I live here? I live here because the access to Muni, Bart, and freeways is probably the best in the city, I can walk to water in 5 minutes, walk to the Ferry Building in 20, and walk to Whole Foods in 15.

South Beach is a great neighborhood, and the Giants have about 80-90 home games a year, so most days there is actually not a game and it's much quieter here. I have friends and family that live all over SF, and the weather here is better than most of hoods, although it gets windy in the afternoon.

Posted by: jp at August 26, 2013 5:07 PM

jp @ Frank - why in the world do you live where you do? Mission Bay is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the US, and definitely in the top third of expensive neighborhoods in SF - meaning that PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE THERE. In fact, so much so that they're willing to spend significantly more than they would spend to live in other neighborhoods.

Places that people don't want to live cost less. That's how we measure this. It's not hard.

Posted by: anon at August 26, 2013 5:08 PM

I would be much more in favor of this if I wasn't so confident that the city of San Francisco will somehow end up on the hook for some of the cost. There's no reason for us to subsidize a billionaire or the collection of billionaires that constitutes the NBA.

As far as I know, we didn't pay anything for the Giants stadium, and it's a huge boon for the city. From what I've seen, we'll end up paying something for this stadium.

Posted by: SFRealist at August 26, 2013 5:39 PM

without at and t park, there would be no south beach

Posted by: Jill at August 26, 2013 7:01 PM

Zig, I think it's a great stadium. It would also be great in another location. I'm from NY - there are some great, very popular stadiums in suburban New Jersey - NYC does not suffer. Read my other comment re: why I want that area for residential and some office only. I think adding another arena would be much worse still.

Anyone who tells JP to move, really, must be completely clueless - unless JP makes 200k and can pick and choose his the particulars of his life, like very very few can. For example: maybe he got a cheap deal on a place and can't replicate it. Maybe his mom is nearby. Maybe his kid goes to a special school nearby. Maybe his job is nearby. Etc, etc. How about if a sports arena or a popular bar got rammed through next door to your house? Would you just pick up and move? (I doubt it. You'd fight)

Point is, a development like this can get rammed through based on bogus arguments, and even people who once supported it can tire of it - but afterward, the cake is baked, they have zero redress.

For the other person who asked, I used to be a total sports *freak*, by the way, a slayer in sports trivia. I gave it all up a while ago. I wonder what else you're trying to get at in your remark. I'm not a bad athlete, either. And I used to live in NYC, and the Haight, and I've gone to bars, I've partied, I've done drugs, stayed out till dawn OK? Am I hip enough? I even work at a startup.

The one argument I do have: not a single penny of public money for anything related to this or any other arena, other than basic traffic lights, etc.
If people aren't aware of the ample studies about the overstated economic benefits of arenas, and hidden costs that aren't discussed when arenas are getting sold to an unwary public, there's plenty on the web.

Posted by: Frank C. at August 26, 2013 7:36 PM

"PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE THERE"

There are plenty of reasons why people want to live in South Beach that may contribute to high prices, but drunk Giants fans clogging the area is probably not one of them. jp mentioned a few, but I can imagine a couple of others: Proximity to high-tech jobs in SOMA and Mission Bay and the fact that the residential buildings are recently constructed and relatively upscale probably contribute to the price level.

Posted by: anonanon at August 26, 2013 7:43 PM

"without at and t park, there would be no south beach"

Nonsense! I used to live in South Beach in the mid-90s, long before AT&T park. The area around what's now the ballpark looked much different, of course, but the general gentrification process was already underway.

But in any case, at this point, South Beach has been nicely built up and will do just fine without an additional influx of drunk sports fans and event goers.

Posted by: anonanon at August 26, 2013 7:55 PM

That's not very true anonandon. There were no restaurants, for example, unless you count Burger Island and Happy Donuts.

Posted by: Anon at August 26, 2013 8:11 PM

@gribble

The idea that we need to build a basketball arena in that location just to get some public walkways with water views is more than a little silly. Have you ever heard of Pier 14? It's already there and just a few blocks away.

Or the event-arena-in-the-City argument: This location is a 20 minute BART ride away from the Oakland Coliseum. Surely, if you go to an event once in a blue moon, that's tolerable. At the same time, the arena would have a negative impact on thousands of commuters every day, regardless of whether they live in the area or not. The Giants already screw commuters with their home games and it's not just by clogging up freeway exits and streets. If you have ever commuted to Silicon Valley on Caltrain, you would know what impact the Giants have. On normal days during the afternoon commute, northbound trains are usually at or near full seating capacity. On days when the Giants play a night game, not only will all seats be taken, but the aisles will be full of people standing. If you are a commuter, it may mean the difference between sitting down, working on your laptop, reading a book, or just relaxing vs standing up and holding on to something. Giants home games are definitely a quality of life bummer for train commuters and with the arena, we might have over 200 days a year with overflowing trains. And just imagine days when there is both a Giants game and an event. And then when you get off Caltrain and want to hop on a MUNI trolley, you will notice that Giants games can have very a disruptive effect on service. The current public transportation infrastructure can't even handle Giants games without inflicting much pain on commuters who dutifully take public transportation, and 200 events per year in a new arena would makes things a lot worse.

Posted by: anonanon at August 26, 2013 8:43 PM

Love this thread, on one hand you've got anonanon making the tired traffic armageddon argument, and on the other you've got Frank C making the, "No one like living around arenas, rent and condos cost too much in those areas".

Lol, pass the popcorn.

Posted by: anon at August 26, 2013 8:58 PM

@anonanon, sure there are other amenities in South Beach. Are you thus arguing that AT&T Park is a net-negative on housing prices in the area? That if only AT&T Park didn't exist South Beach would be the MOST expensive neighborhood in the city? If AT&T Park ever meets the wrecking ball, move over Pac Heights!

Ok.

Posted by: anon at August 26, 2013 9:01 PM

"There were no restaurants, for example, unless you count Burger Island and Happy Donuts."

There were restaurant, but obviously not as many as now. Off the top of my head: Townsend, South Beach Cafe, Java House, Reds, the many restaurants that came and went at 100 Brannan, I think South Beach Billiards served food, but I mainly went because it was a cool place to play pool, Infusion, Bizou, Fringale, South Park Cafe, etc. Even MoMo's opened a year and a half before the ballpark. But restaurants that attract the ballpark crown are usually pretty crappy in terms of food, so AT&T Park hasn't really improved the dining situation a lot even if there are more restaurants now.

Posted by: anonanon at August 26, 2013 9:02 PM

"Are you thus arguing that AT&T Park is a net-negative on housing prices in the area? That if only AT&T Park didn't exist South Beach would be the MOST expensive neighborhood in the city? If AT&T Park ever meets the wrecking ball, move over Pac Heights!"

Saying the the park is a negative is not not exactly the same as saying that removing it would make the area more expensive than Pac Heights, is it?

Posted by: anonanon at August 26, 2013 9:09 PM

The more expensive the price of admission, the more cars. The opera house has a carriage entrance and a taxi entrance. and big ugly parking garage behind it. Will be needed for this structure as well.

Posted by: Kathleen at August 26, 2013 9:38 PM

Saying the the park is a negative is not not exactly the same as saying that removing it would make the area more expensive than Pac Heights, is it?

Considering the cost of the neighborhood now, yes, it is about as close as you can get to saying that.

Posted by: anon at August 26, 2013 10:12 PM

The more expensive the price of admission, the more cars. The opera house has a carriage entrance and a taxi entrance. and big ugly parking garage behind it. Will be needed for this structure as well.

Sydney is a fraction of the density of SF, and particularly low density around the Opera House. Not a very apt comparison. A more apt comparison is Wrigleyville in Chicago - still not nearly as dense as the area around this arena, but at least in the same realm. No parking there and pretty pathetic immediate transit access (at least compared to the location that we're talking about here), and no problems, other than it being crowded with people (what a problem to have lol).

Posted by: anon at August 26, 2013 10:15 PM

Just for public walkways?

No, my mention of the public walkway was because so many people complain this project will block the bay. In my opinion it will do just the opposite. And it will also add a 3.5 acre park, another deep water berth, ferry landing, an updated and new fire boat station. All where a crumbling pier that is falling into the bay sits now.

We have some posters complaining of the added commuters - 18,000 people is a drop in the bucket to San Francisco. AT&T Park holds 41,000. We also have others complaining that there is so much public transportation coming into the area it is choked. A huge percentage of the folks coming to the games are already here in the downtown area, or could come on BART from nearby burgs. Pretty much every basketball game will start at 7:30PM because of TV, except for an occasional day game on the weekend.

Unlike the arena in Oakland I bet a lot of people will come for the day or stay overnight to hang out in the city, especially those that come for shows. Those that keep complaining that sports arenas don't pencil out keep ignoring that this is going to be a multi use venue. Concerts, NBA, college tournaments, conventions.

If nobody does anything on this site it will cost the city a minimum of $45 million to remove the piers. "Port engineers have estimated that the cost to remove Piers 30-32 at $45 million, based on recent projects such as Pier 36 removal."

People want to live by this project. Those that don't will move. Those that do will pay more to live there and improve the city tax base. I don't see a negative there.

This city has undergone an incredible and ongoing change to the entire waterfront. This project if it gets done will be shining jewel in the crown.

To recap: A park and bay view walkways where right now we have a crumbling parking lot that will take at least $45 million the Port does not have to remove. $100-170 million to fix up for another use. New fireboat station. Ferry landing (maybe). A third deep water berth for the city to use for cruise ships and Fleet Week. Two hundred events a year, only 43 or so which will be basketball (maybe more if the Warriors continue to not suck).

I think that is worth some traffic, and some costs to the city.

Posted by: gribble at August 26, 2013 10:23 PM

To all the folks who oppose the development of the Warriors stadium on this site... do you think that building the Giants stadium was a bad idea? It has all of the same issues: it blocks the view of the bay from surrounding residential units, it brings more traffic, light and noise to the area, it could have just been developed as a big public grass park, etc.

However, it was largely responsible for the revitalization of South Beach, it brought a great team closer to downtown SF helping them to win two World Series, it hosts other great events (Opera in the Park and others), it brings huge amounts of revenue to local businesses due to increased tourism, and it makes the entire city happier.

How can you not want more of that? I live near to both AT&T park and the location of the prosed Warriors stadium and would love to see this get built. The current lot is disgusting and separated from the Embarcadero by an ugly chain link fence. It would be great to have more of the events in the area that make SF so culturally diverse. And the additional park space that is part of the project would be awesome.

So many of the locals seem to think that commercial and economic development must halt as soon as they move into the neighborhood. Well that's not how our city gets even better. As a local resident I walk, bus, and drive in the area. It's easy to avoid event traffic by just looking up the schedules online and planning accordingly.

Build it and I will be there opening day!

Posted by: Mike at August 26, 2013 10:39 PM

"Considering the cost of the neighborhood now, yes, it is about as close as you can get to saying that."

anon,

So you are saying that the area near the ballpark is currently so close to Pac Heights prices that the removal of even the slightest negative will make it surpass Pac Heights? Yet, in an earlier post, you ridiculed the idea of the area surpassing Pac Heights:

"If AT&T Park ever meets the wrecking ball, move over Pac Heights!"

If they are so close in price already, as you seem to claim, but which I doubt, why make that silly wrecking ball statement?

Posted by: anonanon at August 26, 2013 10:42 PM

@gribble

"We have some posters complaining of the added commuters - 18,000 people is a drop in the bucket to San Francisco. AT&T Park holds 41,000. We also have others complaining that there is so much public transportation coming into the area it is choked. A huge percentage of the folks coming to the games are already here in the downtown area, or could come on BART from nearby burgs. Pretty much every basketball game will start at 7:30PM because of TV, except for an occasional day game on the weekend."

Caltrain and MUNI are already overwhelmed by 41,000 people coming to a 7:15 Giants game, what do you think is going to happen if there is an additional 18,000 people going to a basketball game or event at 7:30 in the same neighborhood? And, yes, some of those 18,000 will already be in downtown or come in via BART, but that's true for the Giants crowd, too, and Caltrain and MUNI still can't handle it gracefully.

"People want to live by this project. Those that don't will move. Those that do will pay more to live there and improve the city tax base. I don't see a negative there."

Interesting sensitivity to the concerns of current residents. Sort of like:

Cowboy: We are taking over your land.
Native American: But we were here first.
Cowboy: Well, you can alway move somewhere else or go back to where you came from. You are not a NIMBY, are you?

"This city has undergone an incredible and ongoing change to the entire waterfront. This project if it gets done will be shining jewel in the crown."

And what if the waterfront doesn't really need this "shining jewel" and can't handle it in terms of public transportation and increased traffic congestion? There are thousands of new condo units being build in the immediate neighborhood even without this project and they alone will put an additional strain on traffic conditions, parking, and public transportation.

Posted by: anonanon at August 27, 2013 12:13 AM

@Mike

"To all the folks who oppose the development of the Warriors stadium on this site... do you think that building the Giants stadium was a bad idea? It has all of the same issues: it blocks the view of the bay from surrounding residential units, it brings more traffic, light and noise to the area, it could have just been developed as a big public grass park, etc."

You obviously didn't live in South Beach in the 1990s. There were very few surrounding residential units that had their views blocked in any significant way by AT&T Park. There wasn't a whole lot of foot traffic in the area and the water views from street level were probably blocked by existing structures anyway. But views are really not what is the problem with this project. At the time it was built, the immediate surroundings of the AT&T site were pretty much a wasteland and the area had still room to grow, both in terms of the park and additional residents. The situation now in South Beach is radically different. If you think that AT&T Park was responsible for a positive transformation of South Beach, why not build the arena in an up-and-coming area where it could have a similar positive effect rather than in South Beach, which is already so built out that it would have a negative effect, and not just on the residents, but on anyone who commutes through the area.

Posted by: anonanon at August 27, 2013 12:48 AM

Where is Daniel Burnham when you need him? I am confused as to why some feel the waterfront is where stadiums should be located? Really?

I think a stadium zone at the waterfront shows a terrible lack of civic imagination for how this space should be used.

The fact this city did not develop a waterfront plan like was done back in the day for Chicago is a tragedy.

Posted by: OpenTheWaterfront at August 27, 2013 7:21 AM

@anonanon - I thought it was obvious, but my silly wrecking ball statement was to mock you and Frank C, who claimed that stadiums are negative (lol) for home values in the area. If AT&T Park is a negative, then we can assume that the area would be the most valuable in the city if only we could get rid of that dastardly stadium.

Posted by: anon at August 27, 2013 8:08 AM

@anonanon:

Interesting sensitivity to the concerns of current residents. Sort of like:

Cowboy: We are taking over your land.
Native American: But we were here first.
Cowboy: Well, you can alway move somewhere else or go back to where you came from. You are not a NIMBY, are you?

Well, there's the thread guys! Building an arena near folks that could then sell their places for millions in profit is akin to genocide!

Posted by: anon at August 27, 2013 8:11 AM

"I think a stadium zone at the waterfront shows a terrible lack of civic imagination for how this space should be used."

I think your comment is showing a lack of understanding of basic economics or a connection to the reality of the situation. The pier will be condemned and is suitable right now only as a parking lot.

Posted by: Zig at August 27, 2013 9:41 AM

"I think a stadium zone at the waterfront shows a terrible lack of civic imagination for how this space should be used."

As opposed to what other projects competing for the rights to spend $100 million dollars to fix the piers here? If you have been paying any attention at all you would know that NOBODY has been willing to take on fixing up the pier and finding a new use for it that is not a parking lot.

The real choice here is the city/port being on the hook for $40-100 million to get rid of the pier entirely or this project. Any other choice is a fantasy at this point.

I don't tend to like black/white thinking but what other realistic choices are there?

As it is, I absolutely love the project. I think the fears of more traffic are valid but not negative enough to scuttle this project.

Those proposing this be situated elsewhere haven't really come up with a real solution that makes sense.

Posted by: gribble at August 27, 2013 9:49 AM

Primer for new effete San Francisco residents who don't know anything about working class interests like professional sports.

There is football stadiums and baseball stadiums both of which are not suitable for downtown locations. Most everyone can now agree on this.

In urban areas most people refer to the newer baseball stadiums as "ballparks" as they are a throwback to an early time when these facilities were more intimate and were located in urban neighborhoods. The original Seals Stadium was located at 16th and Potrero

This proposal is an "arena". An arena is a place where a basketball team could play and many other events suitable for a downtown location could be held like a rock concert, an ice show for children or a convention of dentists. This form is very common in urban areas.

Capacity

Arena=15-20K
baseball "park"=40K+
Football stadium=65K+

Posted by: Zig at August 27, 2013 9:56 AM

My wife and I rent an apartment across the street from this proposed venue. I have a business in San Jose.

Even on a week day, there is so much traffic congestion at the Bryant on ramp to the bridge that I have to turn around and weave my way from Brannan Street, through the complex to my parking space in the apartment garage.

If there is a slight hiccup in traffic flow on the Bay Bridge, it will take me 30 or more minutes to get into the garage.

On a recent Sunday the trains were shutdown for maintenance in the tunnel to the Embarcadero station. My wife and I caught a surface Muni shuttle bus in an attempt to go to a movie across town. There was so much traffic that we got off the Muni where we boarded it at Brannan, walked to Market street to catch the bus we needed to go crosstown. We never saw the original Muni shuttle reach Market by the time we caught our bus.

And the Warriors want to build in this area? Get Real!!

Posted by: Aldon at August 27, 2013 11:18 AM

^I would recommend that you move closer to your business or consider moving the business to SF. SF should not be doing land use planning with the assumption that folks will be living here and working in San Jose. Sorry.

Posted by: anon at August 27, 2013 2:14 PM

anon

Aldon's post is satire. right?

Posted by: Zig at August 27, 2013 2:36 PM

Was he complaining that he was able to get where he was going on Sunday despite the trains being shut down? Or that he chooses to come home to his parking garage in a building right next to a freeway onramp during commute hours? Those sound likes features, not bugs.

I live in the Mission not far from Dolores Park. I don't bitch (much) about not being able to find a parking space near my home anytime from Thursday night through Sunday. Well, I do bitch about the illegal double parking the churches get away with. But that is another topic.

Posted by: gribble at August 27, 2013 3:46 PM

"I would recommend that you move closer to your business or consider moving the business to SF. SF should not be doing land use planning with the assumption that folks will be living here and working in San Jose. Sorry."

Right, the land use planning should be based on attracting drunk sports fans, not on letting people live in the City while commuting to lucrative jobs in Silicon Valley or elsewhere.

Only drawback: What will happen to property values when the Facebook crowd is told that it's not supposed to be here?

Posted by: anonanon at August 27, 2013 4:18 PM

They may ride bikes around The Mission on weekends and think they are hip city people, but there is something strange about living 30 miles or more from your job. The Bay Area has the longest commute times in both distance and minutes ( hours ) compared to ANY other urban area of the country. It's all part of an intensive planet polluting desire for self fulfillment through dwelling lifestyle fetish. ( for the record, I live 1.3 miles from my job). I just cannot understand why anyone would put up with San Francisco prices if they are not spending most of their awake hours here.

Posted by: NonHipster at August 27, 2013 5:37 PM

Anonandon, your comments don't read as if you've spent much time going to basketball games. It's a pretty family friendly atmosphere. Basketball crowds don't go in for big tailgating blowouts and whatnot. The games are relatively shorter, as well, so less time to swill drinks even for the devout drunks. Nope. Not a valid argument the "drunks at ballgames" take. Not in this. But we get it. You're a NiMBY and you were there first so fiddlesticks to everybody else.

Posted by: Anon at August 27, 2013 5:40 PM

Uh, I think you mean "anonanon", not "anonandon" who owns in the Marina, just for the record.

Posted by: anonandon at August 27, 2013 6:21 PM

Right, the land use planning should be based on attracting drunk sports fans, not on letting people live in the City while commuting to lucrative jobs in Silicon Valley or elsewhere. Only drawback: What will happen to property values when the Facebook crowd is told that it's not supposed to be here?

Land use planning should focus on what is positive for the city and its residents. I have no problem with the "Facebook crowd" renting or owning here, but planning should not be around how to turn SF into a commuter town.

Full disclosure: I work for LinkedIn (not quite your "Facebook crowd" but probably close enough) and live in Hayes Valley. I don't expect SF planning to cater to me though. To @Nonhipster above, I certainly spend most of my waking hours in SF though - certainly all day on weekends, 12-14 hours on days that I have to be down south, and all day on the 2-3 days a week that I typically work from home.

As far as property values go, again, that's not what planning should focus on. Proper planning should be to build a great city, and all of the amenities that great cities have.

Posted by: anon at August 27, 2013 7:10 PM

I live one block from the proposed arena site and would love to see it built so I can enjoy the waterfront promenade that will surround the new building. The traffic does not bother locals because we walk to get around the neighborhood. No one cares if visitors from outside the neighborhood get stuck in traffic - they should be taking public transportation if they are worried about traffic.

Posted by: sflocal at August 27, 2013 8:50 PM

"Right, the land use planning should be based on attracting drunk sports fans, not on letting people live in the City while commuting to lucrative jobs in Silicon Valley or elsewhere.

Only drawback: What will happen to property values when the Facebook crowd is told that it's not supposed to be here?"

Again is this satire? The level of narcissism is this city now is hard for me to comprehend. I hate to stereotype but I strongly dislike a lot of the new people here now

Posted by: Zig at August 28, 2013 11:10 AM

Zig: you're taking it way too far. Saying that policies related to land use planning shouldn't be too oriented toward San Francisco being a bedroom community for Menlo Park suburban office parks isn't the same thing as telling "the Facebook crowd" that they aren't supposed to be here.

And the narcissism charge could just as easily be leveled at the people who commute southbound and back in private corporate shuttles.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at August 28, 2013 2:27 PM

I'm just sorry the Warriors and Giants parted company. Early on they were working on a plan for an arena just south of ATT Park in Parking lot A (in front of Pier 48). There was to be an arena, retail restaurant district and a peewee baseball field plus the renovation of Pier 48 into an exibition hall. Sort of like the entertainment complex around Staples Center in LA. It could have been a great new entertainment/sports complex with ATT Park, and The Arena.

There have been suggestions that the arena be built on Pier 50, on the water like Pier 30/32, but close to Muni, Caltrain stops and in an area less congested than the Pier 30/32 area. If Mayor Lee feels this is his legacy project, he should sit the Warriors and Giants owners down and sell them on a idea that would be a great new entertainment/sports district rather than the boring extension of Mission Bay the Giants are now proposing since they stopped working with the Warriors.....too many big egos that are too greedy to see what's best for themselves or the city

Posted by: e flat at August 29, 2013 10:08 AM

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