November 13, 2013

Previously Unreleased Renderings For The Warriors' Arena 3.0

A previously unreleased round of renderings for the Golden State Warriors' slimmed-down arena Design 3.0 provides greater detail with respect to the proposed height and mass of the retail and event center buildings to be built along the Embarcadero (click renderings to enlarge).

First Published: November 13, 2013 12:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

What's with the new buildings in front of the Arena on the Embarcadero??? Aside from the fact that they're Pier 29-ish, they block both the Arena as well as the bridge and the bay. Why are they necessary? Ruins the entire design. A big open plaza before the arena would be much more welcoming and reduce the impact on views. These building are much more of a wall and will block views from the Embarcadero much more than the original design. I say get rid of them.

Posted by: Steve at November 12, 2013 9:00 PM

Agree, those other buildings really ruin the impact of the arena sitting on the bay.

Obviously looking to maximize profit and use of the area, but a huge pubic park/plaza would be amazing.

Posted by: wc1 at November 13, 2013 7:56 AM

The retail buildings on the pier were always part of the plan. Originally, they had more of a look that mimicked the fronts of other piers that faced the Embarcadero.

The revised retail design is new for 3.0, and personally, I think its a step back in the look of the retail buildings.

Posted by: Can't think of Cool Name at November 13, 2013 8:21 AM

The buildings in front are horrible, and wall off Embarcadero from the bay even more than the hulking arena does.

The arena should be built over the Caltrain yards at 4th & King - great transit ties, pushes SoMa revitalization westward, and enables the City to shart shoehorning in work towards the underground 4th & Townsend Caltrain station (for when Caltrain runs to the Transbay Terminal).

Posted by: Sierrajeff at November 13, 2013 8:29 AM

"The arena should be built over the Caltrain yards at 4th & King" - Sierrajeff

The Caltrain yard is only half as wide as pier 30/32 is. The arena wouldn't fit there unless an adjacent block was razed and the street grid broken up.

Posted by: cfb at November 13, 2013 8:55 AM

The proposed arena could be built to be part of Moscone center as well. Plenty of space, there will be a stop for the Central Subway Muni line, 2 blocks from BART, and easy Central Subway connection to Caltrain.

Easy walk to Union Square and everywhere else.

Posted by: anon at November 13, 2013 9:22 AM

Put it down in Mission Bay. That area needs something to draw a large number of people. It will help support the restaurants and retail that they need.

Aesthetically, Mission Bay also needs one piece of decent architecture.

Posted by: jlasf at November 13, 2013 9:31 AM

For some reason, this new set of renderings made me flip from fan to hater of this location. Even "slimmed down" the stadium looks like a huge boil attached to the waterfront, completely out of proportion to the bridge, the buildings around it, and the flow of the embarcadero more generally. I didn't even notice how the retail buildings blocked the sweep up to the stadium until folks here called it out. If the city had any balls whatsoever it would push the owners to develop this in Mission Bay where it would fit in much better to the prevailing and emerging architecture.

Posted by: katdip at November 13, 2013 9:46 AM

jlasf, you can't just plop an arena wherever and hope it makes the area nicer. See Oakland (I've never met anyone who wanted to hang out near the Coliseum before or after a game, but I'm open to dissenting views).

Posted by: trentblase at November 13, 2013 9:51 AM

"stadium" = it is an arena = you don't get it at a basic level

"Put it in (insert area)" = you don't get it at a basic level

The owners of the warriors made a proposal, for that area. It is a deal.

That's what is going on here.

Stop the idiotic comments. Vote against it when the time comes and be part of the losing side. All good.

Posted by: NIMBY Exterminatir at November 13, 2013 9:56 AM

@NIMBY Exterminatir - don't be such a nudge. Stadium/arena - I get it at a "basic level". I have eyes and can see what it looks like. As for trashing suggestions for "put it in (insert area)" - hey, why not? This is is an effing blog, where I can opine all I want. But even in the real world, the city can do a lot to steer projects in different directions, despite what a developer proposes. It has control over planning, zoning, permits, financial incentives, etc. This project is a big deal on a financial, policy, and quality-of-life level. Ideally the city would have done adequate planning to clearly indicate that - as a matter of policy - we'd prefer to see an arena in areas X,Y, and Z, and not in A, B, or C. That way developers know the rules of the game. It doesn't seem like that's the case, so now everyone is scrambling to make the case for and against THIS project in THIS place.

The problem with ballot-box planning is that it becomes a binary argument, with no room for nuance or negotiation. You can't argue the merits of THIS project in THAT alternative place, it's the proverbial up-or-down-vote, which may mischaracterize broader support for the project goals but delivered in a different way.

So even here on a blog, I think it's perfectly acceptable to suggest different approaches. Maybe policy makers or the developers will see that there is support for this project generally but not exactly where they want it. Or maybe I'm just enjoying spouting my opinion. Either way, it's all good.

Posted by: katdip at November 13, 2013 10:08 AM

Your opinion and reality are not in sync, and arena and stadium are not synonymous.

Posted by: NIMBY Exterminator at November 13, 2013 10:21 AM

Belongs on the top of Russian Hill, plenty of space and good transit there. Or maybe in the Panhandle? Or how about killing that stupid hospital plan on Van Ness and putting this there instead!

Posted by: anon at November 13, 2013 10:25 AM

I look forward to when this arena is completed in the proposed location. I don't care about sports, and rarely go to concerts with that large a crowd, but I'll certainly enjoy the beautiful building while walking along the Embarcadero. And if I want to see the small portion of the bay that is blocked by the arena, I'll simply walk to the end of the pier and voila! an even closer view than I would get on the embarcadero. Then as I walk back, I'll and see the lovely view of downtown SF. Even better: no ugly crumbling pier to spoil the view like there is today!

Can't wait!

Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 10:42 AM

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'

stadium from Greek, arena from Latin, in English the word choice is up to the speaker.

For example, the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks used to play in the Chicago Stadium and the Duke Blue Devils play in "Cameron Indoor Stadium" built in 1940.

and please build it on Treasure Island so it will look even more like a biscuit on a tray; also plenty of parking, space for ferries and fireboats, etc.

Posted by: Jake at November 13, 2013 10:50 AM

Jake, literary quote + etymology + proper nouns as evidence is not an argument worth rating. In the context of an American sports facility, arena and stadium have specific meanings.

Posted by: NIMBY exterminator at November 13, 2013 11:08 AM

I think these renderings are gorgeous.

The Warriors Arena on the Embarcadero is going to be a fabulous addition to SF's world class waterfront.

I welcome this project to the Embarcadero and just to be clear, I am a ordinary, long-time resident of SF.

Posted by: Rhanda at November 13, 2013 12:03 PM

NIMBY exterminator, "literary quote + etymology + proper nouns" + common usage by millions of native speakers count for naught(y)

though, by your reasoning and language rules, it would be ok for the Warriors to name their new building "The Warriors Stadium" as long as everyone refers to it as an arena and not a stadium.

Perhaps it is just as well that none of us need your approval to use our language as we may.

Posted by: Jake at November 13, 2013 12:10 PM

I believe a lot of the same arguments/suggestions were made about the Sydney Opera House and the Hong Kong Convention Center.

I do have one question that has been nagging me. This sucker will seat 18,000 people - so why bother with 500 parking spaces? So that the skybox crowd will have a place to park their Teslas (hence the on-site fire station)?

Posted by: roswell53 at November 13, 2013 12:10 PM

Yeah that's how it would be. Google Cameron. "Cameron Indoor Stadium is an indoor arena that ..."

Posted by: NIMBY Exterminator at November 13, 2013 12:42 PM

Build it NOW. And good god, it's an arena. Cameron Indoor Stadium is an overrated cracker box that's simply misnamed. Chicago Stadium? A nice place 80 years was demolished in 1995.

Posted by: grrr at November 13, 2013 12:50 PM

This would make a great addition to the city. Of Oakland.

Posted by: Legacy Dude at November 13, 2013 12:56 PM

Craig Dykers made his Version 3.0 presentation to the PORT Commission yesterday lasting about 25 minutes. I agree with an earlier commenter that the retail buildings in front are ugly. It is so nice to drive down the Embarcadero now with the Luna Rosa Americas Cup buildings gone - it just feels better opened up.

The Warriors still have a 500 car garage with a mid block entrance which will require drivers to go around the block to enter as there is no left turn provision. Their so called open space is still a garage rooftop - it is not a grade level. Dykers continues to compare the sight lines of his design with AT&T on King St. making the point that the AT&T design does far more to hamper waterfront views. He fails to mention that the AT&T site is actually inland and there were no great water views before it was built.

His plans for SWL 330 across the street were omitted from his presentation. The press indicates that his proposed condo tower is 175 feet tall in an area zoned for 105 feet. His Embarcadero retail frontage is reported to be 50 feet - 10 feet higher than the 40 foot zoning. Last week's 8 Washington ballot measure re waterfront heights has made these guys nervous. This might be the reason they did not talk about their development plans on the west side of the Embarcadero.

[Editor's Note: As we first reported this past May: The Towers To Rise Across From The Warriors Arena.]

Posted by: d-b at November 13, 2013 1:35 PM

If we are going to split hairs over ten feet, then this conversation is a non starter.
People who are NIMBYs should just own it.

Posted by: Bob at November 13, 2013 1:45 PM

I'm wondering how this compares in size and height to the American Airlines arena where the Miami Heat play. Great facility, and its also right on the bayfront.

Posted by: Shmendrick at November 13, 2013 1:49 PM

the previous version was so much more iconic. no longer the sydney opera house.

the parking lot change makes sense. For everything else, prefer previous version

Posted by: spencer at November 13, 2013 2:03 PM

How interesting that all of the previously released renderings were from the Bay side and/or at 1,000FT elevation. Seeing it from the SF side street level now explains all that. I had no issue with 8 Washington -it was on the inside of the Embarcadero. This clearly blocks views for everyday people and for that I'm 100% against this project.

Posted by: Matt of Uptown at November 13, 2013 2:09 PM

"This clearly blocks views for everyday people and for that I'm 100% against this project."

How many views do you need? You have the majority of the Embarcadero with beautiful views all along it.

And you will be able to go onto the pier even if you aren't attending an event.

Posted by: wc1 at November 13, 2013 2:18 PM

"This clearly blocks views for everyday people"

Everyday people who want to see the view will just walk to the end of the pier for an even better view.

Everyday people will also be happy to see a park, and replacement of the ugly dilapidated pier.

Everyday people will also enjoy going to the games and concerts that will be held in the arena.

Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 3:19 PM

"How many views do you need?"

As many as possible on the waterfront. And looking at a giant arena really detracts from them. If it were almost anywhere else in SF that could accommodate a structure like this I'd be fine with it and in favor of it. It's a building we want (an indoor arena) being proposed for the wrong place. If that's because the Warriors would "never" do it if we didn't give them this particular site and surrounding development rights, so be it. SF doesn't need the Warriors; the Warriors need SF.

Posted by: Wonkster at November 13, 2013 3:31 PM

wikipedia refers to Cameron Indoor Stadium as an arena and Emporis (namelink) classifies the American Airlines Arena in Miami as a stadium.

Both words are accepted and in use, though some have a strong preference for one.

No wall on the word front.

Posted by: Jake at November 13, 2013 3:40 PM

I'm pretty offended by the giant bridge blocking my views of the waterfront.

Down with the Bay Bridge! Tear it down now and open up the waterfront!

Posted by: anon at November 13, 2013 4:18 PM

@Wonkster, this arena project on the pier will add views.

There is public access the entire way around it. This actually adds usable space to the waterfront. You will actually even gain a view from a previously unavailable height.

And park space.

Posted by: gribble at November 13, 2013 4:25 PM

Still looks good to me, build it!

Posted by: Helmut at November 13, 2013 4:40 PM

In regards to the 500 parking spaces on the pier (as opposed to why any parking at all...), I believe the NBA requires facilities to have a certain amount of parking on site. Why? I'm not sure, but I'm sure somebody out there has the answer - besides the snarksters...

Posted by: Can't think of Cool Name at November 13, 2013 6:48 PM


Posted by: Kathleen at November 13, 2013 6:49 PM

This needs to be built, I say suck it up and stop trying to prevent the building of the Arena.

This is beyond Ticket Sales, and Purchases on Site, or even those shops and places to eat near the Arena.

This also means year round Post Card moments here in San Francisco. Thank about what the Country sees when there is a SF Giants, A's, Raiders, 49ers game, they see the Bay, The Bridges, The Beauty of the Bay Area.

This is more then just about the games its about a year round promotion of the Bay Area as a place to visit.

Posted by: Joseph A at November 13, 2013 7:43 PM

Why do we not build this underwater as giant pyrex bowl? We put on a green roof like a hat and have big park. The Hoover dam keeps out the water, why not our stadium? The Warriors, frequently in the underwater part of the league, no? Perhaps we are can have architecture as le métaphore.

Posted by: henri at November 13, 2013 8:00 PM

'Shmendrick' and 'Can't think of Cool Name' - Good comments, the Miami Heat stadium is an example of an arena/pavilion right on the water but without 500 parking spaces which helps slice through the Warriors warm smelling poo that the NBA made us add 500 hundred parking spaces.

This is the debate we should be having, why are 500 parking spaces needed for mixed use development in a transit first neighborhood. Let's benchmark the parking against AT&T park where there are 50 spots in the stadium itself. With the going rate for parking in the neighborhood now around 80-100k how about San Francisco charges the Warriors 80k per parking spot they want on-site and take that from the $120m the city is planning to give away. I think I might have just come up with $40m for affordable housing projects in San Francisco :-)

We should develop Seawall Lot 330 and perhaps allow a real planning variance to raise enough funds to tear down the Pier 30-32. Building on Seawall Lot 330 is the last major parcel in South Beach that does not have firm development plans. With KB Homes picking up 72 Townsend Street to develop and sell, the City of San Francisco should not be paying developers $120m to develop site.

Posted by: Observer at November 13, 2013 9:33 PM

I may be mistaken but I doubt if the citizens of Sydney complained about the Opera House blocking views of the Harbor Bridge.

You just move out to the magnificent edge of the plaza surrounding the building and bam! there's the bridge.

Posted by: Futurist at November 13, 2013 9:54 PM

Where are all the cars and pedestrians on the Embarcadero in the second rendering? You would think there is got to be more than six people going to the Warriors' game. I think there is a missing fourth rendering showing a off ramp from the Bay Bridge that connect you directly to a super cool under water parking garage below the arena with a public-accessible aquarium, and petting zoo. Because everyone loves free aquarium and petting zoo.

Posted by: GavinEdLeeBFF at November 14, 2013 1:21 AM

@Observer, as an FYI, there will also be parking in the development on SWL330. The last document I saw had 259 spots for the hotel condo and retail. The entrance would be off of Beale.

That would make four entrances (including one used for retail/hotel delivery) on the dead end section of Beale south of Bryant...

Posted by: Can't think of Cool Name at November 14, 2013 6:31 AM

These are very nice renderings, very deceptively constructed, for a nicely-designed but huge building in a visible waterfront location.

Try showing the crowds at game day, and drawing the structure from a place that doesn't make it look only 2 times taller then a person.

otherwise the NO people will do them and publish them first, and arena-folks, you really wont like the way they look.

this is going to be a hard fight, can't air brush your way thru it.

Posted by: Louis at November 14, 2013 10:55 AM

These renderings won me over. I used to be opposed to this arena because it would exacerbate the already horrendous traffic on the Embarcadero. But as these renderings show, there will be no cars at all, neither moving nor parked. Look at all the space for cyclists and joggers. Awesome. Build it now!

Posted by: Sarcastic Sid at November 14, 2013 2:35 PM

Aaaaaaaand no. They're still building it in the wrong place.

Posted by: Gregg at November 15, 2013 12:30 PM

Build it! It's beautiful. Right now it's a dead zone. It will be a great asset for the neighborhood and city.

Posted by: Mike at November 16, 2013 6:01 PM

Where are the cigarette butts on the sidewalk? Where are the pigeon droppings? This rendering bogus is totally bogus! San Francisco voters are very intelligent and will see right through this charade.

Posted by: Typical Socketsite Critic at November 16, 2013 7:00 PM

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