January 31, 2014
The Odds Are Against The Warriors Moving To SF In 2017
The projected cost to rebuild San Francisco's Pier 30-32 in order to support the development of the Warriors' proposed waterfront arena is up to $180 million, $10 million more than the $170 million estimated last summer.
While the extra $10 million is a relative drop in the bucket with respect to the overall budget for the project, it’s indicative of a more complex and time consuming project than originally projected, increasing the odds that the Warriors won’t have an arena ready for the 2017 NBA season in San Francisco.
The original timeline and critical path for the proposed arena to be ready in time for the 2017 season required the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to have been prepared by the summer of 2013 and certified last fall. The report has yet to be finished.
The arena project cannot be approved by the city nor any permits issued until the EIR is certified, a legal challenge of which is sure to come. And even assuming no setbacks at the ballot-box or in the courts, construction of the arena will take around two and one-half years to complete and was scheduled to start this summer in order for the arena to ready for a 2017 opening.
First Published: January 31, 2014 8:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
This will never get built. It's becoming more obvious. The push for Oakland to build a sports complex including baseball and football will be enhanced if the Warriors join the effort. It could be something amazing and if done right the premier pro sports complex in the US. Oakland really wants it and frankly it makes much more sense than doing an arena in SF.
[Editor's Note: Oakland's Coliseum City Dream, And Spending, Continues On.]
Posted by: Tobias at January 31, 2014 9:23 AM
There's a hilarious rendering in that SFGate article. A cyclist actually using the bike lane instead of the sidewalk on the Embarcadero. Priceless.
Oh, and the arena? Yawn!
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at January 31, 2014 9:31 AM
"It could be something amazing and if done right the premier pro sports complex in the US. Oakland really wants it and frankly it makes much more sense than doing an arena in SF."
I was at the Warriors game last night in fact. How a sports complex "makes sense" in that location when considering what has been going on in city planning these last few decades I have no idea. It is in the middle of nowhere relative to any sort of walkable area. When I look at large master developments (fail) and Oakland mismanagement (fail) I am not very hopeful this will be a place anyone will want to be
Posted by: zig at January 31, 2014 9:49 AM
Yes, a sports complex is gonna solve Oakland's problems. Right.
Posted by: gentrified is a dirty word for clean at January 31, 2014 9:52 AM
I will be surprised if the unions and the political class can't pull this one out. It has too many benefits to too many in the city to not happen.
Posted by: Zig at January 31, 2014 9:55 AM
Warriors -- stay OUT of San Francisco!!! SF doesn't want/need year-round traffic! I hope this never gets built and will join/rally for whatever opposition arises.
Posted by: Pfffttt at January 31, 2014 10:51 AM
The majority of the city residents want it, with even the least favorable polls showing upwards of 60% supporting it, and many polls around the 70% number. City Hall wants it. The money and connections behind Lacob and Guber are unreal.
If any major proposed project happens, it'll be this one.
Posted by: JWS at January 31, 2014 10:59 AM
Traffic usually means you have something people want. If you don't want traffic in a city, go to Detroit, they seem to have solved that problem!
Posted by: martin at January 31, 2014 11:01 AM
formidable doer: it's not a sidewalk, it's a "multi-purpose trail."
Posted by: jwb at January 31, 2014 11:02 AM
Build the arena! Headline should have been "Costs to fixing pier grow for TAXPAYERS if arena is not built." Anyone who signs petition against arena should have to shell out money to fix the piers on their own dime. The Warriors are GIVING us an amazing new arena for athletic events, concerts and more. And the typical extortionist groups are yacking. Build this beautiful new arena in my neighborhood ASAP.
Posted by: grrr at January 31, 2014 11:08 AM
If The Mayor couldn't foresee that there was no way a project this complex and dependent on a host of political obstacles being surmounted wasn't going to make it in the time frame he promised and at or even near the cost first floated, he was incredibly naive.
And I don't believe that he is that naive given that he worked as Director of City Purchasing and later as Director of Public Works before becoming Mayor.
I'm not at all as certain as Tobias that this project won't get built, but I am sure that finishing it in time for the 2017-18 season isn't going to happen.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at January 31, 2014 11:10 AM
"Warriors -- stay OUT of San Francisco!!! SF doesn't want/need year-round traffic! I hope this never gets built and will join/rally for whatever opposition arises."
Just totally asinine. You don't speak for me. A city like SF needs a downtown arena. Move if you don't like
Posted by: zig at January 31, 2014 11:27 AM
"The majority of the city residents want it, with even the least favorable polls showing upwards of 60% supporting it, and many polls around the 70% number."
Not that cut and dry:
"Another poll showed far less support when residents were asked about the other portions of the project.
That poll, commissioned by the Harvey Milk Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Democratic Club and conducted by J. Moore Methods, a Sacramento firm, found that only 38 percent of respondents approved when asked about "building a 12-story basketball and entertainment arena, with a 17-story luxury condo building and a 10-story hotel along the waterfront." The poll found 53 percent of respondents opposed the project when it was presented that way.
Only 36 percent of respondents approved of the amount of new development being proposed for the waterfront, with 48 percent opposed, according to the poll, which was conducted in the first week of December among 400 likely voters. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points."
Development of the condos/hotel needed to finance the redevelopment of the piers but could sink the project.
Posted by: CH at January 31, 2014 11:28 AM
Super excited to see this project get underway, and if it takes a bit more time, I'm ok with that. As a San Franciscan, a City lover, and a basketball fan, I couldn't be happier.
Posted by: Luke at January 31, 2014 11:36 AM
The poll questions were ridiculous. Any 3rd grader can create questions so that the poll leads one way or another. If you ask "would you like a new awesome shiny stadium or not" and people will certainly say yes. If you ask "would you like a stadium even if it means San Franciscans subsidizing billionaires and would create year-round traffic jams which impact residents and commuters" then people will overwhelmingly say no.
And Grrr, please. "Costs to fixing pier grow for TAXPAYERS if arena is not built" Don't be absurd. Go down to Mission Bay for example, There are dozens of piers that were not ever repaired. What was the cost of not repairing the piers? Uhhh, let me think hard on this one.... uhhh...wait, it was zero dollars and zero cents. And I've never heard of anyone walk in Mission Bay and say, hey someone should really rebuild all of these decaying piers. Life would be so much better if we just had more piers.
Posted by: anon at January 31, 2014 11:40 AM
I'm personally opposed, for waterfront preservation issues (will the Warriors change their logo so that all you see of the bridge are the tops of the towers, the rest blocked by their arena?).
But I agree that it has a lot of support in the City. If anything sinks it, it will be opponents firing up people over the 10- and 17-story towers to be built on the inland side... a la 8 Washingon.
Posted by: Sierrajeff at January 31, 2014 11:48 AM
Ugh - this whole "blocking views of the bay" argument is tiresome and dumb. Do people not understand they'll be able to stroll through a few acres of parkland, and then walk all the way around the arena via a public promenade? You'll be afforded views and a vantage that are currently only available with a boat.
Posted by: Fishchum at January 31, 2014 11:56 AM
I keep chiming in to encourage the Mayor to get the Giants and the Warriors ownership back in talks over the original plan to develop a arena and exhibition complex down at the Giants lot A. Much like Staples Center and LA Live in Los Angeles. Lots of sports bars, restaurants, public squares, the area is alive whether there is a game or event at Staples or not. Lots of room down there and close to Muni, Caltrain and 280.
The Giants current plan for residential and office towers looks like an extension of Mission Bay and its' boring architecture and lack of people during the evening. A new entertainment complex down there would also help all the empty retail spaces on 4th St between Channel and 16th.
Someone please grab Mayor Lee and shake him and get the Giants and Warriors ownership talking about bringing something really great to the City.
Posted by: e flat at January 31, 2014 12:24 PM
I hope this gets built, along with a few new hotels and lux condos on the waterfront as well.
Posted by: Futurist at January 31, 2014 12:29 PM
Check out LA Live/Staples Center slideshow:
Posted by: e flat at January 31, 2014 12:33 PM
I'm very confused by what some people think a city is.
There is a large fraction of this city that wants:
No large buildings
No traffic, parking, or cars, but lots of room to bike
No large events, stadiums, or conventions
Private gardens and local produce
Low rents and affordable housing with lots of space
A chance of stepping in excrement with every step
I just described a farm in rural Pennsylvania. I moved to a city so that I could see Miley Cyrus in concert on my way home from work, not so I could have a rooftop garden.
Build the stadium.
Posted by: frog at January 31, 2014 12:33 PM
The amount of uninformed commentary on this topic is baffling and bordering on ridiculous. I would encourage everyone, those for the development and those opposed, to actually get informed. A debate of uninformed ranters provides no useful dialogue around the issues and provides no benefit. Your point of view will be much better served by providing an intelligent though out fact based argument.
Posted by: K&L at January 31, 2014 12:39 PM
Awesome! I hope it doesnt get built, I so love the the current view! Every day I walk by the wonderful dilipated fence that completely prohibits any use of this pier and think to myself: "they better not take this 13 acres of cracked asphalt, surrounded by a deteriorated cyclone fence, void of ANY public access away!" (sarcasm).
I have lived blocks away from this site for 15 years and if I wanted to complain about traffic any time a new development was proposed in the hood, then the hood would look just like it did in 1998 when I moved in.
Posted by: grubber2 at January 31, 2014 12:45 PM
San Jose is the Warriors destination. They will share with the Sharks. They will never stay in Oakland.
Posted by: Matt at January 31, 2014 12:51 PM
I hope they build it. It's not just good for sports, but concerts and other events that are right now stuck in Oakland and San Jose.
Posted by: Michael at January 31, 2014 1:33 PM
@frog - you had me until Miley Cyrus. I'll support a referendum to zone her out of the City any day.
Posted by: Sierrajeff at January 31, 2014 3:01 PM
This project really needs to get built , and with the anti growth group going after the SF Giants , and their plans south of the ballpark I can only hope that the folks at AT&T park get behind their project since could help save theirs
Posted by: Joseph A at January 31, 2014 3:04 PM
Lots of silly numbers in this story but one stands out:
"The repayment would come from three sources linked to the development: the sale to the team of a 2.3-acre property across the Embarcadero that was last appraised at $30 million..."
With Goodwill Industries and San Francisco Honda both getting in the region of $50-70m for similar sized sites on the Van Ness corridor I can't believe the city would sell this site for what would half or a third of it's possible market value.
More development in the neighborhood is a good idea, sell Seawall 330 to the highest bidder with some a 150ft height limit and tear down the pier with the funds raised.
All done by 2017!
Posted by: Observer at January 31, 2014 3:40 PM
I have a tendency to self parody mid-rant.
Which artist is filling stadiums these days? Because if it's the WWE, I think we need to build 2 stadiums.
Posted by: frog at January 31, 2014 3:55 PM
this will happen and it is good for the city. the majority of residents want it. it adds a big cultural component and a beautiful iconic building (and we dont have very many)
Posted by: moto mayhem at January 31, 2014 4:13 PM
In regards to SWL330, its currently zoned for 105/65. The hotel fits inside the height envelope. The condo, at 175 feet obviously does not and would need a variance as its currently designed.
If the fate of the pier is really in the hands of the people of the state of California via the stewardship of city officials and its use can't be voted on by registered city voters, then to me it looks like the discussion about height for this specific project by city residents centers only on the condo.
Posted by: Can't think of Cool Name at February 1, 2014 8:34 AM