Mission Rock Revised Building Height Plan

With the San Francisco Giants having officially filed their paperwork for the ballot measure which would allow the team to redevelop AT&T Park’s Parking Lot A as ‘Mission Rock,’ a new 28-acre neighborhood with 1,500 apartments, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space and eight acres of parks, plazas and open space, not to mention a new Anchor Brewery on Pier 48, we now have the new block-by-block building height plan for the development.

As previously reported, the heights for the two signature towers to rise on the northwest corner of the site and adjacent to the proposed Mission Rock Square have been dropped from as high as 380 feet to 240 feet.  But the height for the middle building fronting China Basin Park, the open space adjacent to The Bay, has now been raised to 190 feet.

And a new tower rising up to 240 feet in height at the corner of Third and Mission Rock, over the team’s proposed 2,300-space parking garage along the southern edge of the site, has quietly been added to the development plan as well.

UPDATE: With 16,524 signatures delivered to the Department of Elections and since verified, the ballot measure to allow the Giants to redevelop AT&T Park’s Parking Lot A as “Mission Rock” has qualified for the November election.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Alex

    Now that Mayor Ed Lee has released plans to move the entire Caltrain rail yard to Mission Bay, assuming the project becomes reality, the original height of 380 feet might be worth going back to.

    [Editor’s Note: The Mayor’s proposal wouldn’t move the rail yard to Mission Bay, but rather re-route the tracks down Third Street and establish an underground Caltrain stop across from Pier 50.]

    • Posted by Joel

      Even if the plan doesn’t materialize, the site is still within walking distance of 4th and King Caltrain.

    • Posted by Adam

      Which is where our dysfunctional system of separate departments never talking to each will shoot the mayor’s plan in the foot before it ever takes off- it would be much easier cheaper and more effective to build an underground station before those towers go up along the street, because then you don’t need to worry about foundations or where to put the entrances. It speeds up construction because you can dig a big pit, and then just use it as the basement for the tower. Instead, those new buildings along third will get built, and then you will have the engineers bemoaning the fact that there are buildings and utilities in the way. Sigh.

  2. Posted by phil

    Am I mistaken that there will be 10 towers of 120′ or more?

    • Posted by Jake

      11 by my count, though 3 of those have heights that depend on whether they are built as residential (120′) or commercial (90′) . This land is currently zoned for zero height.

    • Posted by Orland

      Does a 120′ (12-stories) building truly qualify as a “tower?”

      • Posted by phil

        yes.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        no, >25 is a tower

        • Posted by phil

          Merriam Webster: “a building or structure typically higher than its diameter and high relative to its surroundings that may stand apart (as a campanile) or be attached (as a church belfry) to a larger structure and that may be fully walled in or of skeleton framework (as an observation or transmission tower)”

          • Posted by Orland

            What’s that, the 17th century definition?

          • Posted by joey

            LOL, this place really is the intellectual reincarnation of RB [cough] [cough].

  3. Posted by MBneighbor

    While I do like putting transit underground, building underground the most expensive proposition in Mission Bay. Watertable in Mission Bay is minus 5′ to 8′ feet below ground surface which means tunnel will need to be heavily waterproofed. And given landfill conditions structures will need to be supported by very deep piles which adds another cost premium.

    • Posted by Joel

      I dislike it mostly because 4th and King seems like a more central location especially once the 400 ft tall tower goes in across from the station and the 200 ft ones along Townsend.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      What’s the problem? I mean, look how good of a job they’re doing with waterproofing in the new Bay Bridge.

  4. Posted by ELF

    Bummer that when you’re sitting at AT&T you won’t get as much bay view as before …. which was the whole point of the stadium! You’ll be looking at office buildings instead of beautiful sky and boats …

    • Posted by Martin

      How? This is all parking lot now not water. It will only change the view for the better. Will you miss looking at 3K cars?

      • Posted by phil

        It’s zoned to be a PARK!!!

        • Posted by Dr. House

          “It’s zoned to be a PARK!!!”…ing lot. You left off a couple syllables. At least, that’s what it is, and that’s all it’s currently going to be. Unless you want to buy it and donate it as a park! That would be really nice of you.

          Anyway, don’t get your panties in a bunch Mr Peskin, it’s already required to go on the ballot and all your little friends can scream about “walls on the waterfront” and evil “luxury SKYSCRAPERS” again.

          • Posted by phil

            Ha ha… you think I’m Aaron Peskin?

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            perskin lives in a multimillion dollar home that was gifted to him by his father n law

        • Posted by Can't Think of Cool Name

          @Phil, its zoned as a generic OS/40X. There’s no mention of it being a park in the zoning. The parcel (8719) is also called out specifically in the SF Planning Code (section 931) for some undetermined type of development.

          • Posted by Schaetzer

            Actually it’s not generic OS/40X. Mission Bay is covered by a Specific Plan. The site is zoned MB-OS (Mission Bay-Open Space) and it is in the OS height/bulk district. To wit..

            SEC. 926. DENSITY OF USES IN MB-OS DISTRICTS.
            The total gross square footage of structures permitted in the MB-OS Districts by Section 916 is as follows:
            (a) Single story small scale convenience retail in the area referred to as Crescent Park, consistent with the Recreation and Open Space Design Guidelines Section 5 (Character Elements) of the Mission Bay Plan: total of 2,000 gross square feet.
            (b) Single story restaurant on China Basin Channel Pier at Fourth Street: 6,000 gross square feet.
            (c) Houseboat community in China Basin Channel: 55 vessels (20 pleasure boats and 35 pleasure craft) and ancillary facilities, consistent with the Recreation and Open Space Design Guidelines Section 2.4 (Channel edge at Houseboats) of the Mission Bay Plan, in the area defined in a lease with the Port of San Francisco.
            (d) Other structures are limited to those which are necessary for or incidental to and supportive of the use of the area for active and passive recreation. Their size is to be determined by their function and purpose and consistency with the Master Plan.

            And as far as the height…

            SEC. 940. HEIGHT, BULK AND ARTICULATION OF BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES.
            (e) MB-OS Districts. In MB-OS Districts, the height and bulk of buildings and structures shall be consistent with the Recreation and Open Space Design Guidelines in the Mission Bay Plan and with the policies of the Urban Design, Recreation and Open Space and other elements of the Master Plan. The commercial uses permitted by Section 916 are limited in height to a single story.
            (Added by Ord. 63-91, App. 2/27/91)

          • Posted by Can't Think of Cool Name

            @Schaetzer, fair point, I missed that in my original post. But I’m still wondering about section 931 (Purposes of Mission Bay Height Districts). Section 931 only covers only MB-O (CalTrain station at 4th/King) and MB-OS (Parcel 8719).

            To me, the six bullet points can contradict section 916, 926, and 940 building height (one story):

            “In addition to the purposes of this Code as stated in Section 101, the Mission Bay Height Districts are established for further purposes of implementing the Urban Design element and other elements of the Master Plan and the Mission Bay Plan, according to the objectives, principles and policies stated therein. Among these purposes are the following:

            1. Relating the height of buildings to important attributes of the City pattern and to the height and character of existing development;
            2. Promotion of building forms that will respect and improve the integrity of open spaces and other public areas;
            3. Promotion of harmony in the visual relationships and transitions between new and older buildings;
            4. Protection and improvement of important City resources and of the neighborhood environment;
            5. Conservation of natural areas and other open spaces; and
            6. Direction of new development to locations that are appropriate in terms of land use and transportation.”

    • Posted by Frisco

      I think the point of the stadium was to watch baseball. If you want to watch boats you’re paying too much for that ticket.

      • Posted by Orland

        ELF is totally mistaken. The buildings at Mission Rock will have no affect upon the views of the Bay from the ballpark at China Basin but will add to the visual interest much as at PNC Park in Pittsburg and Petco in San Diego.

  5. Posted by Dave

    Got a flyer in the mail yesterday promoting the initiative for voter approval of the project.

    Not a single rendering of a tall (over 4 story) building. Its all parks and esplanades.

    Clearly the Giants know the high-rise component is a potential initiative killer. The website makes no mention of the tall buildings either.

    The opponents won’t be so demure. I expect a flyer with a 240 story wall rendered as just 2 blocks from the Bay.

    Its iffy if this thing passes hence the Giants scaling back their plans for towers.

    All that said, the City does not need 1.5 million sq feet of commercial space. With Prop M the proposed space won’t enter the pool for maybe a decade. So why include this? Greed.

    The Giants could remove the commercial space and generally lower the maximum height to 120 feet. That would be similar to Mission Bay and the UCSF campus. They could still net out the same number of housing units by eliminating the commercial space.

    Plus, why not something special in this project? A national sports museum. Dedicated to baseball, basketball, football and more. It would ultimately be an SF destination venue as it gets built out.

    • Posted by Sutro_Tower

      Much of Mission Bay was entitled for development years ago, and those allocations under S.F.’s longstanding development limits have been passed along as the properties have changed hands. That’s provided certainty for developers that they’ll be able to go ahead, even if the city hits the cap imposed by Prop. M. Mission Bay is exempt from the limits. That is why the Golden State Warriors’ decision to shift their plans for a new arena from the waterfront to Mission Bay allowed them to add in a 500,000-square-foot office component.

      • Posted by Dave

        I understood Mission Bay is not exempt from M – just that years ago it was given a significant allocation of office space w/in the cap. Special treatment so to speak. But it has a limit as far as I know and by now they are bumping into it.

        The Warriors moved sites [not] because of office space but the political impossibility of building at the previous site.

        • Posted by Orland

          Lot A is not within the Mission Bay special district but is SF Port property and subject to Prop B (assuming it survives legal challenge ).

    • Posted by Brian M

      Why is there such a fetish for museums? There are already sports halls of fame scattered around the country, and we already worship sports enough.

      Another money-draining museum doesn’t make much sense.

  6. Posted by phil

    Not only will this effectively be a “wall on the waterfront”, the park is to the north and will be in shadows most of the year. Do they actually want this to get built? It looks like a non-starter.

    • Posted by Dave

      One tact being taken by some opposing the project is that it indeed will violate the shadows ordinance.

      My bet is this is defeated by the voters in the fall and the Giants come back with something like my proposal above. Mush lower buildings, no office space and a park that will see the light on a sunny day.

    • Posted by Alex

      I would prefer to see high rises in a new neighborhood thats basically dead than seeing a giant parking lot and underutilized land

    • Posted by Orland

      Wall on the waterfront”?

      You won’t see any less of the Bay than you do now standing on Third St. with the pier heads in the way.

  7. Posted by Mark P

    How much better would it be if they put the Warrior’s Arena on this site, along with plenty of multi-story parking and parks? Create a true sports complex for the city instead of the current plan which is more about the Giants making money than being the right thing for the city.

  8. Posted by Larry

    The heights at 240 feet will create a “wall” with too many buildings at this height…the max height needs to be under 120′ (12 stories), voters will not approve the heights as they stand! Come on Giant’s you went from a few high buildings to several med-height…blocking your own fans water views!

    • Posted by Frisco

      True, and they could consolidate all of it into a single 2000 foot tower surrounded by a large park, but nobody would like that either. There’s no perfect balance to appease all the opposition.

      • Posted by Brian M

        Maybe the tower could FLOAT IN SPACE and serve as the anchor point for a lunar space elevator!!!! The mind boggles at the possibilities!

        Or we could get a round blob of buildings designed to look like a viral phage, attracting more biotech?

    • Posted by Orland

      I’d much rather see a couple towers of the proportions proposed by the Giants than a bunch more “slab” midrises like Azure and Arden along Channel in Mission Bay.

  9. Posted by Ralph Anavy

    This post is not about the pros or cons, but about deceptive tactics.

    The Giant’s just released PR mailer avoids showing a single building and makes it seem it is a park they are proposing (Rip Out the asphalt) (more like pour in the Concrete).

    A beautiful piece of deceptive advertising if I have seen one, feels like it is coming from Greenpeace or the Sierra Club. Hidden, the real construction in the project, with 1,500 apartments, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, no building under 90 feet, 3 towers at 240 feet, 2 at 190 ft and 5 at 120 ft and one at 90 ft…Altogether, no change in density from their earlier plans. They do mention prominently the new Anchor Steam Brewery though.

    Now for a specific comment. There will be NO assigned parking spaces for residential or office occupants. The Giants expect to have the Ballpark, Office buildings, Residents, and Visitors to the area to all SHARE the 3000 parking spaces provided (2400 in one structure), as part of the overall plan, (on a first come first serve basis, I presume, expect it will be handled and priced differently on game dates). And no need to say that some of these parking spots may be 1/2 mile away from your residence. Good luck with your groceries, children etc etc… They also expect the Warriors to share the parking facility for their events (as many as 220 per year).

    The parking plan is really TERRIBLE in my opinion, and shows zero sensitivity to traffic and transportation and residential needs. Only serves the Giant’s games (and the Warriors).

    • Posted by Orland

      The illustrations show what people will actually see from the actual vantage points they will have when visiting the site. What’s so deceptive in that?

      Expect the opposition to claim a view – blocking “wall on the waterfront” when, in fact, there will be no effect upon one currently sees from the periphery of the site.

    • Posted by TBK

      I agree that the presentation is rather deceptive, focusing on the open space while avoiding mention of tall buildings, but I don’t see any mention of parking strategy either so I’m not sure where you’re reading that there will be no assigned parking for residents. If you take a look at [page 5 of this overview] and zoom in (it’s pretty low-res so it’s blurry) you’ll notice curb cuts at every building and car ramps that most likely lead to underground parking.

      There’s no way they’d be able to sell condos or lease office space with parking that disappears during games. That by itself would make the project DOA without any vote whatsoever.

      [Editor’s Note: Keep in mind the overview to which you link above is old. The current plan includes 2,300 parking spaces in the new garage and up to 800 spaces in other buildings throughout the neighborhood for residents, all of which will be “managed to assure ample parking for patrons of games and other events.”]

      • Posted by Ralph Anavy

        The curb cuts are for handicapped disembarking, and for loading and unloading. At the CAC meeting on May 14 the Giant’s presentation was quite explicit (I questioned precisely that point).

        The Giants expect to have the Ballpark, Office buildings, Residents, and Visitors to the area to all SHARE all 3000 parking spaces provided as part of the overall plan (2300? in one 9 stories high structure at the far South end of the lot and 600? under the central plaza), on a first come shared basis (I also expect parking will be handled and priced differently on game and special event dates). Add that they are talking also to the Warriors about sharing that lot. Their response was that it was a short walk.

        We have been arguing about how long it is, walking, not flying, and with the current street activity favoring one route over the other. Could be as much as 1/4 mile. This plan serves only the Giants, who incidentally had promised a stadium geared only to public transportation and no parking when it went to the voters, and then…they grabbed lot A from the Port. The rest may or may not be satisfactory, but the parking concept is terrible.

        • Posted by Orland

          Taking you at your word and correct understanding, that sounds like a pretty idiotic scheme.

      • Posted by Ralph Anavy

        @TBK No there are no parking planned under any of the buildings. Only under the central plaza and in the giant’s parking structure at the South end.

        • Posted by TBK

          If that’s the case, I agree with you that it’s incredibly stupid. People will be rioting during game days.

    • Posted by Ralph Anavy

      Ok maybe not 1/2 mile (I may be exaggerating to make the point) but it could be as much as 1/4 mile walking distance. But imagine carrying groceries, kids etc that distance on surface streets.

  10. Posted by Jon Schwark

    Just please build it taller with HOUSING and less commercial space. We are way out of balance at the moment.

  11. Posted by unlivable city

    What is an “open space?” Can’t we fill it with something and make more money?

    • Posted by Orland

      TOO much “open space” in this plan IMO. Would rather see more urban neighborhood.

  12. Posted by eflat

    This project is DOA. It will be put on a ballot and be soundly defeated.
    the Giants and Warriors should be talking to each other now and put the Warriors Arena here along with a sports, restaurant, entertainment complex.
    What are the Giants management smoking? 11 buildings 9-20 stories tall. Parking for 3k?
    Lots of luck with that.

  13. Posted by Can't Think of Cool Name

    Hopefully the Giants have the War Room up and running. The PR machine needs to get going and they need as many building/site renderings as possible from every conceivable angle to demonstrate there would be no “wall on the waterfront.” And it wouldn’t hurt to have and show some type of traffic/congestion plan, including how site parking will be handled on a daily basis.

    I find it hard to believe that a professional *sports* organization doesn’t understand the concept of “the best defense is a good offense.”

  14. Posted by sky's the limit

    The views are almost as nice as the ones from Fontana Towers. The good news is the Giants are now proposing only two buildings as tall as Fontana Towers on SF Port land. The bad news is the Giants are still proposing any buildings as tall as Fontana Towers on SF Port land.

    [Editor’s Note: The plans now include three buildings over 230 feet, not two, as we first reported above.]

    • Posted by Orland

      Totally bogus comparison as to the effect of the siting of those travesties. Besides, SF Bay south of the bridge and YBI is not a particularly attractive body of water.

    • Posted by Frisco

      Do you want a height ordinance that nothing as tall as Fontana Towers should be built? The city is full of taller towers. The question is context, and Mission Bay isn’t Aquatic Park.

      • Posted by sky's the limit

        The context is the waterfront and SF Port land. We already have an ordinance that limits building heights there to much lower than Fontana Towers. I’m ok with the current ordinance.
        The city is not “full of taller towers”. A few very well defined areas have 200+ foot buildings or are zoned for that height. They make up only a few percent of SF. The vast majority of San Francisco doesn’t have buildings that height and almost certainly never will, by ordinance and by the choice of the people.

        • Posted by Frisco

          The current zero-foot height limit is not realistic.

  15. Posted by sky's the limit

    Surely the Giants will market the views as “not particularly attractive.” Otherwise, tell it to Cap the Knife.

    After the Fontana project was approved, the RHIA and their lawyer Weinberger embraced the idea of a 40-foot height limit (about three or four stories) to protect the waterfront from future such projects. Before the February 1964 vote of the Board of Supervisors overwhelmingly approved permanent 40-foot height limits (voting 9-1 in favor), Casper Weinberger had argued that the law “will preserve for future generations one of the priceless assets of San Francisco, the whole relationship of the city to the Bay… and particularly, the views enjoyed by the public from publicly owned lands, such as Coit Tower and other city-owned recreational spaces.” In further testimony he continued “The Master Plan has for years provided that the height of buildings should generally follow the contour of the land, and that low rise buildings should be built on the low lands, such as the northern waterfront, and high rise at the tops of hills so that the loss of views, etc., will be minimized.”
    http://foundsf.org/index.php?title=Height_Limit_Revolt_Saves_Waterfront_Vistas

    • Posted by Orland

      Thanks for the interesting historical, pictorial and geographical information which only underscores how bogus is your comparison of Mission Rock to the Fontana Towers fiasco.

  16. Posted by sky's the limit

    You mean aside from the facts of direct historical, geographic, and zoning connections between the two. Dismiss away with your silly empty statements as many times as you want, but planting 200+ foot buildings on SF Port land along the waterfront is exactly what SF decided it didn’t want after Fontana Towers.

    • Posted by Orland

      Agreed that Fontana was a disaster and this certainly is not that which is why variance from straight jacket zoning can be a good thing.

      • Posted by sky's the limit

        Fontana is an eyesore and a cautionary lesson learned a long time ago and still relevant, but hardly a disaster. The 1989 earthquake was a disaster. Building a nearly uninterrupted line of Fontanas along the waterfront would have been a different kind of tragedy, perhaps. But the Fontana is just two slim buildings on an isolated parcel. This project is huge by comparison.

        Many aspects of this project are shaping up to be problematic, not just the excessive building heights. How about the oddly organized and inadequate parking? How about the added traffic? What about the taking of public open space for private profit? That land is zoned to be public open space and has been zoned that way since before the Giants cooked this proposal. If the Giants don’t want to use all of it as a parking lot anymore and would prefer to build a parking garage in a corner of it, then the SF Port should consider alternatives, including keeping most or all of it public open space.

        • Posted by Orland

          You raised the Fontana canard and it’s totally inapposite to the subject at hand. The Fontana slabs substantially blocked one of the most beautiful and unique urban vistas in the world of hundreds, if not thousands, of residents living uphill from it as well as anyone traveling through the neighborhood. An absolute blight with no real redeeming quality for the City.

          Mission Rock will modestly impair a so-so view for a fraction of residents of Potrero Hill while providing significant contributions to the completion of a new neighborhood decades in the making. That’s called a distinction with a DIFFERENCE.

          It’s hardly a private “taking” where the Giants will be leasing the land and making very substantial improvements upon property to which the Port will retain ownership.

          This is not “open space” but simply land which has been fallow serving no purpose for a couple generations crying out for good use for the civic benefit which is exactly what the Giants propose. If you don’t get that, it is solely because of your ideological bent.

          The parking provision as described here, if true, needs work which is what the planning process should be for and underscores why zoning by ballot is a fool’s work.

          • Posted by sky's the limit

            This is zoned “Open Space.” That’s a fact, as CToCN confirms below.

            Over 50 years ago the Board of Supervisors decided to limit the zoning heights on the waterfront. Since then the voters have confirmed this time and again. Even the variance that was voted by ballot for the Giants to build their ballpark was only to allow a building closer to half these heights. The Pier 70 height increase SF voters just approved was to raise the max height to 90 feet. There’s your generations and decades in the making. Anyone who thinks the height restrictions on the waterfront since the Fontana Towers is somehow not germane is either delusional or badly informed or fooled by their “ideological bent”. Those restrictions have been based on building height and proximity to the waterfront, not how many views were blocked or your personal disdain for the beauty of the Bay.

            The residents of Russian Hill weren’t able to stop Fontana Towers, though their efforts helped secure a low height along the waterfront for the future. The residents of Potrero Hill were able to limit the height of buildings in Mission Bay and to lower heights than the Giants propose.

            You may disregard the value of the views of others all you want. You may think the differences are so distinct the comparison to Fontana Towers and walls on the waterfront shouldn’t be made (though you misuse the word canard), but they are comparable, directly and in detail. Many people disagree with you, and not just people that will have their views blocked by these towers, just as I am sure many disagree with me, and not just people that devalue the views of the Bay from the central waterfront. Regardless of the disregard you have for facts, the views of others, and the use of the ballot in a democratic process, the voters will decide in November.

        • Posted by Can't Think of Cool Name

          @Sky, for the record (literally), the parking lot is zoned OS/40X. I’m assuming the 40X is because the parcel (8719) contains both the lot and Pier 48.

          Details can be checked out on the San Francisco Property Information Map web site. If you click on the “OS” link in the “Height & Bulk Districts” section under the “Zoning” tab, you’re redirected to another site for the San Francisco Planing Code.

          According to the zoning, there’s no special restrictions on the parcel – which I would assume could include being exclusively a “public open space.” Check out section 931 of the planning code. It looks to me that the city has already planned for some type of development on the parcel. The 6 bullet points are where things will get interesting.

          • Posted by sky's the limit

            @CToCN, yes, the city has been waiting to rezone the lot until they have a good idea of what will be built there. They have said as much in publicly available memos. It is currently zoned as Mission Bay Open Space:

            “In MB-OS Districts, the height and bulk of buildings and structures shall be consistent with the Recreation and Open Space Design Guidelines in the Mission Bay Plan and with the policies of the Urban Design, Recreation and Open Space and other elements of the Master Plan. The commercial uses permitted by Section 916 are limited in height to a single story.”

            I don’t think there is any chance it will all remain zoned open space, even if only because the port needs money. The issues are about how much open space will be lost for how much bulk, height, traffic, parking, office, housing, etc to make the financials work for the Giants and the port.

          • Posted by Can't Think of Cool Name

            @Sky, oddly, unless The Yard received a variance, its violating the MB-OS definition, since a section of it is two stories…

          • Posted by sky's the limit

            They got a permit to “Install temporary & rental trailers for a public entertaimment venue to last less than 6-months (for cavalier entertainment).”

          • Posted by Orland

            @Sky Fontana was the worse imaginable building in the worse possible place. To even mention it as instructively informed experience in this conversation is absolutely a canard.

            As for the poor folks on PH, their views would be so marginally affected that only the most self-centered NIMBY could complain to the detriment of the City Something like <10% of the field of vision if you can find without first knowing where to look. Hint: lower, left-centered border.

            For such a stickler for giving recognition to zoning ordinance decisions made half a century ago, you sure find it convenient to ignore State statutory law. In fact, preemption dictates that the BOS has no jurisdiction over Port land. Soon, the court is going to tell SF where it can stick its height restrictions and the Port and the Giants will be free to make a deal the way it should be.

          • Posted by sky's the limit

            There are plenty of worse places to locate the Fontana Towers. For example, one block from their current location up the hill on Bay Street would block much more of the views from Russian Hill and stand out more prominently from all directions. If they had been built to half their current height at their current location, then they might still be disliked as architecture, but they would have much less impact on views and would not still resonate in these discussions.

            I’m merely pointing out the facts and the history and offering my belief that the public’s lingering displeasure with the Fontana Towers helped determine the current zoning for the waterfront, defeat 8 Washington, and pass Prop B. And the Giants response has been to chop a little more than a third off their highest buildings, from 380 feet to 240 feet. If they chopped another third off to around 150 feet they would be close to the height of ATT Park and the rest of Mission Bay, and probably could avoid or seriously undermine a “wall on the waterfront” fight. The Giants have already outlined their preferred rezoning of this entire project, which is actually more than one parcel. They want ‘flexible’ zoning to allow them to adjust the commercial and residential mix as they go. If the voters approve, then the zoning is sure to follow.

            As far as the courts deciding to set aside the voter’s right to decide, perhaps we will see, but only a fool would base a billion dollar 10+ year development on a court decision opposed by the majority of the voters. The Giants aren’t fools. They’ve played the SF ballot game many times and they have been preparing for this one for many years.

    • Posted by Brian M

      Does “what SF wanted” in 1964 apply forever?

      I mean, I was one year old in 1964. All I wanted was a lollypop.

      • Posted by sky's the limit

        Um, try what SF voters wanted as recently as 2014 with Prop B. SF voters have approved two height exceptions: 150 feet for the Giants ball park in the 1990s and 90 feet max for Pier 70 in 2014. Anyone know of any others on SF Port land?

        • Posted by Can't Think of Cool Name

          @Sky, the Watermark on SWL330 (across the street from Pier 30/32 and bordering the Embarcadero) is 234 feet tall.

          • Posted by sky's the limit

            The Port sold the half acre of SWL 330 that the Watermark Condominium is on through a land swap. That removed it from the Trust. They’ve offered the rest of SWL 330 for sale to the Warriors a couple years ago and for an earlier proposed cruise terminal project. The Giants are supposed to sign a 75 year lease for this project. Just goes to show how rare any of these deals are.

  17. Posted by Dave

    If the initiative is defeated it will not be good news for the Warriors arena plan. An anti-arena initiative would then likely pass. At which point the Warriors likely will circle back to Oakland or perhaps to a SJ site or even a Peninsula site. The 49ers moved to the south Peninsula so why not the Warriors?

    SF does not have the infrastructure or streets to support this kind of density.

    I’d love an arena/entertainment venue in the City like Shoreline and others but it is not practical.

    As mentioned above SF is overwhelmingly zoned for shorter building. Hi-rises an exception covering just a small percentage of the land. The whole point of the SOMA/Transbay area was to provide a circumscribed area for hi-rises.

    Unfortunately that was not enough. Is it ever. The Van ness towers clearly run against the lower height nature of SF as does the stuff the Mayor wants onnTownsend – 40 story buildings? That is way outside the acceptable area for hi-rise construction.

    It probably will take an initiative, one – not a dozen piecemeal initiative launched for every project, to simply downzone maximum heights in the city to 120 feet in areas outside SOMA that have been up-zoned for more. This would include blocking the Chronicle building project which wants to go to 40 stories in an area historically just 3 or 4 stories. There is talk of doing that for the VanNess Market corners. Whether those projects have gotten past the point where an initiative could stop them at the least no more towers would be built in the area. Same for Townsend. I believe that can be stopped by a maximum height initiative as it is so early in the planning stages.

    • Posted by sparky-b

      The warriors arena is designed at 135′ so I don’t see your 120′ initiative making them move to San Jose.

  18. Posted by Pablo

    Seems like a great place to build the new Warriors Arena – they could share parking with the Giants. 🙂

  19. Posted by sky's the limit

    Jane Kim’s going to the ballot to cap the Giants height at 120 feet. From today’s sfgate:

    “Supervisor Jane Kim said she will introduce on Tuesday a measure for the November ballot that strikes at the heart of the Giants’ well-calibrated plan. The measure would cut in half the height of some of the proposed buildings and require the Giants to dedicate much more of its housing to low-income residents…

    Kim wants to cap the height limit at 120 feet and require half of the residential units be dedicated to affordable housing. She wants the Giants to make 33 percent of the units affordable to families earning up to 120 percent of AMI, or $122,000 for a four-person household, and another 17 percent affordable to people making up to 150 percent of AMI…

    Kim said she wants to place her measure on the November ballot, meaning the Giants’ and Kim’s proposals would go against each other in the election. Whichever measure receives the most votes would prevail.”

    Seems like overkill sure to kill either the proposition or the project. With this and the anti-airbnb prop, going to get a lot of junk mail this October. Recycle early, recycle often.

  20. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: With 16,524 signatures delivered to the Department of Elections and since verified, the ballot measure to allow the Giants to redevelop AT&T Park’s Parking Lot A as “Mission Rock” has qualified for the November election.

  21. Posted by James Maher

    I’d love living in an apartment that is 0′ tall. Might be a little breezy though.

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