by JAMIE WHITAKER
SoMa activist and 2014 D6 candidate for Supervisor
I believe that we should take the success of the Brannan Street Wharf’s demolition of Piers 34 and 36 and creation of more seating and open space, and continue the design northward by demolishing Piers 30-32 and building out a continuation of the open space with proceeds from the sale and development of Seawall Lot 330 across the street. Brannan Street Wharf’s demolition of Piers 34 and 36 plus the development of the park itself cost $26.1 million. Even if it costs twice as much to demolish Piers 30-32, the value of the land across the street and what could be developed within 105′ should be able to pay for it.
The 2012 Fiscal Feasibility report indicated the SWL 330 land was worth about $30 million. Land values have increased significantly since 2012. It is probably worth upwards of $50 million at its 105′ current height limit. If a hotel were built, the 14% transient tax could help pay for bonds, if needed, or for maintenance of the park built in place of Piers 30-32. There is also the possibility of an Infrastructure Financing District (IFD) which could be bonded against and provide tax increment from the developed SWL 330 to demolish Piers 30-32 and make it a decent open space/park like Brannan Street Wharf.
Thank you Warriors! You have chosen a much better location because it is a fair distance from residential buildings, it has roadways around all four sides of the property for better access by private cars, taxis, ride shares, buses, and semi trucks. It does not sit in a location with a high concentration of deadly air pollution as designated by San Francisco Health Code Article 38. There is a much better set up of parking garages, with over 2,000 potential spaces already built nearby since we know about 50% of your patrons will drive regardless of where the arena is located. The new Public Safety building means lots of SFPD officers will always be next door, and that should keep patrons on good behavior. The Mission Bay location is much better than on Piers 30-32 in my humble opinion.
As for why Piers 30-32 would not work, it would have increased traffic congestion which would have increased air pollution – leading to increased asthma and mortality rates among residents nearby. It would have created further delays for emergency vehicle response to residents around Rincon Hill and South Beach. It would have created more dangers for pedestrians and bicyclists from impatient drivers either leaving work on weekday evenings or folks driving in to see a concert at the arena with no clue how our street grid works downtown.
Ann Killion at the Chronicle provides the best summary of why Piers 30-32 should not have even been considered, really. Thank goodness the environmental health and well-being of residents won the day.