The present proposal is the 4th attempt to change the Golden Gateway Swim & Tennis Club from a recreational facility into part condominiums and part recreational.
The reason that the use of the site is still recreational is that the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency took control of the area in the 1960’s, used Federal Funds to relocate business and residents and with 5 developers bidding, chose the Perini Corp of Boston to develop the Golden Gateway area. Perini won the rights to build the Alcoa Office Building (25 stories), the Golden Gateway Center (1,200+ rental apartments) and the Golden Gateway Commons (mixed use with 3 blocks of office & retail and 155 condominiums).
One of the reasons that Perini was accepted by the Redevelopment Agency is that Perini proposed to build a private 2 acre park (Sydney Walton Park) and build the Golden Gateway Swim & Tennis Club (Club) that was made available to the tenants at the GG Center and GG Commons. This helped create the neighborhood with both office and residential uses and today is the most successful project the SF Redevelopment Agency has completed.
Perini paid the Redevelopment Agency market rate land cost for the rights to build the Alcoa Building, the GG Center and GG Commons, but paid below market for the land for the Park & Recreational Club.
The neighborhood and anyone visiting has enjoyed both the Park and Club since the 1970’s.
There have been 3 previous attempts to build condominiums on the Club and reduce the size of the Club. All 3 previous attempts were turned down, first by Mayor Diane Feinstein, then Mayor Art Agnos and most recently by the Board of Supervisors.
Members of the Club have formed an organization to “Save the Club” called Friends of Golden Gateway “FOGG” with over 1,300 members.
In December 2006, FOGG joined with the San Francisco Tennis Club, the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association and numerous other City organizations to have the Supervisors (who voted 11-0) to require any changes in public or private recreational facilities in San Francisco to replace the recreational component with 100% of the existing recreational facilities. This action has saved the SF Tennis Club from being replaced with over 500 condominiums.
The neighborhood that enjoys using the Golden Gateway Swim and Tennis Club feels that the project that was approved by the Redevelopment Agency 30 years ago, did not call for it to change at a later date. If the recreational facility can be taken away, how soon will Sydney Walton Park have a 25 story building replacing that open space?
Get educated and make up your own mind.
Also noted by Frederick, a lawsuit backed by the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, Neighbors to Preserve the Waterfront, San Franciscans for Reasonable Growth, Golden Gateway Tenants Association, San Francisco Neighborhood Network, Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association, Russian Hill Neighbors, and the San Francisco Tenants Union among others has been filed in San Francisco’s Superior Court in an attempt to prevent the development.