Having passed in the State Assembly by a vote of 59-10, Phil Ting’s Assembly Bill 1273 which would revise the existing authorization to develop San Francisco’s Pier 30-32 for use as a cruise ship terminal and authorize the Port to approve the building of the proposed Warriors Arena without additional review or oversight from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) is now in the hands of the Senate.
Following a full-court press from the Mayor and local labor leaders last month, the BCDC agreed to avoid a formal vote opposing the bill and simply send a letter to legislators expressing their concerns about the attempted end run, giving the Warriors a month to work out their differences over the proposed arena project with the commission’s staff.
Having failed to resolve their differences, the Commission has now formally voted 12-6 to “request that AB 1273 (The Pier 30-32 Revitalization Act) be placed on a two-year timetable so that it is not acted on by any Senate committee during this legislative year,” or to formally oppose the bill should Assembly Member Ting decline the Commission’s request to delay the legislation.
Pier 30-32 Revitalization Act Aims To Clear The Way For The Warriors [SocketSite]
Redesigned Warriors Arena Unveiled: A Peek Inside And Out [SocketSite]
Full-Court Press Postpones Bay Commission’s Opposition To Arena Bill [SocketSite]
BCDC Letter to The Honorable Philip Y. Ting (Pier 30-32 Revitalization Act) []

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    NBA = formula entertainment.

  2. Posted by BigV

    So, other than being angry at feeling dis-empowered, why does the Bay Commission oppose this?

  3. Posted by Retail in chains

    Just because nature abhors a vacuum doesn’t mean that the city and county of San Francisco under its current leadership needs to race to fill every last open spot with something gi-nourmous. If it were up to me the whole pier would be removed and a nice bay front returned. I think a lot of people think the same way and don’t want this thing crammed in atop everything else.

  4. Posted by Frank C.

    Yes – why build a development using a precious asset that does not make use of the asset at all? The building has no windows. The building could be anywhere.

  5. Posted by Jackson

    “Retail in chains” is correct.
    I am especially angered at Rep. Phil Ting attempting a legislative end run at the Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
    Why do I get the feeling big money interests are going to force the issue, leading to dueling ballot measures?

  6. Posted by Rob

    1. It has a lot of windows as well as thousands of square feet of public access / amenities to the water front (plenty more than you’d get access to without any pier at all)
    2. The building literally can not be anywhere. This site seems to be a pretty excellent spot to keep it close to public transit as well as the commercial core of the city.
    3. No one is “racing” this project along. This didn’t just happen over night. Years have gone by +4 more for the 2017 season, right?
    4. I would argue that a lot of people seem to be sharing support for the project as well as the amount of consideration thats be given to each part of the process.
    I don’t care for sports in any way, and I would love to see this get built.

  7. Posted by sfjune

    Poorly conceived. With the melting ice caps, that pier and proposed stadium will be underwater in 15 years. Build it in the more appropriate area of Mission Bay, Third Street / Dog Patch corridor, or Bay view. The worst location for it. That area is already gridlock with traffic and covered in soot.

  8. Posted by good christian

    frank says, “this building could be anywhere.”
    I’d caution not to get hung up on one picture and fall under the hypnosis of nay-saying.
    though I sympathize because I may have felt similarly at first.
    I’ve no innate love of major league / commercial sports, their venues, or frankly, the masses they attract.
    but it didn’t take long for me to be strongly swayed by the pier 30-32 plans once I looked at them more closely …
    first, this is not banal architecture. and it’s not just a stadium. it’s a park with ~ 7 acres (!) of public open space that line the perimeter of the bay.
    a huge improvement over what’s there. no one goes there now – aside from a couple of fishermen and sometimes me on a foggy evening. generally, it’s an alienating expanse of cracked concrete.
    this project is designed by snøhetta. they’re understandably considered to be one of the hottest architectural firms in the world right now. (you might read the new yorker piece on them a couple months back. see if that whets the appetite).
    I think many of the misgivings are rational but are premature and/or misplaced – e.g., it blocks a view – (surprisingly it doesn’t) – and some, like e.g., traffic, are simply displaced by the power of the project. yes, simply :->
    I think the project is an extraordinary opportunity for the city and for that area / neighborhood. I think it’d be waaay better than the pacbell project – not that that’s so relevant a comparison.
    I live a few blocks away, btw, and travel around here frequently by bike and foot and car.

  9. Posted by Grace

    @jackson…totally agree – hate the political end run by Ting. So pleased with the commission for this decision.
    @rob. I have heard it suggested that this arena would fit well at the Bill Grahm center downtown at civic center. It would go a long way to help advance mid-market area and is on all transit lines.

  10. Posted by Ugh

    As long as it is not a Starbucks or Chipotle, the build anything anywhere crowd would really support this Arena if it had 50 floors of condos on top. (Talk about a celebration of “density”) San Francisco has the most poorly planned waterfront (on this side of town) imaginable. The waterfront is a public asset, at least the north side of the city understands that. Can you imagine Chicago or even Los Angeles building such a structure on their waterfront?

  11. Posted by grrr

    Build the arena ASAP

  12. Posted by anon

    The building has no windows.
    Um, have you looked at the building?

  13. Posted by sfjhawk

    “San Francisco has the most poorly planned waterfront (on this side of town) imaginable . . . ”
    Easy to agree if we’re talking about the AC pavilion but a bit hyperbolic don’t you think? Are you saying that the Ferry Building, Exploratorium, and Giants ballpark are all examples of this poor planning? Also, for this specific area, exactly what planning has occurred over the past 15 years? As long as I can remember it’s been the same broken down piers (’97 to be exact).
    Also, the idea of the mid-market location has been discussed on previous threads. I think some would challenge the point on accessibility of the location vs. on the waterfront (reference the ss post last week about Ferry capacity increasing and extending to far as Hercules), as well as the idea of a dead space when an event isn’t happening (kind of like the Bill Graham center or Moscone Convention center today). At least with the waterfront location, over half of the developed area will be open area (park), which the neighborhood desperately needs and would use.

  14. Posted by eddy

    An enclosed arena would be a major asset to our city that currently lacks anyplace to hold a major indoor concert with headlining bands and other entertainment options.

  15. Posted by BigV

    So other than general NIBYism and misguided reactionaries who don’t want anything built, no one has yet answered my question:
    “Why does the Bay Commission object to this project?”

  16. Posted by Jake

    The Bay Commission has not objected to this project, they haven’t even voted on the project, they have objected to the doubletime goosestepping of AB 1273.
    FWIW, Phil Ting doesn’t even represent the affected district, it is in the center of the 17th District of California, represented ineffectualy by Tom Ammiano.

  17. Posted by inclinejj

    Never under estimate the hippies, nobees, tree huggers and nimby’s.
    These people know more then all the experts.

  18. Posted by seth rogers

    glad to see this shut down. the end run, the unanswered traffic issues as well as the unnecessary use of waterfront for sports events all contributed to this being shelved.

  19. Posted by SocketSite

    FWIW, Phil Ting doesn’t even represent the affected district, it is in the center of the 17th District of California, represented ineffectualy by Tom Ammiano.
    One of the ten noes in the Assembly was Ammiano’s.

  20. Posted by anon

    It’s simple, the land is part of a public trust and is required by law to be developed for maritime use. Obviously the proposed arena is not a legally trust-consistent use so the Warriors are trying to disguise the deficiency by moving a couple of fireboats and having a cruise ship dock 3 days a year (7 hours each day). LOL.
    The more I learn about the regulatory and legal hurdles the more I think the Warriors will give up on this site. The amount of approvals, permits and regulations required are mind-boggling. Moving the arena off the waterfront would eliminate the need to deal with State Lands, BCDC, Save the Bay, etc.

  21. Posted by JWS

    @seth rogers – “Unnecessary use of waterfront for sports events”…can you please explain??
    What better to put on our waterfront than an architecturally significant site that will provide countless joy to many citizens and tourists alike? Throw on seven acres of public space on top of that. And don’t like sports? This will undoubtedly draw many of the top concerts away from Oracle and HP…at those arenas in the past, I’ve seen U2, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, etc. Imagine having those acts play in this insanely beautiful space right in the city!
    Please propose what would be a better use for the waterfront. Especially given that, as of right now, our waterfront is mostly rotting piers, dive bars, and private tennis clubs.

  22. Posted by anon

    Better use for the waterfront? Seems to me that the beloved Ocean Beach and Crissy Field don’t need to have a use for the waterfront other than open space. Aside from transporation access, would you build an arena on Crissy Field or Ocean Beach? F no!
    I think everyone wants an arena in SF…but more and more are questioning the location.

  23. Posted by anon

    Aside from transporation access
    Um, this is almost the entire reason that the pier location is a good one. You might as well say, “aside from transportation access why not build the arena on the Farallon Islands?”

  24. Posted by Alex

    buil it! It will make a great addition to the waterfront! Its better to place a stadium on the pier than keeping the rooting pier that is there today!

  25. Posted by JWS

    @Anon – Apples to oranges, to a point that is almost silly. Crissy Field and Ocean Beach are naturalistic uses of the land, in areas without dense development, where the natural topography that exists already was either left alone or tastefully updated.
    Piers 30-32 are manmade, bordering a dense city center. You cannot have a beach here. You must build something manmade. Blocks away you have major entertainment and nightlife centers, new luxury condos, copious public transport, and another iconic sports complex. Knowing that the use of land in South Beach/Rincon Hill is already dense and high-end, and is only going to continue to develop in this direction, and that the whole area is manmade to begin with, what is the best use of this space?
    To suggest we could have another beach or naturalist park here is silly. Let’s get a more realistic answer.

  26. Posted by noe mom

    Lets think regionally…Oakland should keep it because they need this. Economically SF does not need this. The Embarcadero is a bad location because of the views of the Bridge. This is all about real estate and being splashy. Lacob et al want to put three high rises on the seawall lot across the street from the piers and they think if they have a fancy site they will attract high caliber players like LeBron.
    Lacob was on a local post game show following the NBA finals and he said he thought he could break ground in 2015 so that is why they are pushing. It is good there has been some pushing back. Maybe he will realize he has got a good thing in Oakland.

  27. Posted by anon

    He’s already said they’re not going to stay in Oakland (the coliseum is woefully outdated and auto-oriented, no way they’ll sign another lease there), so that’s not really a potential possibility. San Jose might be an option for them.

  28. Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

    If you support the notion that AT&T Park is responsible for the resurgence of the South Beach neighborhood, then you should want this arena built in a neighborhood that could use a similar boost. Like the Dogpatch / Pier 70 area, Inner Mission or Western Addition. Anything further away from the main mass transit arteries wouldn’t work but those locations should at least be considered in order to make a stronger case for the project.

  29. Posted by anon

    ^I don’t really support that notion. Too many other variables involved to claim that a single thing like AT&T Park caused the resurgence. The lack of building in those other areas is pretty much entirely because of politics or bureaucracy, not because there’s lack of demand.

  30. Posted by Adam

    The BCDC objects to AB1273 because it specifically and deliberately sought to remove from the Commission’s jurisdiction a project that is inarguably within its purview.
    What is the point of having a state law that enforces a development process over specific projects if the rich and well-connected can simply have a paid-for assemblyman introduce a virtual bill of attainder that emasculates the commission tasked with oversight?
    The stadium as proposed doesn’t even nod in the direction of transportation management and in its typical style the City is treating the project as if it stands alone and is somehow not part of a neighborhood with plans for thousands of new condo units over the next decade. Of course, the proposed stadium has virtually no parking, but that’s because it’s unnecessary; SF is a “transit-first” city, right?
    More like transit-never. San Francisco, in the face of any logic, is in fact taking transit away from the Embarcadero, moving the K/T back to 4th St. Pier 30/32 is nearly a mile from either Caltrain or the Embarcadero BART station, and one need only attempt to take MUNI or drive near AT&T park on game days to see what the reality will be nearly every day of the year if the arena is built: gridlocked cars and public transportation, no street parking for residents, and plummeting air quality as vehicles idle endlessly.

  31. Posted by Jackson

    Re: JWS quote: “Crissy Field and Ocean Beach are naturalistic uses of the land, in areas without dense development, where the natural topography that exists already was either left alone or tastefully updated.”
    Crissy Field looks like natural topography that was left alone because it was RESTORED from being a military installation.
    Crissy Field is now a lovely, well-used, park because lots of public money was spent on removing remnants of the previous use and restoring the lagoon and wetlands.
    The same can be done with the area at Piers 30-32.
    With ever increasing density and population, San Francisco is going to need additional park space on the east side of the City.
    Building a Warriors stadium in the bay will permanently remove the Crissy Field style park option.

  32. Posted by Fishchum

    Jackson – How are you going to shoehorn a Crissy Field-like park in between the Embarcadero and the bay? JWS makes a very good point.
    And who’s going to pay for it? From what I’ve read, the Port doesn’t have the millions it would take to simply demolish the pier.

  33. Posted by Jackson

    Fishchum, my comparison with Crissy Field was only to show what can be accomplished with restoration to derelict bay-front areas.
    Perhaps the best we can imagine along this stretch of the Embarcadero is a pedestrian sidewalk, bike path, uncluttered world class views, and a restored beach.
    The National Parks Service restored Crissy Field even with its limited budget.
    San Francisco and the Port Authority should be able to do the same with enough public demand.
    Building a Warrior stadium in the bay, permanently precludes ever being a restored bay side park area.
    We have San Francisco citizens who can simply write a check.
    Getty Park, anyone?

  34. Posted by Jake

    can we please put to rest the ahistoric and demonstrably false notion that
    “AT&T Park is responsible for the resurgence of the South Beach neighborhood”
    I bought a home in 1992 near South Park in part because the neighborhood had been among the most rapidly developing in SF for years due to a sustained boost from the redevelopment agency.
    It was a bit dodgy then, when you could park for $10/day on the dirt lot that is now 200 Brannan, and the Chinese Warehouse fire hadn’t been lit, but South Beach was becoming long before Wired, Organic, Twitter, Instagram, and a billion dollars or two of VC money washed through leaving a network of underground optical fibers to replace the old above ground railways.
    As much as I enjoy AT&T park and the Giants — and I do; I am sure that had the city built a park on the same footprint, my daily life and property value would be much greater.

  35. Posted by JWS

    @Jackson and others — Yes, public space/a park would be very nice in this setting. Oh wait, how convenient, the Warriors proposal calls for SEVEN+ ACRES of public park!
    A naturalist park like Crissy Field does NOT make sense here, for the same reason a stadium does not make sense off of Ocean Beach. Can we stop pretending like this is a quaint seaside community? This is proposed for an area that is NOTHING but dense urban entertainment space and luxury condos, and is increasingly headed in that direction. Public space (like the aforementioned SEVEN+ ACRES OF PUBLIC PARK) makes sense here, but you are not going to get a minimalist/naturalist park.
    Inner Mission? Western Addition? With WHAT SPACE??
    If you oppose South Beach turning into an entertainment district, that is fine. But maybe it is time to move, because Warriors Arena or no Warriors Arena, take a look around you…this area is only going to continue to become high-end, luxury/entertainment focused, and dense, with or without an NBA stadium. An architecturally important and accessible stadium on the waterfront, with public space and a beautiful view of the Bay Bridge through the stadium, designed by one of the world’s preeminent architects, is a perfect utilization of this space for what this area is becoming, and will continue to become.
    Nobody is saying that the new stadium will revitalize the area. The area has been revitalized. The stadium is a perfect fit for what the area is becoming.
    Can we please not chase away yet another amazing sports opportunity for a city that, if you haven’t noticed, really, really, really loves sports?

  36. Posted by Jake

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that this locale is a dense urban space, and becoming moreso.
    All the more reason to care for the remaining undeveloped scraps.
    Let us be clear: currently, all of piers 30-32 are public property, every sq inch. Not to mention seawall lot 330 (see namelink for sfport renderings).
    This is a question of a private taking of public lands at what cost for what benefit by what law.
    Frankly, no one including the Warriors has made a financial case that it would be better to build this than just let my neighbor’s dog use it until we get a better offer or it returns to the bay ensuring the beautiful view there now.

  37. Posted by Jackson

    Well said Jake and an excellent argument regarding the conversion of public property to a private for profit entity.
    And to JWS: The arguments in this thread are not anti-sports rants against the Warriors, only about the placement of the proposed stadium in San Francisco Bay.

  38. Posted by Frank C.

    To respond to previous comments about my post, the building for all practical purposes has no windows. So what if you can see it on an escalator? In this building, people sit in chairs watching events. They do not use the views. The views, the asset, is wasted. It’s value to the city is wasted.
    I seriously would support a residential tower on this property. That would at least utilize the views. I’d support almost any residential or office use over this arena. I’d really prefer that nothing at all built on piers over water, however, but that’s not realistic.

  39. Posted by anon

    @Jackson – the reason that these piers can’t be restored to their “natural setting” with things like a “beach” is that naturally the area was hundreds of feet out into the Bay! You do realize this area is fill, right?

  40. Posted by JWS

    I think we are all firmly set in our ways. But…
    @Frank C – Check the renderings. There is a giant interior window from inside the stadium that frames the Bay Bridge at night. There is absolutely an interior view, this is part of what makes the architecture so spectacular.
    @Jake – You are right. Every inch currently is indeed public space. However, the public space is a rotting pier, with one redeemable quality — Red’s Java Shack, which is being utilized in the plans for the stadium anyway. What proposal are you waiting for? Because if it is a pure park, nobody has the money to put millions into the renovation for simply a park. Not to mention, there are many acres of public park/plaza use, that would be utilized, in the Warriors plan.
    @Jackson – No, nobody is overtly saying they don’t want sports there, but this will chase away something that hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents, many in San Francisco proper, would cherish and use for years to come.
    I just cannot understand how you can’t look at these renderings and imagine how unique, architecturally significant, and beloved this would become. This would be the best and most iconic stadium in the country, located in an absolutely spectacular setting, in an area that already has the reputation, sports bars/nightlife, and transport (with CalTrain and BART close by) to support it.
    If we are talking about public use, I cannot possibly imagine what utilization of this space would not be more beloved than this. This would bring joy and enjoyment to hundreds of thousands of Bay Area citizens enjoying games and huge name concerts over the years, in a setting that supports it, in a space that is disgustingly underutilized that would cost too much to renovate for practically any other use.

  41. Posted by anon

    To respond to previous comments about my post, the building for all practical purposes has no windows. So what if you can see it on an escalator? In this building, people sit in chairs watching events. They do not use the views. The views, the asset, is wasted. It’s value to the city is wasted.
    The areas that thousands of people will use and look out the windows at the views? So it would be better to have a few hundred people be able to have condos here with windows out to the views? Why is a view out of a kitchen more valuable than the view out from a restaurant or mezzanine?
    You sound absurdly elitist.

  42. Posted by drew

    Build the arena!

  43. Posted by WTf

    I pray the Warriors project fails!!! WARRIORS — STAY IN OAKLAND!!!

  44. Posted by Frank C.

    anon, I find it sad that you can’t understand that it’s possible that I don’t agree with you. There’s nothing elitist at all in my philosophy about politics, land use, etc. I’m a pragmatist, and my preferred solution gives the land to the most people (no development). My second solution gives the city the best enhancement to the neighborhood (residents, and a probably public promenade with any residential development.)
    I just think that arenas are a bad use of public resources and should not take up prime land that could be used for what I see as better purposes.
    Is that so hard for you to understand?

  45. Posted by anon

    @Frank – you proposed reserving the views for a few hundred richies at the expense of the literally millions of people who would see the views from inside the arena (through its enormous windows).
    That’s astoundingly elitist. We’ve got a public good proposed here that you want turned into a private playground. Disgusting.

  46. Posted by JWS

    @Frank C – There are arguably few developments that give more people joy than sports arenas. Particularly NBA arenas, which double as concert venues.
    May I ask, given that literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions, will visit and enjoy this arena for both sports events and large name concerts (Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, U2, Green Day sized bands), what specifically about an arena is a bad use of public resources?

  47. Posted by Frank C.

    anon – love your adjectives, nice vocab! True – I could point out *additional* objections I have that I did not include in my note, though there’s no need to insult me.
    Nore people would enjoy that view as part of a park in a residential development than on a 20 second escalator ride, and do so in a quieter more contemplative environment, which is what most people want for coastline parks.
    On top of my other objections, I think it’s a bad development for what should be primarily a residential neighborhood. I also do not like an overly long street wall blocking views and light – a tower would not do this. (A 5 to 10 story would do it even less).
    But I’m mainly talking about crowding. I want to see that area become heavily dense residential, not heavy mixed use with insane ped and vehicle traffic 40 *more* nights per year. I’d want to live in the former, but not the latter. I think we need the best new neighborhoods possible. Given that, I think an arena does not belong here I do think a sports arena should go somewhere south of market.
    I’m in that neighborhood every day, btw. I also lived in NYC for 10 years, I’m an urbanist. I was once also a crazy sports fan….but *sports* is too elitist for me, now! Only people with a lot of money (comparitively) go to these games.
    And a permanent circus or park or ___ would make a lot of people happy. That doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for the neighborhood because it makes some people happy, once you consider all factors.

  48. Posted by Frank C.

    Final note – by the definition of a public good, no arena that is used for private events (sporting events or concerts are actually private events – they are not publicly owned, and benefits go to private parties and the people who attend only, not the public at large.)
    JWS, The best use of public resources for this site, IMO, is to create a great urban residential neighborhood with a great quality of life. The arena denigrates quality of life (traffic, noise, light, etc.) too much, IMO – this is why we have zoning laws. I think we are having a zoning argument.

  49. Posted by anon

    @Frank – um, I’m not talking about the arena, but rather the 7 acres of public park space. You advocated for walling off the entire thing and building condo towers for a few hundred folks.

  50. Posted by R

    “what should be primarily a residential neighborhood”
    Why? it’s never been one in the past, why should it be now? It’s a great location for s stadium and park in what will someday be a great mixed use neighborhood. If you want a nice quiet primarily residential neighborhood, there are plenty of options within the 7×7 for you..

  51. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    Assembly Bill 1273 was presented to Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this week. He may or may not sign it.
    How would you place your bet? Well, one would probably want to know before betting that earlier today, Gov. Brown signed a measure easing environmental regulations for a new arena for the Sacramento Kings basketball team. From the Los Angeles Times:

    Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation…introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg easing environmental regulations…primarily to smooth the way for construction of a new arena for the Sacramento Kings basketball team, but added changes to the California Environmental Quality Act that make it harder to sue to block projects in urban transit zones throughout the state.

    “This modernization of CEQA is a win for the economy and a win for the environment,” Steinberg said when the bill was approved by the Legislature. “It will help us revitalize downtown urban areas statewide, promote transit-oriented growth, create thousands of well-paying jobs and make the process easier and less vulnerable to litigation for the kinds of projects we all want to see developed.”

    Provisions of SB 743 will:
    •Remove parking and aesthetics standards as grounds for legal challenges against developments in urban infill areas near transit stops.
    •Modernize the statewide measurements against which traffic impacts are assessed and resolved, allowing developers to offset the impacts by building near mass transit stations.
    •Expand an exemption from CEQA litigation for mixed residential/commercial projects located within transit priority areas where a full environmental impact review has already been completed.

    I’m thinking that somehow, someway, the area surrounding Pier 30-32 will be termed a “transit priority area”.

  52. Posted by Moto mayhem

    It would be insane not to approve this project which is architecturally transformative and a huge attraction for San Francisco, which is currently lacking in high design

  53. Posted by Dan

    Brown signed AB1273 on Friday.

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