Warriors Mission Bay Arena North Tower

The western front in the fight over the Golden State Warriors proposed Mission Bay arena, the naming rights for which have already been allocated to JPMorgan Chase, will see some action this evening as San Francisco’s Board of Appeals is scheduled to hear a comprehensive challenge of the required 577,000-square-foot office space allocation for the project as approved.

While the Warriors purchased the former Salesforce.com parcels upon which they plan to build the Chase Center arena and two office buildings with a previously approved allocation for the development of up to 677,000 square feet of office space, the Mission Bay Alliance is challenging both the validity and transfer-ability of the allocation under the rules of the voter adopted Proposition M and subsequent Resolution and Motion which set the stage for the re-development of Mission Bay.

According to the Warriors legal team: “This appeal is meritless and should be rejected by [the] Board.”  We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

42 thoughts on “Mission Bay Alliance Drops the M-Bomb”
  1. Keeping up with my constant rant: The Mayor should get the Warriors and Giants together to co develop Seawall Lot 337/Parking lot A into something like Staples Center/LA Live. A sports arena and surrounding entertainment/sports district. The transportation systems (such as they are in SF, sigh) are already in place.

    The current Giants development, more housing and offices can be swapped down to the Salesforce parcels the Warriors are trying to develop. This should stop the nimbys (and their slimey PR reps/lawyers) Of course, there is money involved and the conflicts at times with arena and ATT Park events, but this would happened anyway.

    It’s time for the Mayor to take a more active participation in this, the citizens of SF deserve an arena for the many different events that happen where we now need to go to San Jose or Oakland.

    Wake up Ed! this is supposed to be your legacy! Or would you rather the [homeless] tents on Division be your legacy?

    1. I’m on board with this, and suggested something similar before. Just can’t work up any real enthusiasm for the Warriors’ current plan n that current site.

    1. You’re right. LA is reversing its 50s sprawl-loving planning mentality through robust investment in mass transit and transit-oriented development while SF remains a deer in headlights with NIMBYs behind the wheel. Yeah, a real dump that LA is.

      1. I completely agree with you. LA is leaving SF in the dust with how much development they are doing on their mass transportation, while BART and MUNI look like something out of a 3rd world country. People here still think they are soooooo superior to LA though.

      2. Very true. And LA Live, referenced in @eflat’s comment, is in fact a vibrant & happenin’ place… though that said, LA Live still has a very artificial “Disneyland” feel (in the sense that it’s not organically connected to the neighborhood or anything else – it’s just a destination that you visit, generally via your car), and when I’m in my company’s L.A. office I’m still struck with how unfriendly even downtown L.A. is to pedestrians. Downtown S.F. is so much better in that regard – so much more like walking in Manhattan or Boston or the Loop in Chicago, whereas L.A. still has that “I’m a lone freak for walking on the sidewalk” feel to it.

        1. LA is trying much harder than SF now but SF is still better resting on our laurels and being foolish

          It is just the nature of our land-use from the past that we inherited and our geography. BART + Muni Metro carry way more passengers in total and per capital than LA’s Metro

          1. I do care about facts, very much, but I also enjoy license to exaggerate, sometimes even in public.

        1. The air quality in Los Angeles is much better than 10 or 20 years ago. Only someone who hasn’t been there in 20 years would call the Capitol of the west coast a dump.

        1. zig, it took more than 20 years to get BART in operation from when the CA State Legislature created the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit Commission back in 1951. And there were multiple political and funding crisis along the way. I’d say that spirit lives on in the Bay Area, eg the new temporary Bay Bridge.

          1. Would you say the Central Subway/T line was conceived about 1989?

            So in more time we can hardly plan a mickeymouse streetcar tunnel now so I see that as regression. If we started today how long do you think a second tube might take?

          2. yes, central subway WAS conceived around 1989 – from SFMTA web site:

            “In the late 1980s an extensive planning process was undertaken by the SFCTA to prioritize transit corridors in the City. SFCTA officials identified four corridors in need of enhanced transit service and prioritized them as follows:

            3rd Street
            Chinatown as an extension of the 3rd Street Corridor
            Geary Boulevard
            Van Ness Avenue”

            so yeah, 20 years from concept to fare collecting is about par for the course.

          3. Oh, and that is more like 30 years, though tunnel wasn’t mentioned yet. But that was approved in 2002, so the initial planning was done before that, again from SFMTA:

            ” In 2002 the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved the Central Subway Project for preliminary engineering”

            central subway revenue is supposed to be 2019, or about 20 years from that subway study approval.

          4. The very slow/phased buildout of the T-line is due to funding, not conception or time to build. It has almost always taken many years to wrangle the politics and clear the lawsuits when there are already multiple players in place. 2300 lawsuits were filed to stop the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.

            Before the New Deal most of these projects were funded locally or regionally. SF had more light rail routes in the 1930s than now, including a line down 3rd St. So, the concepts and practices goes way back. FWIW, the concept of the under the bay rail was from a 1946 Army/Navy study that said it was need cause the Bay Bridge would max out.

            Since the New Deal and with the 1950s Highway Trust Fund, the Feds have been critical for funding these projects to completion, including the original BART. But the gas tax hasn’t kept up with inflation and the lack of money, not the lack of concepts, is the main queue these projects wait in for so long.

  2. Billions on the the Transbay Terminal that is nothing but a bus station on steroids. Where were the voices of our officials SHOUTING about the waste?
    This is a great project that will cost the city little and generate millions in revenue. Again, very little response from our elected leaders.

  3. Does anyone have precise details as to the nature of the prop M challenge.?

    Its Not clear to me what issue is here. Generally prop M allocations run with the site, not the owner or user, but are also subject to revocation is unused for too long, and there is a LOT of demand on the tapped-out Prop M allocation pool right now. Is this a “use it or lose it” challenge?

    Prop M is very specific, limited set of rules, but they are very difficult to break.

    1. they try to keep themselves secret. their pr guys are Sam Singer (used to front for PG&E) and they are keeping their main person leading their campaign to stop the arena, Jack Davis, who they pulled out of his retirement in Santa Fe. Yeah! That Jack Davis (Jack Daniels bottle @ his 50th)….

      1. The MBA board members are listed on their website. The board members are the ones who makes all the decisions. Jack Davis is not a member of the MBA board but came on board as a personal favor to Bruce Spaulding after UCSF saved his brother’s life.

          1. Eflat, I don’t know if you know my story, but I’m one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuits trying to stop the arena.

            My son was born at UCSF with a congenital heart defect and had his first open-heart surgery there when he was 5 days old. His heart defect cannot be “repaired,” and the 3 heart surgeries he has undergone are considered palliative. He is now a funny, imaginative, loving kindergartener, who loves to make comic books and has tons of friends, but he will always be medically fragile. He gets asthma attacks and his condition carries a 75% lifetime risk of stroke. UCSF Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in the city with pediatric cardiologists on staff. It’s where he needs to go when he has a medical emergency.

            If my son has a stroke right before a Warriors game and it takes us 30 minutes to get to the ER instead of 10 minutes, that could easily be the difference between life and death. And of course, while my situation is not typical, it could happen to anyone. Any kid in San Francisco could have a medical emergency where UCSF is the place they need to be as quickly as possible. Parents of critically ill children generally don’t have a lot of extra time or money on their hands, so THANK GOD there is an organization like the Mission Bay Alliance allowing us to fight for our children’s access to lifesaving care. I never in a million years could have advocated for my son or for the other UCSF families I know if it were not for them. And while I don’t support every single client taken on by Singer & Associates, they are certainly on the good guys’ side in this fight, and are giving a voice to people like me. I guess I’d rather have fleas than refuse to accept much-needed help from someone because I don’t agree with some of the others they’ve helped.

            At the end of the day, Sam Singer is going to get paid whether we win or lose this battle, and the outcome probably won’t affect his life too much. The same cannot be said of me. And yet people want to make it all about Sam Singer.

          2. There isn’t a place you could live that would guarantee safe and speedy access to the care your son may need, unless it’s directly across the street from this particluar hospital.

          3. Gary, I’m not asking for a guarantee, I’m just asking that we don’t purposely make the traffic situation around the hospital far worse. I don’t think that is unreasonable.

          4. Then I would hope the hospital would be making your argument because they are static and must live with this. You are mobile and must not.

            The hospital is NOT making this argument.

          5. The chancellor of UCSF is supportive of the arena project, under substantial pressure from the city and from his biggest donor, Marc Benioff.

            Everyone I know who actually WORKS in the hospital thinks it’s going to be a disaster. The chancellor may well also think it’s going to be a disaster, but less of a disaster than the university losing their tax-exempt status and their biggest donor; I can’t say what’s going on in his mind.

            But certainly, UCSF has officially expressed concern about the project. Here is a letter outlining their concerns. Interestingly, the final MOU they signed with the Warriors addressed basically none of these things.

  4. The Mission Bay Alliance is now coming into focus – citing Prop M, allying themselves with SF Tomorrow, the local Sierra Club, (and I bet the Hill Dwellers). They’re NIMBY’s, pure and simple – their argument the site should be a health sciences use is a red herring. Isn’t the office square footage already approved as part of the Mission Bay plan, and isn’t MB exempt from Prop M (which regulates downtown development only?)

    1. I think this is less about pure NIMBYism and more about a group of well-heeled UCSF donors who want to see the overwhelming majority of Mission Bay commercial development to be focused on UCSF campus expansion and related-biotech. Its a perspective that is predominantly suburban office park in its vision, in direct conflict with turning Mission Bay into a 24-hour, mixed-use neighborhood supporting a wide variety of residential, commercial, industrial and hospitality uses. Its a pinched 20th century vision that should be rejected in favor of creating a 21st century neighborhood. Portland’s Pearl District is so far ahead of what Mission Bay currently is, that SF city leaders should be embarrassed for themselves. Even Seattle’s South Lake Union redevelopment (the Mission Bay of Seattle) is starting to lap Mission Bay in terms of developing urban vitality.

      1. I don’t follow biotech closely at all. Do these folks really think the industry is growing as such right now that they’re angling for this land because they think they need it? When I ride CalTrain, I do see buildings going up around Oyster Point, which I assume is also biotech, and if true, there still seems to be plenty of land there to infill additional biotech buildings. That to me doesn’t seem like such a boom that they need more land in Mission Bay.

        1. My understanding is that the bio-tech hub as envisioned by Newsom did not really pan out. SSF remains the hub and some of the land in MB that could have gone to bio-tech did not get gobbled up by such firms. Hence the large Kaiser project in MB. And Salesforce’s original plan to put up standard offices here. And Uber’s non bio-tech plans.r

  5. [The Board of Appeals] will deny this of course. But, it’s going to go to court next IMO. Adding perhaps years to the process as this and other legal challenges wade through the courts.

    As to Prop M, the problem is that favored developers or groups get the allotment. HP/Lennar. Did they not get 2 – 3 million square feet? How long are they given to build that? A decade, two?

    The good news IMO is that the allotment is used up. meaning developers wanting to build big office projects will naturally go to other Bay Area locations instead of waiting years to break ground in SF. SF can’t sustain more major office development IMO given the inadequate infrastructure which is not being addressed in a significant way.

  6. “the right to appeal this office allocation expired 18 years ago”. hello!

    Nothing to see here…just move along now.

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