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Affordable Housing Advocates Question Giants’ Mission Rock Development

August 13, 2015

By Jessica Zimmer : potreroview – excerpt

In late-June, the San Francisco Giants submitted more than 16,000 signatures from San Francisco voters to the Department of Elections to place approval of their proposed Mission Rock development, under the Mission Rock Initiative, on the November 2015 ballot. The measure needed 9,702 signatures from San Francisco voters before July 6 to qualify. 

Under the initiative, a mixed-use neighborhood would be built on the 28 acre industrial site comprising Seawall Lot (SWL) 337 and Pier 48. The area is now used as a parking lot, Lot A. Mission Rock would feature eight acres of parks and open space, including a large waterfront park and a green town square in the middle of the site; 1,500 rental apartments; 1.7 million square feet of commercial space; a public boardwalk and renovation of Pier 48 to become an expanded home for Anchor Brewing; below market-rate rental space for small manufacturing businesses, set on a waterfront “Maker’s Row;” and a new parking garage to serve AT&T Park and Mission Bay. The Giants have been communicating with residents about the development since 2007.

Proposition B, passed in June 2014, requires voter approval for construction projects along City waterfront that exceed height limits, which range from 40 to 80 feet. The initiative asks for endorsement of ten apartment and office buildings that range between 120 and 240 feet, with the residential structures typically between 120 and 240 feet and commercial space from 90 to 190 feet. The initiative promises that no buildings will be built within 100 feet of the Bay; heights would step down as structures approach the water. 

Affordable housing advocates insist that the 40 percent of reduced price units offered under the development plan falls short of Proposition K’s requirements. Proposition K, approved in November 2014, requires the City to construct or rehabilitate at least 30,000 homes, with 50 percent affordable for middle-class households and 33 percent affordable for low to moderate-income households.  Southside residents are concerned that the proposed new parking garage and expansion of the light rail connection to Downtown won’t effectively manage traffic, with increased congestion almost certain to occur…

Williamson said building Mission Rock would require that the Port insert new rock columns along the perimeter of SWL 337 to contain the site in case of a seismic event. “Mission Bay is all fill, much of it from the 1906 earthquake. This is some of the deepest fill in the City. It’s not the best fill. We have to drive piles 270 feet deep through the fill material to get to the solid rock below. The cost is high and there are a lot to be driven. No matter how tall the building you want to put on top of them, you have to have piles of this length,” said Williamson….  (more)      

I have been asking this question for a long time. Here at last is the answer. We have to drive piles 270 feet deep through the fill material to get to the solid rock below… No matter how tall the building you want to put on top of them, you have to have piles of this length.”

Debate Continues Over Warriors Arena

By Jessica Zimmer : potreroview – excerpt

Dozens of San Francisco residents, advocacy groups, and community organizations packed a late-June special meeting of the San Francisco Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure to voice their opinions about the proposed Golden State Warriors Mission Bay arena.  Attendees included the San Francisco Labor Council, which represents more than 100 unions in the City; Real Options for City Kids, which serves youth in Visitacion Valley; the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association (DNA); and the San Francisco Travel Association.  

Bicyclists and pedestrians, many in their 20s and early 30s, expressed their support for the greenspace and bike paths that the Warriors would build close to the arena.  Small business owners and Dogpatch and Mission Bay residents wanted the parks, economic activity, and entertainment that the Warriors would offer and attract. Nonprofit organizations, particularly those that work to empower and employ youth, aspired to having the Warriors in San Francisco to inspire and employ younger residents. 

Alex Doniach, a spokesperson with Singer Associates, Inc., attended on behalf of the Mission Bay Alliance, a group of biotechnology investors and former and current University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) staff and donors who oppose the arena. The Alliance has collected more than 4,600 signatures from residents and health care workers who are against building a stadium in Mission Bay.   

“I think cities tend to bend over backwards to bring teams into the area,” said Osha Meserve, a principal at Soluri Meserve, a Sacramento-based law firm engaged in the Alliance’s legal team.  Meserve also represents Sacramento residents who are opposed to an arena for the Sacramento Kings.

Other Alliance attorneys include legal team leader David Boies, who litigated the Bush v. Gore case in the 2000 election; Joshua Schiller, from New York-based Boies, Schiller, and Flexner; Thomas Lippe, who challenged the City’s America’s Cup plans; Susan Brandt Hawley, who fought the 8 Washington waterfront towers; and Patrick Soluri, a principal at Soluri Meserve. 

Meserve said San Francisco would invest huge sums of public resources to accommodate the arena. The draft environmental impact report (EIR) indicates that the City expects to spend $40 million on public transit improvements, including four new T-Third streetcars, an expanded platform, and a track to allow trains to pass one another on the Third Street right-of-way. These upgrades would cost roughly $6.6 million annually to operate.  

Meserve expressed concern about the types of jobs the arena would bring to Mission Bay.  “What kind of jobs do we want to create? Arena jobs are minimum wage jobs,” she said… (more)

Why the rush to develop this land that scientists expect to be below sea level during high tides soon. Many think the land is already sinking. (Major S.F. Bayfront Developments Advance Despite Sea Rise Warnings – See more at: http://sfpublicpress.org/#sthash.Lw5EAk90.dpuf) Neighbors are overwhelmed by the tremendous increase in traffic, much of it caused by forcing city employees to move out and commute in to work. Many believe the system is broken and we need to take a break in development to figure out how to fix it. ENUF already!

 

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