San Francisco supervisors expressed unanimous support Tuesday for negotiations between the Golden State Warriors and city officials for a waterfront arena already being touted as the “envy of the world.”
The Board of Supervisors voted to waive The City’s competitive bidding requirements for the development of Piers 30-32 and bless the negotiations between the basketball franchise and The City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, which will act as the lead negotiator.
“This is merely the opening tip off,” said city project manager Ken Rich.
The approval is a signal to the Oakland-based Warriors that city officials are so far united in making this waterfront development proposal a reality. San Francisco is well-known for its laborious planning and approval process — particularly regarding waterfront development.
The talks will hammer out details around a real estate transaction between the team and The City for Piers 30-32 and Seawall Lot 330. The terms are expected to be reached in September.
Community meetings will begin in the coming weeks to address concerns.
“It is important to go the community before there is a design, before we pick an architect, before many of these processes have begun,” said Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district includes the team’s possible future home. “This project, as amazing as it potentially could be, will have a tremendous impact on this residential community that already exists there.”
The franchise has committed to taking part in the public meetings. Rich said it is “a large project with significant implications” regarding transportation, parking, bay views and access to the waterfront.
The goal is to have a draft environmental impact report before the Planning Commission for approval by the end of the 2013.
Rich said the officials leading the proposal are “confident” that the process “will result in a new waterfront facility that will be the envy of the world.”
A politically charged 134-unit luxury condo development along San Francisco’s waterfront that has been years in the making finally received city approval Tuesday.
Supervisor David Chiu, whose district includes the development site, fought the project up until its approval. He failed Tuesday to gain support for several amendments to the development that would have required developer Simon Snellgrove of Pacific Waterfront Partners to pay more for items such as affordable housing.
In the end, the development was approved in an 8-3 vote. Chiu along with Supervisors John Avalos and David Campos opposed it.
Last week, Supervisor Jane Kim successfully obtained additional concessions, including pool access for low-income youth, a 50-cent surcharge on parking for area transit improvements and a decrease in underground parking spaces from 255 to 200. The developer also is paying $11 million in affordable housing fees, $2 million more than mandated.
But the fight is not expected to end quite yet. As Chiu noted during Tuesday’s hearing, project opponents have said they plan to gather signatures for a ballot measure opposing the project and others are expected to file lawsuits seeking to block the development.
The 8 Washington St. development ignited a political feud and angered members of the private Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club, which it would replace. The project would eliminate the facility’s tennis courts but replace an existing pool. Labor unions have rallied behind the project’s expected construction jobs, but progressives say The City needs affordable housing, not multimillion-dollar condos.