Warriors release scaled-down waterfront arena plan 

click to enlarge Warriors arena
  • COURTESY RENDERING
  • Architect Craig Dykers presented a scaled-down version of the Warriors arena.
A nipped-and-tucked waterfront arena plan for what could become the new home of the Warriors in The City was unveiled to the public Tuesday.

The newest iteration of the “event pavilion” was presented by architect Craig Dykers to the Port Commission — one of the public bodies in the approval process — and showed a slightly shrunken arena project. While the main building itself will not have a lowered height, part of the facade has been reduced and the rebuilt pier it would sit on will also be pared down. The new plan also redesigned and expanded open space on the site and reduced the scale of its retail space.

The reductions are equal in mass to “a full floor of the Ferry Building,” Dykers said.

In the basketball franchise’s enthusiastic efforts to relocate from Oakland to Pier 30-32 on The Embarcadero, they have changed their plans for the $1 billion structure for the third time after taking into account public concerns.

The presentation and changes made to the plan, said the Warriors’ leadership, are a sign of the team’s acceptance of The City’s layered planning process as well as the esteem in which San Franciscans hold their waterfront.

Warriors President Rick Welts told the commission that when Mayor Ed Lee invited the team back to San Francisco 18 months ago, he said the invitation came with several caveats: the design must live up to the site, no taxpayer dollars would be used and The City’s process must be respected.

“We are in. We’re prepared to do what it takes,” Welts said, pointing out that the latest plan is a reflection of that assertion.

Most of the public who spoke in the Port Commission chambers enthusiastically backed the Warriors’ plan, but several people, including commissioners, had worries about increased traffic and a lack of transparency and details for the plan.

Janet Clyde, a North Beach business owner, exemplified much of the support when she asked the commission to “do whatever you can to move this plan forward.”

But Sue Hestor, an attorney who says she represents some of the arena’s neighbors, said the plan fails to mention all the cars that will come to the area.

“It’s gonna be a mess down there,” she said, referring to the proposed 500 parking spaces for an arena that will have a capacity of slightly under 20,000.

Warrior representatives responded that they hope to encourage mass transit and utilize parking in the area now only used in the day time. Their current arena’s parking lot sees an average of 5,000 cars a game.

While Port Commission Vice President Kimberly Brandon liked the new plan, she argued that no detailed information had been given to the commission before the meeting, so all they had to go on was the short presentation given by its architect.

“It’s hard for me to really understand,” she said of the plan and its implication.

Doreen Woo Ho, the Port Commission’s president agreed. While she liked the new design, she believes more needs to be known about how traffic in the area will be impacted, among other things.

“We now need to understand the flow around the site,” she said.

Scaling back proposal

Partial height change: Reduced at edge to 125 feet from 135 feet

Parking: Reduced from 630 to 500 spaces

Retail: Reduced from 105,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet

Event center area: Reduced from 771,000 to 680,000 square feet

Open space: Increased from 50 percent of property to 60.5 percent

About The Author

Jonah Owen Lamb

Jonah Owen Lamb

Bio:
Born and raised on a houseboat in Sausalito, Lamb has written for newspapers in New York City, Utah and the San Joaquin Valley. He was most recently an editor at the San Luis Obispo Tribune for nearly three years. He has written for The S.F. Examiner since 2013 and covers criminal justice and planning.
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