The Warriors on Sunday unveiled new detailed designs for their proposed San Francisco waterfront arena and nearby development ahead of a bevy of public hearings in the coming weeks.
The new design incorporates more maritime uses, more open space on Piers 30-32 just south of the Bay Bridge, and lowered building heights and scaled-back retail, the team announced.
The Warriors presented their first plans in October for the piers. Since then, many state and local agencies, along with the public, have given feedback.
Craig Dykers of architect Snøhetta, which was selected along with AECOM to design the project, said the new plans move the arena to open up space along the eastern side of the pier for public access and a deep-water berth for cruise ships. The retail buildings on the pier also decreased in square footage to create more space in the public plaza that runs through the middle of the pier, according to Dykers.
More open space also was added to the southwestern portion of the pier, where, in the new design, Red’s Java House would move to open up a pedestrian corridor on the north side of the pier.
Dykers said the new plans include a walkway that encircles the pier, more open space on the raised area surrounding the arena, and pedestrian access that continues up the arena itself with a ramp that wraps around the facility.
The design also now incorporates some very large areas of transparent glass that give views out toward the waterfront, Dykers said. In a new feature, a large window would frame a view of the Bay Bridge from inside and would allow people outside to see in — much like the opening in the outfield fence at AT&T Park.
The Warriors’ president and chief operating officer, Rick Welts, said the removal of luxury suites and upper bowl seating for the large window was a worthwhile tradeoff “that celebrates the location we have picked.” He also said the interior design of the arena will be one of the most intimate viewing experiences in the NBA.
Under the plan, the Warriors would finance the arena construction and the repair of the piers, which has been estimated at between $875 million and $975 million. The team would be eligible for up to $120 million in reimbursement from The City for the pier repair work.
Rudy Nothenberg, a former city official who helped negotiate the deal for the Giants’ AT&T Park and who opposes the Warriors arena, said the design is not the concern but rather the location and the public cost of the reimbursement. Nothenberg is part of the San Francisco Waterfront Alliance, which says it welcomes the team to move back to The City but the arena should be built inland where it will be less expensive.
This week, the new plans are scheduled to be presented to a Board of Supervisors committee and later the Planning Commission. Also, state legislation related to the plans is moving through the Assembly, and it’s expected to be discussed next week at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.