Warriors arena conceptual plan includes 2 office towers, plazas, retail space 

click to enlarge The new Warriors arena site in Mission Bay will have two office towers and open in 2018. - COURTESY PJ JOHNSTON COMMUNICATIONS
  • Courtesy PJ Johnston Communications
  • The new Warriors arena site in Mission Bay will have two office towers and open in 2018.

Plazas and multilevel walkways lined with restaurants and trees, all straddled by two office towers, is what could await fans on game days as they enter the new home of the Warriors in San Francisco.

That's the vision of the first conceptual site plans released to the public for what will be the basketball team's Mission Bay home.

Up until now, few details had emerged about the makeup of the Mission Bay arena property. Since the team abandoned plans for an arena on the water just south of the Bay Bridge, little but the location of the new site had been divulged.

But Thursday, representatives from the team gave neighborhood residents the first peak at what the proposed arena -- called by project designers "Mission Bay's cultural center" -- may look like.

"What you're gonna see today is a very initial, conceptual look at our project," Rick Welts, the franchise's president, told a crowd of about 50 people at a meeting of the Mission Bay Citizens Advisory Committee.

The presentation didn't include renderings of what the project and its two towers will look like from the ground, but a bird's-eye rendering gives a fairly detailed idea of how the site will be laid out.

The concept, pointed out the team that has been working on it and that made the presentation, is more about creating "place" than buildings for the site at the intersection of 16th and Third streets.

"We're creating a place, not a bunch of buildings," said the arena's lead designer, Craig Dykers of architectural firm Snøhetta, who noted that their will be a plaza to view San Francisco Bay.

The arena itself, slated to be 135 feet high at its tallest point -- a height that will need a variance along the waterfront -- will seat 18,000 people, the same size as the former site along The Embarcadero.

Two 160-foot office towers will stand to the west of the arena and at ground level, anywhere from 55,000 to 95,000 square feet of retail space will be available.

Parking will be provided below ground in a 700-car lot with two access points on the north and south ends of the site. All arena-related functions will be accessible through the two entrances to the underground garage.

The $1 billion project, which will be financed privately, is slated to be ready for the 2018-19 NBA season.

Among the concerns voiced by the audience were traffic congestion, increased crowds and trash cleanup.

"I still can't wrap my head around how you are gonna deal with these people," said Dorian Hirth, who works near the site for Nektar Therapeutics. More detailed transportation and architectural plans are slated to be released in the fall.

In May, the Warriors pulled out of their proposed Embarcardero waterfront arena plan on the eve of an ultimately successful ballot measure -- Proposition B, which passed in June -- that makes voters weigh in on waterfront-development height limits.

Instead, the Warriors purchased the Mission Bay plot of land from Salesforce.com.

About The Author

Jonah Owen Lamb

Jonah Owen Lamb

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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