Learn About the Plans for the New Transbay Transit Center
|March 25, 2007||Posted by jamie under Meetings, Transbay Transit Center||
The Transbay Transit Center is probably the largest public transit project we’ll see in the area for quite some time to come. I hope you’ll join me for an information meeting about the area hosted by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and others from the Transbay JPA on Monday, March 26, 2007 at 6:30PM at the West Bay Conference Center located at 1290 Fillmore Street.
More information can be found at the Transbay Center web site. Please let others know you’ll be attending by clicking “I’m Attending” on the event post on Upcoming.org. I hope to see you there!
What do you think of the plans for the Transbay Transit Center? Please login and post your comments (you’ll need to register in order to post a comment if you haven’t already done so).
After Meeting Update
I attended the community meeting, and I believe the Transbay JPA (TJPA), City of San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, and private business project managers did a fine job presenting the exciting plans ahead for the Transbay Transit Center. Most of the information can be found at the www.transbaycenter.org web site, but I encourage you to attend one of these meetings that will occur throughout 2007 when you have the opportunity.
Mike Grisso (SF Redevelopment Agency) and Emilio Cruz (URS, a private firm involved in the project management I believe) were the primary presenters at the meeting with a Q&A conducted by Heather Barber (TJPA).
The reasons for the Transbay Transit Center project and the redevelopment of the area were reviewed. The horshoe entrance off of Mission Street into the Transbay Terminal where buses currently sit will be the location of a tower high-rise currently cleared for 550 feet in height and possibly getting approval to go up to 1,200 feet in height.
They have $983 million on hand for Phase 1 of the project (I believe Phase 1 would build a new Transbay Transit Center for the bay area buses). For Phase 2 (I believe this is the Caltrain extension component), they have about $521 million identified. This still leaves a shortfall of $1.86 billion for completing Phase 2.
Considerations for filling that funding gap include:
- Create a Mello-Roos District tax
- Upzoning (increasing height limits) that would increase the value of the land the State of California is turning over to the City for this redevelopment project
- Increased property taxes due to the upzoning and resulting increased land values
- Federal funding sources
- Create a congestion charge (toll) for vehicles entering downtown San Francisco during business hours. Now, downtown is quite a wide area, portions you and I probably wouldn’t even consider part of “downtown” are dotted with parking meters. This idea is based on what was established in London a few years ago (thank Supervisor Jake McGoldrick for suggesting this gem) where drivers pay 5 pounds (what is that, $15 in U.S. dollars now?) to drive into downtown London during business hours.
One item I don’t believe I’ve seen before (and may not actually occur) is the thought of running below ground two Caltrain tracks up 2nd Street instead of the four originally planned and supplementing those two tracks undeneath 2nd Street with two more tracks (if demand is there) running below ground up Main Street. Main Street is close to home for me, so I want to learn more about this idea – how much shaking is going to happen at my place if this is built out. I lived at Texas and Mariposa Street for 2 years, and I could feel the place shaking when Caltrain engines and cars went by out on 16th Street and Mississippi.
The residential pieces are what I look forward to the most, and that is what Mike Grisso presented. The residential requirements include:
- The area needs to be a high-density neighborhood
- The residential development needs to generate funds for the new Transbay Transit Center project
- The area must be livable – welcoming even
The plan currently calls for 3,400 new housing units (1,200 affordable, although I personally question what this means in terms of HOA dues at these buildings – the $600+ (and I think I’m being low here) HOA fees at Infinity or One Rincon would kill any dream I had of living there even if they did have a BMR affordable unit). 1.2 million square feet of office/hotel space and 60,000 square feet of new retail space (excluding retail space built into the new Terminal). There will be a requirement for retail space on the ground level of structures along Folsom Street, the heart of this new Rincon Hill and Transbay area neighorhood. A public park will be added to the area (thank goodness! it almost makes up for the beautiful views we lost at Rincon Point with those restaurant structures) as well as sidewalks on Beale and Main Streets widened to 30 feet as they remove a lane of traffic. Folsom would be converted to a 2-way street. Finally, the high-rise towers are tentatively supposed to be 115 feet apart from one another to provide sunlight and other “quality of life” benefits.
I’d like to encourage you all to attend the next TJPA board meeting, even though it happens on a work day (Thursday, April 19th) at 9:00AM in the morning. My understanding (though you should check the www.transbaycenter.org web site 72 hours before the meeting to confirm it) is that they’ll be discussing funding sources to close that $1.86 billion gap I mentioned earlier.
I would think most of us would want to have some input on this idea of congestion tolls for drivers coming into the City during business hours, especially those of us who live downtown and will probably get a pretty sour feeling towards the City if we have to pay this toll to go grocery shopping and so on.
I am very excited to see these crummy surface parking lots between Main and First Street replaced with some new residential and business developments, and look forward to watching this project unfold over the next 13 years. More importantly, I look forward to attending these meetings when I can so that my concerns are considered by the folks in charge of making decisions – and I hope to see you there as an involved resident or worker in the area as well!