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Notes from First Golden State Warriors and Neighbors Meeting

Neighborhood advocates from Rincon Hill, South Beach, South Park, and Mission Bay met with Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts, ex-Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development employees who are serving as consultants to the Warriors as “Strada Investment Group,” a political lobbyist from Willie Brown’s bosom buddies at Platinum Advisors, and lead City negotiator Jennifer Matz, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development on Tuesday June 19, 2012 for the first time to discuss the proposed arena for Piers 30-32. Representatives from the Port, SFMTA, and DPW were also in attendance. The meeting was organized by District 6 Legislative Aide April Veneracion and facilitated by District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim.

Here are neighbor Gary’s notes of the meeting (thank you Gary!!!):

Warriors Community Outreach Meeting – South Beach Harbor Community Room
Tuesday June 19, 2012

Attendees: approximately 30 people including Rick Welts (President of Warriors), representatives from Strada Investment, Platinum Advisors, SF Port, Mayor’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development (OEWD), SFMTA, DPW, Supervisor Jane Kim and two aides, various residents and local business owners

The meeting was facilitated by Supervisor Jane Kim

Introductions:

Jane Kim welcomed everyone and introduced the various participating groups. Each attendee introduced him/herself. After her opening comments and general overview of the Warriors arena project, Rick Welts spoke to the group. Between Rick and the various reps, we were presented with the following information:

Brief history:

Warriors’ owners were originally discussing keeping the team in Oakland (either renovating the existing arena – one of the oldest in the NBA — or looking at alternate sites in Oakland). During that time, Pier 30-32 was designated as one of the America’s Cup venues. Once Pier 30-32 was no longer a part of AC, it became the leading option for the Warriors. (Pier 50 is not an option as it is a working pier. SWL337 aka Parking Lot “A” is not an option as the city has designated this as a mixed use site for commercial, retail, residential, and open space. Putting the arena there would not allow enough space for everything else. Pier 48 is not an option as it is part of SWL337.) Piers 30-32 is seen as a mixed-used site.

Specs and timeline:

Piers 30-32 is 13 acres in size. The proposed arena will take up about 40% of the space.
Arena estimated to be 125-ft high. Estimated to hold 17,000 -18,000 seats. Currently at Oracle Arena, they have parking for 5,000 spaces. The Warriors believe parking for substantially fewer cars will be required for the new arena due to the better public transportation options available. No architect has been selected. No design yet either. The location of the arena (where on the piers will it be built) will be critical in order to maximize public access to the waterfront. Estimated $75-100 million to repair/retrofit the existing infrastructure; estimated $400-500 million to build the arena. 100% private financing. Allow 2 years for the EIR, then 3 years to build (including the time to retrofit the piers). They plan to be open for the 2017 season.

Other comments from the Warriors:

There are 43 regular season games (Oct to April), plus up to 8 more if playoffs (thru June). Arena would be available year-round for other events. Some maritime use is required (perhaps an alternate stopping point for cruise ships – as Piers 30-32 is currently being used), but nothing confirmed yet. They’re looking at all transit options (car, Bart, metro, ferries, bikes). SWL 330 (parking lot at Watermark) is part of the project, but nothing has been decided yet on its use. The Warriors are focused on parking, traffic, and pedestrian safety.

Ken Rich, OEWD, comments:

The EIR will take 12 to 18 months, and they hope to begin in September. The thing they need to do asap (by September) is to go to the Board of Supervisors with a Term Sheet and Feasibility Analysis. This is a financial outline of the project – no details, but a high level review of how the project will be funded and what the underlying design principles are (public access, view corridors, etc.). It would explain what types of stores, open space, buildings, transportation are involved.

Comments, Issues raised by the community members:

  • A waterfront CAC needs to be formed;
  • Parking, traffic, pedestrian safety, trash, fan behavior on neighborhood streets, sidewalks – the same issues raised with the Giants last week are ones that the Warriors need to be aware of and incorporate into their plan when working with the city..but with the clear understanding that the terms worked out with the Giants (they take care of their property and pay the City for mitigations/the City takes care of the neighborhood) are not sufficient protection for quality of life in the affected neighborhoods;
  • Air pollution will be an issue as the site is in one of the ‘hot zones’;
  • Transportation – when will the E-line start running? (Peter of the MTA advised that it will start this summer to coincide with some America’s Cup events)
  • Other events, other than Warriors’ games – how many and how often?
  • Project site should include businesses that help build community (coffee shop, small grocery store) and kid-friendly open space (playground)
  • A Good Neighbor Policy needs to be established as was done with the Giants.
  • It was suggested that the Warriors contribute to a CBD to fund mitigation work on an on-going basis in the surrounding area.
  • It was suggested that all previous work for the pier 30-32 cruise ship terminal project be studied to shortcut some of the future planning.
  • Consider congestion pricing.
  • Katy Liddell read an email she received from Jim Haas with the following advice: “We had great relationships with the Giants and the Cruise Ship developers because we were fully engaged and the developers provided senior managers with whom we dealt with on an ongoing basis, not consultants or political operatives. We developed a basis of trust with them. You should demand the same. The cruise terminal project offered neighborhood serving retail on the Piers which of course any one could use. You should again demand the same, not destination retail.”

What’s next?

Jennifer Matz of OEWD will contact Katy regarding upcoming community outreach meetings

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