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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The "new" Warriors arena

The most important thing to understand about what the Chron calls a "lower, slimmer, and greener" Warriors arena is that the most troubling part of the project hasn't changed at all.

The key to comprehending this project is to realize that the arena is only a part of it -- the part the mayor and the Warriors owners want to talk about. But the owners know the arena won't pay for itself, and they don't want to spend their own money -- so they're asking to build hotels, a condo tower and a huge mall on public property.

Buried deep in the Chron story:

the $1 billion project includes two 105-foot hotel towers, a 175-foot condominium tower and about 120,000 square feet of retail space spread across Piers 30-32 and a 2.3-acre site across the Embarcadero now used as a parking lot. The new design makes no changes to the development planned on the parking lot, officially called Seawall Lot 330. Both sites are owned by the city.
Now: the waterfront isn't zoned for highrise hotels and condos -- or for that level of retail. None of this has anything to do with the maritime use that is supposed to dominate anything built on  Port land.

The defeat of 8 Washington should be a warning to these folks: Whatever you feel about an arena on the waterfront, the public doesn't seem to want highrise condos there. And if the project were limited to just the arena, it wouldn't get built.

So really, nothing new here: Just hype about a slightly modified architectural rendition that doesn't show the big towers in the background. And I don't think this will change the way critics look at the project.

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