SBD/November 12, 2013/Facilities

Warriors Make More Changes To Design Plan For Waterfront S.F. Arena

Latest design of Warriors' S.F. arena increases the amount of public open space
As opponents vow to put the Warriors' plans for an 18,000-seat waterfront arena in S.F. "on the ballot," the team has "put its design on a diet," according to John Cote of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The changes, which have "been in the works for months, include lopping 15 feet off the edge of the roofline, increasing the amount of public open space and lowering the public plazas to create a gradual slope of greenery." Much of that open space "comes in the form of plazas and grass-planted roofs covering a practice facility, 500-space parking garage and fire station." There also is a "spiraling walkway around the arena's exterior that would lead to a lookout deck and pass a massive window to allow the public to look in and spectators to look out at the Bay Bridge." The results are "unlikely to mollify the project's fiercest critics, but the nips and tucks expand the open space to cover 60 percent of the proposed arena site at Piers 30-32." Design 3.0, as the Warriors call it, "trims back the height of the arena itself, originally planned for 135 feet." In a previous design tweak, the team had "already lowered the roof to 125 feet." Now, it "still would rise to 125 feet in the central portion but be shaved down to 110 feet around the perimeter to cut back on the height seen from street level." Other changes, "including a new plaza on the northwest corner of the site where the entrance to a parking garage had been in the previous version, also came in response to critiques from neighbors and agencies that will have to approve the project." Portions of the piers also would be "carved out, reducing how much of the bay is covered." The team is "facing an aggressive timetable to obtain permits and complete construction" in time for the '17-18 season (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/12).

DOING THEIR RESEARCH: In S.F., Eric Young noted the Warriors have "spent more than a year talking to local neighbors and logging their concerns." The team "hired a point person to address neighborhood and political issues tied to arena development." The Warriors also have a "citizens advisory committee comprised of residents and local business owners" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/11). Also in S.F., Matier & Ross wrote the question no longer is whether the Warriors' waterfront arena "will go on the San Francisco ballot -- but rather, when it will go on and which side will put it there." S.F. Mayor Ed Lee said, "I think (the Warriors) probably have to. I think they need to consider that, because everybody is going to want to have a voice." November '14 would seem a "better option for the team," as a general election will "pull a better turnout" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/10).

WHAT'S YOUR E.T.A.? Warriors co-Owner Joe Lacob, when asked if an arena could be completed by '17, said, "I do. I'm an optimist. There are people who, from day one, said it's not going to be possible. No one ever said it's going to be easy. ... This is not just a condominium project or something like that. This is a civic gift, in many ways. It's something that all of the people can use, not just the Warriors. Not everyone is going to agree on this, but we think the majority of San Franciscans support this." He added of alternate arena plans, "We're trying to make [Oracle Arena] better every day, spending millions every summer to improve it. Because we also recognize there is a possibility we'll be there longer. If it is, it is, and we'll make the best of it. That's certainly an alternative plan, to stay where we are. There are alternative sites, though it's very hard to find a site in the Bay Area that can accommodate a building like this, with good public transportation" (CSNBAYAREA.com, 11/11).
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