SBD/March 5, 2014/Facilities

Warriors Move Forward With Waterfront Arena Plan, But Supporters Eye Alternate Sites

Costs to rebuild Piers 30-32 for the Warriors have doubled to $180M
The Warriors "say their waterfront arena plan is 'full speed ahead,' but supporters are subtly eyeing alternate sites in San Francisco as financial and political uncertainty chew at the team's current proposal," according to John Cote of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The Warriors said that they are "moving forward with their original proposal for an 18,000-seat arena at Piers 30-32." But officials "within Mayor Ed Lee's administration and others have been quietly discussing backup sites as the cost to rebuild the piers has doubled" to $180M. Among the options are the "main parking lot across from AT&T Park, city-owned land currently leased" to the MLB Giants, or "some of the 14 acres in Mission Bay that had once been planned as the corporate campus for Salesforce.com." Both sites had been "considered earlier and shelved because of various drawbacks, but they've re-emerged now as the Warriors and the Giants, both would-be developers, grapple with a ballot initiative headed to voters in June designed to limit high-rises along the waterfront." If passed, it could "kill or alter each team's separate plans, and without a viable backup, Lee risks seeing an arena that he once called 'my legacy project' evaporate before his eyes." The Warriors said that they have "already spent" $20M on developing the piers, where they would "also stand to recoup" up to $120M from the city in revenue linked to the development. Other "income from the site, though, is based on building a 175-foot condominium tower across the street, where the height limit is 105 feet." Analysts said that voters, "anxious about evictions and the city's cost of housing, are in no mood to approve luxury condos." Lee is "expected to meet within a week with top Warriors executives for an update on the team's plans" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/5).
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