Tag Archives: warriors

Golden State Warriors arena

Warriors Mission Bay Arena Must Be Stopped!

Here we go again! Back in 2013 I wrote about the Golden State Warriors  mission to build a new arena along the Embarcadero. Former San Francisco mayor Art Agnos helped to lead the fight against the monstrosity and the people won! Since then, the Warriors owners have continued their search to find a site suitable for their basketball complex and sure enough, all they had to do was put in a bid for some empty property along Mission Bay, about a mile south of the previous Embarcadero location.

And again nearly the same problems and criticisms that were raised against the arena being built along the Embarcadero apply to this new site, in particular, major traffic congestion. Something that in no uncertain terms will be an awful problem if this arena gets built. The traffic near SOMA during a regular SF Giants baseball season is in a word, dreadful. Nothing but vehicular traffic clogging the streets of Brannon, Embarcadero, King street, and more. Now imagine an arena built along 3rd street. As if Muni is even prepared to be able to handle the volume of people coming to see the Warriors play. It’s a very cruel joke.

UCSF recently gave their approval for the arena because they reached a deal with the city of San Francisco. The deal calls for a $10 million Mission Bay Transportation Improvement Fund, which will be dedicated to controlling the flow of traffic in the neighborhood, particularly during evening arena events. I, for one, do not believe for a second that any amount of controlling traffic will do anything to LIMIT the amount of traffic that will flood China Basin if this arena gets approved for building. The amount of traffic already in existence will only be exacerbated by this arena. Why must the owners of the Golden State Warriors be hell-bent on building their structure in the city of San Francisco?

I am strongly urging my supervisor, Malia Cohen, to reject this arena. While the full environmental impact report has yet to be completed, I believe it will show that traffic will be inordinately bad for China Basin and will become a significant cause of gridlock, road rage,  and accidents. Not to mention the excessive amount of carbon pollution coming from drivers around the Bay seeking to watch the Warriors play.

The Warriors can have their arena but only if it is built back in Oakland. Oakland is in desperate need of more business and enterprise and there exists a serious fan base for basketball. On the other hand, does a sports arena actually benefit the economy of a city? Read this story on the Pheonix Coyotes in the Atlantic magazine about the economics of sports stadiums, and learn about who wins and who loses!

I support the Mission Bay Alliance and its quest to derail the Warriors arena. I urge my readers to sign the Change.org petition to stop the proposed Warriors arena and entertainment center in Mission Bay. As a San Francisco native, I decry what has become of my city. The “Manhattanization” of San Francisco is making it impossible for working class people to live here.  It’s becoming nothing but a playboy town for the Uber wealthy.

Golden State Warriors proposed real estate plan, including arena

Golden State Warriors stymied! Props B & C up in smoke!

San Francisco mayor Art Agnos speaks to reporters about Propositions B & C
San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos speaks to reporters about Propositions B & C

SF voters say NO to propositions B & C

San Francisco voters soundly rejected Propositions B & C and signaled not only their fight against unrestrained million dollar condo development along the Embarcadero but also the proposed Golden State Warriors basketball arena real estate deal, still planned for 2017. Propositions B & C were defeated in 23 of the 25 neighborhoods in San Francisco and in nine of the 11 Supervisor Districts.

Former Mayor Art Agnos took to task current Mayor Art Lee’s “legacy project,” saying he would debate Lee in public over the merits of building such a monstrosity along San Francisco’s shoreline. For Agnos and the San Francisco Waterfront Alliance, rejecting Props B & C was the first salvo fired in defiance not only of the Board of Supervisors (which supported the entire condo development project) but of the Golden State Warriors organization, letting it know that its proposed waterfront development will not be supported by the people of this fair city.

Condo project greased at the top

Mayor Agnos charged that 8 Washington condominium project was “greased at the top” by supporters Lee and former mayor Gavin Newsom, the latter whom was nowhere to be found in San Francisco as both proposals went down to defeat. But the link to the 8 Washington condo plan and the proposed Warriors arena was unmistakable. Agnos made it clear that “under no circumstances will San Francisco voters accept an arena on the bay.”

Bankrolling the opposition

San Francisco sports columnist, C.W. Nevius bemoans the bankroll that supported opponents of propositions B & C. According to Nevius, one couple, Richard and Barbara Stewart, who live in a nearby highrise, were the chief bankrollers because they didn’t want their view blocked by a bunch of new condos. Sometimes, it’s great to see the 2% fight among themselves. Yes, the developers of 8 Washington made no bones about condo development and making a boatload of money doing so. But what supporters of 8 Washington just don’t get is that even the paltry 11 million included as part of the development only does one thing. It continues the division between rich and poor. What 8 Washington needs aren’t multi-million dollar condos but a proliferation of working class, affordable homes. It was done previously under former Mayor Diane Feinstein with the development of Delancey Street, which now houses more than 400 former addicts and helps rehabilitate them so they can function and become productive contributors to society.

Affordable housing is a priority for all working class folk, including artists, laborers, and teachers. Agnos said San Francisco voters would consider supporting a bond to raise money to rebuild piers 30-32 so the port wouldn’t have to depend on sweetheart real estate deals with developers to provide those funds for the delayed work.

Golden State Warriors proposed real estate plan, including arena
Golden State Warriors proposed real estate plan, including arena

The defeat of Propositions B & C is an expression of voter frustration with ongoing gentrification and Manhattanization of San Francisco. Back in 2012, the City by the Bay earned the dubious distinction of having America’s most expensive rental market. How was the 8 Washington condo project going to make a dent into that reputation? I continue to lament San Francisco’s evolution from bohemian enclave to capitalist behemoth. Mayor Ed Lee’s conservative, business mentality consistently compromises the public interests of all San Franciscans, in particular those of the working class, who most certainly will not be purchasing multi-million dollar condos. More importantly, the first shot has been fired against the Golden State Warriors and their preposterous real estate deal not only to develop an arena at Piers 30-32, but also to create a 90,000+ square foot shopping mall, a private garage, and additional multi-million dollar condos.

San Francisco continues to gentrify. But I’ll be damned if residents of this once charming city will just sit idly by while real estate development goes unchecked.

Warriors proposed developments

Governor Brown: Veto AB 1273 – Say NO to mix-use development

Warriors proposed developments
Warriors proposed developments

September 12, 2013

Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Governor of California
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

            Re:  AB 1273 – Request for Veto

Dear Governor Brown,

            I call the Bay Area home, and one of the things I prize most about this place is the magnificent, accessible Bay waterfront.

            The Golden State Warriors want to change irrevocably our San Francisco waterfront by overhauling 13.2 acres of piers to lay a concrete foundation over the Bay and then build a 12 story high basketball arena, 500-car parking garage, and a 90,000 feet shopping center atop it.  They also want to bust through existing height limits to build a 17 1/2 story luxury condo building across the street, along with a hotel with two 10-story towers and an additional 20,000 feet of retail space.

            I don’t like this project, and I don’t think an arena belongs on our Bay.  But what makes me really angry is that the Warriors came to the Legislature looking for a way to sideline BCDC, cut off public debate, and make this project “a done deal” without ever letting the local regulators do their jobs or listen to the concerns of the public.  AB 1273 still gives the Warriors special treatment, and is unnecessary for both BCDC and State Lands Commission.  Furthermore, AB 1273 is premature since the design and timeline of the proposed Warriors developments are in constant flux.

            So please, Governor Brown, don’t give the Warriors a leg up that they don’t need.  Please veto AB 1273.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

Byron Gordon