Editor's Notes

What of waterfront contemplation if the Warriors Arena lands on the Embarcadero?

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tredmond@sfbg.com

EDITORS NOTES It was breezy and San Francisco-spring-perfect along the Embarcadero the other day. People were jogging, and rollerblading, and sitting in the sun. Red's Java House was doing brisk business.

Out on the old, crumbling piers, cars were sitting in the lots that now make up most of the economic use of some of the city's most spectacular and valuable land. Kind of a waste — but the upside (and it's a big one) was the feeling of open space, the idea that we were all so close to the Bay, that nothing blocked the views of the waterfront or that sense that this is still a city that has some connection to the marine environment that surrounds it.

And then I imagined the Warrior's Arena. Right there in the middle of everything. And I stopped for a second and wondered what I'd be feeling if I were walking past it 10 years from now. And it made me kind of sad.

I know that parking lots aren't the best use of Port of San Francisco land. I know that the Port needs huge amounts of capital to rebuild the piers. I know that the most obvious way to get that money is to give developers pieces of waterfront land. I know that a new Warriors Arena will create jobs and bring in tax money. I know that AT&T Park has been a great success for the Giants, the city, and the neighborhood.

I also know that some of the people who oppose the arena are well-off homeowners who don't want to lose the sight of the Bay out of their fancy condo windows.

But ever since San Francisco, with the help of Mother Nature and a 7.3 earthquake, tore down the Embarcadero Freeway, the waterfront area from Harrison to the Ferry Building has been a really nice place to hang out. Not perfect; not the "Grand Boulevard" that some dream of. But a part of the city where humans can feel the salt breeze and enjoy the outdoors in a relatively mellow way, just blocks from the downtown core. Put an 18-story arena there and it all changes. It mostly goes away.

Is this really the best we can do with the waterfront? What about a bond act for open space, and another Dolphin Club for swimmers, and waterfront parks? Other cities have done it; can't San Francisco have a world-class waterfront too?

Comments

rotting pier looking at parked cars that just happen to have some water (and a 10-lane elevated freeway above it).

You are axing lyrically about a windswept shabby under-utilized part of the city. Imagine instead tens of thousands of people enjoying those views from a new stadium - a positive use for the whole family.

Would you really tear down the baseball park so that a few office workers in SOMA can see a slightly bigger sliver of polluted Bay water? If not, then you should support this new development.

The waterfront should be used, not gawped at by a few passers-by.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2013 @ 11:42 pm

There is no lack of people in SF willing to NIMBY up and invent reasons why the warriors arena shouldnt happen. Make no mistake, discussions that center on "anywhere but the waterfront" are just sanitized NIMBYism. I always find it interesting that all these "Save the" groups are formed to prevent change and keep the status quo

Posted by NOT_Eric_Brooks on Apr. 25, 2013 @ 10:30 am

Build that shit in your own goddamn backyard, fly by night booster scum.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 25, 2013 @ 10:48 am

everywhere. Their baking asphalt and "salty breezes" provide just the touch of whimsy we lack in this town.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Apr. 25, 2013 @ 11:04 am

Not sure if my reasons for opposing the arena make me a NIMBY, but here they are.

The Warriors should remain in Oakland. Los Angles has two NBA teams and one arena. The Bay Area doesn’t need another arena.

Unlike a baseball stadium, once you get inside a basketball arena, the view is about the same. I have been to about 10 different basketball arenas over the past year. I cannot recall one where I could see outside from my seat.

San Francisco’s public transportation is barely able to handle a normal week day. Until that is figured out, hold off on adding any more attractions on the waterfront. My message is also for people want a park or something else, until the City gets public transportation working, leave the piers to decay.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to this beholder, the current arena design is ugly.

And finally I agree with the article. I like walking along the Embarcadero and seeing the Bay, ships coming and going, the Bay Bridge and other activities. It is a world class view. Why mess with that.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 25, 2013 @ 11:22 am

Basically everyone including myself would love an arena in SF. But it is asinine to build a 140' enclosed structure on prime waterfront (not to mention with a enormous amount of taxpayer dollars and free land).

There are plenty of other suitable locations. We don't need a Miami-style wall along any of our precious waterfont.

Posted by common sense on Apr. 26, 2013 @ 8:21 am

It's a wind-swept wasteland of rotting piers and car parks.

On what planet is that better than a state-of-the-art family multi-media entertainment facility?

Posted by anon on Apr. 26, 2013 @ 8:36 am

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