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Warriors Abandon the Waterfront (Sort Of)

Instead of on the water, the basketball team will move their new arena to a spot—by the water.

An arena too far.

Multiple media sources are reporting that the Golden State Warriors have abandoned their controversial plans for a waterfront stadium and have replaced it with—wait for it—a waterfront stadium a few blocks away.

According to SF Weekly, the Warriors have agreed to buy the land for the stadium from Salesforce, who've been in the news just a little bit lately (read our cover story about CEO Marc Benioff here). The parcel of land is located in Mission Bay near Third Street, south of where the Warriors had originally planned to build a stadium on land that would have been leased from the Port of San Francisco. 

That plan, which mayor Lee had called his "legacy project," ran into stiff opposition from anti-waterfront development groups, including those who had backed the succesful ballot proposition that doomed the 8 Washington condos. (Read our profile of former Mayor Art Agnos, one of the prime architects of the preservationist's efforts, here). The new site, although not much further away from the water, would not be subject to the same height limitations.

Per the Chronicle, the new stadium, to be built on a 12-acre site, will be ready for the 2018 NBA season. The deal between the team and Salesforce was inked on Saturday. In many ways, the new site is superior to the old one: the T line of the MUNI stops near it and the space already has parking for 2,130 cars.

The political fallout from the deal remains to be seen. Waterfront development preservationists may claim a victory, although the mayor and the Warriors will be able to point to the plan as a successful compromise. It also could be seen as a win for Benioff, but really, what isn't a win for Benioff these days?


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