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The Giants Want to Pave a Parking Lot and Put Up Paradise

Hard not to get excited about this one.

giants proposal

A rendering of the proposal. 


Big caveat here: Renderings are just that—renderings. They're plans, but they're also advertisements for what might get built. But holy moly, just look at how beautiful the Giants proposal for Mission Rock is. On what's now a parking lot nestled right up against the Bay, the Giants are proposing to put in a park, a bunch of ground-floor retail, and a bevy of tall-but-not-too-tall buildings. It's like like a whole new Noe Valley sprung like Athena fully-formed from the head of Larry Baer.  

Okay, maybe that's a little over the top, but for Freak's sake, this is a nice proposal. Can you imagine living there? Or, given how expensive the buildings are bound to be, can you imagine pre-gaming there?

Here’s a fact and a prediction. Fact: No "stakeholders" won everything that they wanted in the Giants' revised proposal for the development. Prediction: When it goes in front of San Francisco voters in November, it will pass in a landslide. These two items are not unconnected.

The new stadium proposal, which the Chronicle unveils here, is a triumph of logrolling, the political art of yoking together as much as possible into a single proposal. Consider: The Giants would build around 1,000 units of market-rate housing and 1.5 million square feet of commercial space. Fat loot for them. Anchor Brewing Co., the best beer in the city, would get to build a new brewing facility. Open space advocates would pick up eight acres of parkland. Those concerned about the Wall on the Waterfront, like former mayor Art Agnos, would win a reduction in the maximum building height from 380 to 240 feet. Neighbors concerned about traffic would gain a new parking garage to replace the 2,200 surface units lost. And affordable housing activists would gain an increase in subsidized below market units from an initial proposal of 15 percent to 33 percent of the total—that pencils out to 500 units of low income housing (which approximately equals the same as what could be built were November's proposed $250 million housing bond to also pass—and be spent entirely on constructing new BMR units.)

The only real loser? Cirque du Soleil, which will have to find another parking lot to set up its big top next time it comes to town. Quelle dommage.


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