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Warriors shift arena plan to Mission Bay; waterfront plan dropped

Facing huge opposition to a waterfront arena site, the Golden State Warriors (NBA) have shifted their sights to Mission Bay and have purchased a 12-acre site for a new arena.

The Warriors had pitched San Francisco officials on a visionary waterfront arena design (shown above), with the facility partially built on existing piers. But opposition from residents worried their view of the waterfront would be impacted, coupled with concerns about the price of the project, ended up killing the plan after a multiyear planning process.

So the Warriors moved quickly to Plan B: an 18,000-arena in the Mission Bay area on 12 acres of land purchased from for an undisclosed price. As the plan is to privately finance an arena on land already zoned for commercial development, approval from city government — past a normal permitting process — isn’t needed. A new offramp from I-280 is in the works, the site is already served by the Muni (with Central Subway service planned for 2019), and there are two parking ramps with a combined capacity of more than 2,000 already there.

And while the site is technically a waterfront site, it’s not much of a waterfront site, per the San Francisco Chronicle:

The new site off Third Street does not, however, have the iconic feel and stunning views of the Bay Bridge. Instead, the view is of a dry dock, an industrial pier and rusting old pilings that dot the water. Visible across the bay are the cranes and skyline of Oakland, the Warriors’ home after the team played in San Francisco from 1962 to 1971.

The Warriors’ planned arena is part of a redevelopment area and growing biotech hub, with a UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital being built diagonally across from the arena site.

[San Francisco Mayor Ed] Lee and other officials see the arena as a catalyst for development in the neighborhood, a former rail yard that has little foot traffic at night, that will help as the city grows into the former industrial spaces on its southeast side, such as Pier 70 and the Hunters Point Shipyard.

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