Next, the Treasure Island sellout

Wait -- where's the seawall?

Now that he's done such a bang-up job negotiating a deal for the CMPC hospital, leaving the supervisors to clean up the mess, does anyone think that the hurry-up-and-finish-in-time-for-a-China-trip talks with Rose Pak and Willie Brown (who has his own interests here, too) will have a good outcome for San Francisco?

Because I don't.

Nothing the mayor has directly negotiated with private interests has been anything but a disaster for the city. America's Cup, the Warriors arena, CPMC ... the guy just can't seem to say No. And you really don't want someone who gives away the story to be representing the city when there are billions of dollars and the future of a huge new neighborhood (on a sinking island in the middle of a rising bay) at stake.

I still don't see how intense residential and commercial development works on TI, when there's only one overcrowded artery on and off the island. In New York, people who live on Staten Island are used to using the (free, heavily subsidized)  ferry -- 60,000 a day take the boats into Manhattan. That's going to be a huge stretch for people who live on TI, where there will be limited shopping (even for things like groceries) -- and at this point, I don't see the developer, or the city, purchasing and paying for enough cheap ferry service to make it an effective form of transportation.

That said, if we can make it work as a transit-first community, I have no problem with developing Treasure Island -- but I don't see Lee getting the level of civic benefits out of Lennar and the China Development Corporation that San Francisco needs to make this pencil out. Hasn't happened yet. 



Cat got your tongue, Lucretia?

Posted by pete moss on Mar. 13, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

The biggest issue is still contamination and the fact that they haven't done enough to disprove its continued threat to the residents. A green, haha green, island will not jeopardize animals or humans, the bay nor will it contribute to the air pollution by adding additional residents with cars, there's no way they will stop it. They are proving that they will risk human and environmental health by allowing this deal to go through before clearing ALL of the islands issues. This is a disgusting way for California to make a buck, shame is that they don't care and no one will stop them.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

There are some intriging possibilities with TI. Many places around the world have built housing and commercial structures in former bays (ie, Mission Bay, parts of Hong Kong and Dubai, etc.), but any plan has to include a viable ferry or bus service paid by developers that runs to downtown SF and Oakland at least once an hour, every hour.

The Bay Area needs housing. I'd rather put some of it in the bay (while protecting and enhancing any bay wildlife too) rather than pave over more open space along the 80/580/280/101/4/12 corridors.

Aside from the major environmental and transportation concerns about this project going forward, the housing component should be closely watched. Is it mostly rental housing even though the area is desperately short of ownership housing? Will there be a large percentage of units that cater to families or mostly 1 and 2-bedroom units for singles, professionals and retired groups?

This project, along with similar housing and transportation considerations at Hunter's Point, need the very active participation of whatever functioning elements remain in the SF progressive community. Both Mssrs. Peskin and Daly have shown time and again they can make much better development deals for the city than what comes out of the mayor's office. Their leadership and support from the community could help the supervisors end up with a much better deal than one Willie Brown and Mayor Lee have crafted.

Progressives don't give Willie Brown enough credit. The guy knows real estate speculation better than anyone. It's not a coincidence the state gives landlords and speculators multi-billions of annual tax subsidies. He and Unruh ran the Assembly for decades, where all of the tax legislation is proposed. Of course they gave billion dollar tax subsidies to the wealthy landlord groups while burdening working people with higher regressive taxes and "fees." If he released his tax returns from the past 25 years I'd bet he'd have millions in real estate tax write-offs and low taxed capital gains, totalling more than most of us make during our entire lives. And he knows that a simple change in zoning or land use rules can give a property owner tens or hundreds of millions in free money. After city entitlement for the land use changes the owner can sell the property without turning over one spade of soil, making millions for doing nothing other than cutting a lucrative development deal with city planners and politicians.

We'll be looking to the SFBG to keep the public informed about the specific TI development details as it progresses since we know the Chonicle will be busy describing rainbows and unicorns whenever they talk about the project.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

tax benefits? I think that's a myth.

What is allowed is that an investor can offset his costs against his revenues, and only pays tax on the difference. But that's hardly unique to landlords - it applies to all businesses, and in every State, as well as every other nation AFAIK.

Posted by anon on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 6:01 am

"desperately short of ownership housing" Are there people who want to purchase homes wailing up and down the corridors in distress?

The majority of the Board of Supervisors aspire to higher office and are more than willing to stick it to San Franciscans on behalf of developers rather than earn their ire and opposition at the ballot box.

One hour every hour? You've just described why CalTrain is not a viable option for most people. Once developers get their upzonings, they turn their attention to cashing in and pay no more attention to transportation.


Posted by marcos on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 6:10 am

Every open house is crowded again, and every listing is receiving multiple offers and overbids.

Posted by anon on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 6:54 am

We are even shorter on rentals, every listing is receiving multiple offers and overbids.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 8:26 am

problem because many developers are wary of rent control, even though theoretically new build is exempt.

But yes, we could build condo's and then owners could decide whether they want to live there or rent them out. Choice is good.

Posted by anon on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 9:32 am

Ferry service every hour? That is an expensive proposition. Ferries are a great way to commute, but a costly way to commute.

Posted by The Commish on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 8:15 am

For those who cannot afford the ferry.

Posted by anon on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 9:32 am

How's that 1 hour headway service working off-peak on CalTrain? Are we seeing people choosing to account for a 30 min average wait in each direction to ditch their cars and take CowTrain?

Posted by marcos on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 9:39 am

TI has great potential for growth and could end up being a desirable place to visit, if done correctly. Yes, we'd need a program where homeless are not transported there. Yes, we'd need ferries to go back/forth to the "mainland". Yes, we'd need public funding for all of the above. The net gain is tourism dollars. Make TI a tourist mecca, with Hilton/Marriott/Westin representation, quirky restaurants, wine bars and seaside cafes, with high end condos and grocery stores for residents who wish to have a short commute to work. The views are incredible and this place could rock SF's socks off if there was a decent plan in place.

Posted by SFAnnie on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 8:19 am

I am skeptical of your plan, to the extent it's serious. There are already Bay side places for tourists to jump on a ferry and go visit -- Sausalito and Tiburon. Sausalito is swarming with tourists, but probably couldn't support a Westin or Marriott.

My understanding is that TI is just a big liquefaction zone. It's all landfill, or in this case Bay dredge. It doesn't sound like that nice a place to visit or live. I get it that Marina, parts of the financial district, etc. are also built on landfill, but there is something about TI that seems unstable.

Posted by The Commish on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 8:55 am

Exactly, anybody remember Loma Prieta?

Posted by pete moss on Mar. 13, 2013 @ 7:16 pm

have some I-beam pilings which have been driven 180 feet into the bay mud without ever hitting bedrock, but the resulting piling is deemed to be impervious to earthquake forces because of the cumulative shear strength of all the mud.

As each section of poling is driven into the ground, another is welded on top, and the process continues until they can't be driven any further without being damaged by the pile driver.

Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 13, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

rather than hit up the voters and taxpayers for yet more taxes.

Private development is usually more attractive as well.

Posted by anon on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 9:34 am

San Francisco should abandon housing on TI and instead reserve it as a prison island like Rikers or Alcztraz, financed by selling existing jail facilities.

We should also scotch the Geary and Van Ness CMPC and St. Lukes deal and move both hospitals, as well as SF General, to treasure island as well.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 9:37 am

camp for the homeless. At least the rest of us would not then have to put up with them all pissing and shitting and shooting up in the gutters.

Posted by anon on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 9:52 am

I want to see all hospitals put an arm's length from the City proper as we know that only sick people visit hospitals and none of us wants to get sick.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 10:31 am

our hospitals are clustered in three area's.

But TI is best used for housing.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

I've been saying the same thing for years, just give us TI and leave us to our own devices

Posted by pete moss on Mar. 13, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

This would be fine example of bay related transit, all we need to do it develop a bay regional ferry network. Don't like the idea of high rises in the bay, that seems odd, but idea of developing the ideal makes sense.

We aren't going to stop people from coming to this country, just line them up at the door, it they have the right skills, willing to work, and become part of a country. I say let them in, if not and they want to live off welfare. NO. I can understand short term benefits.

I don't hold with San Francisco only hires, what will happen when Santa Clara Country, Oakland City and Fremont passes the same kind of bill. San Francisco workers will be SOL.

Posted by Garrett on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 11:59 am

not all these petty vindictive squabbles between different jurisdictions in what is really just one large urban area. Progressives are particularly guilty of balkanizing the Bay Area.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

About 10 years ago, at a BOS public meeting concerning Lennar's proposal for BVHP Urban Renewal, these, simply stated, were just a few of my questions.
1) Does the project take into account sea level rise.
2) If so what safeguards are built into the plan.
3) What impact would they have on the ecology of the Bay.
4) Will they be completed and tested before any construction begins.
5) If such safeguards are not in place, or prove ineffective, who will be responsible for
cost of remediation.
Just asking. I'm still not clear on responses as related to BVHP, hoping for more clarity as regards TI. Call me a cock-eyed optimist, or anything else that amuses you.

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Mar. 13, 2013 @ 1:47 pm


Posted by marcos on Mar. 13, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

from marcos is that you *finally* can *know* that "YBG."

We should be thankful for our "guiding light" marcos.

Posted by u spill bacillin on Mar. 13, 2013 @ 9:04 pm

Patrick does not need me to guide him.

IBGYBG is the mantra of fly by night, get rich quick developers.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 13, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

to bolster their popularity, knowing they will not be around to deal with the fallout from their cowardice.

Posted by Anon on Mar. 14, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

Yo Marcos, 'scuse my ignorance but what does this stand for?

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Mar. 14, 2013 @ 11:06 am

Yo Marcos, 'scuse my ignorance but what does this stand for

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Mar. 14, 2013 @ 11:08 am

grass. In other words, they dodge difficult decisionds, say on budget deficits, to maintain their popularity. Knowing that by the time the shit hits the fan, they will be out of office.

Literally "I'll be gone; you'll be gone".

Posted by Guest on Mar. 14, 2013 @ 11:18 am

Thanks, can't keep up with all the newspeak, doesn't mean that we shouldn't keep on fighting though. Hasta la vista Marc, it's been a while.

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Mar. 14, 2013 @ 11:56 am