Even though it’s still a dream at this stage, nothing more than pretty pictures, the Golden State Warriors are proceeding with plans to build what this blogger contends will be a $600 million arena at Piers 30 and 32 on The Embarcadero in San Francisco.
To date, the GSW have secured the services of two design organizations: Snøhetta And AECOM. In the video below, representatives of both organizations talk about what their models for the new Golden State Warriors Arena will be:
Meanwhile preliminary public feedback’s sending up a lot of red flags. Examiner reports that the City of San Francisco has formed a 16-member Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) that will provide community input into the process of building the New Arena. Meanwhile Socketsite.com released the results of a survey that says 49 percent of the 741 residents near the planned site are either somewhat opposed or completely against the planned New Arena.
The problem with the plan is that the Warriors want to shoehorn an additional 15,000 to 20,000 people into an area just a half-mile down the road from a giant 40,000-seat AT&T Park Stadium for the San Francisco Giants. That facility and the development around it. The casual observer would say that baseball season and basketball season don’t match up.
But the problem is AT&T Park also plays host to college football bowl games, concerts, and other events that can combine with the New Arena to make the already clogged South Beach District almost immobile at points in time. It’s not enough to say it’s going to be public transit only, because there will be those who use their cars to get to any game, just as is the case for the San Francisco Giants.
The other problem is the thorny task of getting the California State Lands Commission to approve plans, the heretofore unknown capacity of the Piers to hold the new weight of not just a new building but the people and vehicles that will go on it, not to mention the constant vibration developed.
A Cost Of $1 Billion
And then there’s the City of Oakland and The Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority, which has an outstanding debt over the Warriors of about $100 million.
Already the Warriors are looking at a $200 million fiscal hole before any money is spent on a part of the facility that’s needed to generate revenue.
With all of that, and using the Barclay’s Center Arena, currently under construction for the Brooklyn Nets (what the Oakland Warriors should be, and a good reason to sue the Golden State Warriors), as a model, it’s difficult for this holder of both graduate and undergrad degrees in City Planning, and with a long history of experience with evaluating development projects for California Redevelopment Agencies to see the Warriors Arena at less than $1 Billion.
The construction costs in San Francisco and in Brooklyn are similarly expensive, and both Arenas are to be built on platforms. The difference is the land under both. The Barclay’s Center is only partly built on a platform, but the ground under it is solid and not part of waterfront shore, and not in an area prone to earthquakes. Even with that, it’s cost started at $800 million, before clocking in at $1 billion. In San Francisco, this cost of proper development of the piers alone could push north of $150 million alone, perhaps to $200 million.
Given what the Warriors Owners want to build, the land constraints, and current cost templates for similar facilities, it’s hard to see a cost less than $1 billion for an New Arena at Piers 30 and 32 in San Francisco.