The San Francisco Waterfront’s very history is said to hang in the balance with Proposition B and Proposition C, but the reality is anything but that. The truth is that only one proposed development is impacted by the vote this Tuesday, and that is 8 Washington.
8 Washington will add 134 luxury condominiums on a 3.2-acre lot which currently contains a tennis club I’ve played at many times and is roughly the same land size of our home grounds in Georgia.
8 Washington sits near to the Grand Hyatt Hotel and Justin Herman Plaza, and several condo developments just roughly 80 feet behind it.
All 8 Washington does is fill in a kind of weird donut hole of airspace and land. That’s it.
Look, a yes vote on B or C has zero to do with any growth agenda for San Francisco – nothing. It will not solve the affordable housing problem overnight, either (Sorry, it won’t and it’s time to be honest about that, too.) It’s just one development – and in point of fact, there’s room along the San Francisco Waterfront for many more.
Unlike many of the people (and folks I like, but just disagree with them) who say that 8 Washington will be twice the height of the Embarcadero Freeway, I was here and drove along that structure, and walked under it, too.
Unlike 8 Washington, The Embarcadero Freeway was a wall that really separated the San Francisco Waterfront from San Francisco, and when the Loma Prieta Earthquake all but destroyed it in 1989, many dreamed of the kind of waterfront that San Francisco has today, with a combination of housing, parks, and retail spaces. 8 Washington is just the logical extension of that dream, and not the start of a nightmare.
8 Washington will not lead San Francisco to look the way its depicted in the 24th Century in Star Trek, with 200 story buildings. 8 Washington will not cause a rash of high-rises along the San Francisco Waterfront that are out of scale with anything else. Just the opposite, because 8 Washington is still much shorter than the existing structures behind it.
The opponents know that 8 Washington is right within San Francisco’s human scale and that’s why they’re reaching for a wild comparison with the long-gone Embarcadero Freeway. When 8 Washington is finished, the earth will not shake and the sky will not burn – what will happen is more construction jobs and more spending for the businesses in the area, and the continued drive toward building the San Francisco Waterfront many wanted after the Loma Prieta Earthquake