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Warriors unveil initial design for Mission Bay arena project

Posted August 15, 2014

Eric Young - San Francisco Business Times -

 

The Golden State Warriors for the first time Thursday sketched out the team’s broad vision for a $1 billion arena and office complex in the Mission Bay neighborhood.

Detailed drawings won’t come until later this fall. But Thursday’s meeting with the Mission Bay Citizens Advisory Committee gave residents their first rough outline of what would be a transformative project for the still-evolving area.

“We’d like to think we’re making a place, not just putting up buildings,” said Craig Dykers, senior design adviser with Snohetta. “We hope this new project can begin to create a new place in Mission Bay that people feel is part of their home and not just a collection of funny-shaped buildings.”

The initial design would incorporate an oblong arena placed off-center on the 12-acre site bounded by 3rd, South and 16th streets and Terry Francois Boulevard. The designers placed office and lab space totaling about 500,000 square feet at both the northwest and southwest corners of the site.

Dykers said he hoped the site would be somewhat reminiscent of the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy.

“The basic idea is to avoid building out to the property line,” Dykers said. “We really want that outdoor space by the arena to be a key feature, a defining feature. The outside spaces, the spaces between the buildings are as important as the buildings themselves.”

The main plaza area by the arena would be comparable in size to San Francisco’s Union Square.

Building heights would conform to existing limits at the site, team officials said. The arena at its highest point would be 135 feet high; the highest points of the office towers would be 160 feet and the retail sites would vary from 25 to 40 feet high.

“We are compacting the arena to the extent possible, pushing it into the ground,” saidDavid Manica of Manica Architecture, which is also working on the project.

About 50 people attended the meeting, who had questions about traffic flow, parking, public transit, pedestrian safety, bike use, crowd control and noise.

Team representatives said they will come back to the Mission Bay CAC to give more detailed ideas about how to control traffic flow, ensure that public transit is effective and keep noise to a minimum.

The Warriors have said they want to build their new arena in time for the 2018 basketball season. The club has played in Oakland’s Oracle Arena since 1971.

The team two years ago announced plans to leave Oakland for San Francisco, pledging to build an arena on San Francisco’s Piers 30-32. But they dropped those plans earlier this year when Salesforce Inc., who had planned to build a campus on the Mission Bay site, sold the property to the Warriors for an undisclosed price.

Rick Welts, the Warriors president, said team meetings with the Mission Bay residents will be “critical.”

It's “essential for us to get the right project design," he added, “People’s comments were thoughtful. It’s a welcome step.”