Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pier 70 planning evolves

The old Bethlehem Steel building on 20th and Illinois
The public will have a rare opportunity to tour Pier 70 at 5pm on Wednesday, February 13th. Meet at the Noonan Building, Pier 70, Building 11. The tour will be followed by a presentation and workshop beginning at 6pm. 

The Pier 70 waterfront is a 25-acre, or 28-acre, or 65-acre, or 68-acre section of land ... depending on where you get your information.

The invitation for next week's tour comes from Forest City, and references a 28-acre site located on San Francisco's eastern waterfront, east of Dogpatch, just up the road from Bayview. 

The tour host's website, Pier 70, promises "We will co-create Pier 70 with an emerging group of local partners." The people behind the website and their partners are not listed. 

Alexandra Janos at Forest City, the site developer, responded to Footprints' questions. She explained that, after the Port proposed a Master Plan and awarded a contract to Forest City to develop the land, Forest City's work led to significant changes to the Port's original plan.

"We (Forest City) have spent the last year conducting our own community engagement through hiring a local artist to tell the story of the place and get feedback from the community," Alexandra stated. "We released our plan to the Central Waterfront Advisory Group on January 16th and had our first open house on the 26th." 

Artist Wendy MacNaughton has contributed a must-see visual history of the area that includes markers for future planning. Note how the human subjects get whiter and more dog-friendly as history ("Old Guard) turns to the present and future ("New Guard"). And don't miss the brilliant "... observational study of human behavior in specific geographic locations based exclusively on discarded refuse." 

MacNaughton's presentation suggests that Pier 70 development should learn from, but not follow the Mission Bay development model. 

Potrero Hill resident Ralph Wilson has developed a website to showcase the history and importance of Pier 70. Find it here. It includes a Pier 70 map with great pictures of the existing buildings.

One issue planners are grappling with is the inclusion of residential housing. Not everyone agrees, as you can see in this SF Business Times by J.K. Dineen (who counts 25 acres).

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