Giants plan to bid on land development

February 14, 2008 12:43:33 PM PST
The San Francisco Giants are among three bidders competing for a billion dollar development deal on the Embarcadero waterfront and today the public is getting a look at the team's proposal.

It's a bid to build big, on one of the last large tracts along the San Francisco waterfront. The Giants team is one of the contenders to develop the land and in a press conference, team officials revealed a lofty plan, promoting why a Giants-led development is the best choice.

The team already has experience building a successful ballpark. Now they want to develop a waterfront park and mixed-use buildings on this open lot of land and at Pier-48. The plan includes a 17-acre parcel, which stretches along 3rd Street, immediately south of AT&T ballpark. It's currently used as a parking lot by baseball fans on game days.

The Giants and their partners will be submitting a $1 billion dollar plan to the Port of San Francisco, to turn the port property into a profitable zone that includes homes, office space, an entertainment district with restaurants, even a music hall and a huge waterfront park. Giants' executives say they're confident parking will not be a challenge, even with the plan to get rid of the big open lot.

"We really learned, through a program that we initiated when we opened the ballpark, that people are willing to take public transit, to come to the ballpark. We've had sort of a ratio of 50-50 over the years, with people coming by public transit -- some way other than by car or driving. So for San Francisco, it's not a benefit in anybody's mind to have just surface parking forever," said Larry Baer, Exec. Vice Pres., San Francisco Giants.

The Giants say a 2,000 space parking garage will take care of the area's needs. The signature piece of this plan is a five-acre shoreline park with a waterfront promenade, restored wetlands and water access. The project would also refurbish Pier-48 -- to offer special events and spectacular views.

Of course, the Giants is one of three bidders vying to develop this land, but whoever the port commission selects, such development would generate tax and rental income, becoming a great revenue source for the cash-strapped agency. Any construction would probably not start for three to four years.