Grand plan to update SF's Transbay terminal


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More than 100 people who work and live around the Transbay Transit Center project showed up for the meeting with a lot of questions.

"I think there was a pent up desire to get some information from some people," said Robert Beck from Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

Most of those ABC7 spoke with were excited about the project, which would link eight counties with a half dozen transportation systems, including Caltrain and High Speed Rail.

But there were also concerns.

"The noise, traffic, commuting. It's going to be a lot of disruption," said Stan Gibson.

Many of the people at the meeting were small business owners, and some were not happy.

Adolph Gasser photography has been at its 2nd Street location for five decades. They're being forced to move along with the parking lot which they own.

"We can't seem to get any answers on when they plan on acquiring it, what programs they have in place for us," said Adolph Gasser photography General Manager George Dieck.

Long range plans include a sleek office tower and 2,600 housing units around the transit center. But plummeting land values and the recession have taken a toll on downtown re-development.

Earlier this month, the city's re-development agency canceled bids for a nearby housing complex because they were too low.

Several new high rise projects have been put on hold, including another tower next to One Rincon and condo sales are sluggish.

"Median prices have dropped about 25 percent since late 2008 on new inventory, new product," said San Francisco Realtors Association President Ilse Cordini.

But Transbay officials say none of that will be an obstacle to the new transit terminal which is going ahead as planned. The completion date would be as early as 2015.

Site preparations for the transit center will start in a couple of months. Demolition and construction will begin early next year.

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