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Disputed Embarcadero luxury condo project presses on

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Opponents of a proposed luxury condo project near the Embarcadero waterfront charge that it doesn’t fit the neighborhood. - COURTESY RENDERING
  • Courtesy rendering
  • Opponents of a proposed luxury condo project near the Embarcadero waterfront charge that it doesn’t fit the neighborhood.

A controversial luxury condo project planned near the northern Embarcadero waterfront is being shopped to city agencies for a stamp of approval, after some neighbors sued to kill the development.

The project at 8 Washington St. would replace a surface parking lot with 165 condos, retail, restaurants and underground parking. The plan was recently changed to reflect community desire for wider sidewalks and more public open space.

The project area is about three blocks bordered by the Embarcadero, Washington Street, Drumm Street and Broadway that encompasses the Golden Gateway Tennis & Swim Club and Seawall Lot 351, a parking lot. The buildings on Drumm Street would be up to 12 stories high, while those on Embarcadero would range from four to six stories.

“It doesn’t fit — that’s it,” said Lee Radner, chairman of Friends of Golden Gateway. “What we’re doing is putting another nail in the coffin of our middle-class families in The City.”

Friends of Golden Gateway is part of a coalition that sued the developer to halt the project. In October, a superior court judge denied the request.

Radner said the development is incompatible with the neighborhood and construction will deprive the neighborhood of its primary recreation resource — the Golden Gateway Tennis & Swim Club.

A representative for the project’s developer, Simon Snellgrove of San Francisco Waterfront Partners, said the project would not alienate the community, but rather, improve the neighborhood’s access to the waterfront.

“There’s been a lot of misinformation by people who say this project is going to take away their club — it will not,” Snellgrove said at last month’s Port Commission meeting. “We will ensure all the rights of the existing members are preserved.”

The club would be rebuilt and its construction expedited, Snellgrove said.

The project has received support from San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, and the San Francisco Building & Construction Trades Council, both which spoke in favor of the project at the Port Commission’s Nov. 15 meeting.

Up next for the project is a hearing before the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee.

Supervisor David Chiu, who called for the committee hearing, is expected to present his concerns about the project, specifically regarding proposed building heights, according to spokesman Judson True.

New digs

165: Residential units 29,000: Square feet public open spa
ce
4,500: Square feet playground
20,000: Square feet retail and restaurants
38,000: Square feet rec club
255: Public parking spaces
165: Residential parking spaces
81: Bicycle parking spaces

Source: San Francisco Waterfront Partners

sgantz@sfexaminer.com