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San Francisco expected to OK $1 billion Warriors arena proposal

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Upgrades: The proposed Warriors arena on The City’s waterfront would include extensive rehabilitation of Piers 30-32. - COURTESY RENDERING
  • Courtesy Rendering
  • Upgrades: The proposed Warriors arena on The City’s waterfront would include extensive rehabilitation of Piers 30-32.

While the Board of Supervisors appears poised to approve the initial financial terms of a proposed $1 billion waterfront arena for the Warriors, the debate over the project details is only just beginning.

With the expected approval, The City would be authorized to work out the financial terms and lease and sale agreement details, and initiate the state-required environmental review. If all went according to schedule, construction could begin in summer 2014.

The three members of the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee unanimously approved the proposal’s initial financial terms Wednesday despite concerns from the head of the community committee set up to represent the residents of the nearby Rincon, South Beach and Mission Bay neighborhoods who might be impacted by the ?development.

“We would like to slow this process down,” said Katy Liddell, head of the committee. “Things are going so quickly.”

Instead, the full board is set to consider the same document Tuesday, following an informational hearing Monday on the proposal’s design and transportation impacts before the board’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee.

On Wednesday, the project was praised for its ability to create jobs, boost the economy and rehabilitate a worn-down area of The City’s waterfront. The high-profile waterfront development project comes in the wake of a failed development component attached to the America’s Cup, which fell apart amid concerns over its financial details.

Hoping to learn from that failure, the Warriors’ proposal caps The City’s reimbursement to the team for rehabilitating Piers 30-32 at ?$120 million and identifies the sources of funds. Port Executive Director Monique Moyer praised the proposal Wednesday for potentially turning around the 100-year-old piers.

“It is going to achieve what we’ve been trying to achieve since 1987, which is to rehabilitate a very blighted area of our waterfront and put it back into economic use.” Moyer said. “This is a very big idea with lots and lots of benefits.”

The arena complex would include open public space around the perimeter, a parking facility to accommodate 630 vehicles and 105,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. And the Warriors would acquire Seawall Lot 330, which is valued at about ?$30 million, for development set to include a 250-room hotel and 200 parking spaces.

The arena is expected to host 205 events a year. That would include 50 Warriors home games with nearly 15,000 attendees at each game and parking for nearly 3,000 cars. The schedule also includes 45 concerts.

The project is expected to include the creation of a projected 1,712 jobs and $46 million in development impact fees for such things as affordable housing and child care.

Under the current schedule, a finalized and more detailed financial term sheet would be submitted to the Board of Supervisors as early as February, with a vote on project approval set for early 2014.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com