Golden State Warriors Close on Purchase of San Francisco Stadium Site

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By Nancy Amdur

The Golden State Warriors on Friday took a step toward making San Francisco the team’s new home after closing on its purchase of the 12-acre Mission Bay site slated to hold its proposed stadium. The announcement comes 18 months after the Warriors purchased an option on the site from cloud-computing company Salesforce.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Salesforce founder Marc Benioff told the New York Times in September that the Warriors would pay about $150 million for the vacant land at Third and 16th streets. In November of 2010, the CRM platform company paid $137.5 million for the land where the future arena is planned. At the time, Salesforce was in the midst of developing plans to build a 14-acre campus in Mission Bay, but then two years later placed those plans on indefinite hold. In the meantime, the company has took a turn toward leasing space it needed instead of building it. At the same time, it began selling off parts of the Mission Bay land.

Plans call for the Warriors to build a privately funded $1 billion-plus, 18,000-seat sports-and-entertainment venue. The project also would include a 5.5-acre public park on the waterfront, 580,000 square feet of office and lab space and 100,000 square feet of retail space along with restaurants, cafes and public plazas. Environmental review for the project is expected to be completed this fall. The Warriors look to open the stadium for the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season. The team’s home court has been Oracle Arena in Oakland for more than 40 years.

In addition to that, the San Francisco Business Times announced that a joint venture between Clark Construction Co. and M.A. Mortenson Co. has been selected as the contractor for the site and that financing for the development has been lined up, as well. While details are still unknown, the information provides a clear indication of the team’s intent.

“If there were any lingering doubts about our commitment to Mission Bay, purchasing this land should put them to rest,” said Warriors President and COO Rick Welts in a statement. “We love this neighborhood – nobody else is getting this land.”

Along with NBA basketball, the arena will host about 225 other events, including concerts and conventions, each year.

Earlier last week, the basketball franchise received support for its project from the University of California, San Francisco – whose medical center is located near the arena site – after reaching preliminary agreements with the city on managing traffic around the planned arena.

As part of the agreement, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee introduced legislation to the city’s Board of Supervisors to set up an annual $10 million Mission Bay Transportation Improvement Fund paid for and funded by revenues from the Warriors’ project. The fund is “designed to guarantee that resources will be in place to manage the flow of visitors, traffic and transit in the area around the arena,” according to a Warriors announcement about the plan. The city’s Board of Supervisors will hear public comments and vote on this proposed legislation.

Money will go toward traffic mitigations such as four new light rail cars dedicated to serving the arena and available at other times for general Muni light-rail service; a plan to keep certain streets clear of event traffic to provide smooth access to UCSF and for local businesses and residents; increased bus and light-rail service before and after arena events; and up to 28 traffic control officers deployed before and after games and events.

The legislation also calls for the formation of an advisory committee with representatives from UCSF, the Warriors, neighborhood businesses and residents to advise the city on how to improve service and keep traffic flowing.

Further, if traffic is an issue, the Warriors agreed to hold no more than 12 events per year that overlap with San Francisco Giants’ professional baseball home games at the nearby AT&T Park.

These measures will “help protect patient safety in the near-term,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood in a statement.

The Mission Bay Citizens Advisory Committee also last week voted unanimously to endorse the project.

The Warriors’ Mission Bay site is part of 14 acres Salesforce purchased for about $278 million in 2010 for its new headquarters. Salesforce later scrapped that project in favor of opening in the city’s Transbay district, where it will move into the 61-story Salesforce Tower under construction at 415 Mission St. The proposed stadium’s land is in a former redevelopment area and has been approved for development since 1998.

Rendering courtesy of steelblue.

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