The proposed Warriors arena in Mission Bay has cleared another hurdle.
The Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure on Tuesday unanimously certified the final environmental impact report for the project, paving the way for a slew of additional approvals slated in the coming weeks.
The nearly 5,000-page final EIR, released Oct. 23, includes $60 million in various improvements that city officials are confident will mitigate traffic impacts from the 18,000-seat arena.
The commission also approved plans for the development, including offices and open space, at an 11-acre site at Third and 16th streets in Mission Bay, across the street from UC San Francisco’s three new hospitals that opened in February.
Despite concerns from the Mission Bay Alliance group led by former UCSF officials who claim the arena will create detrimental traffic and noise in the area, the proposed arena last month month received support from the university after city officials agreed to numerous efforts aimed to relieve traffic congestion from the new arena.
“Even with the opposition stating their concerns that are always valid, I think [the] responses have been adequately made on the record,” said Mara Rosales, the commission’s chairperson, after the commission heard several hours of public comment Tuesday from supporters and opponents of the project.
Mayor Ed Lee noted the privately-financed project will generate a significant amount of jobs and revenue for The City.
“The Warriors will create a new legacy and inspire a new generation of fans when they return to San Francisco,” Lee said in a statement Tuesday. “Our Mission Bay is an incredible innovation ecosystem and a hub for technology, healthcare and more. But, it will not be complete until the Warriors return home to a brand new state-of-the-art event center.”
As part of the agreement with UCSF, Lee and the majority of supervisors proposed establishing a Mission Bay Transportation Fund that will pay for city services and capital improvements needed to accommodate the arena. Money in the fund will come from project-generated revenues, estimated at $14 million annually.
The final EIR spells out such efforts, including a first-of-its-kind Local/Hospital Access Plan to ensure patients, residents and businesses have access to Mission Bay and UCSF during events.
Plans to add parking control officers, purchase four new light-rail vehicles, improve the T-Third light-rail line and construct a center boarding platform at the stop near the arena to accommodate additional riders are also included in the final EIR.
John Caine, co-owner of the waterfront restaurant Hi Dive near AT&T Park, said he has seen firsthand traffic generated by events at the ballpark and is confident that similar congestion created by the Warriors arena will be mitigated.
“The Hi Dive is located at Bryant and the Embarcadero, and game day and event day traffic is a give-in,” Caine said. “The City does an outstanding job of managing the vehicle, pedestrian and other traffic.”