COURTESY RENDERINGThe proposed Warriors arena will be up for voter approval.

8 Washington vote wasn’t a rebuke of Warriors plan

San Francisco voters had a chance to weigh in on the 8 Washington St. project, which sought to develop a parcel on the northern waterfront where there is currently a private sports club and a parking lot. The voters who did show up for Tuesday’s election defeated the project, casting doubt over the 134-unit condominium building’s future.

Just hours after the polls closed, when it became clear that Propositions B and C would be defeated, a group that is against the proposed Warriors waterfront arena announced an event Wednesday in which it called on city leaders to rethink that project.

But 8 Washington and the arena are disparate projects with the mere link of both being built along The City’s waterfront. The Warriors’ arena plan needs to be evaluated and judged on its own merits.

The Warriors are seeking to move from Oakland to San Francisco and build a sports and entertainment venue on Piers 30-32, which sit on The Embarcadero just south of the Bay Bridge — far from the northern waterfront where the 8 Washington project lies. The Warriors’ project also includes a parcel across the street, at which there is a plan for housing, a hotel and retail space.

Overall, the Warriors project is a mix of an entertainment venue, retail, housing and hotel — more of a mix than the housing and retail that’s in the 8 Washington project. The Warriors’ plan also has the potential to create more permanent jobs and hotel occupancy taxes.

There are neighborhood and community concerns about the impacts from the Warriors’ project, especially concerning transit and traffic for the already busy South Beach neighborhood. That discussion is already happening and should continue as the arena proposal moves through the planning process.

Using the outcome of Props. B and C against the Warriors’ arena is oversimplifying the two projects down to tall buildings that are on the waterfront. In reality, the placement of the Warriors arena on a pier that sits in the water at a location of The Embarcadero drastically changes the conversation. So does the fact that there is an active use for a portion of the 8 Washington site, while the piers where the arena could be built are empty and about to crumble into the Bay without the upgrades the team would make to them.

The outcome of Props. B and C likely will generate a larger discussion in The City about major developments along the waterfront. Despite the chatter, though, it was not a clear referendum against building anything else, especially the Warriors’ arena.

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