Construction of Crane Cove Park May Begin Next Month

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Crane Cove Park design by AECOM. Photo: Courtesy of Port of San Francisco
Park design by AECOM. Photo: Courtesy of Port of San Francisco

Amidst a chaos of construction that includes the University of California, San Francisco Child, Teen and Family Center/Department of Psychiatry Building to the west, the Chase Center to the north and apartment buildings in between, there’s a 9.8-acre parcel along the waterfront that was supposed to have been turned into a park by 2017.

Last summer, bids for the first phase of what’s to become Crane Cove Park came in 40 percent over estimates, something David Beaupre, Port of San Francisco senior waterfront planner, said is common in “this heated construction climate.” New proposals were due last month; if one is accepted, construction could begin in late August.

The incipient park, which is east of Illinois Street between Mariposa and 19th streets, will provide public access to the shoreline and feature a beach, as well as a boat launching area for kayaks, sailboats and other small craft. An open green, sun deck and waterfront walkway also are included in a plan that was drawn up by engineering firm AECOM six years ago.

A slipway, which’ll run through the middle of the park, will be retained, adorned by two cranes on opposite ends, fronted by a plaza for farmers markets and food trucks. The presence of the cranes, nicknamed Nick and Nora, led to the park’s name, which emerged from a summer intern project studying possibilities for Pier 70 in 2005.

The Port plans to preserve several relics left behind from the site’s shipyard history and restore three buildings identified as historical resources.

The entire project is expected to cost between $30 to $35 million, at least half of which will be spent on developing the beach, plazas, pathways and furnishings. To secure reasonably priced proposals this round, Beaupre said the Port removed “alternate bid items” and conducted additional outreach. Last summer, the Port received just three offers; it’s hoping to get at least a couple more. According to Beaupre, the items eliminated from the  proposal aren’t significant, with a few exceptions. The tops of the two cranes and a children’s playground were omitted after the Port reached an agreement with San Francisco Parks Alliance to sponsor a $4 million fundraiser to finance those separately. Building 49, which’ll feature a café, aquatic center and boat storage, also was removed to be bid on separately.

If the project follows the latest timeline, the bulk of the park will be complete by the end of 2019. The Port faces restrictions in doing in-water work, however.  “We can only do it between July and November every year so if we miss that, it pushes everything out,” said Beaupre.

The Port met with the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association (DNA) last month to give an update on the project. While DNA president Bruce Huie said there were no surprises, as the organization has been in contact regularly with the Port, he indicated there were concerns. “We expected something in 2018 at the latest and it continues to shift,” he said. There also was disappointment in the elements removed from the bid. “We want to make sure they get in. We hope the Port can find that funding as soon as possible.”

Bidding for Building 49 won’t be triggered until the next project stage. That’ll be followed by an extension of 19th Street and creation of Georgia Street to the east to connect the extension to 20th Street. The Port also plans to move the parking lot at Illinois and 20th streets up a block to the southeast corner of 19th, where it’ll be across the street from the park and a block closer to the Chase Center.