OP-ED: Pier 70 Will Contribute to the Community

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In the more than 20 years I’ve lived and worked in Dogpatch I’ve seen a lot of housing, transportation and demographic changes. Through it alls the neighborhood has had a proud, firm, and correct grip on its historic, industrial and creative character.

More change will occur as a result of development at Pier 70.  But under the neighborhood’s watchful eye, the Forest City-led piece of Pier 70’s revitalization is being done thoughtfully. I’m embracing this change.    

I’m not blind to the impacts development will have on transportation and other amenities.  But I believe Forest City is doing what it can to address them. And we must work with the City and County of San Francisco to ensure that long-promised improvements to the neighborhood are provided.

I see a great vision for our future. Plans discussed publically include space for artists, makers and other creative people. I’m thrilled that artists in the Noonan Building will be provided with new space at Pier 70.  The largest historic building, where you may have attended events, will be a place for makers, bridging the site’s history and future.  It’ll be a place all of us can enjoy. The historic concrete building next to it, and that lovable corrugated steel and wood structure, are also being saved.

Pier 70 has never been accessible to the public, especially given its industrial history. I’m excited that that’s going to change, and hope that neighbors recognize the importance of this new entree to District 10. We’ll ultimately have access to a huge part of shoreline, a new playground and other open areas.

Pier 70’s design guidelines incorporates Dogpatch’s idiosyncratic DNA. It states that they’ll be “no false historicism,” a nod to the community’s industrial history. This is a relief; all too often we see cookie-cutter projects built without regard for the attributes of a place. These plans give a sense that Pier 70 will emerge as a neighborhood.

Historically, Pier 70 was a workingman’s neighborhood of ship builders and craftspeople. It’s exciting to see that Forest City’s plans recognize what makes the site special. So far, so good, but let’s all keep an eye on these proposals so this project is indeed a positive one for our great community.