Citing economic and neighborhood needs, the Golden State Warriors want to build a hotel and condominium complex instead of the retail building that was initially approved as part of Chase Center construction.
The new facility, which’ll adjoin the Chase Center on the northeast corner of South Street and Terry A. Francois Boulevard, would feature 142 hotel rooms and up to 25 upper-floor condos. Although an architect has yet to be hired, the Warriors want to build to the 160-foot Mission Bay height limit. The structure would be larger than the 24,000-square foot retail building approved previously. Retail and restaurant space will still be included.
“This project will fulfill a current need in the Mission Bay neighborhood for a hotel,” said Warriors spokesman PJ Johnston, echoing previous statements from the organization that neighboring businesses and residents support the concept. Johnston added that the development would increase the increment of taxes and affordable housing fees contributed by the project, and support union jobs.
The switch means that the team will reapply for municipal approval, beginning with the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, which replaced the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency in 2012 as the primary oversight entity for Mission Bay development. If permitted, the Warriors will break ground on the project in 2021, with completion slated for 2023.
The Warriors’ quest for a hotel on the site isn’t surprising. While cities – including Sacramento, with the Golden 1 Center – have publicly financed new arenas to spur economic development in depressed areas, sports teams have also sought to invest in surrounding neighborhoods as a means to generate revenues.
The Los Angeles Rams are privately financing a $5 billion entertainment district at Hollywood Park which, in addition to a football stadium, will include a hotel as well as performing arts center, office space and housing. The Oakland Athletics want to develop a waterfront district as part of their stadium plan. And the San Francisco Giants recently won approval to develop a parking lot between Oracle Park and the Chase Center as a new neighborhood, Mission Rock.
The Chase Center project, in addition to an 18,000-seat arena, features 100,000 square feet of retail space beyond the proposed hotel and 580,000-square feet of office space that’s already been rented by Uber. The Warriors cited those components as necessary to pay for the $1.5 billion project without taxpayer money.
According to Warriors president Rick Welts, the team will transition from a basketball organization to a sports and entertainment business. It’s anticipated that the arena will hold 200 events a year, an average of 60 being basketball games. A joint Metallica/San Francisco Symphony performance will open the center on September 6, with Cher, Phil Collins and the Dave Matthews Band among other concerts scheduled. The Warriors expect to hire 100 fulltime non-basketball and 1,000 part-time employees after Chase Center opens.
Without design plans for the hotel/condo complex, no organized opposition has emerged yet to the proposal. However, before she passed away on April 1, Corinne Woods, Mission Bay Citizen Advisory Committee chair, had stated that a building greater than 90 feet high could be an issue due to proximity to the water and potential shadowing of Bayfront Park.
Former mayor Art Agnos, who led opposition to the Warriors’ previous proposal to build further north along the Embarcadero before supporting the current site, said lodging makes perfect sense. “We are short of hotels south of Mission Creek where so much development has occurred,” he said. “From a neighborhood perspective there is no question in my mind that we need a hotel, maybe more, as the commercial hospitality part of Mission Bay and Southern Waterfront start to emerge with Pier 70, Mission Rock and the power plant. With the Chase Center in particular drawing so many people on top of Giants ballgames there is no question we need a hotel or hotels closer to those facilities.”
The only other hotel in Mission Bay, the under construction 250-room Marriot at Third and Channel Streets, is expected to open next year. Associate Capital has also proposed developing a hotel at the Potrero Power Station.
The Chase Center’s most prominent neighbor, the University of California, San Francisco, has thus far only issued a two-sentence statement from vice-chancellor of public relations Barbara French in response to media queries about the Warriors’ proposal. “We do see a need for lodging in the Mission Bay area. We look forward to learning more about the Warriors’ proposal,” she stated.
The Warriors’ accommodations project would be a 1 Hotel, a luxury lifestyle brand operated by SH Hotels & Resorts, an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group.