tv [untitled] May 4, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm PDT
the transit center itself. we got this project moved into the limelight of the public discussion. i think there needs to be a clearer understanding of the financial responsibilities of what people are expecting exchange for extraordinary high concessions for this transit center tower. there are clear expectations for the creation of a civic space related to the design and future redevelopment of the area using the park as a catalyst. on march 19th, john king pointed out in an excellent article about the change in the tower design. the office tower is an integral part of an emerging vision of what it will be. and it should be a goal of
succeeding on all levels on opening day. and what he means is not just that our standing on its own. what happened is that apparently, there is a lack of commitment to the canopy, which is a basic requirement of the competition and will be strongly commented on as the winning entry. i've voted at the cta board meeting in which the full board acknowledged the competition winner. board member support of the winner was partially because they agreed to $350 million, which is almost more than twice as much as what the other to entrance into the competition promised.
what i anders and today, this money has decreased. -- understand it today, this money has decreased. it was always clear what the commitment would be relative to participating relative to the square at howard in building this canopy. however, what one often does when things are so exciting, the details get lost in translation. at this moment i looked to several board meetings as well as renegotiated terms of october 21st, 2008. there is not any clear responsibility that heintz would pay for it, but there was an innuendo that they would participate. and the access to the roof
garden, which everyone believed. whether that is realistic or not is not part of my comment. however, all of a sudden, we do not have access to the roof garden, other than through the transit center itself, because i made it clear in its competition entry that they would not allow an entrance for passing over the transit center roof garden by way of their own lobby. we still have 5.6 a. of public open space on top of the transit center, but we do not have any clear understanding how this is going to come about. hynes has clearly indicated an interest in programming the roof garden. they have interest in creating a -- an association of owners. they want volunteers to organize
an organization of stakeholders and provide funding they have clearly said that they will not be paying for it. we do not have any idea not only who would be responsible for funding, we do not have any idea about the management of the park. park and ride has not volunteered yet, and probably they will not. it we might have a green roof, but not a roof garden. this goes to the question of whether or not a roof garden 70 ft. up in the air is up for discussion. i want to get to the core of the commitment for the transit center, for the tower being the catalyst not only for the park, but by way of public access in
the form of vernacular or wherever with public transit that is focused on transit, but also with the office. i believe this needs to be clarified and committed prior to this entire plan being approved because we are approving a plan with the centerpiece missing, that we will have a very hard time delivering what the public is expecting. i'm not sure if after my long presentation you have an answer, but we would look for you to have an understanding. >> thank you, commissioner. i appreciate those comments and i know several commissioners raised comments last time as well. which is why we prepared the language that joshua mentioned
to strengthen the language in the plant -- in the plant to point out the need for public access to locations on the roof. i do think that what we're trying to do with that language is make sure that the connection is an integral part of the plan. commissioner moore: may i also ask that there is at least in numerical rundown of how the reduced funds that heintz would be paying, not, -- would be paying, it is less than before. where were the other funds come from? there has been concern that it would be passed on to others.
there was a significant lower ground lease of heintz, based on a large amount of benefits for the smallest amount of contribution. >> the construction of the park as the garden-type environment complete with amphitheater and lawn and large, established trees is still part of the phase one program. it is not just a green roof. but it is a full-fledged part. and to the question of maintenance come off -- maintenance, it is true that rec park is not in a position to
provide the maintenance for the park. we will be looking to establish a community benefit district, or other mechanism around the transit center to help offset the maintenance and operation costs. as far as the proceeds from the transaction on the transit tower, that is part of the land sale revenues that are included in the phase one funding plan that i put out earlier. and we continue to remain fully funded within a phase one, despite the changes in the trend the tower site. >>commissioner moore: could you comment on access from the outside to the roof garden? could you also comment on the
revenue? there is no description of the changes being there any more either. there is an interaction between people at the park and using the mezzanine for shopping and interaction. >> the west end of the transit center, we have at both the ground level and the second level mezzanine a retail-focused and government. this is part of providing for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the transit center. it is the revenue expected to be generated through those retail activities. this is in the area between first and second streets and then the pedestrian mall that i mentioned earlier. in terms of access points to the park, there is access through the grand hall. there is an escalator that cascades up to the bus back.
and there are elevators from the grand hall, elevators from first street, elevators from beale street, and elevators from the west and on that, to be part -- on natoma to the park level. >> -- commissioner moore: how are people getting to the buses? >> the elevators at the west and from they are going to the park. there are other levels that service other locations as well as the park. >> and we can get you information about the tax information as well. >> i'm with the former redevelopment agency.
the good news is -- and this was mentioned by some of the developers that came up and spoke, to. all of the developers that formally spoke from a transit center to the redevelopment area is still in place. we will continue to collect that tax increment and spend its as before. there's not any loss of tax increment for transbay. i want to clarify that, to make sure everyone understood we are definitely still in place as a redevelopment plan and all the tax increments. we're not a redevelopment agency anymore. we've lost some of the tools, and in the domain for example, but other than that, all of the other tools are in place. -- and an end of domain for example, but other than that all of the other tools are in place. >commissioner moore: could there
be an update about -- a presentation about the updated design? i'm concerned that all of the elements as equally strong and powerful as they were, however, what this building is going to be delivering has greatly diminished. i do think this commission needs to know what is currently on the table. cracks and we can certainly do that. -- >> and we can certainly do that. and we will come back later in the year and give you an update on the design. commissioner antonini: thank you for a very good presentation. i do have questions. my first is, regarding the timetable, we know from an earlier presentation that we are not to expect rail service to the transbay terminal until 2121. i think that was the projected time. -- 2021. i think that was the projected
time. when will the bus service take place? presumably, that could take place a lot sumer -- a lot sooner and allow us to move the temporary terminal. >> the project i submitted earlier has as completing the project in october of 2017. that is when we would move the operations into the transit center and turn the temporary terminal site over for redevelopment. >> thank you. i have some other comments in a moment that will work off of that timetable. the other thing i am concerned about, and i do not need an answer today on this, but one of the questions i asked last time was trying to plan for access to the transit center, particularly subgrade portions of it to barton -- bart muni,
which is about a block. i think that is really important because if you want people to use rail service, or even high- speed and regional rail service, they will have to easily move their suitcases or whenever they are carrying to connect to bart board muni to go elsewhere. if they have to bring them above grade and carry them a block or two, most cities, there are at least corridors where you can roll your suitcases. i would like to see that as part of the plan, hopefully. i also wanted to comment that there is an area for the transbay park, and that is where the temporary transbay terminal is now. we should look very carefully at possible uses for that area.
obviously, everybody wants a park. there may be the availability for some subgrade parking in there. there might even be enough space for some sort of structure, possibly an arena. i do not know what acreage would be required, but that particular piece as well as another piece zone by the redevelopment agency on spear and main street, adjacent to folsom, i think there is one vacant building there, but i think most of it is a surface parking lot. looking at these things carefully, there might be some uses that will be of benefit. and certainly, a great vacation. i have a comment. two questions, and i do not need them today.
the first is i noticed that the of street parking for businesses is based on 3.5 per square foot floor area. i'm sure that's fine and makes sense, but what are you comparing it to? what is it in the rest of the city? what is it in the downtown area? the other is the prohibition on surface parking lots, even temporarily. nobody wants a surface parking lot. but we have seen a lot of projects that utilize that as a fawning tool -- funding tool if construction is delayed. we have three or four in operation today that are providing some funding during the interim until they can be developed it might be something where we look at that, whether there should be an outright vote -- prohibition or funding on that. and the other thing is, and mr. riis spoke to this a little bit -- but in terms of the on-site
affordable, we had a conversation earlier and i guess there is a requirement that calls for 35% affordable within the transbay area aggregate the, not any particular project, but as an aggregate. but i do not think this use prohibits the offside if the funds were used for housing within the transbay, moving toward that goal. i think it would make it much more competitive for builders of market rate housing, or any housing that included an affordable component to be able to cite it across the street
where the construction is about 5 per unit. and that makes sense to me. and the other thing is, -- and this may take some change at the state level. would we be allowed to count housing that is near the area, but not actually within the transbay area, toward the affordable mandates? i don't know if that could be done, but it makes perfect sense to me that if you put 100% of affordable complex, and it's just on the edge of transbay, it would certainly have all of the benefits of being right within transbay. i would like to know what the barriers are. and the other thing that was brought about the malodorous -- melarus, i guess this is
funding for redevelopment. if your redevelopment, you can also be infrastructure finance. but i do not think that precludes some other funding tool that could be used to spread the cost more broadly to all of the people who benefit from it, including existing buildings that are already in place or have already gone through entitlement. i think it might be able to minimize the cost to proposed buildings that might make it in feasible financially if the costs were too high. i would like to see that explored financially. i guess my only other comment was -- i guess that is it for
now commissioner miguel: thank you to staff for an excellent and comprehensive presentation on a very complicated project overall. it is great to see it move forward. i have many of these same concerns that other commissioners have, particularly commissioner moore as to the transit tower itself. i am merely thinking of the sandbagging, if you'll pardon the poker term. you get the contract on the basis of one design and then you push out a second design. i think many of us feel that
the second design is inferior. i've got a lot of problems with that one. i know the budget will come back to us for specific entitlements, but i am not totally satisfied that if addendum policy 3.17 meant to address it, that it necessarily does it specifically enough. i get the idea. policies are not always very specific, but i'm still troubled. let me put it that way. i am very pleased, however, that three major property representatives -- kingsley, hu, and handler -- are enthusiastically supporting. but i also appreciate their
comments on these actions and i think we have to look at these very closely, including the melarus as we move forward. the transition from redevelopment's to partially development, if i can put it that way. that is still a little confusing for many of us. and i think a lot even for many who are working on its, if my conversations are correct. we have to figure out how to deal with that a little more. commissioner antonini has mentioned before the conundrum with bart, and i appreciate the comments as to the fact that these stations in the immediate area are just about impacted now. however, it is somewhat
ridiculous for a city like san francisco not to provide a connection. it is not good transportation planning, in my mind. i do not think we can suddenly stop this and go into that. i'm not asking for that. it cannot be done at this point immediately. but it has to come into serious consideration. the transit center district itself and part -- bart must start talking. you are looking at an opening in 2017. if you do not have some idea of where you are doing about it by then, it would be of the ridiculous. -- a little ridiculous. i am looking for an explanation, and perhaps this will take quite a bit of conversation also, as to the bmr units.
and how that is going to be handled. again, you've got the redevelopment mandates. you've got the normal city policy. you've got what one site really means or really in furs -- infers. is that transit center area really directly linked with the building? and in their conversations there. -- i think there are conversations in there. >> may be mike can talk about that. commissioner antonini: that would be excellent >> first, let me emphasize that the plan that you heard today is not changing anything in the area of
affordable housing. this is an existing requirement that has been in place since the plan was adopted in 2005. it will be helpful to give you a little bit of background about why we have that on-site requirement, and only that on- site requirement in the project rid of the area appeared before the planned redevelopment was -- of the area. before the planned return comment was adopted in 2005, the state had of law requiring 35% of all units built in the redevelopment project area that they knew was when to be adopted soon be affordable housing. the redevelopment agency in working with the mayor's office of housing and other agencies looked at this at the time to see how we would meet this requirement. we have control of several parcels in the project area. the former freeway parcels that
are going to eventually be developed as residential project, as you heard. transbay zone one is usually what is referred to. and we will put a lot of affordable housing in there. but we are also putting a lot of hours in there, because the other purpose of developing those parcels in relation to affordable housing is to generate transbay revenue. on those parcels there between the towers and the adjacent podium and low-rise buildings next to the pack -- to the towers will get 45% of affordable housing total, which meets the requirement. with a little bit of wiggle room either way. it is a lot of units, 3000 units, depending on how many get built in each tower. what do we do if other housing is built in the project area, which it will become even before -- even before the transit district was built, we knew
there would be housing in the project area. we still have a 45% housing requirements in relation to those projects as well. there is housing built on land that we do not control. they've got to contribute something in terms of affordable housing. the reason we made an on-site requirement is for two reasons. first, there is not any other land in the project area to build offsite housing. this is in the middle of downtown. there are not other properties available to do offsite housing in the project area, as the law requires. the law requires that the 35% be built in the project area. it does not give the flexibility outside the project area. if the law were changed, it would be a different situation, but that is not what the law says. it says it has to be in the project area. if we give people the option of
building off site for paying a fee, they would not be building in the project area to meet that requirement. we did not have much choice to put an on-site affordable housing requirement because there just is not land anywhere else in the project area to meet the 35% affordable housing. and it does not go all the way. it is only one to be 15%. there's a balance that we have worked very hard to create while still achieving the 35%. but the other point i want to make about the on-site of four- ball house in inclusion -- affordable housing inclusion is that the city feels there is an advantage to integrating them
with market rate housing. a few blocks is sometimes a long way. it can change the neighbor -- the neighborhood. we want mixed use in these communities. that was also part of the decision to include on-site community housing. if there were sites in the project area, and it is possible there may be eyesight or two available in the future -- a site for two available in the future and if a project this is not -- and a builder decided to build across the street, we would have to look at that as a community. it achieves what the law requires. we do not feel that is a realistic possibility right now, but we know that could change the requirement is on site now, but we would be open to housing right next door, for example, if