Warriors to make plans for San Francisco move formal

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Everyone has known for a year that the Golden State Warriors new ownership wanted to move the team out of Oakland to a new arena in San Francisco. It was no surprise when word leaked over the weekend that a plan was well along in the works.

At a press conference Tuesday the Warriors will make formal their plans to build a new arena at Pier 30/32 in San Francisco. NBA Commissioner David Stern and the San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will be on hand to back the idea.

Golden State’s goal would be to move there in the fall of 2017 (when their lease is up in Oakland) but that may not be a realistic timeframe.

The site is right on the water not far from AT&T Park where baseball’s Giant’s play, next to the Bay Bridge. It is a stunning location. While officials in Oakland are fighting to keep the team on their side of the bridge, it seems a lost cause.

But don’t expect things to go quickly for this building. Even though it is reportedly going to be all privately financed.

As someone who in a previous life wrote about plenty of urban infill development efforts, know that this project has a lot of hurdles. First, any coastal development in California comes with an added layer of state bureaucracy (the Coastal Commission). There are tough environmental laws. Plus, there are residents in that area and those who would lose their views of the Bay Bridge will fight the plan (business in the area may as well).

There are also rumors this project is severely under-parked, always a major development hurdle. (The developer will say “people will take mass transit” but reality is always different.)

But the Warriors new ownership seems committed to the plan and if they have the money that goes a long way to making it a reality. Just don’t expect it to move quickly.