Dubs to dump Piers 30/32 for Mission Bay Salesforce site

With a 2017 opening lost due to increasing scrutiny and the threat of SF’s waterfront height restrictions proposition hanging over the Warriors’ arena project, many news sources, starting with SF Weekly, revealed today that the Warriors are completing a deal to purchase a parcel in Mission Bay from cloud computing giant Salesforce.com. The arena is expected to open in time for the NBA’s 2018-19 season.

Salesforce bought the 14 acre parcel at the corner of Third Street and 16th Street in 2010 for $278 million, an outlandish sum even for San Francisco. Soon, the company released plans for a new campus that eventually would’ve held nearly 2 million square feet of office space. As recently as last month, UCSF was in talks with Salesforce to acquire an adjacent parcel, which happens to be across the street from the bulk of UCSF’s Mission Bay campus. The sale price of the arena property wasn’t available, but with the spiraling costs of the waterfront site making it potentially cost-prohibitive, Mission Bay looks like a decent site given its availability. That availability became clear when Salesforce signed its own deal two weeks ago to occupy half of the massive Transbay Tower, which is currently under construction. Soon Salesforce will have its own “campus” within a few blocks of very dense SoMa, a pretty impressive feat of consolidation within a major city.

The arena site doesn’t have the picturesque Bay Bridge views of Piers 30/32. Neither is it downtown nor close to BART (30+ minute walk from Powell or 16th Street Mission stations). However, it is right along the the Third Street Muni line, which by 2019 will have a more direct BART link to the arena thanks to the Central Subway. Plenty of parking has already been built near the arena site, including over 2,400 spaces in two garages within a block.

Just as important, the site isn’t subject to the alphabet soup of regulatory agencies that rule over Bay Area waterfront land, such as the BCDC and SLC. Being a block away makes all the difference in the world. And since the land isn’t on the waterfront, it’s exempt from the likely-to-be-passed Proposition B, the initiative that seeks to have tall developments along the SF waterfront subject to a vote – ballot box planning to the extreme.

There will still need to be an EIR written and certified for the arena project, but that’s nothing compared to the waterfront process. Prior to Prop B, I thought that the arena could be done if SF Mayor Ed Lee used up some political capital to see through his legacy project. When the initiative was cleared for this year’s primary, the writing was on the wall. The Giants saw it too, because Prop B threatens their large development across from AT&T Park. Any leverage that the Giants had regarding sharing the arena with the W’s is gone, now that the Giants have to deal with potential legal challenges throughout the development process and at the ballot box. Should Prop B pass and be legally upheld, the Giants stand to lose a few hundred million against the potential of their China Basin/Mission Rock plans.

Should he get this built, Joe Lacob will deserve many accolades. He gave the waterfront a good effort for nearly two years and had an alternative at the ready if he felt the need to cut bait. He inserted himself into the Howard Terminal discussion, showing interest in buying the A’s and building a stadium on the Oakland waterfront. He even managed to get the Port of Oakland and local developers to get excited about a waterfront arena, even though Lacob had not shown any specific interest in one. They got so excited that the ENA signed three weeks ago allows land to be conveyed to a team other than the A’s. Meanwhile, Lacob did the Salesforce deal away from the spotlight. That’s a classic smokescreen, well executed by Lacob. Now I don’t doubt that Lacob would enter the bidding for the A’s if they were available, but Lacob’s first job is to get the venue built for the team he currently owns. He got the land without early leaks, which have a tendency to invite speculation in the real estate market.

Going forward, I wonder if Salesforce is still tied into the arena via naming rights or another sponsorship deal. Once rivals with Oracle, they are now partners on a number of enterprise integration initiatives. Oracle’s naming rights deal expires in 2016, with the W’s expected to leave after the following year. The big target for Salesforce these days is SAP, who happen to have naming rights on some arena in downtown San Jose.

50 thoughts on “Dubs to dump Piers 30/32 for Mission Bay Salesforce site

  1. So does this mean the arena can be razed and Quaniseum city is back on?

  2. While it’s not a done deal, this does seem to be a good indication that the W’s are indeed gone. Oakland will almost definitely be down one team come 2018. And with them goes one of the 3 parts that made the Coliseum City project worthwhile. The Warriors didn’t even seem to give that project a second thought as they came up with their own far more lucrative plan B across the Bay after their Pier 30/32 project hit rough seas.

    One has to wonder how much longer the Raiders will keep playing this charade with Oakland’s leadership when they too have very obvious and viable options available in Santa Clara and Los Angeles.

  3. However, it is right along the the Third Street Muni lin

    …Yes, I take that Muni line sometimes. Goes right by there. It’s also about 10 yards away from the CalTrain station…I’d say there’s pretty much no way the Warriors stay in Oakland now. They’re gone…

  4. This is huge because it takes the Warriors from maybe leaving Oakland to (for all intents and purposes) DEFINITELY leaving Oakland. Even if at this point in the CC project it was assumed there wouldn’t be an arena component, this essentially solidifies the notion that there won’t be.

  5. @Dan: By forcing the A’s hand – (Wolff won’t commit to a CC deal until the SJ vs MLB lawsuit is over) Oakland city officials are in effect booting the A’s out of the Coliseum so the Raiders could be the sole tenant (that might be enough to keep Mark Davis happy for the time being)

  6. Duffer, Oakland isn’t going to commit to anyone exclusively. They’ll keep dragging things along for as long as the team’s either have to or stop “playing.”

  7. How does Oakland define the A’s committing to Oakland? The A’s agreeing to fund 100% of a new ballpark without any ancillary development rights and without any assurances they’ll make their money back?

  8. @dmoas: Maybe, that would be most economical way out for Oakland city officials though – keeping the Raiders at no cost until a new Raiders stadium could be hashed out at the CC. Also, Oakland could even lure the A’s back to the CC (after booting them out) – if SJ doesn’t win their lawsuit or MLB doesn’t cut a deal with San Jose.

  9. There’s an old Russian proverb, “he who defends everything, defends nothing.” I always felt Oakland’s posture of fighting for all three teams was unrealistic. The Bay Area has shifted south. San Jose was a sleepy suburb when Oakland gained it’s teams but it has surged while Oakland stagnated. Realistically they were always going to lose one, if not two, teams. They should’ve been willing to do just that, say goodbye to one team and try to save the others. Instead they’ve dithered and dithered, put out contradictory plans (Coliseum City, no Howard Terminal, no Coliseum City) and generally looked foolish. I’m afraid they could lose all the teams. Let’s face it, Bud Selig has been a friend to Oakland as his own dithering has led to nothing but indecision. He’s given Oakland every chance to make the play and yet there’s been nothing but contradictory plans that never really advance. Who knows though, baseball will get a new Commissioner and there’s always the danger that whoever replaces Selig will be of a more decisive character who’s not of the mindset to let this problem fester. So now the Warriors appear good as gone, who’s next?

  10. Baynative: Go to the previous thread and read the article about Oakland’s finances. It will tell you all you need to know about why Oakland really can’t make much of a play for the teams other than to try to get private investors to pay for new facilities, which is unrealistic given the costs involved. KTVU Channel 2 tonight quoted Quan saying Oakland is continuing to develop stadium plans with the Warriors as part of the plans and that the team can stay if it changes its mind. She also noted decades of sellouts the Warriors have had in Oakland. That right there tells us something: The team sells out and still wants to go to Frisco. The Coliseum City requirement that the teams pay for their own facilities has the Warriors (and A’s) ready to do just that – just not in Oakland. Oakland is not going to concede loss of any of the teams from Oakland – the respective sports leagues are going to have to do that.

  11. @baynative: By the time the A’s moved to Oakland and the Raiders moved into the Coliseum, San Jose was already bigger than Oakland. But Oakland was probably still the more well-known city at the time.

  12. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for East Bay and Frisco news articles about mean old Frisco taking poor Oakland’s basketball team.

  13. SMG: true Oaklands population has been fairly stagnant for 50 years or more but it was better known than larger but more suburban San Jose. This is no longer the case.

  14. It’s not far from Hard Knox, my favorite soul food place in the City. I don’t know about all places, but many businesses aren’t protected by rent control, so it’d be a shame if some places were priced out by the Warrior’s moving in.

  15. re: “the City.” Why is Frisco referred to as “the City?” I grew up 30 minutes from New York – now THAT is the City…

    “San Francisco is a very nice small town.” – one-time New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    • @pjk – Just stop. Or move back to the NYC area. SF is The City in this region. There’s nothing Oakland or San Jose can do to change that.

  16. Listened to 95.7 this morning with Bucher and Towny interviewing the W’s COO. Some interesting nuggets:

    - W’s season ticket base is 50% EB / 50% SF (and peninsula, but did not mention south bay)
    - There was no credibility to reports that Lacob was interested in A’s
    - Bucher & Towny said Giants were trying to bully the W’s into their Mission Rock development, similar to what they had done with the A’s keeping them out of SJ (they want the Bay Area sports scene to themselves)

  17. @anon- did TK ask why Oakland was good enough for the A’s but not for the W’s? Nope- Lacob is using him to divert attention away from fleeing Oakland for greener pastures- TK buys it hook, line and sinker

  18. Now this is a great idea by the Dubs. Instead of building on dilapidated piers that would cost 100s of millions of dollars to fix they found a site that is on solid bedrock to build on and they can avoid a vote.

    Big stroke of luck Salesforce.com decided to lease the Transbay tower instead of building new on that site.

    Works out great for both parties and to Anon’s point above the Warriors can give the Giants the big finger 3 blocks away!

    The Warriors did not want to partner with the Giants cause they are a “greedy” organization.

    Bill Neukom was forced to step down because after the Giants won the 2010 WS he had profit streams that were huge from the run. He started to upgrade the locker rooms with flat screen TVs amongst other things before the 2011 season at the ballpark.

    The Giants ownership group got mad at him stating to save the $$ for a “rainy day” and stated to him he needed authorization for the upgrades. As we all know Neukom was not happy about this and eventually was removed.

    This came from a former employee of the Giants at the time who told me this.

    So Bucher and Towny are probably right about them “bullying” the Warriors like the A’s.

  19. @GoA’s Anyone who looks at this will tell you that its pretty common sense to build and own and operate a indoor area in a city of San Francisco’s magnitude for best profit it has nothing to do with Oak Vs SF vs SJ or however anyone will try to spin it. Like everyone says about Lew being so smart with development, Lacob got rich as well on his investments and he will be even richer. You mention the A’s guess what there’s a stadium in SF for baseball not a arena which the city has been long over due for. So even as a Pro Oakland person I see and understand the move.

  20. @K- then by extension you surely can understand why the A’s want to move to SV- just like the ’9ers have done- correct?

  21. ML pretty much nailed it….the whole A’s interest was a diversion on two fronts:

    - him fleeing Oakland (trying to be sympathetic back to his Oakland ST base by saying things like they are the only NBA team in the Bay Area)
    - Not letting the Gnats catch on that they were dealing with Salesforce for this new site

    Lacob is much smarter/business saavy (and more ruthless) than I had thought…..

  22. @K – keep telling yourself that and you might just feel better when all 3 teams are gone….

  23. The Warriors plans at the Mission Bay site have also brought some clarity with regard to two other issues too according to twitter and ML. Looks like the SF arena won’t be NHL compatible, so any thoughts of poaching the Sharks from San Jose can be forgotten (not that it was really much of a threat with the Sharks having a sweetheart management/financial deal in San Jose that an SF arena could never match). And it also seems to have put the kibosh on any of the Board of Stupidvisors delusional plans to demolish 280 east of 101. No way they level it now with not one but two major sports venues now off and at the end of the 280 stub.

  24. @GOA’s I have never said I don’t understand it I see why Lews wants to move. My view is that these people have become very rich but there means and Lew had his way and Lacob had his. I have always said I can see it working out in either city. But majority of posters on here will take to there grave that its SJ or bust Oak will still have to be on Revenue sharing even if they get a new stadium because Oakland and the east bay cant support them which I think is just stupid to claim. Can they make more money in SV most likely but can they make alot of money with a state of the art stadium part of a development in Oakland yes. Thats all

  25. @Anon and tell me where the Raiders are going with out MD selling the Team, considering that the NFL really doesn’t what the Raiders in L.A and MD can afford it? And the A’s? there many years down the road as well. please come with substance that just throwing random statements out there that isn’t bring anything new or productive to the discussion.

  26. @K Substance? Fyi-we’ve hashed, rehashed, regurgitated these arguments for years now. Your argument is based on the premise that the A’s and Raiders must stay because they have nowhere to go. Yet, you try to rationalize the W’s move just as a business move, when in fact all these entities (A’s/Raiders) and decisions are just that….It’s just ironic that you would give a free pass to the most successful of the 3 franchise located in Oakland now, while continually vilifying LW for looking to greener pastures as well, when he hasn’t got a $72M renovation or $200M Mt. Davis to his ledger like the others.

  27. @Anon SF besides L.A is the premier city on the West cost and they have never had a indoor stadium that could attract major events, so it not rationalizing its a fact that its a smart business move, to own and operate a indoor arena where you can have so many events through out the year in San Francisco is common sense. Its not a free pass I don’t like the move but I understand it that’s all. and guess what whatever you say at least Lacob had backup plans Lew would rather wait out the rest of his life than talk to the city and see if they are bringing anything new to the table. Oh there is no plan B, really, if there is no plan B that’s pretty dumb from a so called developer. We know hes waiting for the lawsuit to pan out and then he will make a decision then. Sell or reconsider a Oakland site. My premise is it can work in Oakland as well as San Jose, not that it is SJ or fail like you and many others on here think. I just want a decision made regardless of the issue but for Lew to hold up the process more with a lawsuit because he wants SJ so bad I think is wrong, MLB gave him guidelines as being a owner within MLB so why not follow them he knows what he has to do to get to SJ, and so far it has proved to be too big for him to do it so try again or look at other options/ talk to your home city and see what they can offer, which no one on here knows including me.

  28. @ ML I get it but why cry over spilled milk if MLB has sad they turned down the proposal and Lew hasn’t came up with a new one, what is the harm in sitting down with these developers and JPA to see if there is anything new in regards to money etc they are bringing to the table. Hell he is gonna wait anyway for some years until this lawsuit is hashed out so what does one meeting hurt go ol Lew.

    • @K – Why are you so hung up on gestures? Gestures don’t do squat. The whole Coliseum City project is built on a series of gestures, and they can’t even get the Raiders to make their own in-kind gesture. If Wolff gives up on San Jose and falls back to Oakland, he’s going to want to do it his way. He doesn’t need third-party developer help or cash from Dubai. He is a developer with his own billionaire backers.

  29. @ML I agree, and that’s why I have felt Lew should talked weather its a rough vision if he ever decided to commit, weather its I want these parcels over on 880 waterfront side that I will develop with my own money etc. The developers are here to bridge the gap on the city’s part along with infrastructure taxes, but I think also to bridge the shortfall on the Raiders part but MD doesn’t seem inclined to sell shares of the team, but he supposedly has is own developers which if true why hasn’t he brought them in from the start to help bridge his gap of funding? Does he really want to stay ?

  30. Mercur News quote today: “I wish them well,” Councilman Larry Reid said. “It was my hope that the Warriors would build a new arena in Oakland, but there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do.”

    …This is what happens when all the city has to offer is a slab of land and can’t pay for a new facility. The owners end up with much incentive to look for the best deal they can get, wherever they can get it. The Warriors know they have to pay for their own facility and would rather do it in Frisco. If Oakland could pay for a new arena, that might have tipped the scales in Oakland’s favor. But that’s not going to happen.

  31. What will happen to Oracle arena? Clearly, the idiots that run Oakland will have to tear it down because no permanent tenant will be there to pay for upgrades….Oakland certainly can’t afford to maintain an empty arena.

    I hope Oakland & its bumbling sports team owners just learned a lesson from Joe Lacob: Show some leadership, initiative & cash…….and maybe good things will happen.

    This can get done in Oakland, but all three of those previously mentioned elements are clearly missing.

  32. The fate of Oracle depends on how fast Oakland can turn the Coliseum site into condos.

  33. @briggs- Oracle won’t be used much with SF and SJ arena’s- expensive to keep operating without a tenant or any entertainment acts-

    • After 2017 there’s still ~$84 million of debt remaining on the arena, with no tenant and probably no naming rights deal. The JPA will fight to make sure the W’s pay it off, but you never know how it’ll turn out.

  34. The old Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ, still stands, sans previous tenants the Devils and Nets, who left for Newark and Brooklyn, respectively. I think they use it for circuses and concerts. Oracle (probably back to just the Coliseum Arena in a couple years) could be used as a bargaining chip for traveling shows looking to get the best deals out of San Jose’s and Frisco’s arenas. Otherwise, the place stays dark until it gets torn down for condos, or whatever.

  35. NOBODY from Northern California calls it “Frisco”. Using that term is the easiest way to out yourself as not from the region.

  36. You must be new here. I’ve been calling Frisco Frisco here for years. Kind of a running joke. New York Daily News headline, Fall 1957: Giants to Frisco.

  37. @K: Saying ‘it can work in Oakland’ is just a feel-good measure at this point. At this stage, Oakland has nothing to offer over San Jose from a business perspective. And that’s unlikely to change.

  38. Just to back up “pjk”, I was born and raised in the Bayview section of San Francisco and we always referred to SF as “Frisco”. The whole” don’t call it Frisco ” crowd were folks on the other side of town. In other words, the more well to do crowd seemed to get upset about “Frisco”than the blue color folks

  39. Also to back up pjk, lived most of my life in San Jose and I always call it Frisco. Mainly because I know it drives self flaggelating Frisco residents nuts when we use what they consider to be a negative term for their overrated pit in the end of the peninsula…

  40. Frisco: My Favorite Phrase to Use in Order to Piss My Brother Off.

  41. All very good points from Dewayne, Dan and Jeffery. Fun to call the place Frisco because self-important Friscans are offended by it…

  42. I’m not offended, I’m weirded out by it. I’ve lived in the South Bay my entire life. My mom was born and raised here. My grandparents were born in the city and ended up in the South Bay. And various family members from generations before my grandparents lived in the city. I have never once heard a native of the Bay Area refer to it as “Frisco” unless discussing the idea behind the usage of the term. But anyway, back to more relevant topics of conversation… Dubs moving back to the correct side of the Bay.

  43. re: “The City”
    It was something Franklin Mieuli put on the Warriors jerseys specifically to take a shot at New York, to claim that SF is The City. But pjk you’re right, long before SF was called “The City” that moniker was taken by New York.

  44. @SMG – nah, that’s just not true. Growing up in San Jose we all called it Frisco. My friends from Union City called it Frisco. I used to work with JT The Bigga Figga, who is from Fillmore – he called it Frisco. Lots of people called it Frisco (including Herb Cain whose Bay Area cred is unassailable).

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