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8 Washington Street/Seawall Lot 351: Strange Bedfellows

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Friends of Golden Gateway (aka FOGG), the posse that's been holding up the Redevelopment Agency and Ports from making something- anything- happen on the Embarcadero at the site of their private tennis and swim club, posted this snide missive on their website last week:

Your donations are greatly appreciated. Your support this year kept us on the offensive in our effort to preserve our Community’s open recreational space. It has been exceptional, and we are sure it has given the developer pause as to why he is not succeeding in spite of all the money he has spent. There is still time for him to gracefully take his luxury condominium and underground parking garage plan off the table, and look to other venues for a project that would fit his needs and can be supported by the community. We encourage Mr. Snellgrove to find a more feasible location that would not destroy what was designed to be a permanent part of the Golden Gateway development over 50 years ago.

Plus they announced that architect and urban activist Fernando Marti (right) has taken up their cudgel- or maybe it's just a tennis bracelet- and is planning an alternate proposal for the site. Mr. Marti has worked in Chinatown, on the proposed Central Subway, and the Schlage Lock site in Visitacion Valley, as the Director of Community Planning of the Asian Neighborhood Design Group, a grass-roots and community empowering non-profit where the focus has been low-income neighborhoods. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with- and how he reconciles his agency's stated goals- for a client that has maintained a walled private club on the site since 1968. Will he re-open Jackson Street and Pacific Avenue, now dead-ended by the club's site? For decades members were lobbing balls and doing the backstroke in the shadows of the Embarcadero Freeway- no one paid much attention until that came tumbling down- and now it's prime real estate. Simon Snellgrove is also the developer of Piers 1.5 and 3 directly across the Embarcadero, and FOGG steadfastly refuses to acknowlege his revised proposal shown in the gallery at top.
· Friends of Golden Gateway [FOGG]
· Fernando Marti [Urban Habitat]
· Asian Neighborhood Design Group [AND]
· 8 Washington/Seawall Lot 351 Coverage [Curbed SF Archive]

Fernando Marti, Photo Credit:Urban Habitat