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Best Game Of Development Chicken, 2011 Award: Larry Ellison and the ACEA

As is our yearly tradition, it's time to make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to the most deserving and important people, places and things in the real estate, architecture and neighborhood universes of San Francisco!

["Larry Ellison on the Joystick" Photo Credit: Sail World]

Remember the winter of 2010? San Francisco went all out for the 34th America's Cup race, a thrilling Christmastime marathon of bidding, counter-bidding, dark horses (Valencia, Spain) and at least one red herring (Newport, RI) that resulted in a deal exchanging 75 years of development rights for infrastructure improvements offset by rent credits. The race is predicted to bring in lots of money (tourists and jobs,) a private group has agreed to defray the city's estimated $32,000,000 in expenses (fire, police OT, etc.) and the development rights to Piers 30/32, 26 and 28 have been sold for $55,000,000 worth of investment by the America's Cup Event Authority, the organization controlled by Larry Ellison, the man who brought the Cup back to America. Now, we love Larry Ellison- and we're excited there's going to be a race here. He employs a lot of very smart people, and there's a reason why he's one of the world's richest people. So even if no one shows up for the race in 2013- the America's Cup World Series races so far have been a yawn- this has got to be one of the best real estate deals since 1867 when we bought Alaska from Tsar Alexander II.

Included in the deal is the deed to Seawall Lot 330, a choice bit of real estate, currently a parking lot just south of the Bay Bridge and once planned by Ports to be part of a cruise terminal complex. Revisions to the agreement outlined in this March, 2011 report by the Budget Office (.pdf) include additional options for development rights to Piers 19, 23, 27, 29 and 80. If transferring title to Seawall Lot 330 fails- it requires legislative approval- the ACEA will lease it and Ports will forgo their 1% participation deal in the future sale of condos built there.

In a recent development, Mayor Lee and the ACEA agreed to shift marina development rights further south to Mission Bay from Rincon Park. It's unlikely the ACEA would have been able to get a dredging permit for their planned mega-yacht berth there- the investment that would have triggered the marina development rights- and Mission Bay needs all the help it can get. Plus a marina makes more sense where thousands more people are expected to work and live over the coming decade. As for those decades, the ACEA, Larry Ellison, and their assignees or heirs, are in until something like 2079.
· A-Cup Coming to SF: Rhode Island Feeling Slightly Soiled [Curbed SF]
· Running Silent: A-Cup Committee Plays it Close to the Vest on Fundraising [Curbed SF]
· Team Ellison Gets Seawall Lot 330, Let The Howling Begin [Curbed SF]
· Cruising; Working The Waterfront With Jimmy R. [Curbed SF]
· America's Cup/SF Budget Office Report