Kudos to the Chronicle's John King for his piece today on the future recreational marinas that may appear in the the two last open water areas along the Embarcadero. As people wade through the America's Cup Draft EIR, the questions are beginning to sound like "did we give away the store?" in the Host Agreement for the race, and King brings up the point that the Event Authority and their planners, Aecom, have identified the Cupid's Arrow-adjacent Rincon Hill basin for temporary berthing of private spectator boats, including mega-yachts. If the Event Authority (Ellison & Friends) has to pay to dredge these two open areas to accommodate large boats, such dredging gives them the right to develop the sites into commercial recreational marinas. From the DEIR:
The Host Agreement identifies both the Rincon Point and Brannan Street Wharf Open Water Basins as locations for temporary berthing and, if the Event Authority pays to dredge the Basins, this would trigger long?term development rights for construction of a marina in each location? development of long term marinas within the Rincon Point or Brannan Street Wharf Open Water Basins would be considered a significant and unavoidable impact.
The Event Authority is probably getting bids right now to dredge the Brannan Street basin next to Pier 30, which will be home to some of the race's big boats, plus it's across the street from Sea Wall Lot 330, the W-shaped lot owned by Ports that was ceded to the Event Authority for development.
Over here at Curbed SF's A-Cup Headquarters, we're thinking "mega-yacht"="red herring". It's a loose term, but these are boats starting at 150 feet in length, and we almost never see them in the Bay Area. They cost over $20M (second-hand) and most owners defray their costs by renting them out by the week. Depending on the week, these charters start at around $300K- a week plus fuel and food. Where are these boats? In the winter, many are in the Caribbean. In the summer, they tend to be in the Northern Mediterranean, from Turkey across to Spain. They tend not to be on our Pacific Coast, except for a few hardy expedition boats, plus some in San Diego and Mexico. The East Coast of Africa to the China Sea? No way, too many pirates. So the odds of sending your empty, fully-crewed boat in August from Cannes or Calvi across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal while it could be rented out for $500K a week to a fellow from Dubai? Not bloody likely, and we're thinking the Rincon basin may instead become a two-year used-yacht lot for boat brokers. So be careful about giving out those dredging permits, OK?
· Cups Yacht Plans Threatens Our Wide-Open Bay Views [SF Gate]
· Fraser Partners With America's Cup [The Triton]
· Fraser Yachts [Fraser Yachts]