It's time to make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to the most deserving people, places and things in the real estate, architecture and neighborhood universes of the Bay Area! Yep, it's time for the Annual Curbed Awards.
Best NIMBY Fight, 2012: George Lucas vs. Grady Ranch neighbors
1st Place: It was a close race, but taking the lead for this year's Best NIMBY Fight is George Lucas vs. Grady Ranch neighbors. The man behind Star Wars owns lots of property in Marin County, most notably the Skywalker Ranch, which has long served as the headquarters to this movie empire. Well-known in the area for his sympathetic treatment and general preservation of agricultural and rural Marin land, Lucas was in for a rude surprise when his company proposed a new cutting-edge digital media production facility on 52-acres of his Grady Ranch property, and the neighbors threw a fit. Claiming the project was too big and would bring in too much traffic, they threw down roadblocks at every turn. Finally LucasFilms said screw it, and withdrew the proposal. While the NIMBY neighbors saw the withdrawal as a win, Marin County officials and business interests were devastated over the loss of millions in revenue and hundreds of jobs. The company penned an epic letter stating their intention to instead sell the property to an affordable housing developer, which they are currently in the process of completing. Zing!
Runner Up: 8 Washington vs. Telegraph Hill Dwellers
This battle is far from over, wrapped up in appeals and lawsuits til who knows when. This fight turned ugly quickly, when almighty Telegraph Hill Dwellers opposed the proposed staggered towers with 145 units of housing, ground floor retail, and revamped health club. The real grumbling started when neighbors got word that the project will remove the tennis courts that are part of the current Golden Gateway Tennis & Swim Club. After endless hearings and appeals, the project was finally approved by the Board of Supervisors (not without a couple of veiled threats, of course)...and then The Telegraph Hill Dwellers submitted a referendum to put the project to the voters on the November 2013 ballot, stalling the project until then.