Someone dragged Art Agnos out of retirement this week. Lear-like, to deliver an Op Ed piece in the Chronicle yesterday denouncing the evergreen NIMBY project, 8 Washington Street:
We tore down the Embarcadero Freeway for this?Except no one seems to have shown him the drawings. It looks instead that 8 Washington's opponents set him up with their usual disinformation, leaving the poor man to make ridiculous claims like it's going to be a 136-foot high wall the length of a football field directly on the bay, it's the first building in forty years over 86 feet (the 2005 Hotel Vitale at 2 Mission Street is just over 100 feet high), it's a vertical gated community, etc. The only high ground he has to stand on is complaining about the loss of affordable housing while there are more than a hundred short-term rentals in the neighborhood. But that's a whole other topic, ignoring the two parks and the reopening of streets now occupied by private tennis courts. The upshot is Art wants affordable housing and a hotel on the site- or at least that's what his friends told him he wants- and not housing for the rich. If you guys are so smart, there's a Ports-owned waterfront parcel begging to be developed at Bryant and Embarcadero called Seawall Lot 337.
· We tore down the Embarcadero Freeway for this? [Open Forum/SF Gate]
· Planning, Rec & Parks to Decide Fate of 8 Washington Street [Curbed SF] [Former mayor (1988-1992) Art Agnos has a remarkable CV of progressive accomplishments, especially in housing- which includes allowing a tent city of homeless people to remain in front of City Hall after the Loma Prieta earthquake to remind people of their urgent need for shelter. This 2009 reminiscence from Fog City Journal about the aftermath of the earthquake is worth a read. --PF]