6th Man: Scott Van Horn

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 Photo Credit Scott R. Kline Photography

 

As someone that lives and works in Dogpatch, a lifelong Bay Area resident, and a huge fan of the Warriors I am a strong supporter of the Warriors proposed arena project in Mission Bay.

I am very excited about the project for many reasons, but mostly because of the dramatic positive changes that it will make in the day-to-day use of the neighborhood for workers, neighbors, visitors, and my family and friends.  

Every day I walk my dog and after leaving my place, just a couple blocks from the proposed site, I quite often walk along Bay Front / Agua Vista Park and think about the dramatic difference the project will make there. As I walk north, away from Dogpatch, the waterfront park is a small sliver of barely usable land with a few picnic tables, a fishing pier, and an occasional bench. Once Terry A Francois Blvd curves away from the water it expands into open space that today is covered in a mix of old concrete, rocks, weeds, and litter. In the water, there are a few long abandoned, broken, mostly sunken piers.  Across the road mired with pot holes, there are giant mounds of dirt covered in plastic and fields of seemingly long forgotten construction projects.  After it rains, there are standing pools of water filled with garbage and pond scum. Even though it has an amazing view across the bay, the Bay Bridge, the large dry docks with interesting ships, Sutro Tower, and the city; in that area today, it almost looks like a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

With the building of the new arena, the city and SF port will be able to transform that entire waterfront area into a welcoming expanse of green space that is usable by everyone.  The small sliver of mixed-use trail will be expanded with the straightening of Terry A Francois into a large park.  It will include a lawn and park features that people can hang out on before the myriad events at the arena, have picnics at during the many warm sunny days we get in this area of the city, workers can eat their lunches on, nature lovers can view the myriad bay birds that frequent there (and occasional marine mammal), runners will take a rest at, commuters will watch the sunrise from, and in the evening people will relax with friends and loved ones next to the water. It will also hopefully include building out a new ferry terminal that can be used during games, special events, and maybe daily commuting. This doesn’t even go into the positive changes the project will have along 3rd Street with the building of restaurants, bars, retail shops, and pedestrian-friendly open areas.

Since the start of this process, the Warriors have worked closely with neighbors, various interest groups, the city, and anyone that wanted their voice heard. I am very much looking forward to the day ground is broken, the finishing day of construction, watching games in the new arena, and most especially the many years that we will all be able to better enjoy and use this gorgeous area of the most beautiful city in the world.