A minor debate is percolating over the 8 Washington condo complex set to rise at the waterfront. Said complex will renovation the existing Pacific Sports Resorts at the Gateway facilities and "transformation of a surface parking lot into a vibrant waterfront community of residential housing, neighborhood-serving retail, restaurants, underground public parking serving the Ferry Building Waterfront Area, recreation and public open space." The tony living arena, recently approved by the Board of Supervisors, would be for those who can afford the finer things in life, god bless them. But of course, some locals don't want the blocky thing built.
Echoing the sentiment of anti-8 Washington ilk, SF Bay Guardian's Tim Redmond explains:
I could tell you the story of why this project sucks, or you could just read it here. In my mind, it's simple: If we are using public land to build housing for the richest people in the country, allowing a developer to clear a couple hundred million dollars while offering the city only $11 million for affordable housing — nowhere near enough to equalize the housing imbalance inherent in this deal — then we're losing the city's future.
And with that, the highfalutin-living battle grew more tense after 8 Washington's developer, Simon Snellgrove, hired a crew to block signature gathering. The $20-an-hour paid employees attempted to drive away those who might sign a petition to put the project before voters. According to SFBG, "The team, usually made up of several people, typically surrounds the signature gatherer, waves signs talking about jobs and parks, and loudly seeks to disuade passers-by from signing the referendum petition."
Another argument against the 8 Washington is that it will basically be a 136 foot wall that blocks everything.
But here's our problem: 8 Washington smacks of intentional tepidity, appearance-wise. And that's too bad, especially for such a pristine area. It looks like something one might already find in Mission Bay along Berry Street. With all the money and vertical growth San Francisco has played host to over the last decade, we have yet to see developments that border on daring — like, pool-outside-your-motherfucking-highrise-window crazy. Granted, this is a city that prefers its artistic merits served safe and lukewarm (see: graffiti, jazz, yarn bombing, food); however, it would be refreshing to see a little Abu Dhabi mixed in with San Francisco's unyielding preference for meh. Form should always trump function.