On four separate occasions during the 1980’s and early 1990’s, local voters rejected ballot measures that would publicly finance a new stadium for the San Francisco Giants. As a result, the team owners agreed to sell the Giants to a group that intended to move the team to Florida. Major League Baseball ultimately rejected the deal, and a local ownership group emerged that committed not only to keeping the team in San Francisco, but to building a new downtown stadium.
When the new venue opened in 2000, it was the first major league baseball stadium since 1962 that had been built predominantly with private financing [96%]. Although privately owned, the stadium sits on a 12.5-acre parcel owned by the City, who has provided a 66-year lease. Immediately south of the stadium—across McCovey Cove, China Basin and the Lefty O’Doul Bridge—lies Seawall Lot 337. Along with adjacent Pier 48, this site has recently become know as Mission Rock.
Like the majority of waterfront property spanning from Aquatic Park at the north to Pier 70 at the south, Mission Rock is under the control of the Port of San Francisco. It is currently used as a surface parking lot and special events space [Cirque Du Soleil, etc.]. In 2008 the Port requested proposals for development of the site, with four development teams responding. In January of 2009, the Port announced that a team led by the Giants had been selected to develop the site.
At 27 acres, the site is one of the largest available parcels of land in the City, and according to Mayor Edwin Lee, “Mission Rock will be one of the largest urban mixed use projects in America….” The development is scheduled to break ground in 2015 and will create an entirely new neighborhood at the edge of the city.
Through a complex process that will be further discussed in studio, a master plan has been submitted for environmental review that would provide over a million square feet of residential space, 130,000 square feet of retail space, 8 acres of open space, and 800,000 square feet of commercial/office space targeted towards "innovative companies."
Once complete, the development is expected to provide housing for up to 2,000 people and employment for as many as 7,000. The project has been designated as a Type 1 Eco-District by the San Francisco Planning Department as part of the Sustainable Development Program, focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing water consumption and waste, and enhancing community-scale energy resources.