On September 8th, Councilmember Lynette McElhaney hosted a Town Hall meeting to discuss the proposal to build two high-rises on our waterfront. JLDA learned only an hour before the meeting that our promised 10-minute presentation had been unilaterally taken off the agenda. The developers were still allowed their 15 minutes to show their new, extremely rough drawings of what the building at site D (Broadway and Embarcadero) could look like. They also talked about the impact of development of retail availability, the value of residential density in the Square, and a few other items.
JLDA was not permitted to present its side of the story. It felt to us that the height issue was not really on the table. We were unable to get the floor to say that density (good) does not equal height (not so good). We were also unable to point out that despite the developer's insistence that density would create a demand for retail, they have NO retail in their plan. Their meaningless term, 'activation" only means that they will try to make the place look nice, with window boxes in place of blank walls. A lobby door hardly counts as activation.
While we weren't able to make our presentation, we wanted to give residents of the Jack London District an opportunity to review this slide show and comment on the proposal through this blog. Click here to review our presentation.
For a good history of development in the Square, and Ellis Partners' efforts, read this East Bay Express article from 2007 (Thanks to Linda Forde for bringing this to my attention.)