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Two Sides to Waterfront Development

Waterfront development has two sides: water and land. In a philosophical sense, the two sides and competing ideals are growth vs. access. We believe that waterfront developments need more than bike and walking paths. What good is a new housing complex if you can’t get in the water and don’t have the services available to support on-the-water activities, like sailing?

The initial artist renderings for the $2 billion, 28-acre Forest City redevelopment of Pier 70 in San Francisco show just that: A rusty anchor sits as a decoration on shore, while a bicyclist pedals waterside and droves of people sit on the grass looking longingly at the Bay. Missing are docks to launch a kayak, SUP or, heaven forbid, a small sailboat.

Water to look at but not to touch. With 2150 homes, nine acres of waterfront park and billions of dollars in investment, you’d think the developers would have the budget and room for a dock.

© 2017 Forest City Realty

Granted, we haven’t done a full investigation of the developer’s website, but the rip rap being built between the people and the Bay look more like border walls than a gateway to the water. 

The once-active and bustling Kettenburg Boat Works in San Diego’s Shelter Island has been replaced by condos and a sign paying tribute to its boatbuilding past. Is this the future of Alameda?

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In related news, Save Alameda’s Working Waterfront (SAWW) is inviting supporters to the Alameda City Council meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, November 7 at 7 p.m. SAWW will be making a brief presentation during the Non-Agenda Public Speaking portion of the meeting (at about 7:15). Council Chambers are on the third floor of City Hall at the corner of Oak and Santa Clara.


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Who was the greatest American singlehanded round-the-world sailor? Do Americans even compete in races like the Vendée Globe or the Velux 5 Oceans Race (formerly known as the BOC Challenge)?