FOGG Open Letter – June 6, 2009

To those members of the Golden Gateway Tennis & Swim Club who received a direct well oiled, PR puff piece from San Francisco Waterfront Partners, LLC., and have expressed their serious concern how they obtained your name and address for this direct mailing, here are the “FACTS” as we presently know them:

According to Club management they did not give San Francisco Waterfront Partners, LLC. our names and addresses.  However, as stated by Club management, the Club’s lease requires them to mail out materials given to them by their landlord, the owners of The Gateway complex.  SFWP gave the mailing material to the landlord who in turn told the Club to mail it to the Club’s members.  Any way that it happened is of concern to us.  We know it disturbs many of you, as it seems to be an infringement on our right to privacy.  We are continuing to investigate the propriety of this and will keep you advised.

We do suggest if you wish to express your concern you should email GGT&SC, Broc Stephens, Director of Operations at bstephens@ggtsc.com with a copy to our District 3 Supervisor & Board President, David Chiu at david.chiu@sfgov.org.  Please also send a copy of your email to FOGG at coaches@fogg.us.

Now let’s get to the so-called “facts” of SFWP, and what they do not tell you in their letter:

-The proposed development is far from a “done deal”.  There are many steps yet to be taken which could take several years, and opposition is strong.

-They play loose with numbers by including the indoor fitness center in presenting overall square footage.  And they never use the correct word: RECREATIONAL space that would be reduced by over 52%; 5 tennis courts gone, and 2 swimming pools on top of the fitness roof, right alongside the noise and traffic of the Embarcadero roadway.

-They barely mention the underground parking facility with as many as 500 spaces, which will become a magnet for even more cars and congestion in the neighborhood.

-Their so-called “Public Open Space” includes the present walkway from Drumm/Jackson to Broadway, an extension of Jackson Street. with a walkway that only views the developer’s piers and ends up in the middle of the west Embarcadero sidewalk, nowhere near the corner crossing, and a postage stamp size “public” park at the north end of the property, that is really a cover by them to obtain an exchange with the City to remove the Public Trust on Seawall Lot #351, so they can build their luxury private condominiums on that lot.

-Please note that their picture of the two 84 ft. plus towers, are always shot from above.  You don’t see the massive walls of concrete, steel & glass that will cover the corners of Washington & the Embarcadero.  The view of Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower will be lost forever when walking from the Ferry Building north along the Embarcadero.  Drumm Street will become nothing more than a service alley.

-They do not tell you that construction will take two to three years.  Pile driving will be required, removal of toxic materials and mud from the tidal flow, trucks and excavation machinery clogging up the adjoining streets, delivery trucks.

-SFWP says members will be able to use the Bay Club and San Francisco Tennis Club as an alternative during construction.  Will the many members that use the Club facilities, before work, during lunch hour and after work have the time and opportunity to use the alternate sites?

-How many members will be able to return to a Club reduced by 52% in open recreational space that will no doubt become an exclusive boutique Club?  And, what will happen to all the wonderful outreach programs; kids camp, youth tennis, senior exercise programs, tournaments and activities that raise funds for many needed causes, and the social events sponsored by non-profit groups for community services.

You get the idea – there is nothing in the SFWP proposal that benefits members of the GGT&SC, or makes our existing club better than it currently is.  This project does serious damage to our neighborhood’s basic character, building scale and open space.

We suggest you do attend one of their scheduled Open House’s and let them know they do not have the communities support in lining their pockets with profits at the expense of hundreds of families, young people and seniors who utilize the GGT&SC on almost a daily basis.

We again urge you, as you have done in the past, to express your position about the proposed development by email to SFWP.  Please send your email to Simon Snellgrove at ssnellgrove@pacificwaterfront.com and Alicia Esterkamp at aesterkamp@pacificwaterfront.com.  Please also send a copy to FOGG at coaches@fogg.us.

We look at SFWP’s material as another act of desperation and frustration as FOGG and our allies continue to gain traction in beating back this unnecessary and unwanted development.  It has been a long battle, but FOGG is confident with your help and support we will end up with GGT&SC in full operation for many years to come.

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