Bluepeter warehouse view from Illinois Street.

The region’s citizens advisory committee considered a variety of Mission Bay news Thursday, most notably the future of a warehouse on land slated to become public park.

BLUEPETER

Mission Bay’s master plan calls for a public park on the corner of Illinois Street and Terry Francois Boulevard, across the street from The Ramp restaurant. That means demolishing the now empty Bluepeter warehouse on site.

Some Mission Bay and Dogpatch residents feel it’s worth keeping, and they have been working to save it since 1998. They argue that the building, which used to house a ship supply company, has historical value in both its function and shape. If saved, the building will be one of the few in the region to reflect the area’s watery shipping past.

“Nobody has funds to contribute to this,” said Amy Neches from the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency at the meeting.

Neches said that if the building is retained, it will be up to those saving it to pay for the work and pay for any additional costs incurred for maintenance.

Neches said that for now, the park’s plans will be carried forth in parallel. One design with the warehouse, and one design without. The agency gave Bluepeter proponents until March 1, 2011 to come up with the money for initial stabilization.

The park itself is slated to open early 2014, coordinating with the opening of the nearby UC San Francisco hospital. If retained, the warehouse will need some prep work before park installation. The warehouse itself can wait for full overhaul until 2016.

Keeping the warehouse will require both approval from the Redevelopment Commission and the Port Commission.

Corinne Woods, chair of the Mission Bay Citizen’s Advisory Committee, said she was concerned with the Bluepeter’s large size in relation to the size of the park, and she wondered if just a portion of the structure could be retained.

“This public trust stuff is ugly,” she added in warning. The land is ensnarled in state public trust and open space regulations, so the type of uses allowed for the building will be limited.

UPDATES ON CONSTRUCTION – FOURTH STREET DELAYED INDEFINITELY

Mission Bay Development Group updated the committee on what’s getting built in the neighborhood. Many attendees were annoyed to hear that Fourth Street still has no set date to open and could be delayed as late as May. It was uncertain whether the opening was based on the arrival of stop lights. The roadway also needs to be striped.

Neches noted that Mission Bay’s newest affordable housing project design was particularly “exciting” and that the design – including teen facilities – would be discussed next month.

A bond measure may be on the ballot in June to fund the police headquarters and fire station on Third Street, pending approval by the board of supervisors.  Woods said that the city is also currently negotiating with Alexandria Real Estate over 1600 Owens, which would become a ten-story building housing a crime lab and medical examiner’s lab for the city. That building may also be included in the bond.

Although San Francisco’s below-market-rate housing usually has extensive waiting lists, Neches said the new Mission Walk development curently has two bedroom units for sale for qualifying families.

ODDS and ENDS:

Warehouse demolished for UCSF hospital.

The huge warehouse that housed Black Rock LLC headquarters – responsible for Burning Man –  on Third and Mariposa has finally come down all the way to the foundation, making way for the UC San Francisco hospital construction. It’s removal has drastically changed the views from Third Street, opening up the landscape from I-280 all the way to the cement plant on Third Street.

Sunday Streets – when some roads are shut to auto traffic – is coming to Mission Bay March 14, April 18, and May 23.

Meeting participants cried a collective “awww” of disappointment in response to news that the committee was denied a Community Challenge Grant to construct a Tot Lot for the area’s kids by Mission Creek.

“What we’ll probably end up doing is a pretty serous funding campaign,” said Woods, noting that even with volunteer help and donations the Tot Lot would cost about $100,000.

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Anrica is a science reporter and twice Cal grad, with a degree in engineering and a master of journalism. She's a Bay Area native and lives in Oakland. She's enjoyed wide-ranging professional endeavors, including shoveling manure, researching human signaling proteins, volunteering in a leprosy hospital, using an atomic force microscope, and modeling the electricity grid.

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