Following the fireworks that started up again late last week regarding costs to San Francisco for the 34th America’s Cup, a public meeting was held at City Hall on Wednesday to clarify changes made to the Host City Agreement (HCA) by the Mayor’s office and other City officials subsequent to the agreement approved by the Board of Supervisors on December 14, 2010. The meeting was held at the request of Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.
The significant changes to the HCA involved infrastructure improvement to be performed by America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) and the long-term development rights that are to be transferred from the City to the ACEA. The controversial topic concerned that of base rent, payable by the Event Authority to the Port, which in the initial HCA was to be set at a fair market rent established through an appraisal process, but now is stated in the amended agreement to be set at fixed per square foot rental rates. Details of the 22-page report can be viewed here.
SF Port’s Special Projects Manager, Brad Benson presented on the status of available Port properties and discussed the need to expend a minimum of $55 million on a broader variety of improvements which includes the potential for additional long-term leases and provides for the transfer of long-term development rights to the Event Authority on up to five Port properties including Piers 19, 23, 27, 29 and 80, in addition to the four Port properties- Piers 30-32, Seawall Lot 330 and Piers 26 and 28 previously authorized under the December 14 agreement.
The outcome? While Deputy City Attorney Rob Maerz stressed the need to look at the changes in totality, not isolation and noted that all provisions in the HCA are in the best interests of the City, the Budget and Finance subcommittee did make a recommendation that the Board of Supervisors review the HCA again at their meeting next Tuesday, March 22.
**In other City-Cup related news, the first draft of the City’s AC34 “People Plan”, should be unveiled by the end of the month. The document presents a big milestone in the planning for AC34 according to City sources. The People Plan is the piece of the action that will be interesting - and impactful - to everyone in the Bay Area as it covers transportation planning for the City during the Cup, such as how people will get around downtown and to the viewing areas to watch the racing in 2013.
Stephanie Handler contributed to this post (www.linkedin.com/in/shandlerr)
Photo credit: americascup.com