LEAVE US BEGIN:
Piers 30-32 on the Embarcadero are big, flat, money pits.
HEY WAIT A SECOND, NEVE. THE BIG MONEY PIT AROUND TOWN IS ACTUALLY THE $2 BILLION PLUS CENTRAL SUBWAY PORK BARREL PROJECT, RIGHT? YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT ONE, DON’T YOU NEVE? OH YES YOU DO! DOES IT STILL “MAKE YOU WINCE” THESE DAYS? MMMMM…
Estimates just to tear down the sprawling, decaying parking lots run to $40 million. To update them – drive new pilings and make them safe – would cost $80 million-$100 million.
IF WE CAN’T TAKE CARE OF THEM, WHY DON’T WE JUST TEAR ‘EM DOWN WHEN THE TIME COMES AND BE DONE WITH IT? MAYBE WE COULD CANCEL THE $80 MILLION DEAL WE HAVE WITH THE TENDERLOIN HOUSING CLINIC – WOULDN’T THAT FREE UP SOME MONEY?
So when Larry Ellison’s Oracle Racing group announced it would spend millions to renovate the piers in exchange for development rights and a rent-free lease, it was a golden opportunity.
BASICALLY, YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT GIVING THOSE PIERS TO LARRY. IT WAS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR LARRY YOU MEAN.
And we blew it.
YEAH? WELL, YOU KNOW, THAT’S JUST LIKE YOUR OPINION, MAN. OR IS IT? MAYBE SOMEBODY ELSE IS TELLING YOU HOW TO FEEL AND TELLING YOU WHAT TO SAY. WHO COULD IT BE? COULD IT BE…
Supervisor Mark Farrell, a former investment banker, still can’t believe it.
UH “FORMER” INVESTMENT BANKER? CHECK YOSELF, NEVE. AND REALLY, ARE SAYING HE’S IN DENIAL? BUT ISN’T THIS SEQUENCE OF EVENTS THE SAME OLD “TYPICAL CITY HALL DANCE?”
“It was very disappointing. That absolutely could have been done,” Farrell said. “Instead, we did the typical City Hall dance. Rake them over the coals, squeeze them. And they pulled out.”
WELL YES IT IS! WELL MAKE UP YOUR MIND DUDE. IS WHAT HAPPENED THE TYPICAL SITUATION OR WAS IT SO CRAY-CRAY THAT YOU STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT? IT’S GOT TO BE ONE OR THE OTHER, IT CAN’T BE BOTH.
Some members of the Board of Supervisors were convinced that Ellison had “no Plan B.”
UH, WHAT’S HIS PLAN B? I’M IGNORANT. INSTEAD OF US GIVING HIM NINE FIGURES, THE CURRENT PLAN IS TO GIVE HIM SEVEN OR EIGHT FIGURES, RIGHT? IS THAT THE PLAN B?
They thought that he was determined to snooker the city.
“THOUGHT?” NO NO, STILL DO. AARON PESKIN’S LAWSUIT IS STILL OUT THERE, READY TO GO.
Or that he had no other location for pit row, the staging area for the Cup sailboat teams.
HEY, HOW ABOUT SAN DIEGO? MAYBE THEY’D APPRECIATE LARRY IN SAN DIEGO?
In talks, the supervisors kept asking for one concession after another.
WELL IN LIGHT OF THE ABSENCE OF AN “EVENT FEE,” WHAT SHOULD SAN FRANCISCO ASK FOR? WHY DIDN’T LARRY OFFER A $200 MILLION OR SO EVENT FEE AS ANY REASONABLE MULTI-BILLIONAIRE WOULD?
Finally the word came last weekend – forget the deal. Ellison was out. The teams would stage at Pier 80, where the Oracle group is already dug in, and 30-32 could sit in the wind and waves until they fell into the bay.
YES NEVE, WE KNOW. THAT JUST SAVED US A TON OF MONEY.
“Here we had an opportunity to have someone come in to contribute the up-front capital we don’t have – and will never have – in exchange for rent credit,” Farrell said. “I think it was a real blown opportunity.”
SO WAIT A SECOND, WE HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN THE CENTRAL SUBWAY TO NOWHERE, SOMETHING THAT WILL BENEFIT NOBODY EXCEPT THOSE PAID TO BUILD IT, BUT WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO TEAR DOWN A PIER OR TWO?
The Ellison group, which was motivated to move forward with the renovation, threw up its hands and backed out.
YES NEVE, WE KNOW. THAT JUST SAVED US A TON OF MONEY. ARE YOU REPEATING YOURSELF?
At this point all we can do is root for Team Oracle to win in the 2013 America’s Cup and hope Ellison brings the event back to San Francisco.
BTW, IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW, NEVIUS, THE AMERICA’S CUP ISN’T A REAL SPORT. THE PREVIOUS WINNER RIGS THE EVENT IN HIS/HER FAVOR. SO WHY WOULD WE ROOT FOR LARRY ELLISON TO WIN?
Then we can pray City Hall has learned a lesson.
CUE SAD TROMBONE
BUT HEY, AT LEAST LARRY’S CRAZY IDEA TO PROMOTE AN UNPOPULAR SPORT IS PAYING OFF DOWN SAN DIEGO WAY, RIGHT? I MEAN, DIDN’T THEY JUST HAVE AN EVENT DOWN THERE? HEY, HOW MANY FANS SHOWED UP? I MEAN, THE EVENT WAS FREE, RIGHT?
“Numbers were disappointing especially on the final Sunday, with a count of 9-10,000, according to Murray, compared to some 17,000 the previous Sunday…”
OH WELL. POOR LARRY.
LEAVE US CLOSE WITH AC34 HYPE MAN MAYOR ED LEE. I MADE IT THROUGH ABOUT TWO MINUTES OF THIS, RIGHT WHERE HE STARTED HECTORING REPORTERS FOR REPORTING ON “LAWSUITS.”
HE ALSO SPOKE OF “FUN” IN A SUPER UNFUN WAY.
THE LESS WE SPEND ON THE AMERICA’S CUP, THE LESS WE’LL LOSE ON THE AMERICA’S CUP…