Mayor Lee, Supervisor Cohen & City Agencies Celebrate the Opening of New Plaza
Public & Private Partnership Transforms Unused Street into Open Space for the Community
San Francisco, CA— Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Supervisor Malia Cohen, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the community celebrated the completion of a new open space in the Showplace Square area called Daggett Plaza. Formerly an underutilized street, Daggett Plaza has been transformed into a vibrant community space, serving families and children in Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, Mission Bay, and many other neighborhoods.
“As we continue to provide critical new housing for San Francisco families, we need to make sure that these residents can enjoy nearby open spaces,” said Mayor Lee. “Public-private partnerships like this one enable us to meet those needs while serving the continued growth of our neighborhoods.
Daggett Plaza is one acre of open space located between 16th Street and 7th Street. Designed by CMG Landscape Architects, Daggett Plaza features:
- A large lawn area for general recreation and gathering.
- Ample seating opportunities dispersed throughout the plaza.
- Architectural features that double as play and sitting areas.
- Universal accessibility, per requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- A fenced-off dog run.
- “Mission Marsh Bears,” a public art piece.
- Drought-resistant trees and landscaping.
- One-way “Shared Public Way” to create a pedestrian-oriented environment while allowing vehicle access.
Creation of this open space required a high degree of cooperation between several different agencies. The process of transferring this piece of land to the City required lifting the State Public Trust from Daggett Street, identifying the necessary funding for the transfer of the space and transforming the street to an open space with amenities for public use. The City received a grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development to fund the majority of the State-required property transfer cost of $1.68 million. Supervisor Malia Cohen facilitated the final $75,000 needed to fill the funding gap for the land transfer.
“Daggett Plaza is the result of many years of advocacy and collaboration by residents and the community,” said Supervisor Cohen. “The completion of this open space is long overdue and is a critical part of the City’s commitment of providing community infrastructure needs to support local growth in the southeastern neighborhoods.”
A decade ago, the City identified an innovative opportunity to create a new open space on underutilized Daggett Street by leveraging the willingness of the adjacent developer to build and maintain this new public plaza. This win-win agreement was identified by the local community advisory committee as the highest open space priority in the area and was later approved by the Planning Commission. Equity Residential built the new plaza at a $4.9 million cost and then received the approved $2.4 million impact fee credit. In addition, Equity made the formal commitment to provide maintenance of the open space in perpetuity.
“At Equity Residential, we have a long standing commitment to providing ample open and public spaces at our apartment communities,” said Jim Kelly, first Vice President of Development for Equity Residential. “We enthusiastically embraced the conversion of Daggett Street into a public plaza and committed to bringing this much-needed open space to our residents and the surrounding neighborhood.”
Through funding by Equity Residential, the San Francisco Arts Commission worked with artist Adriane Colburn to create a permanent sculpture that speaks to the history of Mission Bay. Shadow Kingdom is comprised of five stainless steel panels featuring imagery depicting the rich array of flora and fauna once found in the area. When viewed from a distance, the sculpture takes the shape of a California grizzly bear, a species that last roamed San Francisco in the mid-1800s. As the sun arcs across the sky, these once common species are projected as shadows back onto the terrain they once inhabited.
“The collaboration between many City agencies with Equity Residential to deliver this fabulous and severely needed public open space in the eastern section of San Francisco truly is a shining example of ‘The City that knows how’,” said City Administrator Naomi Kelly. “With many new residential buildings in this section of the city recently developed or soon to come on line, this public asset is needed now more than ever.”
This inviting new open space is owned by the City and will be permanently maintained by Equity Residential. The plaza is open to the public and will be managed through a local non-profit, via the City’s new Plaza Program, which is a public space stewardship program. For more information about the Plaza Program, visit: http://sfgov.org/realestate/plaza-program
The collaboration to create Daggett Plaza includes partners and city agencies and offices such as the Eastern Neighborhoods Community Advisory Committee, California State Lands Commission, California Department of Housing and Community Development, Equity Residential, CMG Landscape Architecture, the Port of San Francisco, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Office of Supervisor Malia Cohen, the Planning Department, the Office of the City Administrator, the Department of Public Works, the Real Estate Division, the Public Utilities Commission the Arts Commission, the Recreation and Parks Department, the San Francisco Fire Department, the Department of Building Inspection, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.