Thursday, December 17, 2009

CAN YOU CALL IT TREASURE IF YOU PAID FOR IT? Once upon a time, the United States sank a bunch of concrete in the San Francisco Bay adjacent to Yerba Buena Island and built a naval base. Yesterday, the U.S. sold the island to San Francisco (for $105 million and a share of the development proceeds).

The island, while itself utilitarian and unsightly, sports stunning views of San Francisco, the Bay (and its island outcroppings), Berkeley, and Oakland. On the minus side of the ledger, it is reachable only by boat and a bridge subject to severe traffic delays, intermittent closures, poor public transportation, and likely future tolls.

To what development use should San Francisco put the island? Sift through the endless possibilities and suggest something.

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