May 13, 2016
By: Daniella Soloway
Yesterday at the Hibernia Bank, Connect San Francisco kicked off with a panel of industry leaders discussing the ‘Creation of Live/Work/Play Communities.’ Margo Bradish (partner, Cox, Castle & Nicholson) served as moderator to panelists Alexa Arena (executive vp, Lendlease); Michael Kriozere (principal, Urban Pacific); and Craig Young (managing principal, Tidewater Capital); as each speaker shared their outlook on how they develop new communities, and what impact they have on the city of San Francisco years down the line.
With topographical, political, and bureaucratic challenges to development in the Bay Area, each panelist discussed their common desire to create an enlivened community, while maintaining the authenticity of the neighborhood. Craig Young said, “We approach neighborhoods with opportunities, while preserving them as much as possible to bring people together who would otherwise not have the chance to meet.”
In looking at mixed-use environments, their impact on the future is inevitable. For example, Michael Kroizere touched on Parcel F, the first mixed-use office, hotel and condo project in the Transbay. He said, “Mixed-use is a thing of the future with the synergies we’re building.” Therefore, not only will such projects change communities, but they will also shape the city in years to come by creating “self contained cities,” and making them 24-hour places to live, work and play. If there are doubts about this, one can look to Downtown Los Angeles as an example, where its nightlife is palpable today, after years of development.
Alexa Arena shared her company’s vision to develop extensions of neighborhoods. Rather than a central business district, the new focus is on a central social district, which functions as a “microcosm of how to solve larger issues.”
With all the development, San Francisco provides a unique situation where the PSF rent prices can be the same in widely different neighborhoods because people are willing to trade off views for culture and community.