Esprit Park Renovation
Where are we now?
- The Planning Department’s Robin Abad has been developing a Central Waterfront/Dogpatch Public Realm Plan to identify needed amenities in the area resulting from both missing infrastructure and the pressures of new development in the area. The Planning Department process identified Esprit as one of the key sites in need of upgrades and renovation.
- At the time the plan was initiated, the Esprit Park was not a RecPark priority project and only a small amount of potential funding had been identified for execution of the plan. Esprit Park then surfaced as a priority project for the community during the Dogpatch Community Task Force negotiations with UCSF. UCSF’s subsequent commitment to contribute $5M to the park’s upgrades elevated the project to a departmental and City priority. Since that time an additional $2.7 million in development impact fees has also been earmarked for the project. (The likely cost of the overall project is still being determined.)
- Fletcher Studio’s preliminary concept design for Esprit and the related Planning outreach that led to development of the plan have been accepted by RecPark as the project’s official initial outreach phase fast-forwarding the project into its construction document phase..
- Preliminary discussions have started regarding the terms of the contractual agreements between UCSF (as donor of a significant portion of the renovation funding) and the GBD (as the non-profit recipient of those funds), and between the GBD (the executor of at least a portion of the project) and RecPark (as the owner of the property and responsible City department).
- The GBD has reached out to known key stakeholders. Others who are interested in the project and/or in participating in project reviews can sign up HERE.
- A community meeting was held on Thursday, September 14,
The meeting covered these topics:
• Recap of the Planning Dept-led Esprit Park Design
• Transition from the Planning Dept-led design process to RecPark- and GBD-led project delivery
• Project team members and roles
• Initial project timeline
• Community engagement plans
• Answer questions and outline next steps
The meeting presentations can be downloaded on the left.
What happens next?
- Memorandum of Understanding between UCSF and the GBD The current plan is for UCSF to transfer the $5 million in Esprit-related cushioning funds to the GBD as the project advances. The GBD will use these funds to plan and execute the renovation of Esprit, whether through City or private sector entities. The GBD will extract only the minimum amount of those funds needed to cover the costs of fulfilling their obligations regarding the project. Any extracted fees will be based on actual costs and will be designed to insure that this project is self-financing and does not unfairly redirect GBD stakeholder funds to the project. The terms of that MOU will contain reporting and outreach responsibilities as required by UCSF (and similar to requirements typical of grants and donations). This MOU will be a public document.
- Grant Acceptance Agreement between RecPark and the GBD The execution of the project is somewhat complex. This phase requires surveys, reviews and reports, permits and approvals. RecPark and the GBD are discussing the most efficient and effective divisions of labor. These discussions will lead to an MOU between the GBD and RecPark that will determine project responsibilities and how the project will be managed and executed. Those responsibilities will be shared with the public prior to being presented to the RecPark Commission.
- Staffing assignments Once a division of labor and responsibilities has been determined – and a budget and schedule – RecPark and the GBD will take steps to assign/hire the appropriate staff. Any project management or consulting staff, whether hired/managed by the City or by the GBD, will be required to have extensive experience with this type of construction and with City requirements and process.
Where is funding coming from?
So far, the bulk of the identified funding is coming from UCSF’s cushioning bequest, which resulted from 8 months of hearings and negotiations between UCSF and the Dogpatch Community Task Force. An additional $2.7 M has been earmarked from development impact fees. The total project budget and other potential sources of funding are still being determined.
How long will the project take?
Current (very rough) estimates target a completion date in 2020, though we would like to compress that delivery schedule. The actual active construction time will likely be 6-8 months. With its large lawns, the park may also need some regeneration time between completion and opening.
How can community members have input into the project?
The proposed plan for Esprit Park was developed and vetted by community members through a Planning Department-led process with extensive outreach. This plan has been provisionally accepted by the RecPark Department. The purpose of the current phase of the project is to translate that community-driven plan into a final concept plan and construction documents that will shape the renovation. Changes to the plan will occur only if discoveries about site conditions, regulatory reviews, budgetary restraints etc. force adjustments. And, even then, the goal is to steer as closely as possible to the original plan. The Esprit Park Community Advisory Group has two functions: To provide community-based feedback as the plan develops and to carry information about the progress of the project back into the community. The Advisory Group is not a voting body and has no veto authority over the project. But Advisory Group members will have the opportunity to meet directly with City staff and project consultants and to learn about and comment on the plan as it evolves. The meetings will be noticed through the GBD website and monthly blasts and open to the public. The GBD board is seeking Advisory Group members that:
- Live in close proximity to the park, especially those who live in larger buildings and can act as a liaison to their HOAs or resident groups
- Are affiliated with a recognized neighborhood association, school, etc.
- Are frequent users of the park and are representative of typical user groups
- Have professional expertise related to project design, development or execution
- Can be relied upon to attend the monthly/bi-monthly project meetings over the next 6-12 months
We expect, if you are interested in Esprit, that you may have been asked - a few times - to fill out a survey about your use of the park. Please bear with us and answer once more. We are trying to get a reading on who is interested in the Esprit Community Advisory Group meetings and to insure that we recruit participants from all segments of the impacted community.
Interested in participating? Meeting times will be posted.