Hearst Corp Backs Off Bid to Tear Out Annie Alley Street Plaza

Photo: SPUR/Flickr

The Hearst Corporation has withdrawn its appeal against the Annie Alley street plaza [PDF] after talks with city planners and the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District.

The bid to get the plaza torn out was surprising, since Hearst had been involved in creating the plaza, leading to speculation that closing the alley to cars had irked executives at the company.

“We withdrew the appeal based on the positive discussions we have been having with YBCBD and other stakeholders to assess the situation and make improvements,” said Marty Cepkauskas, director of real estate for Hearst Western Properties.

The plaza is safe at least until its permit renewal comes up in August, according to Robin Abad Ocubillo, project manager for the Planning Department’s Pavement to Parks program. Ocubillo said Hearst agreed to support the project “as long as there is follow-up traffic monitoring,” though that “was always part of the plan.” Hearst and YBCBD will also assess whether they need someone to direct traffic during rush hour at Jessie and New Montgomery Streets, one of the exits still available to drivers leaving the Hearst Building parking garage.

“We’re pleased that the appeal was withdrawn and we look forward to continuing our conversations with Hearst,” said Andrew Robinson, YBCBD’s director of neighborhood partnerships. “Because this project is a pilot program, neighborhood feedback is important to its long-term success.”

Robinson said YBCBD can now focus on “testing Annie Street Plaza as a great place for art, performance, music and other programming to create a vibrant place for the neighborhood as it was envisioned by the community.”

The YBCBD is calling for artists and musicians who want to perform on the plaza to reach out through the organization’s website.

  • Michael Smith

    Somehow I missed the memo stating that Hearst owns the streets and makes the decisions on how they should be used.

    Maybe the city should just tell them “thanks for your input, which will be valued the same as the input from all the other stakeholders”.

  • Tom

    Anybody know where they got that blue bike rack in the picture?

  • It’s owned by the YBCBD, who brings it out to events in the neighborhood. If you’re interested in it, you can contact them here: http://www.ybcbd.org/contact-us/

  • davistrain

    Is this particular street a “dedicated street” or is it on an easement from Hearst?

  • Dedicate SF public street. Not even in front of the Hearst property.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Planning Dept Releases Design Guide for “Living Alleys” Around Hayes Valley

|
The SF Planning Department released a design guide this week for “living alleys” [PDF], providing a template to transform SF’s narrow, low-traffic streets into places to gather and play. Inspired by the Dutch “woonerf” concept, the “Living Alleys Toolkit” lays out proven design measures that make smaller streets more inviting to stay and play on, giving street life […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Man Hit by School Bus on I-280 in SF (SFBay); Driver Crashes Into Nob Hill Restaurant (SFGate) Hearst Corporation Wants the Annie Alley Street Plaza Gone (SF Weekly) Haight and Fillmore to Get “WalkStop” Ped Wayfinding Signage With Art and History (Hoodline) Bernalwood: Planning Dept Makes “Power Grab” By Not Requiring for New Homes in Bernal […]