Tishman gets ride on Central Subway

J.K. Dineen : bizjournals.com – excerpt

Big SoMa office project to track rezoning

Tishman Speyer has filed an application to build a 700,000-square-foot office complex in western SoMa, the first large development seeking to piggyback on San Francisco’s rezoning along the Central Subway.
The 97,000-square-foot parcel at 598 Brannan St. is owned by the Hearst Corp., which has used it to store and maintain San Francisco Chronicle delivery trucks and newspaper racks. The parcel, on the northeast corner of Brannan and Fifth streets, is directly across the street from the San Francisco Tennis Club. The property is assessed at $10.2 million…

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The first of many developers who take advantage of the  transit corridor deals which remove height limits and other impingements on the development options. Watch the environmentalists caught in the developers’ web.

Taxi insurance lapse ensures confusion

By: Will Reisman : SFExaminer – excerpt

About one-third of The City’s cabs were either idled or operated illegally Wednesday after more than 500 were abruptly left without sufficient insurance.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency requires that every taxi carry a $1 million liability coverage plan to operate.

On Tuesday, Dmitry Erenkov, the insurance broker for about 525 taxis — many serving smaller companies — revealed that he could not find an insurer to cover that plan, which lapsed at midnight. Calls to Erenkov’s office were not returned.

Made aware of the impending expiration, the SFMTA sent a bulletin to taxi drivers Tuesday afternoon ordering them not to operate unless they carried the $1 million insurance policy. Failure to comply would result in
suspensions or fines…

Rose said his agency’s cab enforcement unit will patrol The City in search of cabs without valid insurance…

“We were completely blindsided by this,”  Gruberg said. “The whole thing is a huge mess. Pulling 500 cabs off the street will certainly not help the public.”

Bob Planthold, an activist for disability rights in San Francisco, said many paratransit passengers will be left out in the cold by the policy lapse, which could have been avoided by better coordination between the SFMTA and the taxi industry…

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Central Subway: North Beach Merchants Lawyer Up, Fire Legal Salvo (Update)

By Joe Eskenazi : SFWeekly – excerpt

In a possible precursor to a lawsuit directed at the controversial Central Subway project, the North Beach Business Association has hired a lawyer to fire off a “demand letter” to Muni. Attorney Susan Brandt-Hawley’s brief note puts two options on the city’s plate:

A. Immediately cease the planned construction of a 2,000-foot tunnel to extract tunnel-boring machines from a massive hole on Columbus between Union and Filbert until conducting extensive environmental reviews, or

B. Face the legal consequences.

“We will do whatever we can to stop this extraction plan,” says Dan Macchiarini, an NBBA board member. “Whatever it takes — we will go to the limit and people will come forward with the funding.”…

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Related Articles:
North Beach Group Files Lawsuit Over SF Central Subway Project
North Beach Businesses Sue To Block SF Central Subway

Central Subway: North Beach Group Files Suit

By Joe Eskenazi : SFWeekly – excerpt

The final day of July was a busy one for Muni’s legal representatives. Not only did the Municipal Transportation Agency receive a demand letter from a lawyer hired by the North Beach Business Association, it was sued by another North Beach group.

Save North Beach, formed and led by area man Marc Bruno, filed suit Tuesday against the city, Muni, the Board of Supervisors, and Planning Department regarding the proposal to extract tunnel-boring machines for the Central Subway near Washington Square Park.

Along similar lines to the arguments made by attorney Susan Brandt-Hawley in her letter penned on behalf of the North Beach merchants, Bruno claims the notion of an extraction tunnel is merely a cover to begin work on the unfunded and largely unplanned “Phase III” of the Central Subway project prior to tackling myriad environmental requirements.

Bruno is bringing the suit himself, sans legal representation “for now.” His brief requests a judge demand Muni to conduct environmental studies prior to beginning work on the extraction tunnel.

The plan to dig 2,000 feet beyond the last planned stop of the subway — at a minimum estimated cost of $70 million — and extract the tunnel- boring machines on Columbus between Union and Filbert has been described to area residents as the “least disruptive” option. Other options include disassembling and backing the machines out of the tunnel, or leaving whatever components of the $24 million devices that can’t be resold underground.

Muni has not yet responded to a public records request to provide the methodology indicating the North Beach extraction option is the most cost-effective and “least disruptive.” Its presentation to North Beach residents can be viewed here…

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People were asking about legal options. Here are some.