Over the past year, the MCA Board of Directors has been meeting with the Recreation and Park Department (Rec Park) regarding Rec Park’s plans to turn the Marina Degaussing Station into a restaurant. The MCA is very interested to hear from our members regarding this project. It is especially important to get input from neighbors close to the Degaussing Station, which is why we are emailing you now. Please take a few minutes to read the below details about the project and click the link at the bottom of the email to submit your feedback to the MCA Board of Directors. If you prefer to email your comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Marina Degaussing Station is a vacant, fenced-in, 720 square-foot building with a 450 square-foot patio located on the northern edge of the Marina Green on Rec Park property. Originally the property of the U.S. Navy, the building was transferred to the City and has sat idle for many years. Rec Park issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) in April of 2011 to solicit an operator to run a restaurant at the site, in order to activate the abandoned building and provide a public amenity. In November of 2011, a selection panel which included a member of the Marina Community Association Board of Directors, unanimously selected Woodhouse Fish Company as the recommended operator for the restaurant.
Woodhouse is a family owned business with two other popular locations in San Francisco, one on Fillmore Street in Pac Heights and the other on Market Street. Woodhouse proposes to offer a fresh and local seafood menu that is affordable and family friendly and will serve beer and wine but not spirits and they will not have amplified music. Due to the small size of the space, Woodhouse plans to have outdoor seating on a glass-enclosed patio and install a large walk-in refrigerator outside of the building but behind thick foliage as to not be an eyesore. They will also have limited seating inside. The restaurant will be a walk-up counter where you order and get a number and then a server brings your food to you. They plan to use compostable serve-ware when possible and are responsible for maintaining a clean area around their establishment.
Here is a link to their website for their other successful establishments.
Woodhouse will invest $650,000 to stabilize and renovate the building. This work includes, but is not limited to moving and stabilizing the building with a new foundation; carpentry work on windows and doors; installing kitchen equipment; performing electrical and plumbing work; and upgrading the sewer, water and gas systems. The building will have to undergo historic review (at the expense of Woodhouse) and go before the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. The lease agreement is for an initial ten year period with two (2) five year options to extend. All revenues generated from the agreement go directly to the Marina Harbor Fund. Should the project be approved, the foodcarts that park along the Marina Green would no longer operate there, but the kiosk near the little Marina Green would stay operational.
Please note that if this project gets approved, Woodhouse will then hire an architect to complete detailed drawings of proposed plans. Once drawings are complete, Rec Park will return to the community for their feedback before taking the architectural plans to the Recreation and Park Commission for final approval.
The MCA’s Position
The MCA Board of Directors has met numerous times with the owner/operator of Woodhouse and we are pleased with the type of establishment that he intends to open at the Degaussing Station and feel that it is a nice fit for the area. Our sole concern is in regard to the operating hours at night because of the potential for a restaurant to disturb the neighbors that are directly across from the Marina Green and the Degaussing Station. We would expect cars to park in the lot adjacent to the Degaussing Station, creating additional activity at night in an area that tends to be pretty dark and quiet once the sun has set.
The agreement with Rec Park requires Woodhouse to implement a number of measures to mitigate the impact of the restaurant on the surrounding neighborhood including installing sensitive exterior base lighting, south facing black out shades to minimize light pollution towards Marina Blvd. As far as operating hours, Woodhouse proposes to offer an optional breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7am (if they opt to have breakfast service) or 11am to 9:30pm, seven days a week, excluding major holidays when they will be closed. This means that last call for food and alcohol is at 9:30pm, with all patrons leaving the premises by 11:00pm. The MCA has asked that last call for food and alcohol be at 9:00pm with all patrons leaving the premises by 10pm. We are awaiting a response from the owner of Woodhouse on whether these proposed hours are acceptable.
Timeline and City Process
Rec Park presented the lease agreement to the Operations Committee of the Recreation and Park Commission for their consideration to recommend to the Board of Supervisors and it was approved unanimously. It then went to the full Rec Park Commission and the Commission voted unanimously to recommend the agreement. The agreement has been introduced to the Board of Supervisors for their final approval, which will happen sometime this fall. If approved, Woodhouse will then seek all other approvals as well as hire an architect to complete detailed drawings of proposed plans. Once drawings are complete, Rec Park will return to the community for their feedback before taking the architectural plans to the Recreation and Park Commission for final approval. Construction could take three to four months and both Rec Park and Woodhouse hope to complete this project in time for the 2013 America’s Cup races, which start in June, 2013.
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