It was seen as cooperative milestone when the contract between the organizers of the 34th America’s Cup and the city of San Francisco — a document lovingly referred to as the “host city agreement” — received unanimous approval from the Board of Supervisors in mid-December. But the host city agreement approved then is not the host city agreement that exists now — at least not exactly.
Before the New Year, some changes — or “tweaks,” as the Mayor’s Office lovingly refers to these contractual differences — were made to the host city agreement. Exactly what those changes are — and the subsequent impacts on the city — will be the topic of an upcoming City Hall hearing.
The tweaking was done during negotiations between the Event Authority — the nickname for the people of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, the current Cup-holder — and members of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, according to Kyri McClellan, who represents that office. The changes are “clarifications” signed off on by the City Attorney, according to McClellan, which do not require approval or review. You can see the changes here.
But Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, a supporter of hosting the Cup in San Francisco, called Tuesday for a review nonetheless.
“There has been no disclosure, and no discussion since that milestone” agreement in December, Mirkarimi said Tuesday. Attention must be paid to the dislocation of any Port of San Francisco tenants, and the exact nature of the “tweaks” to the agreement between Ellison — who will eventually own long-term leases on prime waterfront property at Seawall Lot 330 and Piers 30-32 and 26 and 28, where condos and hotels will be built following the races in 2012 and 2013 — and the city.
One issue of interest could be a provision for the city to create “infrastructure financing districts” to pay for some of the costs of waterfront improvements. An infrastructure financing district, for those curious, is similar to a business improvement district, in that a special tax is levied on a select group of real-estate holders.
If nothing else, the hearing will give us all one more excuse to get excited about a billionaire’s boat race to be held some eighteen months in the future. Get your blazers ready, the boats are coming.
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