There's been talk of a new skatepark to be build behind Zeitgeist under the freeway for years, but there was never any certainity that it would actually happen. First there was the typical “concern” of downer neighbors (because skateparks attract urban blight, like 20-somethings having fun), then Caltrans, the owner of the property, needed to do an “air quality assessment” to ensure skating under a freeway wouldn't give you cancer (conclusion: negative), and then there was some disagreement over how much money the city should pay Caltrans to rent the property (we wanted to pay $5,000/month, they wanted $11,000). But it looks like that has all been figured out and, according to the SF Skateboarding Association, the $3 million dollar project is expected to break ground this fall, potentially as soon as September.
The final proposal from New Line Skateparks promises a “San Francisco feel” that draws inspiration from favorite local spots:
Located at the corner of Duboce and Stevenson in Downtown San Francisco, the soon to be constructed SoMa Skate Plaza embodies the culmination of over two years of planning and coordination between the local skate community, Civic and State Government agencies and members of our international consulting team. The plaza offers an expansive combination of features inspired by local spots such as Channel Street, 3 up 3 down, and the iconic Justin Herman Plaza - resulting in unique world class urban skate destination with an unmistakable San Francisco feel.
The only remaining hurdle for what will assuredly be a gawking destination for randy drunk girls filtering out of Zeitgeist is having the SF Arts Commission to approve all the proposed artwork for the skatepark, including a rather, ahem, “bold” 15-foot-tall monument designed by Michael Arcega that “celebrates the sport’s unaccounted for and innumerable risks and failures.”
And if that isn't enough for you, DPW is planning on building a pair of basketball courts, a dog run, a playground, and planting a whole bunch of trees as part of the “Octavia Neighborhood/SOMA West” improvement process:
Everything about the project looks rad, but the proposed name “SOMA West Skatepark” doesn't appropriately capture the spirit of the project. Alternate suggestions in the comments encouraged, as I have no better ideas.
[More info at SF DPW] (Thanks Sunny!)