In 1997, after a lengthy citizen-led process, the Port approved the Waterfront Land Use Plan, which defines acceptable uses and policies applicable to Port property. The plan encourages the creation of new public access, recreation and open space along the northern waterfront. It also identifies sites for commercial development that will increase public enjoyment of the waterfront, help subsidize maritime industries, and fund new public access and open spaces. The recent, successful development of the Giants' Ballpark and the restoration of Pier 1, the Ferry Building and Piers 11/2, 3 & 5 were results of the Waterfront Land Use plan.
Similarly, in February of 2009, the Planning Department embarked on a planning effort known as the Northeast Embarcadero Study (NES). Originally scheduled to last 6 - 8 months, this study spanned approximately 18 months and resulted in design and planning guidelines intended to guide development along the Embarcadero.
For the past five years, San Francisco Waterfront Partners has been working to develop a proposal that meets and exceeds the goals for the project site as identified in the Waterfront Land Use Plan, the recent Northeast Embarcadero Study and the diverse desires of various stakeholders.