West SOMA, San Francisco
Eagle Plaza will be a new public gathering space on 12th Street between Harrison and Bernice Streets in San Francisco's Western SoMa neighborhood. It will transform an underutilized street into a well-cared-for green, safe and clean shared pedestrian way for relaxing, gathering and celebrating. Deriving its name from the SF Eagle, the adjacent renowned LGBTQ community bar, Eagle Plaza would create much-needed public open space that celebrates the area’s rich leather and LGBTQ cultural heritage. The plaza is designed as a “shared public way,” allowing slow, one-way vehicular access but prioritizing pedestrians and cyclists. For special occasions and to accommodate neighborhood events and festivals, the plaza can be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic to create a pedestrian-only gathering space.
Place Lab (previously known as Build Public) is managing the community outreach, design, approval process, financing, and long-term stewardship plan for Eagle Plaza, in collaboration with BUILD, neighborhood stakeholders, the City and County of San Francisco, and other local developers. Partial funding for the project will stem from an innovative collaboration with the developers of 1532 Harrison Street, a currently vacant parking lot adjacent to Eagle Plaza that has been approved for 136 residential units. Leveraging San Francisco’s unique In-Kind Agreement process, a portion of 1532 Harrison’s impact fees may be allocated directly into Eagle Plaza as an “in-kind” improvement that will provide the neighborhood with a much-needed public gathering and green space. On February 11, 2016, the SF Planning Commission unanimously approved the allocation of $1.5 million in impact fees toward the design and construction of Eagle Plaza. Place Lab was also successful in securing a $200,000 in City grants (a Community Challenge Grant & a Complete Neighborhoods Grant) to help fund Eagle Plaza’s capital costs.
Once constructed, Eagle Plaza will be managed and programmed by Friends of Eagle Plaza, a non-profit stewardship organization comprised of neighborhood residents, nearby business and property owners, and other interested stakeholders. In partnership with other local organizations, Friends of Eagle Plaza will ensure the long-term cleanliness, safety and accessibility of Eagle Plaza as a shared public amenity. To learn more, please visit Eagle Plaza’s website.