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2005 July 27


Fisherman's Wharf Property Owners Overwhelmingly Approve Over Half Million Dollars Towards Improvement
In an effort to preserve, enhance and market San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, property owners vote to tax themselves for maintenance and upgrade projects.

             It's not everyday that property owners vote to increase their own taxes. Yesterday, before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Fisherman's Wharf Property Owners overwhelmingly approved the establishment of a Community Benefit District. Marco Li Mandri of New City America, who has been under contract with the Fisherman's Wharf Merchants Association to conduct and investigate the creation of a special benefits district, had this to say, “This level of support is unprecedented. I have done 35 districts so far and the highest previous level of support was 80% weighted support of the returned ballots.” The Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District was approved with an 89.5% weighted vote.  Ghirardelli Square, THE CANNERY at Del Monte Square, North Point Shopping Center and Kimpton Hotels were among the properties voting in favor of the CBD.

             The proposed Community Benefit District ballots were tabulated by San Francisco's Office of Elections. Once the tallies were announced, The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Community Benefit District. Until yesterday, only Union Square had created such a special benefit district in San Francisco.

             The total tax assessment raises $591,485.00 per year and will be used to enhance, beautify, clean and market the 106 parcels within the Fisherman's Wharf district borders. A leading factor in the passing of the initiative was support from influential business/property owners such as Chris Martin of THE CANNERY at Del Monte Square and Rodney Fong of The Wax Museum of Fisherman's Wharf. Mr. Fong, also the President of the Fisherman's Wharf Association, noted that “These assessed dollars will be the seed to improving sidewalks, open space in an effort to make Fisherman's Wharf more user friendly.” Plans are expected to include directional and “identity” signage, sidewalk and street enhancements, more parks, community planning, events and marketing towards locals and the creation of more open space and seating for the public.

             If tenants at adjacent Port of San Francisco waterfront properties agree to a similar self-assessment, the entire area would be united in 2007 and sustain itself as a Benefit District through 2020.

             For nearly one hundred years, Fisherman's Wharf has been a substantial economic asset for San Francisco. It is home to Northern California's most active fishing fleet and fish handling facilities. Fisherman's Wharf is San Francisco's number one visitor attraction, as well as the most significant income generator for the Port of San Francisco and a substantial tax contributor for the City and County of San Francisco, generating millions of dollars annually. Over 32,000 people work in Fisherman's Wharf. People come from around the world to enjoy its distinctive maritime setting, historic fisheries, world-class restaurants, hotels, unique retail projects, and entertainment. For more information on the Fisherman's Wharf Association and the Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District please contact Rodney A. Fong, President of the Fisherman's Wharf Association 415-202-0436.

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