SF Chronicle article on Dogpatch

An article by columnist Carl Nolte, published last Sunday on the San Francisco Chronicle web site, gives an amusing tourist-oriented overview of the current state of affairs in Dogpatch. Our building on Pier 70 is, of course, an integral part of the neighborhood. A couple of Noonan Building artists, Kim Austin and Francis Berry, were quoted in the column. Here's a link to the column's web page.

More information about the Dogpatch neighborhood can be found on the Pier 70 web site.

NBA Facebook Page activated

The Noonan Building Artists have just launched their own Facebook page to facilitate the work of the group and to allow us to communicate more easily with the public at large. All Noonan Building artists should go to Facebook and do all the liking and friending and social networking you can to get us connected with our community. Our hope is that the page can become a useful forum for us. Note that any entries in our blog will automatically be linked to an entry on our Facebook page.

Suzy Barnard's Statement to the Port Commission

Here is the text of Suzy's statement to the San Francisco Port Commission at their May 28th meeting:

Good afternoon Commissioners. My name is Suzy Barnard, speaking on behalf of the Noonan Building Artists at Pier 70.

We would like to express thanks to Forest City and the Port for including us in the Term Sheet, which was submitted to the Port last week.  We raised our concerns at the Port Commission hearing on May 14th about not being included in Pier 70's redevelopment plans, and it was very gratifying to be heard. We very much look forward to working together, in an atmosphere of trust and good faith.

I have just a couple of brief points this afternoon to bring to your attention:

Firstly, since the wording on Forest City's Term Sheet regarding the Noonan Building Artists is brief and general, we wish to state clearly that affordable, comparable art studio space is required not only for all current existing tenants and sub-tenants, but also for the benefit of future artists, and request that a long-term commitment to affordable artists' workspace be made in order to perpetuate the long history of Pier 70 as one of San Francisco's few remaining vibrant creative centers.

Secondly, the Noonan Building Artists remain committed to pursuing the option of preserving the Noonan Building itself, as a special building of historic significance that holds a living, breathing and current community within it.

Thank you.

Report on the May 28th Port Commission Meeting

Last Tuesday the San Francisco Port Commission had another meeting at which the redevelopment of Pier 70, and the fate of the Noonan Building and it's community of artists, was discussed. Five representatives of the NBA were there, and Suzy Barnard, one of those in attendance, gave a short speech on our behalf. Here's a report from Noonan Building Artist Kim Austin on the meeting:

I think we all have to thank Suzy Barnard for speaking on our behalf yesterday at the Commissioners' meeting. She did a splendid job. She thanked the Commission for listening to our concerns, and thanked Forest City and the Port for including us in the term sheet.

It was a very cozy, lovey meeting. Lots of supporters for Forest City and the SF Port spoke this time. The presentation to the Commission was brief and to the point, and it included mention of the Noonan Building Artists on several accounts. We were heard at the last meeting and are now inserted into the text.

We have learned from these meetings about many dedicated people who have been working tirelessly on the pier 70 project for years. Several times it was called a labor of love. I really believe that we are part of that equation now, and that our years of keeping the Noonan Building alive is seen with equal respect. I believe that both the Port and FC see our importance and relevance in this project.

We are now in a perfect position to start a positive dialogue, and to begin shaping the future artistic core of Noonan Building history. We have tons of time. So we can be thoughtful and insightful. What do we want to pass on to the next generation of artists? What can we share with them from our decades of experience? What advise can we give to the Port and FC in taking our "seed" and encouraging it to grow?

Later this summer the Port and FC will schedule a meeting with us to go over the options that we will explore together over the next 10 or so years. We will keep you posted as to when that will happen. For now, FC will spend the next 3 years drafting their plan and getting approvals. Orton will work on the historic core buildings. Crane Cove Park will also evolve over the next few years. The Waterfront project with FC is scheduled to begin in 2016.

It was really great to attend yesterday's meeting with Suzy, Marti, Henry, and Susan Eslick, and to see Pamela at the moment of departure. Thanks everyone for caring about our special place, the Noonan Building.

NBA Reps Attend CWAG Meeting

On Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Marti McKee, Kim Austin, Connie Harris and Suzy Barnard attended the monthly CWAG meeting, which took place at the Port's offices at Pier 1. CWAG (Central Waterfront Advisory Group) consists of a committee of community advisors, and they've been paying close attention to all the Port's plans in our area for many years. They have a real understanding of the planning process and all the moving parts. The main topic on the agenda was to hear presentations from both the Port and Forest City developers on the Term Sheet.

Marti spoke, she gave a short summary of the statements made by Kim and Adele the night before at the Port Commission meeting, and Kim also gave an eloquent testimony expressing the passion we feel for the building and Pier 70.

We came away feeling encouraged, and like we'd been heard. CWAG expressed their awareness and support for our community, but strongly encouraged us to be involved in the process, and to show up to as many meetings as we can stand. They also said they felt confident that Forest City and the Port would do the right thing by us.

The Port stated that the demolition of the Noonan Building would not happen for another 10-15 years (!), and Jack Sylvan (Forest City) apologized to us for not including us sooner, and made clear overtures that he wants to reach out.

Here's a link to CWAG's agenda for this meeting.