Unity Plaza

Project Overview

Unity Plaza Rendering

The Unity Plaza will be an approx. 210-by-65 foot public open space west of the City College Terminal. The fully accessible plaza will be landscaped with trees and plants, and include benches, pedestrian lighting, special artistic pavement, a domed climbing structure and photography displays depicting the history of the area. The space will serve as an attractive pedestrian link between Muni's K Line stop on Ocean Avenue to its south, the expanded City College campus to its north and the new City College bus terminal.

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Project Details

SUMMARY

The Unity Plaza will be an approx. 210-by-65 foot public open space west of the City College Terminal. The fully accessible plaza will be landscaped with trees and plants, and include benches, pedestrian lighting, special artistic pavement, a domed climbing structure and photography displays depicting the history of the area.

The plaza project will also contain a pedestrian connector, linking the plaza to City College. These steps will consist of concrete paving and include tiled pictures designed by a local artist.

FUTURE USE

Goals of the plaza include bringing people from different segments of the community together, connecting people to City College and being known as an iconic, attractive, comfortable and safe meeting place in addition to an enduring and lasting presence in the community.

When complete, Unity Plaza will serve as a hub connecting businesses, residents, schools, City College, and Muni routes in the area: the 8X/8BX, 49, 29, 43, and K-Ingleside. It will also serve as the front door of the newly built mixed-use affordable housing development on 1100 Ocean Avenue The plaza could also host community events such as street fairs and farmers’ markets and will serve as a gathering location.

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Department of Real Estate are working on a plan to manage the plaza as part of the City’s new Plaza Program after the completion of construction.

Unity Plaza Map of Area

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PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pedestrian Connector & Public Art Project

        Pedestrian Connector and Public Art Project

  • Domed Climbing Structure

        Domed Climbing Structure

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TIMELINE

Key Dates

 Milestones

July 2013

 Begin design for plaza and pedestrian connector
Sept 2013  Press conference by Mayor Lee for the completion of the bus loop and ground breaking for the housing development

May 2014

 Plaza name goes before the SFMTA Board
July 2014  Plaza is officially named Unity Plaza

April 2015

 Complete detail design 
July 2015  Contract awarded to Bauman Landscaping
Aug 2015  Community meeting, Aug. 20th

Sept 2015

 Construction NTP (Notice to Proceed) officially on September 28, 2015

Dec 2015  Construction groundbreaking officially on December 7, 2015

Sept 2016

 Final construction completion

Oct 1, 2016  Opening celebration, 11am to 3pm

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BACKGROUND

In 2009, the Balboa Park Station Area Plan was adopted by the City and County of San Francisco. This was the culmination of a 10 year Better Neighborhoods Planning Process with multiple community meetings led by the San Francisco Planning Department. The development of a new plaza at the City College Bus Terminal was specifically identified as a goal within the Balboa Station Area Plan to create a variety of new public open spaces. The area plan includes design guidelines for the development of a plaza.

The plan also included a reconfiguration of the Phelan Bus Loop, now known as City College Terminal and the affordable housing project on 1100 Ocean Ave. Unity Plaza occupies the space between the bus loop and the housing development.

Following the adoption of the Balboa Park Station Area Plan, the SFMTA and the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development formed a plaza advisory committee. This committee is currently active and has met quarterly since August 2012 to assist the project team develop the plaza design and program. The following committee members include:  

  • Rev. Roland Gordon (Ingleside Presbyterian Church)
  • Maria Picar (Executive Director The OMI Cultural Participation Project & Dancer/Director Ingleside Creative Arts)
  • Dan Weaver (Ocean Avenue Association)
  • Robert Muehlbauer (Local Resident)
  • Kate Favetti (Westwood Park Association)
  • Jon Winston (Friends of Monterey Blvd.)
  • Ray Kutz (Local Resident)

To name the plaza, the public was invited to enter a contest to name the space. The contest was advertised in the SF Examiner, SF Chronicle and Sing Tao. The naming of the plaza was to promote a ready identifiable and/or geographic association to the public. Therefore, considerations included one or more of the following:

  • Historic names relevant to the plaza
  • Geographic names descriptive of the location or significant natural features
  • Represent the purpose or function of the plaza
  • Person(s) or organization(s) who made significant contributions to the community
  • Acknowledging a significant geographic location or historical event

SFMTA received more than 60 suggestions that met the naming criteria. The suggested names were reviewed by the plaza citizen advisory committee. After review and voting, the committee recommended Unity Plaza, which was later approved by the SFMTA board as the plaza name

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