Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan, Developer Of Salesforce Transit Center: Part Five Of Her Story as told to Zennie62Media.
Part One > Part Two > Part Three > Part Four > Part Five > Part Six > Part Seven > Part Eight.
What became Salesforce Transit Center was very difficult because it had been studied and debated since at least 1967. By the time Maria Ayerdi Kaplan was put in charge of the Transbay Project in 1998, many observers didn’t believe a new facility would be built.
Fortunately for all of the San Francisco and Oakland Bay Area, Maria persevered and stayed the course against incredible odds. Ms. Ayerdi won over people from all walks of life with her vision of what a new station could do for the environment and quality of life and how the station could spur a new neighborhood with parks, housing, and community amenities.
Later, during the March 27th, 2013 groundbreaking for Salesforce Tower, the late San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said this:
“I want to begin by thanking Maria because she’s now on her third mayor and if you’re someone who’s heading up such an important project for the city and you have to transition every time a mayor comes in one has to appreciate the anxiety the twists and turns the foresight the confidence that she must continue instilling in her small staff but more importantly in the investor community because this is where it’s at.And if she doesn’t have a good story tell with a lot of confidence that her job is gonna be even harder and the economy did not help in the last ten years to make that story any better. So you know with that I want to just give a hearty thanks to Maria’s leadership for the last decade and a half of just putting this project and continuing her perseverance in the effort to make this Center happen.”
San Francisco City Hall was a great help to Maria during the administration of San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and the State of California and Federal governments were always supportive, thanks in large part to Senator John Burton, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Senator Barbara Boxer, and Senator Diane Feinstein. And also groups like theGolden Gate Business Association,
Salesforce Transit Center Survived San Francisco Political Threats To Its Rail Transit Plan
There were many occasions when the Transbay Transit Center Project now called Salesforce Transit Center was doomed. Maria points to two times, in particular. The first time was in 2004, when a developer wanted to build what he was calling the “tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi” right on the curvature of the rail tracks as it approached the new Transit Center at 80 Natoma Street. The developer’s project would have killed the rail extension into the new Transit Center and in effect doomed the entire Project. With the help of the grassroots community, the unions, and organizations like San Francisco Tomorrow, however, Ms. Ayerdi presented a strong case to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who condemned the property owner’s tower site 11-0.
(Later, 181 Fremont Street, at 800 feet tall and part of the Salesforce Transit Center District, was built, and became the “tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi.”)
The second occasion came up when the TJPA needed to build the two underground rail levels as part of the first phase of the Project. There was a move to try to cancel the Transbay Transit Center Project by certain officials who argued that if funding was not found to build the rail levels as part of the first phase, the Center would end up being a “bus only” facility without rail and in that case not worth constructing.
Fortunately, there was a funding source available at the time from President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). There was a lot of competition for that funding from rail operators and other transit agencies who were all actively lobbying for the ARRA money for their own agencies and against the money coming to Transbay. It was an incredibly heavy lift to secure the ARRA funding.
With the help of Senator Burton, Ms. Ayerdi secured $400 million from ARRA to build the rail levels of the new Transbay Transit Center as part of Phase One. The TJPA and the public saved over $100 million dollars building the rail levels as part of the first Phase of the Project.
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) through the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) also granted the money because the rail part of the project (extending Caltrain from 4th and King St. up Second St. into the new Center) was environmentally cleared.
The Transbay Joint Powers Authority just needed to finish some supplemental environmental work requested by USDOT as one of the conditions of granting the $400 Million to the Project. The supplemental environmental work was completed by the time Ms. Ayerdi retired from the Project.
Unfortunately, shortly after Maria Ayerdi Kaplan retired from the Transbay Transit Center Project, certain individuals seized on the fact that she, the single greatest champion of the rail extension into the new Center, could no longer protect the Project and had the supplemental rail environmental work shelved.
Stay tuned. Click here for Part Six.”
Oakland News Now Recent Posts
- Readout of Biden Administration Convening to Discuss and Address Semiconductor Supply Chain September 23, 2021
- Las Vegas Raiders Vs Dolphins Won’t Be Aired On Some Tv Market In California By Eric Pangilinan September 23, 2021
- Las Vegas Raiders Defense Is The Key To Victory In Week By Eric Pangilinan September 23, 2021
- RecallOakland.com Website For Stupid Idea Of Recalling Mayor Schaaf Months Before She’s Termed Out September 23, 2021
- Nintendo Reveals Cast For The Mario Movie in 2022. Yes This Is Real, By: Vinny Lospinuso September 23, 2021
- BREAKING: Arrest Warrant Issued for Brian Laundrie in Gabby Petito’s Death September 23, 2021
- Las Vegas Raiders Tom Flores To Receive Hall Of Fame Ring At Allegiant Stadium By Eric Pangilinan September 23, 2021
- Justin Fields First NFL Start Will Come Against The Browns | Pat McAfee Reacts September 23, 2021
- Coach Bradley, Coach Olson, Denzel Perryman and Kenyan Drake Presser – 9.23.21 | Las Vegas Raiders September 23, 2021
- Supermodel Linda Evangelista Has Been “Brutally Disfigured” by Procedure Done 5 Years Ago | PEOPLE September 23, 2021
- Author Jameis1of1 Talks About Jameis Winston And Gives Thoughts On Pats vs Saints Game September 23, 2021
- Kate Scott Is Philadelphia’s First Female Sports Broadcaster – That’s No Accident – Here’s Why September 23, 2021
- Mom Gets Surprise Giant Gift Box From Rocket Mortgage Sent Via UPS September 23, 2021
- How U.C. Berkeley Beat Harvard And Yale To Become The Best College In America | Forbes September 23, 2021
- Judge Orders UC Berkeley To Freeze Enrollment After Neighborhood Group Sues September 23, 2021
- Save 1921 Walnut St. Berkeley – Tenants Protest Demolition, UC Berkeley, Mayor Jesse Arreguin Actions September 23, 2021
- 30 Weirdest Things Ever Caught On Security Cameras & CCTV ! September 23, 2021
- The Raiders Are LETHAL With Derek Carr and Jon Gruden in Sync | Tiki and Tierney September 23, 2021
- Melvin Van Peebles on Bill Cosby Allegations; Being a Pioneer September 23, 2021
- Unstoppable: Melvin Van Peebles, Gordon Parks, and Ossie Davis in Conversation (2005) September 23, 2021
- Groundbreaking Filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles Has Died September 23, 2021
- R.I.P Mario Van Peebles Dad, Speaks On How His Father Melvin Van Peebles Died September 23, 2021
- 2021 09 21 Meeting with DSP UC Berkeley Students with Disabilities Coalition PART 2 September 23, 2021
- Nobel Prize Medal Presented to UC Berkeley Chemistry Professor Jennifer Doudna at her Berkeley Home September 23, 2021
- Oakland school district votes on vaccine mandate September 23, 2021
- Lakefront Home For Sale – 195 Honey Ln Fayetteville GA 30214 September 23, 2021
- Home For Sale – Introducing, 260 Camelot Fayetteville, Georgia September 23, 2021
- Home For Sale 3800 California Street Oakland, CA | ColdwellBankerHomes.com September 23, 2021
- Oakland Officer, Suspect Wounded In Shootout; Suspect Surrenders After Tense Standoff September 23, 2021
- Weather Forecast Oakland, California ▶ Oakland weather Forecast 09/23/2021 September 23, 2021
- COVID Vaccinations: Oakland Unified School District Board Approves COVID Vaccination Mandate For Students September 23, 2021
- Oakland Unified School District Board Discusses Vaccine Mandate for Students, Staff September 23, 2021
- Woman Wanted For Pulling Gun On Chipotle Worker In Philadelphia September 23, 2021
- Go Fund Me For Raider Nation’s Black Hole Rob Rivera’s Funeral By Rachel Rivera September 23, 2021
- Gabby Petito case: Crews use new tools in the search for Brian Laundrie September 23, 2021
- Hey EBX & Hella Coastal – Brothers Brewing Co Was Oakland’s First Black Brewery, And Then There Was Pican Restaurant September 23, 2021
- Las Vegas Raiders NFL Pro football Focus Ranked Maxx Crosby Number 1 Edge Rusher By Eric Pangilinan September 22, 2021
- Raiders Steve Wisniewski Nominated For 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class, By: Vinny Lospinuso September 22, 2021
- Brian Laundrie search: What led police to the Carlton Reserve? September 22, 2021
- Laundrie neighbor says she saw Brian after his return September 22, 2021