Northeast Embarcadero Study

Northeast Embarcadero Study


The Northeast Embarcadero Study: Final Report
About the Northeast Embarcadero Study
Related Planning Documents



If you have questions or comments on this project, or would like to get involved, please contact:


Neil Hrushowy
Urban Designer


The Northeast Embarcadero Study is now available for viewing.


  Click here to download the Northeast Embarcadero Study

The Planning Department would like to thank the Community (both individuals and organizations) for their time, effort, guidance, and patience over the last year.

The Northeast Embarcadero Study is an urban design analysis for the northeast embarcadero area and provides recommendations to improve the public realm and the design of new development in the area.

On July 8th 2010, the Planning Commission passed a Resolution in support of the study.



About the Northeast Embarcadero Study


Study Area

The Northeast Embarcadero Study intends to guide the future development of properties along the west side of the Embarcadero, generally from Market to North Point. The study will focus on the Port's properties between Washington and North Point that are currently being used as parking lots. The Department intends to consider appropriate areas beyond these immediate sites in order to more fully understand the context and the role the Port properties play on The Embarcadero and in the larger city fabric. See the map below.

Northeast Embarcadero Study - Base Map thumb


Study Goals

The intent of the Northeast Embarcadero Study is to guide the development of properties along the west side of The Embarcadero, from Washington Street to North Point Street, in a common direction. The study also aims to create a pleasing public realm that connects the city to the waterfront and strengthens the linear promenade on the west side of The Embarcadero. More specifically, recommendations are meant to:

  1. Create a unique waterfront experience commensurate with The Embarcadero’s prominent civic role in San Francisco.

  2. Ensure strong connections to the neighborhoods to the west and across The Embarcadero to the Bay;

  3. Establish guidelines for site design, massing, articulation and quality materials that reinforce the pedestrian realm and create a distinct place unique to the Northeast Embarcadero;

  4. Enhance the open space network by strengthening connections between open spaces and recommending opportunities for new open spaces in the study area;

  5. Set forth appropriate streetscape guidelines to provide attractive, safe and inviting sidewalks and pedestrian paths; and

  6. Ensure new development respects the context established by historic buildings.


Active Projects in the Study Area and Its Environs

( view location map of active projects )

  1. Fisherman's Wharf (Pier 43 Promenade)
  2. Fisherman's Wharf (Jefferson Street Redesign)
  3. Pier 27 & 29: Cruise Ship Terminal
  4. Northeast Waterfront Plaza
  5. Pier 15 & 17: Exploratorium
  6. 8 Washington Street
  7. Embarcadero Waterfront Open Space Study

Other Projects:


Area Maps

  1. Updated Maps: Existing Zoning, Existing Heights, Historic Resources, and Jurisdiction of Public Property - PDF




Related Planning Documents


Northeastern Waterfront Plan
The Northeastern Waterfront Plan is an Area Plan of the City's General Plan. The Plan's goals include re-integrating the waterfront with the fabric of the City and re-establishing the waterfront as the eastern edge of the City. The Plan aims to connect recreational areas with community facilities, historic and architecturally significant buildings, residential areas, and employment centers, and to reinforce the special identity of the area.

The Northeast Waterfront Historic District
Bounded by Union, Montgomery, Broadway, and The Embarcadero, the Northeast Waterfront Historic District is described in the City's Planning Code, and aims to preserve the basic characteristics of the area, while continuing vitality through private renewal and architectural creativity. Provisions in the Planning Code allow for development of vacant and incompatibly developed properties in accordance with the character of the Historic District.

Waterfront Land Use Plan
The Waterfront Land Use Plan and its accompanying Design and Access Element is the Port's official planning policy document. The Waterfront Plan sets forth land use policies for all property under the jurisdiction of the Port of San Francisco. The Plan's overarching objective is "Reuniting San Francisco with its Waterfront."

Waterfront Design and Access Element
The Plan's related Design & Access Element includes goals, policies and criteria which address urban design, public access, open space, city pattern and historic preservation.

Recreation and Open Space Element Update

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