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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  November 2, 2019 2:00am-3:01am PDT

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as not a lot of control exercised over chinatown for a long time largely for bad reasons the neighborhood was largely written off by the city. but that allowed a lot of diverse tastes to flourish there. and i think it would be a shame to try to choke off the same thing happening in other neighborhoods. so please support this project and reject the discretionary review. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> i'm hillary, i live in glen park. for my public comment i would like to read from an article that appeared on sf gate in december of last year. it's called owner explains why he's expanding his entire everywhere but sf. born and raised in san francisco has grown up and no longer feels welcome at home. closed the store in the castro after the lease expired but he's given up looking for new locations in the city and moving on. he has a total of 50 sandwich shops including out lets
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in arizona nevada and texas and opened three more in recent weeks but in san francisco there's only one remaining so why is the sam women shop doing so well outside the -- sandwich shop outside the city? permitting gridlock made sf too expensive for small business owners. most small businesses can't endure a year of paying rent or waiting for permits before allowed to start making money. another problem is by san francisco standards, it is considered formula retail. this triggers additional red tape such as 30-day comment period. it took two years to open, i know what i'm doing, he said, if it wasn't for the city i could have opened in 60 days and i know that because we opened in oakland in 60 days. he says the system is set up so only formula brands like starbucks can withstand a year of rent without generating revenue. in other states
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they are having issues with vacancy so they are making it easier. san francisco is doing the opposite. i was going to say all these things and i realized i read an article that said the exact same thing. please don't take this discretionary review. and support the flying falafal. i just had one coming in and it was delicious. >> next speaker. >> i'll try to be fast because it's late. i ask you to approve the project. i assume you will because this is unexceptional. i shall not be here. [indiscernable] more red tape. we hear there's a retail crisis. so i ask you please stop the discretionary review process so i don't have to
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come again next time a business opens. thank you. have a good night. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> my name is sam and i support approving this project. first and foremost, the new restaurant on castro street will be a big win for the local economy. it will create jobs at the restaurant and among its suppliers that will raise tax revenue for the city to use on education healthcare and fighting the homelessness crisis. it will create more choices for consumers and generate foot traffic for the other businesses in the neighborhood. but more important than any of those things approving this project sends a strong message. the zoning code is supposed to protect people from congestion, pollution and unsafe building practices. it's not supposed to be an excuse for special interests to seek out their own narrow concerns. and yet the only reason we are here tonight is because a business is trying to keep a competing business off its turf and we
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should stand up to that and rather than wall off our neighborhoods we should welcome businesses eager to invest in the community. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> good evening commissioners. steven. we've built a system of government that's undemocratic, uninformed and fully captured by special interests. this discretionary review is an abuse of process that's supposed to serve underrepresented members of our community not business owners who want to keep out the competition. i support flying falafel because i believe in entrepreneurial america where small business people can pursue their dreams. an america that doesn't foster bad behavior, that welcomes shops on every corner. i
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urge this commission to say no to capitalism, special interests capturing the regulatory process. instead say yes to competition yes to small business, say yes to capitalism that serves the community. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> i'm jeremy london from liberal. i'm a proud san francisco resident of 15 years. i'm a homeowner here. and i think we need to allow for more in our economy. while there might be reasons to require these kinds of reviews for certain things, i think it's obvious that this isn't one of them as my associates spoke earlier, i want to cosign on their comments about how this is a abuse of the process. but speaking more broadly and i think most of you know our economy is transitioning away from a as
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much retail i think we all know, we are overretailed. why? because we know the economy of retail is moving more and more online, especially for the types of residents who tend to live in neighborhoods like the castro. we need to allow for this kind of flexibility to allow our businesses and our space to accommodate for how the economy changes. we can't letting away economic change or growth nor should we. we shouldn't mandate retail when retail might not be viable anymore. we shouldn't mandate full service restaurants when full service restaurants might not be viable anymore. and many of the reasons why full restaurants aren't viable anymore because of labor cost which is tied to our housing crisis. we should enable businesses to adapt to the challenges that businesses face. it's hard to own a small business in san francisco and requiring months and hours and
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months and hours and people waiting here to give public comment just so you can open a business is simply unjust. thank you. >> next speaker please. >> please approve this project so we can achieve our dream of falafel shops on every corner. i would like to submit this into the public record as evidence of the future that we want. so small businesses have it hard in san francisco. small businesses are being hit from all sides with sky-high commercial rents the highest costs of living in the country and an insane permitting process. this created a problem with vacant storefronts in many neighborhoods including the castro that threatens the vitality of our commercial district. this discretionary
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review is completely bonkers. there's nothing special about two middle eastern restaurants on the same block. that's just called a city. transparent self interested anticompetitive behavior should not be tolerated. our policies should not be abused for private practice. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> my name is gupta. what all my friends before me have spoken about the economic reasons why the shop should be allowed to go ahead. i support all of those. but i would also like to speak about the benefits of having the flying falafe which is a store that i am a patron of for a number of years. i'm a vegetarian and have been for a while now. and at the same time, i love middle eastern
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food and mediterranean food which stands to be extremely meat heavy and i haven't been able to have a good gyro in a long time. they have the kind of options that are not available at most gyro shops. they have options that include meat substitutes as well as falafel and they are all extremely delicious and i very often have picked up a pita with fake meat, which is almost as good as the real thing from the flying falafel in berkeley. a year ago my brother visited me from seattle bringing his one-year-old daughter, my niece who at that age was not able to eat many things. she was very picky doesn't like things with odd textures. so we were trying hard to figure out what it was she would enjoy eating so we walked into the restaurant in berkeley and picked up a huge box of every one of their
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available options and that day she sat down and ate each of them. she didn't leave a single scrap on the plate. so for my sake and for the sake of my niece please approve, let the flying falafel open another shop. >> thank you. anyone else want to publicly comment in support of the project? seeing none, dr requester, do you have a rebuttal? . >> jeremy on behalf of gyro express. falafel got this case here but it's not about falafel. we welcome the flying falafel to the neighborhood. there's a vacant food service place right across the street. i hope they choose to
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open there or somewhere down the block. what this case is about i'm going to quote one of the speakers in opposition to this dr. he said, we shouldn't enable retail when retail is not viable anymore. i'm not willing to accept that. that is what this is really about. is retail viable? if retail is viable it's going to need quality retail spaces for them to go into. this space at 463 castro is the last really good retail space available on that block. and it needs to be preserved for a retail user. and we welcome the flying falafel to be it it fourth falafel business elsewhere on this block. thank you. >> thank you. sponsor would you like a rebuttal as well? okay. we'll close that hearing.
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commissioner richards. >> in the six years i've been on this commission, we've only heard two change of use drs. the other was filed by a woman who you may know named sonia. she filed it on the laundromat on octavia market. that business had closed and started questioning this whole change change of use stuff. i think asked the director after we've been talking about this retail thing for many, many years now. in fact, 13 years we do need to look at how and what the process is to have businesses go into our neighborhoods. because what worked in 1978 i think when the last real code was written probably needs to be updated or refreshed for 2019. i met mr. asaf
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in castro. let me just back up. the castro used to be a place where a lot of people went shopping. i mean a young gay boy, i would drive up from san jose and go to retail therapy and all these places that are no longer there. retail therapy is now a wells fargo bank. there used to be skin therapy which is now a human rights campaign fund. the list goes on and on and on. i sat on the community benefit district had a task force on retail landscape in the neighborhood. and i left that endeavor in 2014 when i actually came here on the planning commission. our neighbor -- this is my neighborhood. i live a block and a half away. i eat falafel a lot. i like rossy's now
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that mr. paul suggested i eat there because i talked to him about this. but our neighborhood is probably one of the worst places to go for any retail experience. the only retail experience left is cliff's. and i pretty much know everybody by name. and i say to staff, i'm back here for another f-ing trip to cliffs. they own the building and that's great because they are going to stay, and the family wants to stay. the rest of the retail landscape is i'm having a hard time thinking about where else there is retail. there's a rollo on market street. and i don't know, am i missing any? is that all that's left? okay knobs across the street. so i guess the question i have is we look at north beach. north beach has a high vacancy rate. we are
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supposed to have a 20 percent concentration of eating and drinking establishments which is the recommended number. we get something for north beach and i think they're at 75 percent eating and drinking establishments. i went to original joe's recently, i said let's go into a store and get something. we walked on grant street, green street. the only thing we found was city light folks was the only retail place left in north beach. that kind of thing is happening in the castro. i mean we are a retail desert, becoming a retail desert at this point. the neighborhood is in a death spiral. i think flying falafel would help us get out of the death spiral. i firmly believe we need it to come into the hood. i met mr. asaf for a cup of coffee at starbucks, one of the only formula retail we have there. before the voters decided
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we need to clampdown on it. and we talked. could you come up to the podium, please? when we talked, you indicated that you need a 100 square foot store. and after we had coffee at starbucks i said let's walk around the neighborhood and look at all the available 100-foot little places that are available and vacant. we went across 18th street for the shoe store used to be. walked up 18th street where the eyeglass shop used to be and then we found a place next to where you want to go in a parking driveway next to parkitos. if you want great food, try it. we had this conversation and you said these other spaces probably would be better because they are probably smaller maybe cheaper. one
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is already retrofitted for a restaurant. it was a restaurant and it's no longer there. and we talked about what you needed the subject property address. and you made a couple of calls to the folks that had available for rent signs were in the window, correct? and i said, well you probably need to call your real estate agent. he said she didn't find these spaces and they are literally right next door. do you recall this conversation? >> yeah. >> and i said -- i walked into the clothing store that was in the all american boy and it seemed to be thriving. and i said to you why not sublease the place to the person whoever had that pop-up store. it was pretty crowded. it was almost like all american boy was back. but it was all american everything women's and men's clothes.
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what was the situation around the pop-up store because it looked like it was successful and it looked like there were probably better locations. so can you tell us what happened to the pop-up store? >> i offered them to potentially continue. >> okay. >> and they didn't want to. >> they didn't. >> yeah. one of the reasons is i think some houseless person i think may have attacked one of their employees. i'm not sure. >> oh, really? >> yeah. >> so one question i don't see anybody else on the roll. if we -- i mean, planning and zoning serves a purpose. so north beach is just kind of dead because it's got too many restaurants and no retail. i want that to happen to our -- i don't want that to happen to your neighborhood but i think flying falafel would be a great addition. if we were to approve your -- not to
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approve your project today would you still move into the neighborhood? >> i would try. i would try to find a better. >> more appropriate space. >> another space. >> okay. do you feel there are enough other spaces that you could choose from? >> that i don't know. it's not as straightforward as just picking a vacant space. >> sure. >> so there's -- we would definitely try. >> okay. great. and i think the merchants would probably also assist, because i think you would be a great addition to the neighborhood. i also think some type of retail space in that location should stay because it's one of the last retail locations we have left. and i would love to hear what any other commissioners think but i'm starting to formulate we can have both flying falafel and a remaining retail space in the neighborhood,
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and we can all win. >> commissioner moore. >> i have a question for you. just looking at scenario that was just discussed between the two people couldn't the falafel store of that kind, that size be more quickly approved under a small business application? this could be done in weeks right? >> not really. this is a discretionary review based on a project that. >> can you turn the mic on? >> i'm saying if this wouldn't get approved in this location, he could come back and facilitate without dr. >> assuming he goes into another location that is permitted use by right as he is here, if it requires a change of use, he would go through 311. if it is an existing limited commercial or limited restaurant space he could go in without
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going through the notification process. >> and he could basically proceed. >> but he would have to find another location with the same use. this is a change of use. it's permitted by right. it's different from -- normally we are taking a use like this, it's a conditional use authorization, there are particular findings we are making. this is an unusual situation. this is a change of use 311 notification rarely are these are discretionary reviews filed on these. so in essence, it is a permed use by right -- permitted use by right. >> would anybody like to make a motion? >> commissioner richards. >> i'm not sure how commissioner fung feels. he hasn't weighed in. i'll wait to chime in after him. >> there's a lot of empty spaces.
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if he signed a lease, i'm supportive of it. >> so what would your motion be. >> i want to be on the wrong end of a motion. >> i make the motion to disapprove of the change of use. is there a second? >> i second that. i want to see where it goes. >> commissioners on the motion to take the dr and disapprove. [roll call] the motion fails 3-1 with commissioner fung voting against. is there an ultimate motion? can you explain if there is no alternative motion it is approved. >> that's right it's a principally permitted project. you could entertain another motion. >> i couldn't in good conscience continue
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this because he is paying renton this place. i don't want to -- renton on this place. he is being harmed financially. >> we'll take up the matter for 20141063 at 633 folsom street. this is an informational presentation. >> good evening commissioners. planning department staff. the item before you is an informational item about a public art component 633 folsom street. it is associated with a 12-story office building under construction which is expected to be completed in 2020. the project sponsor selected our project downfalls in a sculpture which is proposed in a
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space along folsom street. he is here to provide more information on the art and artist. this concludes my presentation. >> good evening commissioners. i'm jody from art source consulting in san francisco. i'm pleased to be presenting to a planning commission the public art for 633 folsom street. >> excuse me, ma'am. those persons leaving the room if you could do so quietly, we would certainly appreciate it. go ahead. >> our submittal which you have reviewed includes detailed background on the artist, a comprehensive budget zoning maps and information on the materials and fabrication. so today i'll present a brief overview. the company the project sponsor retained my company to retain public art requirement for 633 folsom street. this is a renovation project adding five stories
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onto an existing building. the project architect has completely redesigned the facade and its street level presence. construction is underway and on schedule. the building is topped out the facade is currently being installed. and the completion is scheduled for 2020. while the company has a requirement for public art the company will be investing $450,000 to realize this exciting piece of public art for the city of san francisco. i wanted to bring your attention to exactly where the site is. there was some question about
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where it is on this site. as you can see on this slide it's highlighted in green. as the art consultant we met with planning early on in the process for feedback about the site in particular as it pertains to public art. the strongest recommendation that was made by planning was the public art be situated in the popos along the folsom street side. they wanted to see the artwork allow for public engagement. after understanding the planned use we conducted extensive research into artists whose work was relevant to the site. our client's criteria was to engage an internationally recognized fine artist whose work would bring something new to san francisco. the artwork placement takes into consideration pedestrian traffic folsom street drive biviews and as well as -- drive by views and as well as building occupant views
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from above. after two rounds of narrowing down artists and reviewing proposal, the artist sam falls was selected. the process of artist design development was very collaborative with the architect as well as with plant the project contractor. so that the artwork can be seemlessly integrated into the popos. the sculpture is a monumental work of art that utilized granite and quoters. the -- quarts. each piece of steel represents two creative forces, photographer ansel and poet gary who had a strong influence on the artist and who spent time in the sierra. he designed the piece to engage the area in order to achieve a significant sculptural
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installation as well as be a catalyst by adding seating along the length of the upper side. i have a quote from sam falls. this work extrapolates previous sculptures i have completed that merge the designs minimalist art with the timelessness of nature for a site specific large-scale installation. the fundamental concept is to employ the architectural materials of stone and metal in such a way that the historical relationship is combined with a contemporary design and installation to highlight the passage of time and their environment. we are very pleased to be engaged in this exciting new addition of public art to the san francisco landscape and very much appreciate your time this evening. thank you. >> thank you very much. i had a speaker card. is jody here? >> that's me. >> okay. >> you heard from me. >> all right. thanks for that testimony.
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>> there's another speaker card. >> that's for general public comment. >> oh, is it? >> yeah. i got this. commissioners any comments? it's informational. thanks for that. commissioner fung. >> not necessarily totally pertinent question but i like the contrast of colors. the only thought i had when i first saw it was how thick is the steel? >> 5/8 of an inch. >> any issues with somebody falling on them? >> i mean, it's been pretty extensively examined with the architects and also with plant. the way it's designed, people can sit along the front side and then the metal comes flush up with the sides. >> i saw that it's fine. i like it.
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but the thought occurred to me about that. it's like at cpmc. for all their planning areas they use a metal edging that sticks up about four to six-inches and i'm thinking what if somebody slips and falls on it. >> yeah. the metal is very, it is sculptural, it's massive. one thing to consider is all the edges have been softened and the artist took care. a little bit. yeah. >> i like it. >> i'm glad. so do we. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> are we done? >> it's public comment. >> if we are we can move onto general
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public comment. come on up. >> yeah. so this is in regards to the conditional use at 458 gross street. >> can you speak to the mic a little more? >> yeah. so it's been more than a year. and it's up for review based on how the neighbors are feeling about it, how it's been going. i happen to live 25 feet stone's throw from the back patio. the conditional use is authorized until 10 p.m there's a lot of people that want bars, that want to drink outside. i get that. but i bet you none of those people want that bar in their backyard. their own backyard, right? so i'm putting my kid to sleep just tonight, 7:00, 8:00, we got noises coming into her room. and it's hard to put her to bed. it's been a burden on my family. and i would
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love to compromise on something like 8 p.m. all the other patios in the valley close at 8 p.m. at least we can do 9 p.m. that's all i'm asking for. >> thank you. >> [indiscernable] >> i understand. i would like to open it up for amendment at a later time. >> commissioner richards. >> can we make sure that -- because we just got a memo on burba today. so i want to make sure that the entertainment commission or whatever does its checks to make sure things don't get out of hand. i don't know that this gentleman here can request an amended cu. i don't know what the
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process is. if any member of the public can do that? >> maybe a little direction director. >> we can get a staff report and based on the staff report you could call back the conditional use. >> thank you. >> do we have a motion for that or just ask you? . >> have a seat, we are going to figure it out. >> have staff make a presentation an updated presentation. the commission can request that. >> put it on the calendar. >> did you have something to say? okay. formally request that on the record?.
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>> she wrote it. she's right there. >> [off mic]. >> so can you please stay in touch with ms. tran, and she will give us a report, and then we will at some point try and calendar literally a hearing for this. >> okay. thank you gentlemen. >> you're welcome. and we are done. [please standby]
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take pictures of the view of the city that you soon went forgot. our first look out and at buena vista park san francisco heavily forested hill with couples and doing walkers it's as old as the near neighbor golden gate park and both have a coast live oak forest and fresh in retreat from urban life and meanders under a canopy of oaks yup lipid u.s. and chill out in this pleasant and quiet environment and you might see butter nice and dandelion and is squirrels hundred dollaring for their next meal and buena vista park is 88
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good morning everybody. i am the general manager of this beautiful new grand hyatt. it is my pleasure to welcome you to our new hotel here. we are so proud to be here. it is a privilege to introduce a true labor of love not only for grandhyatt but for the entire construction team and the city of san francisco. as many special guests i want to acknowledge. of course the san francisco mayor, london breed. welcome. thank you for being here. airport director. thank you for being here as well. we have some airport commissioners. it is a pleasure having you here. hyatt's purpose is to care for people so they can be their
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best. it is our incredible team standing all-around here going to make this come to life. i couldn't be more proud of this team having opened this amazing building. [applause.] >> i want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for what they have done and what is to come in this amazing knowledge. we will welcome so many amazing guests from around the world and our local community, of course. we look forward to welcoming all of you to our beautiful hotel in the future. without anything further i would like to welcome mr. pete sears group president of hyatt for the americas. [applause.] >> good morning. thank you all for joining us on this very special occasion.
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on behalf of the hyatt family, we are so proud today alongside with our partners and supporters to help make this happen today. director saterro. arts commission and mayor breed and so many others. i would like to thank you for your support and trust over the last few years. the cooperation and collaboration between hyatt and sfo is nothing short of amazing. i want to thank you. i couldn't be prouder to be a partner. thank you. (applause). i would also like to congratulate and thank henning and this amazing team with the hotel for a very short period of time. the beauty of this remarkable building is self-evident. it is this team that will bring
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it to life. you will see hundreds of thousands of guests in the building every day. your spirit will bring that to life. we are with you and congratulations. [applause.] grand hyatt and sfo is one of the most highly anticipated projects through the bold and vibrant design and architecture the hotel tells the story of the evolution of air travel with the northern california spirit. we are very thrilled to introduce the grand hyatt brand to sfo. we know it will be a tremendous success. this is evident from my recent travel in asia. i had a number of questions about the grand hyatt at the san francisco airport. it is good news there is a lot of interest and a lot of people looking for the success of this
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hotel. hyatt was founded in 1957 with airport hotels with the goal of making air travel more comfortable and more convenient. 60 years later we are thrilled to partner with sfo with the shared goal to lead the world in air travel experiences. grand hyatt hotels are all over the world with new york and tokyo. they reflect the unique culture of each location by celebrating destination and delivering moments of more. we are to celebrate with you and our visitors everything that making san francisco the greatest and most iconic city in the world and what makes sfo the greatest airport in the world. thank you for being with us to support this new hotel. we look forward to welcoming you in these doors shortly. thank you all.
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(applause). >> opening hotels is a difficult task. thanks to you, we did it. we were part of an sfo community. that is very special. it is my pleasure to welcome the leader of this amazing community up to the podium. [applause.] >> is this this is an incredibly exciting day for us, and mayor london breed, thank you for being here to celebrate the ribbon-cutting. our commissioners and vice president of the commission rich animal come. it is -- and it is unfortunate the president of the commission wasn't able to make it. i have to acknowledge the incredible leadership and persistence larry showed over
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the years to have an incredible hotel at a world class airport. we owe larry a debt of gratitude if we can give him a big round of applause. [applause.] this is a vision, the culmination of a vision from 30 years ago when we tore down the previous hotel to make room for the construction. i think about the desire to get here. today is the date and it is exciting. you can see just how incredible the design is and how incredible the care for the passengers is. i brought my mom here for a latte on sunday and had to show off the total. the hyatt team was caring and gracious and took good care of us. we thank you for that. the food offerings.
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we hope this will be a destination. the food is incredible. you have to meet the chef. no one more more park -- i think about the care of the community this hotel represents. we had over 1500 construction workers involved in the construction of this hotel. it provides up to 300 new permanent jobs for the community. it is a major economic benefit. we are pleased to have san mateo county supervisor per visor. thank you for being here. it is such an important part of our community. thinking about the care of the community. this is a lead gold hotel. it is 30% more efficient than baseline hotels.
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it is very important to the city and airport and very important to hyatt. i have so many things to give. thankings to the airport team. incredible work. [applause.] tire less work. mckr construction managers. i have to thank the hyatt. what an incredible partner. pete jordan henning. without henning the last six months wouldn't have come about as they have today. thank you for your tire less work as well. we want to thank web core builders. wsp on the air train station. we are proud to be here. 30 years in the making. thank you all for being here. let's hear from our mayor.
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i am so proud. here is mayor london breed. [applause.] >> you do the work i cut the ribbon. first of all let me just say i am excited to be here today. i remember when i was on the board of supervisors and we approved the believe of this new hotel -- the building of this new hotel. we worked with mayor ed lee. he was here during the groundbreaking and would have been so proud of this major accomplishment. what is so exciting today is that no only do we celebrate opening the hotel. it is a new milestone in the future of sfo and what it will
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deliver for millions who come through those gates on a regular basesis. the fact this is so close to the airport, connections through air tran and how people will come here to stay here in order to get to the airport on time in the mornings, it is going to be an incredible persons. especially people who come from all over to the take flights. i want to thank the project managers construction team, people who worked on delivering this hotel on time and budge get. almost on budget and the hard work you put into really making this a beautiful place for each and every one of us. i hope to stop by. i heard about the restaurants
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and the food is supposed to be absolutely incredible. what is being offered here is definitely an example of what you would get all over san francisco. i know we are not directly in the city and county of san francisco. we have an opportunity to make sure a taste of san francisco is experienced right here in sfo. i am excited about that and the fact this is such an incredible environmentally friendly hotel with the solar roof panels charging stations for electric vehicles. we thought about everything in the future of what hotels should be like all over the country. not to mention the incredible artwork to really represent the bay area here is a true testament to a great partnership
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between the client and the city of san francisco. i do want to take a moment to acknowledge the work that was done to do outreach to higher people from this community to work in this hotel. the outreach that is continuing to happen to reach out to people to work in this hotel. yes, we are still hiring. the office of economic and work force development put out an announcement today to outreach to communities to let people know that we are open for business looking for great local workers and what an incredible thing to do today. i am excited to cut this ribbon, to get this place opened and to make sure we are making money to pay to san francisco so we can continue to do all of the
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support we provide and thank you all for your work, partner ship and this incredible milestone here today. thank you. (applause). >> thank you mayor. may i have the speakers up on the stage to cut the ribbon. five four three, two, one. (applause)
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>> in 201,755.7 million passengers traveled through san francisco international airport. we have on average 150,000 people traveling through the airport every day. flying can be stressful so we have introduced therapy dogs to make flying more enjoyable. the wag brigade is a partnership between the airport and the san francisco therapy animal assistant program to bring therapy animals into the airport into the terminals to make passenger travel more enjoyable. i amgen fer casarian and i work
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here at san francisco international airport. the idea for therapy dogs got started the day after 9/11. an employee brought his therapy dog to work after 9/11 and he was able to see how his dog was able to relieve passenger's jitter. when we first launched the program back in 2013, our main goal was to destress our passengers however what we quickly found is that our animals were helping us find a way to connect with our pang. passengers. we find there are a lot of people traveling through the airport who are missing their pets and who are on their road a lot and can't have pets and we have come in contact with a lot of people recently who have lost pet. >> i love the wag brigade.
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>> one of my favorite parts is walking into the terminals and seeing everybody look up from their device, today everybody is interacting on their cell phone or laptop and we can walk into the terminal with a dog or a pig and people start to interact with each other again and it's on a different level. more of an emotional level. >> i just got off an 11.5 hour flight and nice to have this distraction in the middle of it. >> we look for wag brigade handlers who are comfortable in stressful situations. >> i like coming to airport it's a lot of fun and the people you talk to are generally people who are missing their dogs. >> they are required to compete
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a certification process. and they are also required to complete a k9 good citizen test and we look for animals who have experienced working with other orgsorganizations such as hospitals and pediatric units and we want to be sure that the animals we are bringing into the airport are good with children and also good with some of our senior travelers. i think toby really likes meeting kids. that is his favorite thing. he likes to have them pet him and come up to him and he really loves the kids. >> our wag brigade animals can be spotted wearing custom vets and they have custom patches. >> there is never a day that repeats itself and there is never and encounter that repeats itself. we get to do a maximum good in a
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small stretch of time and i have met amazing people who have been thrilled to have the interaction. >> the dogs are here seven days a week, we have 20 dogs and they each come for a two hour shift. >> there is a lot of stress when people have traveling so to from these animals around to ease the stress and help people relax a little bit. i think it's great. >> one of our dogs has special need and that is tristine. he wears a wheel around. >> he has special shoes and a harness and we get it together in the parking lot and then we get on the air train. he loves it. little kids love him because he is a little lower to the ground
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so easy to reach and he has this big furry head they get to pet and he loves that. >> he doesn't seem to mind at all. probably one of the happiest dogs in the world. >> many people are nervous when they travel but seeing the dogs is just a wonderful relief. >> what i absolutely love most about it is the look on people's faces so whenever they are stressed and flying is stressful these days you get these wonderful smile. >> i am the mom of lilo the pig and she is san francisco's first therapy pig. >> lilo joined the wag brigade as our first first pig. >> wag brigade invited us to
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join the program here and we have done it about a year-and-a-half ago. our visits last 1.5 to 2 hours and it does take a little bit longer to get out of the terminal because we still get a lot of attention and a lot of people that want to interact with lilo. >> i feel honored to be part of the wag brigade. it's very special to meet so many people and make so many feel happy and people that work here. it's been a great experience for me and a great experience for to to toetoby. >> it's been an extremely successful program so the next time you are here, stop by and say hi.
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