The Golden Gate Flyer 

"Helping House the Homeless"

Why the Golden Gate Flyer?

As a native San Franciscan who has lived in The City and the Bay Area my entire life just sitting around and lamenting over the skyrocketing cost of housing in SF and the Bay Area was no longer an option. Way too many people, including friends, were being priced out of the city I love. The bohemian, artistic, quirky, and just plain normal folks who contribute to making San Francisco the 'second favorite city' of so many tourists around the globe are leaving in droves. The upward pressure on housing costs caused, in part, by the San Francisco Bay Area's booming economy is in danger of 'killing the goose that laid the golden egg'. 

Worse, a perfect storm of high housing costs, coupled with an ever increasing income disparity among the rich and poor, has resulted in a homeless crisis that has been increasing for the past decade and with no end in sight.

I decided to do something that would help raise money to build innovative and cost effective long-term housing for the San Francisco Bay Area's most vulnerable population, the homeless, and formed The Golden Gate Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation whose Vision statement is simply; "Housing the Homeless".  

Our first project, The Golden Gate Flyer, will generate enough revenue each year to build up to 500  ShelterHome© units per year. (Click on the ShelterHome page of this website for a more complete description of this new and innovative type of housing.) 

Our foundation co-chair, John Proctor, and I conceived of the ShelterHome© concept after over a year of studying how cities and regions around the country and world have historically responded to the challenge of building shelter and homes for the formally homeless. Shelter Homes will cost less than half of what traditionally designed housing costs as well as create a safe and nuturing environment for previously homeless folks to re-build their lives, re-integrate into society, and no longer lead lives of quiet desperation. 

As a retired Architect, building things and creating compelling experiences has always been part of my DNA. Riding on the London Eye was an amazing experience and when considering ways to build more affordable housing, building the tallest observation Ferris wheel in the world seemed a fantastic way to generate excitement, create a new and compelling experience for visitors to San Francisco, and be an effective fundraising vehicle for the Foundation.

Innovative and creative companies from an incredibly diverse number of industries have made the San Francisco Bay Area one of the most sought after places to live. These companies attract the best and the brightest individuals from around the globe who want to work and live in such a vibrant, creative, and beautiful place.  These are the companies and individuals who will support our Foundation.

The Golden Gate Flyer venue will be designed, built, and operated by world renowned firms with proven expertise in designing, building, and operating large observation wheels and world class tourist venues.  It will be built to the highest standards of sustainability including LEED Platinum certification. Transportation to it's Treasure Island venue will largely be via a high speed ferry and use of private vehicles will be discouraged.

The Golden Gate Flyer; Will be the worlds tallest observation ferris wheel. With 36 luxurious climate controlled capsules, it will set a new standard for observation wheels around the world.

The Golden Gate Exhibition Hall; located at the base of The Flyer, will recall the glorious exhibition halls of the 1939 Worlds Fair for which Treasure Island, a man made island, was originally built.  It will give our corporate sponsors a venue for showcasing the history of their development in the Bay Area, and their latest products and breakthroughs, to millions of visitors each year.

The 500 seat IMAX theater; will feature film premieres, iconic IMAX films, documentaries, and provide a venue for local and independent film makers, product launches, conferences, music and theater performances and all types of special events.

The Experience Theater; will take visitors on a 4D virtual reality tour, 'Bay Flight, of all nine bay area counties, from the Napa to the Silicon Valleys. This 4D film experience will be produced by, directed by, and star world class producers, directors, and actors, with roots in the Bay Area.

Exposition Park; the over 2-1/2 acre Golden Gate Flyer site will be transformed into a 'terra formed' park with sculpture garden, water features, 150 person amphitheater, meandering footpaths, butterfly habitat, and lush landscaping. A place for workers, residents and visitors to enjoy all year long.

The Clipper Spar; a 200' long public landscaped pier connecting The Flyer to Clipper Cove.  A beautiful overlook to Clipper Cove and a place for contemplation and taking in views of Yerba Buena, The City, and The Golden Gate Flyer itself.

The Treasure Island Site  

Already a popular tourist destination, famous for it's incredible views of San Francisco and The Golden Gate Bridge, it is now being redeveloped into a new mixed use 'sustainable' neighborhood of San Francisco. Eventually 20,000 folks will call Treasure Island home.  A new high speed ferry service will help reduce traffic on the Bay Bridge and also provide fast and convenient transport to The Golden Gate Flyer. 

The Golden Gate Flyer will become one of the Bay Areas most visited attractions.  It will be on the must see list of both visitors and those of us lucky enough to call the Bay Area home.  The Flyer's design is an expression of the exuberance and creativity off both the historic and contemporary character of the San Francisco Bay Area. More importantly, it will generate millions of dollars each year that will result in the construction and rehabilitation of thousands of affordable homes

Click on the links below to watch videos that will give you a better idea of the housing challenges we are facing  in the San Francisco Bay Area.

It was after watching Million Dollar Shack that I felt a compelling need to not just complain about the problem, but to do something about it.

Gordon Crespo
San Francisco
September 18, 2016