Ferry Building Copycats Won't Succeed: Urban Planner

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    The historic Ferry Building in San Francisco.

    Last week the Wall Street Journal caught up with a number of Ferry Building wannabes in the Bay Area, concluding essentially that no one can top the original.

    The copycats are already in or coming to Napa, Oakland, and Santa Rosa (launching in 2013) and they have gone the Ferry Building route but either haven't met with the same success, or will do so with some difficulty.

    Says an urban planning consultant: "People have convinced themselves that it will work without really understanding why." Why does ours work? Maybe because it's at the cosmic nexus of the FiDi, the waterfront, and a ton of transit.