Posted by: BayAreaComRE | July 13, 2010

City Place for Mid-Market Gets the Green Light

The south side of Market Street between 5th and 6th Street is going to get a much needed upgrade thanks to S.F. planning committee approving a redevelopment plan for the block. “In a 5-2 Planning Commission vote to approve the project, concerns about parking at the center were outweighed by the prospect of renovating a long-neglected section of Market Street between Fifth and Sixth streets. “While it’s more parking than we like, it’s not a lot of parking for this type of development,” said Commissioner Gwyneth Borden. (SF Gate)”

According to the website, the developer David Rhoades is planning a “five-level building with approximately 250,000 square feet of new retail space…[filled with] balanced retail choices that cater to San Francisco’s entire economic spectrum.”

Construction on the center has not yet been scheduled, but demolition of the existing building can begin after the final details of development are sorted out. “Construction plans call for the developer to raze three boarded-up buildings, including the old St. Francis Theater, and replace them with a five-level, 90-foot-high, glass-fronted building. The two-level underground garage will be accessible from Stevenson Street, behind the development.”

“We want to put something on that block of Market Street that would activate the street,” Rhoades said. “We want to attract tenants who will sell more affordable goods, electronics, sporting goods and other things not generally found downtown.”

Mid-Market has had a long track record of being a blighted stretch in downtown San Francisco, but it seems that there is a concerted effort by the planning commission to reverse that. Mayor Gavin Newsome outlined in January steps he’s hoping to take to revitalize the neighborhood including:

  • The formation of a “Central Market partnership” between the Redevelopment Commission, Department of Public Works, and “neighborhood stakeholders” to revitalize the area;
  • The imminent creation of a $11.5 million pool available for low-interest  loans to area business that will create a “cultural district” in the area as well as federal loans from HUD;
  • Tax incentives for historic rehabilitation projects in the area;
  • A cavalcade of speeches from area restaurateurs and artistic groups who really, really want to do business in the neighborhood.

While the process is slow, we are always glad to see progress at all, especially in the tougher neighborhoods.

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