Saturday, July 09, 2011

Market Street's Three Gaping Holes

Our city's main artery from just after 5th Street heading up toward the Castro has long been in decline, and in desperate need of retail shops, art galleries and performance spaces, not to mention more people patronizing the area.

I recently snapped pix of three gaping holes along Market Street, because they're impossible to miss. All of them are prime real estate locations and over the years, I've heard various business deals were either fully-approved or near-ready for construction, and before the economy slid into a recession, too. Still, the lots remain empty and a blight on the urban landscape.

Label me one San Francisco resident who would love to see the full-length of the Market Street corridor alive with diverse businesses and arts venues, affordable housing complexes and assorted populations enjoy the street. Maybe a few of the mayoral candidates can address concerns about Market Street, as they campaign for votes.

When the dozen or so two- and three-story buildings at Market and 10th Streets were bulldozed about five-years ago, there was talk that an mixed-used building comprising office space and retail venues would soon be erected. Across 10th Street, in the former SF Mart building, will be eventually be occupied by Twitter and that may spur development of this empty space.

This lot next to the LGBT community center, situated on Market between Octavia and Laguna Street, has seen construction start-and-stop at least twice in the last six-years. A huge blue crane, outside the left side of the frame, towers over the site and is routinely rotated frequently left hanging over Market Street. At the lowest level is a small pond. I believe the lot was supposed to turn into condos, with maybe a few stores on the street level.

At the intersection of Market, 16th and Noe Streets is where you'll find this hole. It's remained vacant for decades, except during select years when it has been a Christmas tree lot at holiday time.

The last report I could locate on anything happening here comes from a January 2010 post at Curbed SF:

Though local paper Castro Courier had reported that Upper Market's "hole in the ground" project at 2299 Market was on "indefinite hold" due to (what else?) financing issues, the Duboce Triangle Newsletter said in their most recent issue that the five-story, 18-unit project is actually rumbling forward. 

Whatever. The usual lack of development or construction surrounds this hole, which has been vacant since 1981.


Michael Zonta said...

The first property you mention at 10th and Market is supposed to break ground next month for market rate housing. It's called Crescent Heights.

I don't know anything about the property next to the LGBT Center but keep hoping something happens there too.

If the property at 16th and Noe is going forward as you indicate that the Duboce Triangle Newsletter says, why is there a "for sale" sign on the fence?

I'm part of a group of citizens interested in mid-Market and we meet once a month (starting again in September). It is coordinated by Amy Cohen from the Mayor's Office of Economic Development and her email is

I'll forward this blog on to her.

Michael said...

hi michael,

please keep me posted on the meetings for mid-market issues, when they start up again in the fail.

my friend kimo crossman, a wonderful good govt and sunshine advocate and all-round nice guy, also mentioned contacting ms. cohen. here's kimo's note:

I think another hole is that they did not get the Redevelopment funds in the current CA budget hoped so a lot of work proposed to make it an art or entertainment district - particularly one that can compete with Oakland seems untenable.

Ask Amy Cohen for Mayor's office of Economic and Workforce Development for comment