Would extra road closings and beautified public areas get you again to a moribund downtown San Francisco? One enterprise group is betting so, however the plan remains to be largely aspirational and doesn’t but have a price ticket connected.
It’s nicely established that downtown San Francisco has seen anemic foot traffic throughout the pandemic, as a result of no one wants to go back to the office. And a really optimistic flip-side to that’s our exceptionally low COVID-19 death toll in comparison with different U.S. cities, so hey, perhaps that warning has paid off? Nonetheless, you possibly can’t assist however really feel for workers of the decimated downtown hospitality industry, and the employees at cafes, bánh mì outlets, and Monetary District bars whose incomes have been walloped by the lack of downtown staff.
Again in March, Mayor Breed tried some effort to get companies to pressure their staff into a “pledge” to return to the office, however the spread of Omicron subvariants rendered that effort an afterthought. But now the Chronicle experiences that one downtown Group Profit District (CBD) hopes to supply carrots somewhat than sticks to get folks again downtown, with an ambitious plan for “street closings and outdoor gathering spaces” in downtown SF.
The CBD is named Downtown San Francisco, and their press release announcing the plan calls “for reclaiming house in streets and alleyways to create a pedestrian paradise; bringing downtown’s distinctive asset of many privately owned public open areas to their full potential; including road timber, planters, and sidewalk vegetation in a district with restricted public parks, amongst many others.”
The Chronicle rightfully notes that this aspirational plan “was not created in partnership with metropolis management,” and provides that the teams pushing it haven’t stated “how a lot the plan would value if all of its proposals turned a actuality.” So it is principally only a parlor sport of theoretical renderings and concepts.
However the CBD Downtown SF has efficiently iterated on that holiday projection mapping effort final December, and the designs are from Sitelab Urban Studios, who designed the 5M office and condo project and the proposed Stonestown Galleria housing village, so these are credible folks.
The above map exhibits which particular spots they suggest to revitalize. Sure, they’re all within the Monetary District and instant surrounding areas. However that is the realm inside Downtown SF’s CBD district, so that’s the space you’d anticipate them to advocate for.
However with all of those proposals for “financial revitalization” and “activating areas,” COVID-19 is still in charge here. Fairly up downtown all you need, folks aren’t going again to places of work in giant numbers till the pandemic is underneath management — and workplace work could also be one thing of a couple-days-a-week phenomenon going ahead anyway.
We will “reimagine” downtown all we would like, it nonetheless could also be years earlier than downtown seems something prefer it did three years in the past. And none of those rebound plans ever appear to take that into consideration a lot.
Picture: Downtown SF