I'm just double-checking everything on the map and in the article, and it will all be up tomorrow! Each of the colored lots on the map is actually a link to a window with more information about each property -- you can see a bigger version at my Flickr page. I am pretty excited for this to finally drop.
Update: The story has been published!Posted by Susie Cagle on 03/10/10
A fair bit has changed on mid-Market since I began reporting this story back in September. One of the biggest changes has been Pearl Paint's closing just a couple weeks ago at 969 Market Street. Pearl had been there for years, a bright spot of retail on a block that is heavily boarded up and abandoned. Now the successful chain Blick Art Supplies is moving in at 989 Market, just a couple storefronts south. There's also been some other tenancy flux throughout the area, but the vacancy rate still hovers around 30 percent.
One of the things I noticed the most walking up and down Market Street for a few hours this week was the flow of the area and its functions, and how these will play into its revitalization. Though they're currently boarded up, and have been for years, retail in the 900-block buildings between 5th and 6th has much more of a chance at succeeding if the neighborhood can erase the invisible line that cuts Market at 5th, just south of the Westfield Plaza and the heavily trafficked cable car turn-around shopping area. On the southern end of the neighborhood, where there are more SROs and bigger, emptier office buildings, Trinity and Crescent Heights will someday dominate with new condos (and hopefully at least some affordable housing). There are also other empty lots down here that, I think, are likely to see new construction and development within the next 20 years or so, such as the condemned Strand theater and its adjoining lot.
I think all these particularities of the place will be even easier to see on the interactive map we'll be publishing on Monday with the article. I'm really excited about this, it's not something I've ever done before and I think it will complement the story well.
And again, thank you so much to everyone who has donated for far!
Posted by Susie Cagle on 03/05/10
(Pictured: St. Francis Theaters, the Art in Storefronts project and the future site of CityPlace. Photo credit David Cohn.)
Thanks so much to everyone who has donated lately! We're so close to full funding, and I'm really inspired by the fact that other people are just as curious about this problem as I am. Mid-Market has been in the news a lot lately -- from Proposition D last November, when I originally finished my first draft for the Panorama, to Gavin Newsom's latest declaration to turn the neighborhood around, plus juicy pieces in the Chronicle and the SF Public Press. My goal is to make this story interesting to people who aren't necessarily familiar with the Mid-Market travails of the last century, and hopefully even those who don't live in the Bay Area.
This is a story I've been wondering about since I first moved to the Tenderloin from Brooklyn in February 2008. My neighborhood seemed like an illogical flaw on the face of a city with astronomical rents, miniscule vacancy rates and such a liberal political reputation. Why would such prime real estate be overrun with crime and filth? Why did the corner of Turk and Larkin consistently smell like black mold?
The stretch of Market between 5th and 10th was particularly troubling, and downright odd. Just from looking at it you could tell this was once a grand boulevard lined with gorgeous architecture and stately theatres. I wasn't even yet wondering what had gone wrong: my first thought was, why hasn't anyone fixed this?
When I first set out to report this story in mid-September, I and my editors presumed the fault lay squarely with absentee landlords who bought investments properties and then didn't care enough to find tenants. What I discovered was a much more richly textured tapestry of problems than I ever would've imagined.Posted by Susie Cagle on 12/09/09