The GrowSF Report: Car-free Hayes survives for another summer
PLUS: Downtown office demand surging, driven by AI startups
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of July 24, 2023:
- Car-free Hayes survives for another summer
- Downtown office demand surging, driven by AI startups
- Assault on elderly Asian woman
- Ikea’s mid-Market problems
- New outdoor market this summer at Crane Cove Park
- A behind-the-scenes look at Recology
- Seven more reasons to Dump Dean Preston
Car-free Hayes survives for another summer
San Francisco’s “Shared Spaces” program, which makes streets available to pedestrians, diners, and people, has been an enduringly popular program. Residents, merchants, and revelers all say they love it. So it is good news that SFMTA’s plans to open Hayes Street to cars was stopped, according to Garrett Leahy at the Standard.
Supervisor Preston is claiming victory on this, but we think he’s overstating his role. In reality, the MTA ultimately answers to the Mayor, and it was the Mayor’s office who ordered MTA to halt their plans to end this popular program. We hope to see more Shared Spaces throughout the city in the coming years, and the political will to keep them running.
Downtown office demand surging, driven by AI startups
We are so back! With the huge explosion in new AI companies rising out of the ashes of the huge layoffs from big tech firms in the past year, there’s a sudden demand for downtown SF office space. GrowSF welcomes all the builders working on AI to San Francisco. And it’s not *just* AI companies, but life science, too!
Mayor London Breed said it’s not just artificial intelligence companies, the city is also attracting life science firms needing laboratory space.
“There are at least 10 companies now in search of almost a million square feet of office space as we speak”
If you don’t have a Bloomberg subscription, try reading this archived copy.
Assault on elderly Asian woman
An 88-year-old Asian Woman sustained life-threatening injuries when she was kicked in an unprovoked attack last Friday. The suspect in this case, Oakland resident James Lee Ramsey, is believed to be the same individual who attacked Oakland Chinatown leader Carl Chan two years ago. Ramsey was convicted in the 2021 attack, but was released on probation in 2022, writes Han Li at the Standard.
Previous reporting identified Ramsey as homeless, and diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The inability of our leadership in SF, Oakland, and throughout the Bay to address the homelessness epidemic and untreated mental illness has consequences.
Ikea’s mid-Market problems
Given the dire situation of San Francisco’s mid-Market stretch, one would think our elected officials would be working overtime to help the neighborhood and draw in new businesses. But one would be wrong.
Unfortunately, according to Liz Lindqwister at The Standard, ongoing safety concerns and maddening delays by the SF Department of Building Inspection (DBI) have kept the new mid-Market Ikea shuttered, with the company now saying the store should open by the end of 2023. The original opening date was fall 2021.
With customers turned off from the mid-Market area due to the open-air drug dealing and use, crime, and filth, businesses are finding fewer reasons to invest in the area — especially when the City keeps putting up the same old roadblocks. This same crisis led to the recent closure of a marquee Whole Foods in the area. The city needs to do all it can to attract these businesses, not turn them away with delays to permits, onerous demands, and long timelines.
New outdoor market this summer at Crane Cove Park
Crane Cove Park in the Dogpatch will feature a new outdoor market this summer! The market will be open from 11 AM to 5 PM on these Sundays: August 6th, September 2nd, October 28th, and November 19th.
The Dogpatch was recently named as one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world, and these markets will certainly bolster that reputation! Go check them out!
A behind-the-scenes look at Recology
See some cool details on what happens to your trash, after it is collected! There is so much to our modern world that we don’t see, and this Twitter thread provides a cool view into part of it.
Seven more reasons to Dump Dean Preston
We’re almost through our 30 reasons!
Reason #22: Dean Preston’s policies promote private security over public safety
Reason #23: He hates the Blue Angels (hey, not everything needs to be serious! 😅)
Reason #24: Dean Preston still supports recalled School Board member Gabriela López
Reason #25: Dean Preston backed Alison Collins after her racist anti-Asian tweets
Reason #26: Dean opposes merit-based admission at Lowell
Reason #27: Dean has never stated support for 8th grade algebra
Reason #28: Dean Preston opposed the Chesa Boudin recall
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Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
Affordable Housing: A Right or a Privilege?
How does Mayor Breed's "Housing for All" initiative enable the building of 82,000 homes in the next eight years?
What is the "Housing Element"? Why is this important? How many homes have we built in the past eight years? What are the consequences of not meeting our housing production goals?
Learn all this and more!
WHEN: August 9th, 2023 at 6:00pm - 7:30pm (Doors open at 5:30pm)
WHERE: Southeast Community Center, 1550 Evans Ave
The Spirit of San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city and the Bay Area. Here’s what makes it great. Brought to you by The Bold Italic.
What we’re doing this week
Church of 8 Wheels
As we ramp up our coverage of family-friendly content this summer, The Bold Italic heads back to the Church of 8 Wheels this week. This place is fun for all ages and also very San Francisco: a roller disco inside what was a church. It’s also a Burning Man group, which feels appropriate since that’s fast upon us, too.
What we’re writing about
Why I’m not leaving San Francisco
SF has been my home for 54 years, and I don’t see that changing. But people say they’re leaving all the time; in fact it’s so ubiquitous as to spawn many jokes over the years. So why am I staying?
Che Fico is a restaurant reborn post-pandemic
Much changed in pandemic — for the entire industry, of course. But Che Fico used the time to make some major shifts, with a rehaul that ranged from huge salary increases and equitable pay, to taking far less reservations for a more reasonable pace for their team. Among the most noticed was a 10 percent fee that diners now pay. We talked to owner David Neyfield about why that and other changes were both positive and necessary.
Rolling through the Bay — one toothpick at a time
Scott Weaver’s thousands of toothpicks create a surreal, hilarious sculpture of San Francisco. From the Lombard Street, cable cars and the Golden Gate Bridge — the pieces that started it all — to Japantown’s Peace Pogoda and the Ferry Building clock tower, it all jumps out at you quickly, making it pleasantly overwhelming. See this one with your kids.
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