Ah, Mid-Market, our beloved new district for city development. I mean, Curbed even has a neighborhood tag and lots of retail space is for lease. It seems vibrant and new with the Central Market Cultural District Loan Fund ready to dole out 10, yes $10 million dollars to rebuild Mid-Market, although that’s kinda been a bit of a meh when it comes to loans being given.
Oh yes, everyone is out to revitalize Mid-Market. Famed, city-emptier, Burning Man is looking to move there, maybe in the Warfield building. Tourist-favorite, ACT might open up a theater as well as soon-to-IPO-favorite, Twitter might settle down at 9th and Market (if the city gives them a payroll tax-break). Oh, and let’s not forget everyone’s favorite burgers, Pearl’s, big announcement to open their 4th location at 6th and Market by March 15th, as well as a new hostel to take over the currently desolate Grant building at 7th and Market.
Yes, all of this is simply amazing and this revitalization is coming to a part of the city that needs it so bad, not only because it has a lot of gorgeous buildings with empty storefronts stupidly rotting away, but also because this area didn’t even exist a couple of years ago. You see, the truth of the matter is that minus a few blocks sliced off from SOMA between from Mission up, “Mid-Market” really is, wait for it, the Tenderloin.
That map above was pulled directly from the Office for Economic and Workforce Development website. While it is true that this area is the middle of Market (the straight, non-hilly part anyways), it’s also true that it comprises what most people consider to be the Tenderloin, specifically, the heart of the Tenderloin between Polk, Mason, O’Farrell, and Market. Naturally, it makes a great deal of sense given that you if one were to say, “Tenderloin Redevelopment” that immediately sounds like “gentrification” which in turns pulls homeless advocates out from under their comfy rocks to decry it as evil. Call it “Mid-Market” however and they have a much harder time as it’s a much broader and non-stigmatized term.
To a great extent, I’m all for this. Sneaky, even if it is abundantly clear, is quite necessary at times. It would just be nice if people would be honest about it from time to time because when you give a neighborhood a case of schizophrenic identity issues, you sorta get those kinds of developments in turn which while there are successes are indeed “gap-toothed”. Some day, far in the future one can only hope that the Tenderloin won’t become/already be a “Sanctuary District” (that’s a Star Trek reference which is pretty much becoming truth) and that we’ll realize that we just might want to develop the heart of our city and say that’s what we’re actually doing.
(As one geeky ass sidenote, I find it ironic that searching “Sanctuary District A Tenderloin” brings up Jane Kim in the top results)