The stairs from Lansing to Essex have been a hotspot in the neighborhood for several years. The East Cut CBD worked closely with Public Works to have several safety improvements installed in order to increase visibility for those transiting the stairs. Improvements include upgraded light fixtures at the top of Lansing, tree pruning to increase light penetration, and curved mirrors to eliminate the blind spots that previously existed.
If there are locations you believe need safety improvements, please do not hesitate to contact us to voice your concerns. Improved quality of life is our primary goal!
East Cut Clean & Safe Satisfaction Survey
The East Cut CBD wants feedback on the core clean & safe services we are currently providing. In order to be good stewards of assessment dollars, we need as much feedback from stakeholders as possible, so please share your thoughts with us! The survey takes no more than 5-10 minutes.
The East Cut CBD is pleased to announce that as essential frontline workers, The East Cut's Services Team now qualifies for the COVID-19 vaccine! The East Cut CBD is coordinating an effort to make the vaccination process as seamless as possible for our team members and, with your support, will subsidize their transit via rideshare to and from the vaccination site.
This spring, The East Cut CBD is raising funds to:
Subsidize transit to vaccination sites for the Services Team ($600 goal).
Purchase supplemental equipment to water street trees ($500 goal).
Sponsor the purchase of outdoor tables and chairs for local businesses ($5,000 goal).
Paint a mural on the Essex hillside wall ($10,000 goal).
How much should I donate? $30 will subsidize transit for one member of the services team to get a vaccine $125 will buy lunch for 12 of our Services Team members $500 will sponsor the purchase of a set of table and chairs for a local business
But most importantly, please remember that any amount makes a difference!
San Francisco is now in the Red Tier - which means many merchants in our district are opening for the first time or expanding their operations. It is a perfect time to get out and support our area merchants, all while enjoying some amazing foods and experiences!
Indoor Dining at Ittoryu Gozu
Tickets are now live for April on tock! Seating is extremely limited and advanced reservations are advised. Proudly offering luxuriously spaced, high-tech, and safe dining. Now accepting groups of up to four.
Socola is getting ready for Easter! Eggs are symbols of new life and the Socola team is ready for a day when people can hug freely and come back into their store. Here's Wendy getting all Frida Kahlo, HAND PAINTING these eggs. No two eggs are alike!
Pre-order by March 22nd to reserve your egg, pick-up only, at 535 Folsom St.
Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day with One Market's Feast
Éirinn go Brách with One Market Restaurant's Three-Course St. Patrick's Day Dinner! Leek & Potato Soup, Corned Beef, and Caramelized Cabbage and Valrhona Chocolate-Irish Cream Pot O'Creme. Available March 17-20.
The Playground doors have opened! If you are not a member of the KP family yet, please reach out to Mario to get set up with your Kinetic Orientation (K.O.) to get started. If you have a coach already, please reach out to them directly for scheduling as they are currently operating 1 coach an hour at the moment with the 10% capacity regulation.
Why is this Cool? Well, it doesn’t get more private than having the entire facility to yourself to let go and embrace the now...
The Kinetic Playground team is ready if you are! Located 566 Folsom St.
East Cut Board of Directors Seeks Three New Members
The East Cut CBD is seeking three community members to join its Board of Directors. Available seats include two non-property-owning businesses and one seat for a representative from the affordable housing/non-profit community. If you are interested in learning more about the qualifications and requirements for serving on The East Cut CBD Board of Directors please reach out to us at email@example.com.
News coverage featuring our storied neighborhood - from the people who live and work here, to the public spaces and merchants that attract visitors near and far.
Community Garden Moves Forward
The East Cut CBD has launched a page to share ongoing details on the advancement of the Community Garden project at Essex Street.
This month, we are finalizing construction documents in order to bring a contractor on board. For a full overview of the community garden's progress to-date and to see more of the plan rendering, follow this link.
Artist Vanha Lam Launches Latest Interactive Work in East Cut!
New York-based contemporary artist Vanha Lam launched her latest work in The East Cut March 12th through Problem Library with the support of The East Cut CBD and The Mira. You can explore this on-going, active installation through May 31st, 2021.
Essex Stairway Gets a Safety Update
After residents expressed concern over visibility and stairway conditions at the Essex Stairwell, The East Cut CBD liaised with the Mayor's Fix It team and Public Works to advocate for improvements to the site. The CBD is please to announce that these safety improvements were completed! They include: spalling repairs, the installation of mirrors, and lighting improvements. As a final phase to the project the CBD will work with volunteers to add color to the area this summer. Stay tuned for notifications on volunteer opportunities.
Programming Will Return to Salesforce Park!
With San Francisco Health Order restrictions loosening, The CBD is pleased to announce that programming at Salesforce may return as soon as April! The CBD will keep our community updated on scheduling of small group classes (from arts and crafts to fitness and music) via our website and social media pages.
Salesforce's New Work Remote Policy May Impact San Francisco's Downtown
In case you missed it last month, East Cut technology giant Salesforce, whose headquarters sits in the heart of The East Cut, announced a new flexible work from home policy that would make permanent allowing employees to work 2 or more days from home per week. With over 9,000 employees in San Francisco, this has huge implications for downtown neighborhoods. Read the full Chronicle story here.
For 2021, The East Cut CBD is taking the opportunity to highlight a placemaking theme each month. Going forward, you can expect what used to be our "Placemaking News" section to contain articles and updates for the current month's theme! This month, our focus is on the activation of vacant retail spaces. Next month, we will be looking at "the post COVID city." Last month, we took a look at virbant public spaces and you can find a link to that newsletter content HERE. If you have any comments, questions or concerns related to these topics, please connect with us through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vacant Retail, An Opportunity for Any Downtown!
As a continuation on the theme of activation, this month we take a look at activating vacant retail spaces. To kick off this conversation is an article published in Medium in the fall of 2019 by Link2Lift, a consultancy that encourages organizational collaboration, leverage of under-utilized space, and greater impact.
The Link2Lift team notes that city centers used to be constantly buzzing and bustling with movement––but that started to change with the emergence of e-commerce. Nowadays, people have less incentive to drive downtown and spend time and energy shopping at multiple locations. Unfortunately, this has created many vacancies in downtown spaces, slowly taking the life out of city centers. That said, creative approaches to the temporary use of these vacant spaces could be part of the solution to this recent issue.
Urban planners have been coming up with creative temporary uses as a way to draw people in and activate these spaces. Because these vacancies are engendering less vibrant downtowns, the traditional sense of community is also dissipating. Moreover, research shows a link between vacant properties and decreasing property values, increasing crime, increasing risk to public health, and increased cost to municipalities. Activating vacant spaces not only revives the city but also the community, socially and economically. It should be noted that different locations might benefit from different types of temporary uses, so landowners should look inward first before trying to replicate a specific solution to their vacant spaces. Overall, while this new urban issue is becoming more and more prevalent, new and creative solutions are starting to surface as well!
With that in mind, since early 2017, The East Cut CBD has been turning vacant retail space into places for the community to gather through pop-up art shows and events, partnering with local artists and developers in the neighborhood. These events have proven successful in enlivening empty commercial space and showcasing the potential for storefronts in the district. What's more, they promote an increase in foot traffic, which acts as a natural buffer against crimes of opportunity; something which has been an increasing issue in San Francisco since March 2020.
Activation of Ground Floor Retail: Improved Neighborhood Safety
Store break-ins are on the rise in San Francisco with some district merchants reporting tens of thousands of dollars in damages. In this article by the San Francisco Chronicle, security challenges across the City are examined with particular attention paid to the investment by small businesses to mitigate damages and the financial burden the spike in these break-ins has placed on them.
In our own district, we have seen dormant small businesses affected by this increase in crime. Natoma Cabana alone has experienced two break-ins in less than a month. Of particular note are the timings of break-ins; rather than sticking to the cover of night, burglars are become more brazen, breaking into cars and businesses during the day (as was the case for Natoma Cabana).
This reveals that desperation by certain groups combined with the reduction in daytime foot traffic makes certain districts particularly vulnerable. The CBD’s security ambassadors patrol 24/7, however, they cannot be everywhere at once. A vibrant street life is one of the most impactful ways to promote street safety. Busy streets encourage accountability, and a bustling neighborhood and its residents and daily visitors act as a natural buffer to crime. The CBD views fostering street vibrancy as essential to supporting the district's recovery, and as a result, is paying particular attention to temporary activations of public and vacant retail spaces.
While some cities have played around with vacancy taxes and vacant-storefront registries to combat the rise of e-commerce and empty retail stores, other cities are transforming vacant spaces into instant “social infrastructure.” For example, the Boston nonprofit CultureHouse is physically using vacant storefronts to create pop-up public spaces, hosting non-commercial events such as game nights, ping-pong tournaments, movie screenings, and more. By “social infrastructure,” CultureHouse means amenities, like parks and libraries, where people can interact with each other in the neighborhood.
Along with the benefits of social interaction, these pop-up spaces are being put up rent-free because property managers rely on the premise that the activation will enliven and bring business to the surrounding area. With vacant storefronts, people are discouraged from even walking in an area; activating these spaces, thus, works to increase foot traffic and cultivate a stronger sense of community. By partnering with local resources and bringing these vacancies to life, businesses are supported, and people are given a reason to stay in an area. CultureHouse hopes to eventually expand these pop-up spaces all across the country, and bring back the essence of community and public social interaction.
With similar intent, the East Cut CBD is hosting several pop-up events with local businesses that foster art, culture, and community, and activate underutilized retail spaces in the neighborhood. Our activation with Problem Library (opening this week) hosted by the Mira is an example of a rent-subsidized space to offer community members access to art activations in a previously vacant retail space.
The Temporary Transbay Terminal activation is our best, upcoming example of an activation that combines social infrastructure like sports courts and picnic tables with the representation of local merchants via food trucks and a beer garden. The addition of a flex space further provides social engagement via potential movie screenings and other event-activations. What's more, if the CBD is able to bring in an affordable farmer's market, it will be able to support local growers and also the need for affordable, fresh produce.
Finally, one could also argue that the development of the area in and around Folsom Street, which subsequently prompted the rebuilding of the streetscape, supports all of these activations. These improvements promote civic engagement by providing a more useable space for pedestrians and merchants via wider sidewalks, along with an overall upgraded visual experience that increases foot traffic.
Overall, it is clear that organizations like a CBD help to take a holistic look at the needs of a given community and can serve as a linchpin to connect the needs of residents and visitors with projects being promoted, proposed, and considered by city agencies and developers.