City Hall Watch: Mid-Market mall plan clears another hurdle

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Downtrodden mid-Market Street is on the road to renewal after a five-story mall development survived a challenge Tuesday by groups who favor polices encouraging public transit, walking and bicycling over driving vehicles.

The Board of Supervisors voted 9-0 Tuesday to reject an appeal of the project’s environmental review, drawing praise from supporters who say the glass-fronted mall, known as CityPlace, is exactly what’s needed to transform the area plagued by crime, empty storefronts and ­homelessness.  

Appellants, who included Livable City and Walk San Francisco, said the report fails to adequately address the effects the planned underground parking garage with 170 vehicle spaces would have on the area when it comes to the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

The vote to reject the appeal came following a letter from CityPlace, which commits to paying a 20-cent surcharge per vehicle parking in the garage until $1.8 million is generated for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which will use the money to study and implement bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the area.

Supervisor Chris Daly, whose district includes the mid-Market area, said The City is “very interested in improving the livability, the walkabilty, bike safety in the mid-Market area and I am pleased that CityPlace is participating in a significant way in that.”

The proposed CityPlace is a five-story, 90-foot-tall building with 375,700 gross square feet, of which about 260,000 will be used for retail, at 935-965 Market St. between Fifth and Sixth streets.

“The Board of Supervisors did the right thing for the Central Market neighborhood and for our entire city by rejecting the appeal of the CityPlace environmental review,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a released
statement.

“By approving CityPlace today, San Francisco took another major step toward transforming the Central Market neighborhood and restoring Market Street to its original role as our city’s ‘Main Street.’”

IN OTHER ACTION

The Board of Supervisors was two votes shy of the required eight to reject a special permit obtained by Pet Food Express to open a third San Francisco location at 3150 California St. In an 11-0 vote, the property tax rate was increased slightly by 0.43 percent from $1.1159 to $1.164.  

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

CityPlace

  • Location: 935-965 Market St., between Fifth and Sixth streets
  • 375,700-square-foot building, 264,010 square feet of retail
  • Five stories, about 90 feet
  • Two stories of below-ground parking, estimated 170 spaces

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