Growing neighborhood seeks recognition

A cluster of lofts, condos and industry on several blocks south of the Dogpatch neighborhood is struggling to create an identity for itself.

According to resident Bill Slatkin, when people started moving in to the yet-to-be-named neighborhood — which is bounded by 22nd Street, Cesar Chavez Street to the south, the T-Third to the east and Caltrain tracks on the west — the area was on a path of growth.

The boom, though, like much of the real estate economy, has died down, leaving the neighborhood without an identity. Now Slatkin and other residents have taken it upon themselves to change that.

“Now you see people on the street running and walking their dogs,” Slatkin said.

Slatkin said the makeup of the 600-resident area is different than that of surrounding neighborhoods, including Dogpatch, Potrero Hill and Bayview, and that the residents need a name of their own.

“They don’t want us,” Slatkin said of the other neighborhoods. “Years ago, this was empty lots. There was nothing to do but go outside and get mugged.”

Bruce Huie, resident and community organizer, said for the past seven months he and others have been working on creating a neighborhood association.

The association — charged with choosing a name for the area — has also started to organize events simply to get residents outside to meet neighbors. A new park underneath Highway 280 at Indiana and 25th streets, aptly named Progress Park, is the anchor to the effort.

“We really want it to be a magnet area for the mothers walking around with strollers and dog walkers and runners,” Huie said.

The group would also like to continue a green belt that connects to other neighborhoods, and plans to install cisterns to make the parks sustainable.

There are at least 25 neighborhoods and associations in San Francisco. Huie said having an official name will give the area a voice.

Huie said the group hopes to choose something that speaks to the area’s history. Names like “South of Dogpatch” and “Central Waterfront,” have been thrown around.

Slatkin said that during discussions on redeveloping the 69 acres at Pier 70 into a business hub, some people at City Hall had no idea the area contained anything but industry.

“It’s very important The City knows we exist,” Slatkin said. “If we develop as an important center of new economy businesses, we’re going to make a big contribution to The City — jobs and taxes. They better pay attention to us.”

 

Unnamed ground

  • What: New neighborhood without a name
  • Where: South of 22nd Street, north of Cesar Chavez Street, between the Caltrain and T-Third tracks
  • Why: The area was booming with lofts, condos and businesses in the early 2000s
  • What happened: The recession slowed new growth
  • Accomplishments: Creating a community park; deterring crime by limiting overnight parking

Source: The yet-to-be-named neighborhood association

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