SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco Mayor London Breed and SF Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin announced a new plan to revitalize the Powell Street corridor between the Cable Car turnaround and Union Square on Tuesday. The plan, which has a price tag of $6 million, intends to reinvigorate the stretch of Powell with capital investments in the promenade and funding to help fill vacant storefronts in the area.
The iconic section of Powell has been a tourist attraction for decades and is a “crucial entry corridor” to Union Square, the mayor said in a press release Tuesday. Situated near the Powell Street BART and Muni stations, the area is the most commonly tread pathway to Union Square for those traveling by public transit.
“We need to change how we do things in this City to support our Downtown and Union Square,” said Mayor Breed. “This stretch of Powell Street should be a destination filled with activity, shopping, and dining. This proposal is about not only improving this area, but also continuing to send a message that we are going to do everything we can to make our Downtown a successful and thriving place for decades to come.” I want to thank President Peskin for partnering on this and other legislative efforts supporting Union Square, as well as our City Departments doing the work to lift up our Downtown.”
“Beautifying and improving the Powell Street Promenade, and making this gateway to Union Square accessible and useable for more visitors, continues to be an important priority,” said Board President Aaron Peskin.
Some $4 million of the proposed budgeted funds will be put toward improvements to the Powell Street Promenade. Improvements would include replacing existing metallic sidewalk extensions, a widened sidewalk from Market Street to Geary and an “elegant new sidewalk treatment.”
The other $2 million would be allotted toward a public-private approach to filling vacant storefronts on Powell. Those funds would be used to “incentivize and jumpstart up to 10 new storefronts along Powell Street,” according to the mayor’s office.
Much of the proposal is dependent on approval of the mayor’s upcoming budget. She says this proposal goes hand-in-hand with a zoning change proposal which will allow more flexibility in the type of uses and activities that can take place in Union Square.
The revitalization plan comes at a time when the Union Square and downtown areas of the city are struggling amid a hollowing out from remote work. Earlier this month, Nordstrom announced it would be closing its Bay Area flagship store at the Westfield San Francisco Centre.