Investing in San Francisco’s neighborhoods
With its main focus on neighborhood revitalization and job creation, San Francisco’s Invest in Neighborhoods Initiative aims to improve business relationships, strengthen the city’s commercial corridors and ultimately lead to the establishment of a sound economy.
“Our neighborhood commercial districts and small businesses help drive our economy, create neighborhood jobs and make San Francisco a great place to live,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Strengthening our diverse neighborhood commercial districts and small businesses requires a focused, ‘all hands on deck’ approach. Our Invest in Neighborhoods initiative will maximize resources across City Departments, the private and nonprofit sector to build on existing successful efforts, create new neighborhood jobs and support vibrant, thriving neighborhood commercial districts for residents and visitors alike.”
The first phase of the project is actually a multi-agency effort that consists of convening the Invest in Neighborhoods Strategy Working Group of City department heads, neighborhood commercial leaders and technical experts to assess existing resources and tools, identify best practices and approaches to future endeavors, make recommendations for a more inclusive strategy and additional resources through the Mayor’s FY 2012-2013 budget.
A fine example that illustrates the successful collaboration between the City, community leaders and residents themselves is the newly revitalized San Bruno Avenue in the Portola District, an area that thrived even in such harsh times like the economic downturn. Since 2005, San Bruno Avenue’s vacancy rate dropped from 7 percent to 4.8 percent, while the vacancy rates citywide kept going up.
The urban enhancements included a comprehensive streetscape makeover, the completion of 8 storefront improvements, a 40 foot mural on a Caltrans support pillar, and a community safety ambassador program. Additional plans call for the attraction of a new coffee shop to the neighborhood and the development of a pocket park at the intersection of Burrows and San Bruno.