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‘Ferry Building-Like’ Food Hall Heads to Central Market

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The project could welcome 20 to 30 new tenants to join the Market’s existing grill, bar, and food market

Inside the Market on Market Street
Patricia Chang

The Market, a food hall and retail space on the ground floor of the Twitter building in San Francisco, has plans to nearly double in size by the beginning of next year. Owner and developer Chris Foley recently signed a lease to take over an additional 14,000 square feet at the address. Specifically, he’s got the keys to two very ambitious now-closed restaurants: Dirty Water and Bon Marche. The deal increases his total footprint at 1355 Market Street to 37,000 square feet. There, he wants to bring in twenty to thirty different new tenants to fill out what he calls a “Ferry Building-like experience” right in the heart of the city. The project joins La Cocina’s impending food hall and several residential developments in the push for growth in the area.

Foley’s big picture idea is to build on what he’s established with the Market so far to create a more substantial gathering and meeting place for neighbors. New tenants will join the Market’s existing grill, bar, food market, and roster of seven quick-service options which range from pizza, to Malaysian food, to healthy juice.

The newly expanded footprint allows room for multiple quick-service restaurants, food-related retail, and a brewery along with several dining areas and an open kitchen. Foley says they’re looking for local vendors who already have some online following and share his desire to build community. He’s already talking with several brewers who are interested in manufacturing on the premises.

While Mid-Market is a notoriously difficult neighborhood to run a retail business for a number of reasons, some restaurants are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Foley plans to sweeten the deal: He says he has secured the good will of newly appointed lead of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development Joaquin Torres to help with the notoriously difficult permitting process for his future tenants. There are no guarantees, but the city and Torres are openly very interested in the success of the project, especially as it pertains to the development of the neighborhood.

The Market will assist these tenants with constructing, cleaning, security, marketing, and events. Partners will have to pay a base rent, a management fee, and a common area maintenance (CAM) fee. Once they reach a break even point, they’ll split profits with the management, which is a fairly standard food hall agreement.

Foley says he’s particularly excited to work with Tyra Fennel (Imprint.City), who is the founder of the BayView Live Festival and has been at the forefront of activation, community building, and economic development in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. Fennel will join Andrea Baker Consulting in the shared goal to help with some 40 events per year at the Market.

“We worked for six months to put together something that’s good for the neighborhood, good for us, and good for our partners,” says Foley. “We are digging in to to get more people on the streets and more traffic.”

On the immediate horizon, the Market will host an Fall Harvest Fair on October 11 with 70 vendors. Down the line, Foley says movie nights are on the table.

Restaurant and retail owners can go to this web page to apply for a space in the Market 3.0. Foley is also especially interested in underrepresented chefs and retailers. If all goes to plan, this could be a very helpful development for a neighborhood that is poised to become fully functional. Stay tuned for updates as this massive project moves forward.

Correction (Oct. 9, 2019): This article was corrected to reflect the Market’s full scope of events consulting and a more realistic reflection of its support from the City.

As Twitter Tax Break Nears Its End, Mid-Market Restaurants See Glimmer of Hope [ESF]

SF Mayor Breed names Joaquin Torres to run office of economic and workforce development [SF Chron]

Nonprofit food incubator La Cocina Envisions Major Tenderloin Food Hall [ESF]

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