Singing our praises
Shareable’s SQFT: A Public Lab for Pop-Up Innovation
Scoutmob’s SQFT Takes Pop-Ups to the (Mid-Market) Streets
Huffington Post’s Turning Vacant Spaces Into Vibrant Squares With Pop Up Shops
Fast Company’s Three Ways To Improve Crumbling City Neighborhoods
To download the Press Release, click here
Revitalization of Mid-Market Continues to Pop-Up
San Francisco, CA - Mid-Market is set for another infusion of energy this fall as local startup SQFT orchestrates a series of pop-up experiences at the intersection of Market and 7th.
Spanning nine weeks starting Friday, October 19th, the experiment in pop-up retailing will showcase local businesses at A Temporary Offering (ATO) on the ground floor of the Renoir Hotel. The line-up includes urban art shows on Friday nights with swap/meet SF, a local art collective, pop-up dinners on Saturdays from up-and-coming chefs off of Kitchit, and The Big Brunch – complete with bottomless OJ and B.Y.O.Bubbly – on Sundays featuring rotating chefs through ChefRoulette. A full schedule can be found at yoursqft.com/schedule.
SQFT is building on momentum generated by its launch event in August. “By the SQFT: Popping up in Mid-Market” brought a diverse array of pop-up activity to the same stretch of Market Street, livening the area with retail, food, and entertainment offerings. Since then, SQFT has taken roots at a physical space and has grown its core team of Co-Founders Emily Eisenhart, Patrick Keenan and Tina Santiago with the addition of four SQFT fellows, Imron Bhatti, Cindy Phan, Mason Smith and Anthony Williams.
SQFT grew out of Creative Currency’s 48-hour design hackathon this past April, with an eye towards putting underutilized commercial spaces to use. The startup is working to create an online platform that connects retail and food entrepreneurs to short-term leases in Mid-Market. The alpha site will go live in the next month.
For decades, San Francisco’s Mid-Market area has struggled with high vacancy rates and blight that belie the neighborhood’s central location, transit access, noteworthy architecture, and abundance of public spaces. SQFT sees opportunity in the neighborhood’s vacancy rates – approximately 30% for retail storefronts – and low rents. While plans for long-term revitalization of the area are underway, SQFT seeks to activate vacant or underutilized spaces in the short-term. The intention is to bolster existing business by increasing foot traffic, attracting new business, and creating employment opportunities for local residents.
The temporary pop-up format is ideal for areas like Mid-Market, where key stakeholders seek to stabilize the existing community and kickstart commercial development, particularly those initiatives that feed into larger urban planning processes. Temporary leasing allows creative entrepreneurs access to spaces typically beyond their budget, enables landlords to recoup taxes by testing multiple uses, and brings activity even amidst uncertain planning and development processes. The lure of pop-ups also gives San Francisco residents a reason to explore a new neighborhood, while a focus on local labor and entrepreneurs grows the local economy.
SQFT is actively seeking pop-up businesses and entrepreneurs in the arts, retail and food industries to host events in the space. All interested parties should get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about SQFT and the events unfolding at ATO can be found at yoursqft.com.
Additional SQFT press can be found at yoursqft.com/press
Activating spaces along Market Street, by the SQFT
San Francisco, CA – An idea hatched at Creative Currency’s 48-hour design hackathon this past April has just “popped.” SQFT (pronounced ‘square foot’), an online platform that connects entrepreneurial renters to short-term leases in San Francisco’s Mid-Market, is the neighborhood’s newest resident.
“Central Market is key to San Francisco’s future as a vibrant, diverse, and economically thriving City. The neighborhood is at a crossroads: we now have a historic opportunity to restore Central Market to its position as a vital commercial center.”
— Mayor Ed Lee, Central Market Economic Strategy, Office of Economic & Workforce Development
For decades, San Francisco’s Central and Mid-Market area has struggled with a number of challenges – high vacancy rates, grave physical blight, dwindling private investment, persistent homelessness, compromised citizen safety, and suffering small businesses. Yet it has true assets – a central location, superior transit access, a diverse population, vibrant community and arts organizations, noteworthy architecture, and an abundance of public spaces. With concerted revitalization efforts led by the City of San Francisco, the time is ripe with opportunity. Though there are longer term plans for a better, more united Market Street, SQFT is of the conviction that temporary pop-up activity can liven the area starting now. Next week, in fact.
Central Market suffers from higher vacancy rates than any other commercial corridor in San Francisco; approximately 30% for retail storefronts, and 50% for office space.* At the same time, the area has one of the lowest rents per square foot in the city. SQFT seeks to activate vacant or underutilized spaces by fostering short-term use and commercial activity. SQFT will start with a multi-block radius with plans to ripple throughout the Mid-Market neighborhood. The intention is to bolster existing business by increasing foot traffic, attract new business, create employment opportunities for local residents, and bring vibrancy into the area.
The temporary pop-up format is ideal for areas like Mid-Market, where key stakeholders seek to stabilize the existing community and kickstart commercial development, particularly those initiatives that feed into larger urban planning processes. Temporary leasing allows creative entrepreneurs access to spaces typically beyond their budget, enables landlords to recoup taxes by testing multiple uses, and brings activity even amidst uncertain planning and development processes. The lure of pop-ups also gives San Francisco residents a reason to explore a new neighborhood.
On Wednesday, August 1st, SQFT hosts its official launch event, ‘By the SQFT: Popping up in Mid-Market.’ The event will feature round-the-clock pop-up activity along the Market Street corridor, livening the streets with retail, food, music, games and other activities. The event runs from 7:30am to 11:00pm, with the hub of activity on Market Street between 5th Street and 7th Street. Local labor is key to the platform’s approach, and SQFT is employing Mid-Market residents including cooks, musicians, apparel retailers, cleaners, and security guards.
Partners for the August 1st event include, among others, A Temporary Offering, SF FoodLab, homefrys, Mission Hiring Hall, Huckleberry Bicycles, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, De La Paz Coffee Roasters, Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas, Curiosity Atlas, The International Art Museum of America, POP Nation, YogiBreak, San Francisco Public Library, Music Szalon & Salle Pianos, Duniya Dance and Drum Company, Vintage Squared, Wolf Industries, Mangosteen Jewelry, and Market Street’s chess club.
Whether it’s the launch event or another activity, SQFT invites the Bay Area community to celebrate the power of the pop-up. Post- launch, SQFT will announce several exciting public challenges as a way to engage community members in Mid-Market revitalization efforts. For updates, visit yoursqft.com