February 17, 2009
JustQuotes: Bailing On The Substation To Bailout Yoshi's Et Alli
"The cornerstone nightclub of the revitalized Fillmore jazz district is about to get a $1.5 million Redevelopment Agency bailout loan — but it comes at the cost of fixing a long-abandoned building in the neighborhood.
Officials are close to taking $3.3 million intended for revamping the abandoned Muni substation at Fillmore and Turk streets and instead offering the money as loans to struggling businesses, helping pay for restaurant consultants and funding an operating shortfall at a parking garage."
"The Redevelopment Agency will vote today to transfer the deed for the Muni substation, along with valuable certificates of redevelopment, back to The City. As of now, city officials have no plans for the aging property"
∙ Jazz district loan comes at cost [San Francisco Examiner]
∙ Tough Times For The Fledgling Fillmore Jazz District's Rebirth [SocketSite]
∙ The (Re)Development And Design Of 1198 Fillmore And 1345 Turk [SocketSite]
First Published: February 17, 2009 8:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Drove past that yesterday on Turk, and was wondering when they were going to do something with the lot, seems like never.
Posted by: BDB at February 17, 2009 8:11 AM
Great idea, instead of actually improving the neighborhood, they just flush the money down the toilet by giving it away to businesses which will likely still fail because the neighborhood isn't nice enough to support them yet.
Posted by: Rillion at February 17, 2009 8:36 AM
Gotta love progressive politics in San Francisco. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
I've heard that not many people are getting their horses shoed these days. Maybe we could use taxpayer money to subsidize the blacksmith trade. It is part of our glorious city heritage, after all.
Posted by: Dude at February 17, 2009 9:04 AM
Completely Agree w/rillion & dude. I always felt that the Fillmore jazz redevelopment was way too lavish for that hood. And yoshis really went out on a limb...but I guess stupid sf board of sups had their financial backs.
Didn't these gov idiots do any research? 'real' jazz clubs with into recognized talent have not succeeded in sf for over 20 yrs! Kimballs SF failed. Yoshis Oakland is the only one with staying power. So much for the efficiency of 'take what you need, give what you can.'. Lame!
Posted by: 45yo hipster aka Old school U2/war at February 17, 2009 9:23 AM
It's a [Removed by Editor] neighborhood and unless they lift all the regulations about low-income and subsidized housing it will always remain as such. There's a damn good reason why Amici's won't deliver there, and I'm proud of them for that.
Posted by: SFer at February 17, 2009 10:44 AM
What's truly sad about this redevelopment effort is that there was a perfectly fine neighborhood here before they decided to develop it the first time. We'd probably be in much better shape if they had just left it alone.
Posted by: diemos at February 17, 2009 11:14 AM
Love both Yoshi's locations.
But I knew they were doomed in SF the 1st time I walked in. Waaaaaay to big of a dining space. More $ pumped in won't help. I would think the 1st thing they should do is put up a wall and chop the restaurant down in size by 2/3 and reduce staff accordingly.
Posted by: ph goat at February 17, 2009 11:47 AM
redevelopment should get out of the business of supporting private businesses. The whole "Jazz District" concept has been an expensive flop, and could have been predicted from the very beginning. It's all been motivated by guilt of something that happened a generation ago, and it's been tainted by corrupt self-interest of legions of "players"
Yoshis, in my opinion, demeaned itself by accepting the bait in the first place
Posted by: curmudgeon at February 17, 2009 12:23 PM
To refocus for a second on the Muni substation, it's a beautiful antique--far nicer to my eyes than what, for example, the Jewish Museum had to work with in Yerba Buena. I've been watching it deteriorate for nearly 30 years and it makes me very sad. The city should just do something with it: community center, branch library, museum, Northern Station annex--I don't care.
As for the neighborhood, the Fillmore commercial strip isn't so bad and could be successful if it targeted the community. But it probably can't be a place for "destination" places because of the prevalent attitudes about it I'm reading here, even if they are wrong.
Posted by: BT at February 17, 2009 1:25 PM
muni substation = studio museum of harlem (sf version)? too bad this isn't 2006, no $$ for this project now, but would have been better at a fraction of the cost of the failed jazz district concept.
it's a travesty that in the 50's redv agency destroys a perfectly good neighborhood, and then 60 yrs later, laced with guilt, they overbuild a fancy/schmancy edifice, in thinly veiled attempt to assuage their shame, which further fails as an appropriate advancement to said community.
Posted by: 45yo hipster aka old school U2/war at February 17, 2009 3:11 PM
There were a lot of happy people walking through that area on Valentines Day, and that is typical for any weekend evening. While I love Yoshi's SF and go whenever there's a performer I like, I have to agree with Ph goat's comment above that the restaurant is way too big for the what the local economy can handle right now.
That said, it was crowded last Saturday, and patrons were relaxed and looking for a good time. 1300 Fillmore is a nice addition there, as is the new Dosa's further down on Fillmore & Post. Overall, I like what's happening in the Fillmore and across Geary to Japantown. I hope we can sustain it, but not sure if more loans are the best approach.
Posted by: 1stTimeBuyer at February 17, 2009 5:50 PM
Jazz is simply not very popular in 2009. The Fillmore is doing fine, I'm sure. Yoshi's = Cool space, too big, dumb idea. Sell the substation to the highest bidder in an auction.
Posted by: anonn at February 18, 2009 8:17 PM