With Twitter having signed on as the anchor tenant, Shorenstein is moving forward with their makeover of the Western Furniture Exchange & Merchandise Mart at 1355 Market Street, the 11-story Mid-Market building they’re re-branding along with 875 Stevenson Street as “Market Square.”

1355 Market Street Rendering

Proposed exterior renovations to be presented to San Francisco’s Architectural Review Committee this afternoon include: New metal-and-glass, ground floor storefronts with integrated externally illuminated signage and removal of the existing granite base; new transom windows above ground floor storefronts; and a new two-story lobby entrance on Market Street where the existing entry to the defunct garage along Market is located.

1355 Market Street Lobby Rendering

Behind the building, the portion of Stevenson Street between 1355 Market and 875 Stevenson will become a pedestrian area with new openings from the building to increase its connection with the outdoor space, promote the retail to be located within the buildings, and in an attempt to vitalize Stevenson.

1355 Market Street Alley Rendering

As the building currently appears to compare:

1355 Market Street 2012

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by BobN

    It’s pretty amazing the windows have remained pretty much intact. Now they want to change them? To get a few more inches of window?
    Weird.

  2. Posted by Excellent

    You go Doug! His company is first class…senior would have been proud of this investment and with some luck it will slowly tip the area “up”!

  3. Posted by Gigi

    What is the timeline for this project/when is Twitter moving in?
    I can’t wait to have something other than panhandlers in this area. Hopefully it will inspire other companies to revitalize mid-Market as well.

  4. Posted by James

    aww, I was hoping for a giant rotating neon bluebird on the top, like the big star on top of the Sir Francis Drake.

  5. Posted by jlasf

    James, would you settle for a giant flag/banner with a bluebird on it?

  6. Posted by Rob

    Things are definitely looking up for mid Market…
    I think with this and then the 1401 Market Street development across the street… this area is going to be poppin off.

  7. Posted by kg

    @Rob, I agree. Two other significant mid-market developments on the way:
    Swanky NYC CoWorking “WeWork” @ 25 Taylor St.
    http://wework.com/
    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/print-edition/2012/04/27/another-mid-market-address-changes-hands.html
    Benchmark Capital (VC) @ 982 Market St.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/24/BUTM1ON7FR.DTL

  8. Posted by sf

    Is there going to be any retail? Other than the Walgreen’s? That would be even better than painting windows and adding trees.
    [Editor's Note: Yes. Almost 100,000 square feet of retail space between the 1355 Market and 875 Stevenson buildings.]

  9. Posted by lol

    This area could use a decent coffee shop. Plus there’s a big sidewalk for outside seating. Just saying.

  10. Posted by wc1

    Obviously this is a good thing and will really help the area. Lovely building it doesn’t look like they are fracking with it too much.
    The worst part of this stretch is the desolate no-mans land that having this building occupied will definitely alleviate.
    I hope they are able to rent out all of the retail space, nothing more depressing than a newly renovated building with For Rent signs plastered all over the street level.

  11. Posted by Rillion

    I don’t know if outdoor seating in this area would be all that enjoyable. Everytime I’ve walked around down there its been extremely windy. Perhaps the Stevenson ally area might be a little sheltered from the wind?

  12. Posted by Mark Ballew

    Does anyone know if 1401 Market Street will do anything to help block the wind? As Rillion said, it gets exceptionally windy on 9th to 10th on Market. It is also windy on Fell and Oak nearby, but yet Mission is fine.

  13. Posted by Gellan

    “This area could use a decent coffee shop. Plus there’s a big sidewalk for outside seating. Just saying.”
    MA’velous across the street is great…at least the last time I went there (8 months ago) it was. Quality beans and baristas and comfy decor.

  14. Posted by lol

    ^^^thx for the heads up. I’ll make sure to check it out. I always zoom past this block, assuming it’s a big area of nothingness.

  15. Posted by OMN

    You better believe that Twitter is going to bring an upscale coffee shop or 3 to the area.

  16. Posted by lolcat_94123

    Cool – great for the neighborhood. The nice thing about bubbles are the infrastructure improvements. Question is which unprofitable company will last longer – twitter, yelp, etc?

  17. Posted by K

    @ excellent: who is doug?
    bringing life to stevenson: that would be a miracle in itself.

  18. Posted by futurist

    Doug Shorenstein is the developer. His father Walter was huge in the development and growth of SF from the 60’s-90’s.

  19. Posted by Ray

    I’m not going to hold my breath on Twitter employees revitalizing this area by pulling in coffee shops or restaurants. Currently, they have catered breakfasts, lunches and all the caffeinated beverages that they can drink provided by their employer. It’s hard to see that they have driven many improvements to the 4th and Folsom area since they moved their headquarters to that location a year or two ago.
    As for the wind, the prevailing wind comes directly down Oak and Fell (and the other east-west streets parallel to them) and is channelled along Market toward the Embarcadero. Mission doesn’t have as much wind because it doesn’t have the east-west streets directly intersecting it.

  20. Posted by david m

    well, you have to think about twitter as a catalyst to development more than anything. there are so many folks moving in and projects moving forward today when only 2 years ago, entire blocks were near-abandoned. think of it, over 150k confirmed sqf of grade-level commercial and maybe more still with whatever happens on 9th street and if we get redevelopment of the fox plaza’s lower portion. the nutso trinity plaza mega-project will be a lot more desirable and the grade-level commercial there will create a near solid retain strip on the south side of the street from crescent towers all the way to 6th!

  21. Posted by lol

    Ray,
    good point on catering, but:
    1 – 4th and Folsom is not a great hangout area. Mid-Market has a more central urban feel, at least it will have with more street life.
    2 – No matter how much employers want to keep their flock in house, do not underestimate the resistance of workers to be herded. Especially if you have a few trendy water holes / eateries / caffeine venues popping up around.
    But I agree with the crowd that wind is the big issue. You can pull nice outdoor space on a big sidewalk, but if they’re windswept all day they’ll be deserted.

  22. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Cafes on the street could use windscreens to protect their al fresco diners. Not ideal but better than no outdoor tables at all, especially on a street with such wide sidewalks.

  23. Posted by OMN

    “2 – No matter how much employers want to keep their flock in house, do not underestimate the resistance of workers to be herded. Especially if you have a few trendy water holes / eateries / caffeine venues popping up around.”
    As an employee at one of these companies, I could not agree more. Free food is great, but freedom is better.

  24. Posted by rubber_chicken

    In the top image, it looks like 875 Stevenson is getting a face-lift too. Anyone know the skinny on that?

  25. Posted by david m

    uh, yeah, not sure if they’ve been up here, but that project has been on the books for a little bit now, with latest renderings released a couple weeks ago.
    http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=5697601&postcount=3613

  26. Posted by curmudgeon

    ^ rubber_chicken. From the Shorenstein marketing materials: In 1974, the second building was completed and currently, there are expansive plans to continue to redevelop the property to create a cohesive and rich, urban campus environment. Plans call for redeveloping the common plaza, which will provide a connection to the outdoors, create open spaces and rejuvenate both the property and the neighboring community.

  27. Posted by lol

    OMN,
    indeed.
    I was in a company that added a brand new restaurant into their new headquarters. A colleague of mine leased a storefront for a sandwich/light lunch joint a block away and put his wife as a manager. It became the place to be. He made a killing.
    Everyone needs to go out and stretch his legs. Even if it’s once or twice a week, with these numbers you can sustain quite a bit of life there.

  28. Posted by Josh

    Glad to see this. Since there aren’t many stores on this block, the area is dead. Even, little homeless, drug dealers, and peddlers of stolen goods frequent this block.

  29. Posted by Palms

    Twitter isn’t the only big tenant moving into the space. Yammer and Ok Cupid will also take up space in the building. It looks like a lot of techie companies are trying to take advantage of the city tax “loophole” by moving their firms to mid-market. It’ll be interesting to see if Mayor Ed Lee’s plan to revitalize the mid-market area will work.

  30. Posted by James

    This is about more than revitalizing mid-Market, it’s about making the City a real center for tech, competitive with Silicon Valley rather than a bedroom community. For San Francisco to be a real player in the Bay Area’s major industry is a long-term benefit. This is just the beginning.

  31. Posted by Jerry Royer

    I have a view of 1355 Market lived in the Fox Plaza (Archstone) for 40 years. A new rooftop garden has been installed with furniture. I can’t imagine anyone would want to sit there as it is very windy. For many years the large windows on the corner of Market & 10th were blow out during a wind storm till samller windows were installed.

  32. Posted by Jerry Royer

    The area of Stevenson Street to be made pedestrian friendly is only that portion behind 1355 Market St. from 10th St. to the dead end portion bordering Market Square.

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