As construction continues throughout San Francisco and demographics shift into new areas, when does a neighborhood actually become a neighborhood? When a downtrodden block is revived? When a Whole Foods appears? Or perhaps when a neighborhood association forms and begins to successfully block all future developments? (Yes, yes, and yes, of course).
Which brings us to the curious case of SoMa and its burgeoning new microneighborhoods. New residential towers such as the SoMa Grand do not create insta-nabes, but they sure as hell help. An increasing number of young professionals and empty-nesters are moving into these towers, and as they do so, commercial outlets will follow and additional residential units won't be far behind. This is essentially the Chron's definition of "building a neighborhood," but it seems eerily similar to gentrification. After all, weren't these areas already neighborhoods with their own distinct characteristics and friendly local drug dealers? Seems like SoMa's "new" neighborhoods—Mid-Market, Transbay, Rincon Hill, and Mission Bay—are likely to end up eerily identical to one another when all's said and done. But at least we'll have a bunch of new neighborhood names to bandy about.
· Shifting demographics hint at SoMa's future [SF Gate]
[Image via SF Gate]