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Stories Behind Some of Mid-Market's Blight, and Possible Renewal!

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A few reporters at Central City Extra went digging through the grime on Mid-Market, and came out with a 2,100-word piece describing what the hell's going on there. We don't really need a blow by blow — Warfield owner David Addington describes his mother-in-law's unpleasant run-in with a panhandler's colostomy bag — but there's a fairly meaty rundown of the history of Market's beleaguered drag. The story reminds us that as late as the '70s,

There were plenty of people on the street, lots of things to do. The St. Francis, Embassy and Strand theaters were operating, Merrill’s was bustling, Hibernia Bank was opening new accounts. People came and went with great regularity — to an amusement arcade, the Market Street Cinema and, just off Market and Seventh streets, the Main Post Office and the busy Greyhound Bus Station. Then the Greyhound station closed, and the post office followed. Foot traffic fell off. Gradually, the Mid-Market of yore became the one we know as run down, bombed out, generally not very great. But there's hope yet, or at least some building owners are trying. Nuggets of note: the Wilson Building next to (the closing) Pearl recently tried to convert its upper floors to condos, but ran into cash flow issues, and is now listed as "troubled." Urban Realty, would-be developer of CityPlace, owns 14 percent of the buildings between 5th and 8th, or about 30 percent of the value. And art supply store Blick's had pulled out of the Showdogs building before deciding to move across the street instead near the Pearl location, as the Chron reported last week. Finally, Warfield owner David Addington's planning to turn the building's upper floors into seven commercial condos.
· Mid-Market: The shape it’s in. Who owns it. What’s next. [Public Press]
· Mid-Market Loses Pearl, Just as Blick's Prepares to Move In [Curbed SF]
· CityPlace Looking for Toys R Us and Off 5th, Cars Still an Issue [Curbed SF]
· Mid-Market's Man With a Plan: So Crazy It Might Work? [Curbed SF]