Activating Market Street through new residential developments has not gone as smoothly as San Francisco city officials would have liked. Over the past five years, 20 new housing developments were completed on or a few blocks off Market Street, but 17 vacant ground-floor retail fronts remain, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The city requires residential developments to include ground-floor retail, but that is not always an easy feat for developers in a city that encourages more small retail than large chain stores. Many developers have said not all sites are ideal for retail. Developers prefer higher credit tenants that can provide long-term tenancy instead of the newer mom-and-pop businesses neighbors want. Grocery stores have anchored many developments throughout the Bay Area, but they require more space than some of the projects will allow.