SAN FRANCISCO GIVES GRAUNIAD A SAD: Abandoned stores, empty homes: why San Francisco’s economic boom looks like a crisis.
As the city experiences a new wave of gentrification, businesses are shuttering – and nothing is replacing them
At the beginning of this decade, one beloved block in San Franciscohad a taqueria, a flower shop and a bookstore. Sparky’s diner, a favorite final hangout for night owls, queer teens and the blackout drunk, was open round the clock.
Today, this block of Church Street just south of Market has the kind of abandoned storefronts that are usually a shorthand for declining mill towns, not centers of the tech future. But all those closed shops are emblematic of today’s San Francisco, where even in upscale areas, the city’s economic boom can look surprisingly like an economic crisis.
What this represents is a strange, second-wave gentrification, in which an influx of well-heeled residents means not Blue Bottle coffee shops and Kinfolk-inspired interior design stores, but emptiness.