SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A long-delayed $150 million project to further energize the rapidly transitioning mid-Market area of San Francisco broke ground on Wednesday.

Market Street Place, coming to 935-965 Market Street between 5th and 6th streets is being called the most highly-anticipated new retail development in the city since the Westfield Centre expanded in 2006.

According to the developer, it will be much more than just a shopping center and is aiming to be an experience.

“You can’t do it the way they used to do it. You have to create experiences. There isn’t anything you can’t buy off the Internet anymore, so you have to give these consumers a reason to come,” said Chris Maguire, CEO of Cypress Equities, the project’s Dallas, Texas developer.

He said when the consumers are from tech firms like Twitter, Spotify and Zendesk (companies known for their great cafeterias with workers who have virtually no reason to leave the office) that an ordinary shopping mall just won’t do.

“There’s going to be a six-level multi-tenant beautiful retail project,” Maguire said. He added that there will be 250,000 feet of retail with a 167 space parking garage below.

Unlike the Westfield Centre just down the street, where Nordstrom’s anchors the corner, this will be an outward facing mall with the upper store windows facing the streets.

With a shovel in hand, Mayor Ed Lee couldn’t say enough about the place.

“This will be such an attraction for retail, but it will be a huge job booster,” Lee said.

The San Francisco Business Times reported that as of last month no retailers have signed leases for the location, but that the real-estate broker involved with the project has received plenty of offers from interested tenants.

Market Street Place is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs and about the same amount once it’s complete.

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