SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The empty “Six by Six Mall” on Market Street, which was finished in 2016, still has no tenants.
The retail complex cost $150 million and occupies 250,000 square feet, yet it still remains empty. Potential business owners who had high hopes for the surrounding area have been disappointed. Such owners attribute the lack of business to the high cost of doing business in San Francisco, the city’s homeless problem and its dirty, unsafe streets.
Tom Patella, owner of the beer and wine bar Waystone, had similar sentiments.
“It’s tough talking to tourists every day that are shocked by the city. It’s heartbreaking living in the city for 20 years and having to explain why your city is as dirty and crazy as it is,” said Patella.
Karin Flood, the Executive Director of the Union Square Business Improvement District, said that it’s tough for any retail space to thrive in the city, but especially so on Market.
She explained that retail stores are downsizing thanks to an increase in online shopping.
“Obviously, you want to see the city filled with retailers and hotels and restaurants and that vibrant life, because it brings street activity,” said Flood.
Flood also said both property owners and the city need to step up and do extra cleaning while adding extra security to the area. She also said allowing the owners to use their six level shopping center as office space instead could be a potential solution.
“We’re certainly open and we’ll see if the policy develops into allowing owners to [have] different uses in their buildings. That may be very much so the case with ‘Six by Six’,” said Flood.
Tom Patella said he welcomes any business into the space.
“Tenants move in! I mean, if there was a business there, it would increase their business all around Sixth and Market,” said Patella. “Anything!”