Iconic San Francisco Flower Mart may get new owner

San Francisco Flower Mart shoppers fear the worst after hearing news that a sale to a developer that specializes in office developments is in the works.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
The iconic San Francisco Flower Mart will soon have a new owner. The wholesale market at 6th and Brannan streets is a rarity in the country and a gem in the city. That's why some say that despite a huge offer to buy it, everything is not coming up roses with this deal.

"It's essential, this is where I buy 99.5 percent of my product," said floral and event decorator Sylvia Burgess.

San Francisco Flower Mart shoppers are a loyal bunch. They can't imagine not having this wholesale market. But they fear the worst on hearing the news that a sale to a developer out of Los Angeles that specializes in offices is in the works.

"This would be a huge loss and I'm not sure what the alternative would be," said Burgess.

The San Francisco Flower Growers Association did not return our calls for comment, and vendors say they heard about the sale from news reports, not the front office.

Most vendors we met are feeling pretty blue and think there will soon be a high-rise here instead of a flower market.

"I think eventually the market is going to disappear I don't how many years it will take but I think it's gonna happen," said Elsie Ramirez, owner of Elsie Wholesale.

But Kevin Tognol, the owner of a family owned Santa Rosa wholesale floral business that's been there since 1927 remains optimistic.

"The flower market will regroup and the flower market will survive," he said. "The flower market will continue. There's still a need for what's going on here and for what we do."

The company that's looking to buy the space tells ABC7 News that their goal is to redevelop the site into a higher and better use. But they also say they want to keep the Flower Mart in place.

The deal still has to be approved by shareholders.
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business housing housing market retail shopping San Francisco
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