'NEMA' opening part of Mid-Market revitalization


Kyle Zink recently got his first look at a finished unit at "NEMA." He's among 200 people who've signed a lease. "I'm a big believer that the citizen has to help transform the city and so for me, to be to be one of the first residents to move into NEMA and help the Mid-Market area revive is an opportunity that I just can't give up," he told ABC7 News.

NEMA stands for "New Market." It'll ultimately have 754 luxury rental units, with one-bedroom units going for about $3,300. A pool, fitness center, concierge desk, and valet parking are included.

"Twitter was like the game-changer," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee says. Lee credits Twitter for the domino effect it created. Two years ago, the company accepted a tax break from the city and signed a lease at a building on 10th and Market. Other tech companies soon followed and the dormant NEMA Project got going again. The city says that in just a few years, 4,000 housing units will be added to the Mid-Market corridor.

"BART is there. Transit is there. And now, housing and businesses are there. All that combined with some good building policies and supportive policies from City Hall have all combined into a very good balance," Lee says.

There's a lot more coming down the pike. The American Conservatory Theater breaks ground next month on a major renovation of the Strand Theater. Well-known chef Daniel Patterson is expected to open a restaurant in the fall. And Nordstrom Rack is coming in the spring.

As for NEMA, there are still about 90 units that have yet to be leased, but the developer isn't worried about finding tenants, despite the fact that Mid-Market still has a ways to go. "The writing has been on the wall for some time and I think the people who are actually leasing here don't see those as challenges. They see them as opportunities," Crescent Heights developer Roman Speron says.

NEMA opens October 1. Those moving in cover a wide range from single people working in the tech community to families.

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