As store signs come down, SF mayor talks of recent demand for office space

J.R. Stone Image
Thursday, July 27, 2023
SF mayor says there's demand for downtown office space
While many San Francisco stores have closed and taken down their signs, Mayor London Breed says numerous companies are looking to lease office spaces.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- This week, we've seen a changing look to parts of San Francisco. Some stores have closed, taken down their signs, and cleaned out their spaces in the process.

The San Francisco mayor though, says there is demand to be in the city as numerous companies are now looking to lease thousands of square feet of office space.

Wednesday afternoon, our crews witnessed moving crews taking items out of what was, just weeks ago before it's closure, the Old Navy store on Market Street in San Francisco.

The Westfield shopping mall signage, taken down in recent days after the mall operator bailed and just as Twitter took down their sign for a branding revamp.

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A changing look, one noticed by some tourists.

"As I walk the streets here in San Francisco very very saddened," said Leslie Ostroski-Marmorato of North Carolina.

Ostroski-Marmorato, who once spent time in the Presidio as an Army nurse, is visiting from North Carolina.

"It's a catastrophic feeling when I walk the city and see that in one city block out of five buildings, maybe only two are still alive and living."

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The Johnston & Murphy store in Union Square is now closed. ABC7 News reporter J.R. Stone says he was just there shopping in recent weeks, now everything inside is gone.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed says there are companies looking to come to San Francisco.

"Right now, everybody is talking about artificial intelligence. Of the top 20 companies in the world, 13 are in the Bay Area and eight are in San Francisco, In fact, we have 10 AI companies looking for 800,000 square feet of space in San Francisco so we got a lot of things happening," said Breed.

Speaking at a Women's World Cup viewing party Wednesday night, Mayor Breed referenced the challenges the city dealt with after the double-decker Embarcadero Freeway was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta quake.

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"And now look at this space and how we took a tragedy and challenging situation and created an opportunity to bring people together, so that's what we do in San Francisco," said Breed.

And it's not all doom and gloom in the City by the Bay.

World class attractions like Cable cars, Coit Tower, and Alcatraz can only be found here. Well known stores like Macy's and Apple have stayed and some say that no matter what businesses do, they love San Francisco.

"Little leery about coming but we haven't experienced anything at all negative bad concerning so it's been a great experience," said Nancy Albright who is visiting from Houston, Texas.

Mayor Breed says, "We are changing as a city." Now a hope that that change will be accepted and welcomed by the crowds of people seen walking along the streets of San Francisco on Wednesday.

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