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Final Reflections: The South of Market Area

May 9, 2011

For the past three to four months, I’ve experienced a part of San Francisco I never have before. I never knew that the South of Market Area had so many things to cover. From restaurants to museums to fashion events, the neighborhood attracts many unique people in San Francisco. I brought the idea of technology companies in the neighborhood as a final project and discovered how many main headquarters there were. Yelp. Twitter. CNET Networks. Even Google.

And besides that, there’s more to the South of Market Area than technology companies. The SOMA is also home to many museums. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, known nation-wide, is located in the SOMA. The Museum of African Diaspora, exhibiting the history and current events of African Americans, is located in the SOMA. The Contemporary Jewish Museum. The Museum of Craft & Folk Art. Both also located in the SOMA.

The AMC Loews Metreon Theater, where many movies are played and events are held, is a huge part of the SOMA. Right across from it, you’ll find the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts.

The SOMA has also been such a good resource for me as far as discovering crime trends, community based projects, redevelopment and more.

Many residents I spoke with say that they live in the South of Market Area because it’s close to everything. And that really is true. Close to AT&T Park, a block away from Market & Powell, a couple blocks away from the Financial District and just a few miles away from everything else in San Francisco. The SOMA isn’t only convenient, it’s a neighborhood worth knowing.

Isla Studio Beginner Photography Class

May 9, 2011

By Lexie Tiongson

For all those aspring photographers out there, Bloomspot is offering an offer for Isla Studio.

For $49 (a $150 value), beginners can take a three-hour photography class at the photography studio off of 2nd Street.

The class will include basic fundamentals of digital photography and the skills needed in creating a basic piece of art. It will cover things such as exposure, aperture, depth of field, and shutter speed.

Isla Studio is a fine art photography studio based in San Francisco located in the South of Market Area. For more information about the studio, visit www.islastudio.com.

The offer is located on Bloomspot and will last for two days.

Google’s Expansion of their Offices on Spear Street

May 3, 2011

By Lexie Tiongson

Google announced in late 2010 that their offices are expanding by 63,000 square feet, which will be done later this year in December of 2011.

According to Google CFO, Eric Schmidt, they’ve marketed to 200,000 new employees, with about 1,600 of those established in the San Francisco office.

“Right now, Google’s offices in San Francisco are 200,000 square feet,” said Schmidt. “But we’re about to take over a 263,000-square-foot space from biotech firm Medivation.”

Schmidt said that Google’s first original lease for their offices in San Francisco first started in 2007 in a sublease from the Gap. After a year, Google put a deal in with the landlord, Morgan Stanley, for a $60 million commitment that extending through 2015.

“The new 63,000 square-foot lease also expires in 2015,” Schmidt added.

According to Google’s San Francisco webpage, marketing the office has been a huge part of this business.

“With the lights of Oakland and the Berkeley Hills to our East, the home of the SF Giants within walking distance, the bustling life of the SoMa (South of Market) neighborhood right outside, Google’s San Francisco office is located in the hot spot for city’s tech companies,” the webpage says.

According to two members of the Board of Directors at Google, the San Francisco office is easy to market because of it’s convenient location and transportation accessibility.

“Getting to work a lot easier; walk, ride your bike, you can take all sorts of transits,” said John Hennessy, a member of the Board of Directors at Google.

Google’s office, located off of Spear Street, has views of the Bay Bridge, which attracts most employees to apply and work there.

“The San Francisco office is right on the Muni line, it’s close to great restaurants, and there’s beautiful views of the Bay Bridge and the bay,” said Paul Otellini, another member of the Board of Directors at Google.

Google will still be located off of Spear Street in San Francisco after the expansion.

“We just needed extra space to accommodate our new hires,” said Schmidt.

Technology Companies Staying & Expanding in the SOMA District

May 3, 2011

By Lexie Tiongson

Technology companies such as Twitter, Yelp, Google and CNET Networks, have maintained headquarters and offices in the South of Market Area of San Francisco since the early 2000s.

Yelp officially launched its website in October of 2004 with it’s headquarters located off of Mission and 3rd Street.

Twitter’s offices are located Folsom Street and 4th Street and have been established there since 2006.

Google has managed to attract San Francisco’s residents as employees from 600 employees in 2007 to a mere 1,600 in 2010.

CNET Networks has been in San Francisco since 1992. They then moved to the South of Market Area after the dot-com boom in the early 2000s and became acquired by CBS Interactive in 2008.

According to an article in the San Francisco Examiner in October, “The South of Market area is returning to its high-tech status a decade after the dot-com crash, with large technology companies leading the real estate charge.”

Tech companies have not left the neighborhood. Instead, more technology companies are moving into the neighborhood.

Each of these companies has expanded their business within the district.  For example, many companies that have chosen to stay have grown their small offices into big corporate offices.

Companies that are currently located in the SOMA are: Zynga, Dolby, Lexis Nexis, Sega of America, Justin.tv, Adobe Systems, and Wired News.

These are just a couple of companies that have established in the South of Market Area for the past few years.

Many people wonder why Los Angeles, New York City or even Silicon Valley, an area common for companies like these, have not been targeted.

One of the main reasons why these companies want to be a part of the South of Market Area, let alone San Francisco, is because of the architectural layout, space of buildings, and convenient accessible transportation that the neighborhood has to provide.

According to employees of these tech companies, having offices based in San Francisco is convenient and great, transportation wise.

“Getting to work a lot easier; walk, ride your bike, you can take all sorts of transits,” said John Hennessy, a member of the Board of Directors at Google.

Google’s office, located off of Spear Street, has views of the Bay Bridge, which attracts most employees to apply and work there.

“The San Francisco office is right on the Muni line, it’s close to great restaurants, and there’s beautiful views of the Bay Bridge and the bay,” said Paul Otellini, another member of the Board of Directors at Google.

Many residents in the South of Market Area have also had a lot of opinion on technology companies and their establishment into the neighborhood.

According to John Jameson, a bartender in the SOMA, location is a huge part of these tech companies.

“I think these tech companies being here creates more jobs for residents because of location,” said Jameson. “For example, people that commuted before in say, Silicon Valley, now may not have to commute as far.”

College students can also benefit from these offices because they can stay in San Francisco after they graduate and possibly get a job at one of these companies.

“It creates more opportunities for students like me. After I graduate, I hope to stay here in San Francisco, and work at one of these companies as a designer,” said Macy Longworth, Visual Communications major at Academy of Art University.

The ambiance and feel that these companies provide to the neighborhood puts people in a busier place.

“The tech companies here give the SOMA an industrial feeling,” said Frank Pargo, a resident of the SOMA neighborhood. “In my opinion, it just proves to show how much this neighborhood is people oriented.”

Twitter’s San Francisco Office Interior.

Last week, Twitter had announced and tweeted that they are staying in San Francisco and have signed a lease to move their headquarters to the Central Market area.

According to Sean Garrett, a Twitter Communications spokesperson, Mayor Ed Lee, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and many other people involved in business development have helped in expanding Twitter’s offices.

“San Francisco’s unique creativity and inventiveness is a part of Twitter’s DNA, and we feel like we are part of San Francisco,” Garrett posted in Twitter’s blog. “Three-quarters of our employees who live in San Francisco are involved in causes and charities in the city.”

Twitter offers a social networking and microblogging service, which was founded in March of 2006.

In addition to Twitter expanding in San Francisco, Google announced in October of 2010 that their office on Spear Street is expanding even more.

According to Google CFO, Eric Schmidt, they’ve marketed to 200,000 new employees, with about 1,600 of those established in the San Francisco office.

“Right now, Google’s offices in San Francisco are 200,000 square feet,” said Schmidt. “But we’re about to take over a 263,000-square-foot space from biotech firm Medivation.”

Google will still be located off of Spear Street after the expansion. They just needed extra space to accommodate their 1,600 new hires.

According to Alexandra Molinaro, a former employee at Yelp for two years, Yelp has had talk about keeping their offices in San Francisco.

“We use to have staff meetings about how amazing we’ve kept the location and how lucky we were to be located close to the whole downtown scene,” said Molinaro.

Yelp’s San Francisco Office interior.

            Yelp use to be a simple office and now they’ve grown into a modern office, where the employees are in a stress free environment.

“When I applied for the job, I didn’t know it was going to be located in the SOMA,” Molinaro added. “Then I got an interview, and not only fell in love with the office, I fell in love with all the buzz around it.”

The growth of tech companies in the SOMA has put residents and employees in a good place. It’s been over a decade since CNET Networks and CBS Interactive moved into the SOMA.

“The South of Market Area is a great place for all these companies to start out,” said Molinaro. “But, eventually, these companies will expand and maybe take a huge chunk of San Francisco.”


Twenty Five Lusk: New American Fusion

May 1, 2011

By Lexie Tiongson

Right across from AT&T Park, South of Market Area visitors will find a modern restaurant and lounge with a cutting-edge kitchen.

Twenty Five Lusk was originally a meat-packing facility in 1917, until it got infused with its modern senses. The restaurant and lounge brings a whole new vibe to what was known to be a historic timber warehouse.

The menu includes New American fusion. From Asparagus Risotto and Huachinago Snapper to a Grilled New York Strip and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. Prices for main courses can range from $20 and up per plate.

Twenty Five Lusk also has an expanded wine, cocktail and beer list.

The restaurant is located on 25 Lusk Street between 3rd Street and 4th Street. Visit www.25lusk.com for more information.

Photos from http://www.bloomspot.com

Tech Items Stolen from Victims in the SOMA District

April 26, 2011

By Lexie Tiongson

According to Sgt. Tad Yamaguchi, valuable items such as iPhones and iPads, worth at least $200, have been stolen from many San Francisco locals in the South of Market Area.

They have been snatched out of victim’s hands in broad daylight in the past month.

“You’ll see people walking down the street, not paying attention and concentrating on their iPhone,” Yamaguchi confirmed. “And the suspect will run by and take the iPhone out of their hand.”

Suspects in groups of five will also confront victims and surround them as they are walking down the street to steal the iPhone or iPad.

In addition to iPhones and iPads, laptops are getting stolen out of people’s cars.

“It’s shocking to see how many laptops are just lying there in a car in plain sight,” he said. “In a 24-hour period, there are at least 25 auto burglary reports, without exaggerating.”

A majority of the victims are San Francisco locals.

“Not many tourists are getting iPhones stolen out of their hands,” Yamaguchi said. “The victims tend to be locals because they are most likely to be walking and not paying attention to their surroundings.”

When SOMA resident, Melissa Alvarez, was told about these crimes, she was shocked.

“That’s crazy. I guess I have to make sure that I’m aware of where my iPhone is at all times,” Alvarez said.

With the many theft crimes of technology device in the SOMA, Southern Station police officers have patrolled in areas where the thefts are occurring. The areas that are most targeted are off of 6th and Market Streets and Powell and Market Street intersections.

According to Yamaguchi, most officers concentrate their patrol by going to a building near a targeted area with binoculars to watch victims.

“Officers witness suspects stealing red-handed from victims and try to make an arrest,” Yamaguchi said.

Yamaguchi said that people get kind of lazy and believe that they are safe. People want to think they’re in a safe neighborhood, but the reality is that they’re not.

“If people were more careful with their items they would less likely be victims,” stead Yamaguchi.

Fan Clothing Boutique

April 14, 2011

by Lexie Tiongson

A trendy, vintage inspired and indie boutique located off of Market Street in the Westfield Center brings apparel and accessories to the South of Market Area.

Fan Clothing is a women’s fashion boutique known for it’s unique and trendy selection of apparel and accessories, bringing back what fashion was known for in the 20th Century.

There are many Fan Clothing branches throughout the United States, but what make the San Francisco location popular are the employees and customers.

Many San Francisco Fan Clothing shoppers look for pieces that are suitable to the foggy city weather, making the SF location lot more unique than others.

Fan Clothing is also unique in San Francisco because they are featured at many events. For example, Fan Clothing attended THREADShow and sold many of their clothing items there.

The boutique is located in the Westfield San Francisco Center in the 2nd level corridor. For more information, visit http://www.fanclothing.com.