If you do not subscribe to the San Francisco Business Times you may not have heard that one of Mid-Market’s greatest landmarks---officially known as the “Eastern Outfitting” building but also known by its “Furniture and Carpets” title----has been sold to Cannae Partners. Biz Times reporter extraordinaire J.K. Dineen reports that the brilliant but internally rundown property will get a long overdue $9 million renovation. This is fantastic news for lovers of historic buildings, and would be a front-page news story but for all the other progress along Market Street in the past year. The future renovation is among what may be the greatest simultaneous restoration of nearby historic buildings in San Francisco history. In addition to the Eastern Outfitting this group includes the historic Furniture Mart (now Market Square
), the Hibernia Bank
and the majestic Central YMCA
at Golden Gate and Leavenworth.
Those of us promoting the Mid-Market/Tenderloin payroll tax exemption for net new hires were focusing on the area’s economic revival. But a great byproduct of this resurgence has been the restoration of long neglected historic properties along Market and nearby.
These are some of the greatest historic buildings not simply in the neighborhood, or in San Francisco, but in the entire country.
The Eastern Outfitting building is within a block of the Hibernia, two blocks from the already renovated historic McAllister Tower at McAllister and Leavenworth (formerly the Empire Hotel), and two to three blocks from the soon to be completed Central YMCA. Those latter three buildings are among the greatest historic structures in the United States, yet two of the three were long underutilized and the McAllister Tower was not restored until the 1980’s.
Every time I heard from people expressing interest in investing in Mid-Market, I always steered them to the Eastern Outfitting building. I was afraid that absent a renovation the building might collapse, removing an iconic street structure.
Now, the building will be saved. And it should help ACT’s fundraising for its new headquarters and theater at the nearby Strand Theater site, as each new renovation feeds others in the area.
With the many other recent Market Street sales, fears that Twitter’s relocation would be a one-shot deal have been disproved. Companies will be lining up to occupy the Eastern Outfitting building once renovations are complete.