$4M Tenderloin Food Hall Suffers Financial Setback [SF Weekly]

From SF Weekly:

The old, one-story building on the corner of Hyde Street and Golden Gate Avenue has been vacant since the end of 2015. The city has owned the former post office since 2016 and will someday turn it into affordable housing — as soon as architects, neighbors, politicians, and the Planning Department agree on a design and budget (a process which can take years). In the meantime, the sidewalk surrounding the shuttered facility is used by people for sleeping, dealing drugs, or emptying the nearby trash cans and sifting through the contents. It’s become a troublesome corner, and no one is happy about it. 

But behind the scenes, there’s a plan in place: to tear the boards off the windows and build San Francisco’s first-ever women-run food marketplace. 

La Cocina — the food entrepreneurship program that helped launch such businesses as Azalina’s, Don Bugito, and Onigilly — is behind the effort, which Planning has already approved. But the incubator has hit a roadblock, and it’s a big one. With the city undergoing a massive construction boom, the price to renovate the building and construct kitchens and dining areas has skyrocketed. In May 2016, the project was estimated to cost $2 million, with both La Cocina and the city splitting the bill. But by December 2017, just a year-and-a-half later, that number doubled to $4 million. La Cocina believes it can raise $1 million more, but that still leaves the project is $1 million short of the funds needed to launch.

On Monday, neighborhood advocates gathered together to ask City Hall to help them secure the funding.

Caleb Zigas, La Cocina’s executive director, says the plan is to have seven businesses open in the place, all run by women and people of color. . .

Read the full story on SF Weekly.