S.F. development boom swallows up historic family businesses

By J.K. Dineen : sfgate – excerpt

…Some of San Francisco’s historic family-owned businesses are disappearing as fast as an artisanal ice cube in a $14 craft cocktail.

While much of the change is logical and inevitable — 160 housing units is a more efficient use for scarce urban land than a two-story art-supply store — city preservationists and some elected officials are looking at ways to slow down the disappearance of so many quintessentially San Franciscan institutions amid an unprecedented real estate boom.

Supervisor David Campos, working with the nonprofit San Francisco Heritage, is finalizing legislation that would create a registry of legacy businesses, defined as restaurants, retailers and manufacturers that have been around at least 30 years and have contributed to their neighborhoods in a meaningful way. The program, which he says is the first in the United States, would create financial incentives that would encourage property owners to retain those kinds of businesses.

Campos said property owners who sell to a legacy business could be eligible for a rebate on the city’s real estate transfer tax, which is 1.5 percent for properties under $10 million and 2.5 percent for properties over $10 million. The city is also looking at extending historic tax credits to buildings that house legacy businesses.

“So many of our most valuable businesses that have enlivened these neighborhoods for decades are struggling to survive,” Campos said. “These are businesses that have become cultural institutions, that have helped create the character of the neighborhood.”…(more)

At least someone is coming up with an idea for a way to preserve some of our past. Sounds like they are resurrecting an old idea and giving it a new name. Being labeled an historic resource used to protect you. Now that designation has been altered to be used against you. Maybe quit fooling around with zoning classifications for a while and let us catch our breath. Or, the voters will rebel and the whole greedy sharing economy that favors corporations over people may be taken down. Some change may be good, but not all change is welcome. Too much change too soon is driving everyone mad.





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