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District News

UN Plaza Transformation Earns High Praise

The fitness court, game tables and skateboarding elements of UN Plaza have fostered it back to a healthy public gathering space; providing residents another place to recreate in their neighborhood, visitors an attraction to see, and area employees a more enjoyable walk to and from the office.

The skate plaza has garnered praise from skaters to the San Francisco Chronicle's John King, who noted on a recent visit, "the skate plaza was in use by skaters of all ages and abilities," and that the new UN Plaza "...bears witness to a core truth of smart urban planning."

Adding to this activation, All the Way Live and Adidas recently held crowd-drawing events, with more to come as the weather warms up! Be sure to check out the Bay Area Skate Fest (Feb 18), Entwined sculptures (nightly), and more UN Plaza events here.

Featuring drop-in games and free chess lessons, the weekly Chess Sunday event also features chess-puzzles and games such as dominos and mahjong. (Keep a lookout for forthcoming mahjong lessons too!) Learn more here.

Get moving at the new fitness classes: pilates to Zumba, and strength training to Hip Hop dance, classes are happening daily. While free, they do require an RSVP. Sign up here.

The Holidays in Civic Center Were De-light-ful!

Our annual Civic Center Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting brought its festive merriment to Civic Center Plaza on December 6. The early rain didn't dampen the crowd's excitement, and as the clouds gave way the stellar lineup of performances began: The Tap Dancing Christmas Trees, musicians The Top Man All Stars, magician Josh Farenbaugh and soloist Doris Bumpus, led by the emcee: Boxcar Theatre's artistic director Nick Olivero.

Meanwhile holiday characters mingled with children and Another Planet Entertainment and the San Francisco Police Foundation marked another successful year of bringing more joy to the holiday season with a giveaway of over 900 toys to those 12-and-under! At the Makers Village, San Francisco Public Library gave away hundreds of free children's books and SF Etsy led holiday crafting and interactive play. The event was capped off with Mayor Breed lighting the tree, "snow" flurries, and Santa's VIP police escort from City Hall to the illuminated tree.

Special thanks to Another Planet Entertainment, City and County of San Francisco, Redwood Credit Union, San Francisco Police Foundation, San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department and the San Francisco Giants. Also thank you to SFGovTV for live coverage of the event. If you're interested in sponsoring or participating in next year's event please let us know. You can see more images from the event in this online photo album.

2023 Marked the 10th Annual Holiday Fanfare Concert Series

Also during the month of December, the Civic Center CBD's Holiday Fanfare Concerts popped up on Van Ness Avenue at Grove. Brass trios, quartets and quintets from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music provided festive music for theater patrons of all ages as they made their way to and from the District's performing arts venues.

New Comedy Club Readies to Open

Get ready for some great standup at the new comedy club and cocktail lounge The Function Set (1414 Market St.) from comedian Stroy Moyd. Set to open as early as May, Moyd will move current comedy show favorite #HellaFunny to the club and also feature cocktail themes, for May expect Hawaiian drinks says SFist.

Delicious News: Urban Curry Readies to Open

The popular North Beach restaurant Urban Curry is readying to open their second location in the neighborhood. What Now notes, "Coming to 1298 Market Street — an address formerly home to Indian vegetarian restaurant Ananda Fuara — Urban Curry will land near the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Dolby headquarters, and the San Francisco Public Library."

Hot Dog! Hayz Dog Opens

We're doggone sorry we missed sharing this opening in our last recap, but quick bite spot Hayz Dog is now open at 364 Hayes. Featuring gourmet hot dogs with various toppings that go beyond the usual ketchup and mustard: kimchi, bacon, charred serrano pepper relish and more; they also have the usual side staples: chips, shakes and various beverages.

Development & Streetscape News

The Oak May Transform Into Rental Apartments

The two-year-old, empty 109-condo building The Oak at 1554 Market St., is slated to be transformed into apartments and rentals, instead of condo ownership, if a new developer's plans are approved. Slated to take ownership after the foreclosure of the property is complete, the new developer would still need approval from the San Francisco Planning Commission to make the change, according to an article in the San Francisco Business Times.

Better Market Street Update

Better Market Street Phase 1 construction has resumed.

If you have concerns about work near your home, office or business please contact us or the Public Works Project Management Team ASAP for assistance.

All Phase 1 work is slated to be completed by summer.

City & County Updates

Guidance on Property Tax Exemptions

The Office of the Assessor-Recorder is expanding their in-person, one-on-one appointment service for exemption guidance to individual homeowners seeking assistance. This expansion follows a pilot program the Office spearheaded in 2023 to support non-profit organizations with property used exclusively for charitable, religious, hospital, or scientific purposes in applying for the Welfare Exemption.

In-person appointments with Assessor-Recorder staff at San Francisco City Hall, Room 190 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM can be made via their website, here

For non-profit organizations seeking assistance, Assessor-Recorder Torres previously partnership with Community Vision and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, to host a free, 3-part online workshop to help organizations understand the exemption application process, sharpen their grant proposal writing skills, and learn best practices for strengthening their financial resilience. The workshop is available here.

Events & Programs

Night of Ideas: Thinking Outside the Lines

The annual Night of Ideas returns to the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library on March 2. Keynote speakers and performers will focus on the theme of “Outside the Lines,” which encompasses “urban life and development...” The event runs 4pm-1am, with family programming 4-6pm. More info here.

Civic Center Soundtrack Concert Series

Don't miss the live music from established local musicians and bands of all genres at the Civic Center Soundtrack Concert series. Featuring amplified music throughout Fulton Plaza on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from noon to 3pm; check out the latest lineup here, and stop by for a free concert in San Francisco's premier arts and culture district.

Bay Area Skate Fest

Skateboarding for all! Pros and novices alike are invited to the Bay Area Skate Fest in UN Plaza on February 18, 11am-3pm.

For newbies, the event features lessons; and for those who’ve perfected their kick-flip, a trick contest. There’s also a kid zone and open skate. Free.

See our events calendar for more.

Clean & Safe Services - Q4

Members of the Civic Center Community Benefit District's team posed for a quick photo with Mayor Breed at this year's Tree Lighting event.

Ambassadors were also hard at work providing escorts to BART/Muni and the Civic Center Garage after evening theater performances in the District.

District Beauty

Civic Center Plazas Unite with Light

Thank you City Hall!

Thank you Asian Art Museum!

Thank you Recreation & Parks Department's Entwined!

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