Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Ghirardelli Square: The Next Ferry Building? 

Wednesday, Oct 9 2013

If the last time you were in Ghirardelli Square was to escort a visiting elderly relative who wanted to buy fudge with traveler's cheques, that's because it kind of sucks.

But as a historic pod of 12 buildings dating as far back as 1864, it certainly has potential beyond its current 55 percent occupancy rate and general forgettable-ness. (Remember, the Ferry Building used to be walled off from everything by an elevated freeway.) In perhaps a bit of recognition that it's underutilized and unloved, Ghirardelli Square has been purchased for $56 million in preparation for a big, post-recession zhoozh.

And not by some mall-builders, either. Jamestown Properties also owns New York's Chelsea Market and Atlanta's immense Ponce City Market, each highly successful foodie meccas in their respective cities. As the S.F. Business Times notes, "the goal is to make the property interesting and unique enough to draw San Franciscans." The sellers rejected bids by several would-be suitors before Jamestown rang the bell.

This is pretty much a solid win. Ghirardelli is too historic for much of anything bland or unsightly to be built, and mercifully, it's not being converted to condos with "GBUS to MTV" loading zones, either.

And if you truly suffer from a crippling tourist allergy, the buildings will still be sequestered there next to the Wharf. But maybe it'll become a destination for even the most discerning of locavores, too. We shall see.

About The Author

Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"