Ikea is Filling Mid-Market’s Haunted Mall Space
You know that very strange mall they tried to build directly next to the other mall we already had on Market street? The big glassy building with escalators that made an ‘X’ in between the 6 stroies of retail space. The mall that called itself ‘6X6 San Francisco’, and billed itself as the ‘next-generation of SF retail’.
The 6×6 marketing turns out to be true, because this ‘next generation of SF retail’ actually means ‘vacancy for several years’, and then a ‘massive corporate chain steps in because no one else can afford the rent.’ The fancy 6×6 never had a single tenant, and was rumored to be haunted, moslty by www.brokeassstuart.com, but probably also by the Westfiled Mall nextdoor.
Ikea told the media this week that the plan is for an urban version of an IKEA store that’s about 20% the size of their regular complexes (such as the one in Emeryville). Ikea calls these smaller city center malls ‘Ingka Centres‘, which I’m pretty sure in Swedish means ‘small but expensive’. There are some 45 Ingka’s in Europe but this will be the first in the US, and it will offer delivery.
Two years ago, we met with IKEA and pitched them on filling this space.
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) September 8, 2020
Mayor Breed was quick to take some credit for the new tenants, she said on twitter that it was her and her team who ptiched the location to Ikea back in 2018, she also said San Francisco has to continue to make it easier for retailers to open. Breed has a November ballot measure that would streamline some permits. Ikea is reportedly spending $260 Million to buy the building and refurbish it.
Breed said, “The city’s bureaucracy with fees, regulations and confusion laid on top of one another has definitely made it harder to do business here,” she also told the Chronicle,she was optimistic that shoppers and workers will return to downtown San Francisco after a coronavirus vaccine is discovered.
“I think once there’s a vaccine and people start to feel a lot more comfortable … people are going to be happy to go places,” Breed said.
With the current pandemic, and IKEA’s remodling plans, the current opening date is Fall 2021. Meanwhile its nextdoor neighbor Westfield Mall is currently open for business.
The new Ikea will be located at 945 Market Street. Wear a mask San Francisco, wear a mask.