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Pier 70 Restored

The high-end home furnishing retailer Restoration Hardware will move into Pier 70 next year, the sprawling redevelopment project that’s transforming 66 acres of waterfront land east of Dogpatch with 1,000 units of housing, offices and waterfront parks. The Corte Madera-based furniture company, which has a cult-like following in the interior decorating business, will open a five-story, 60,000-square-foot showroom in the historic Bethlehem Steel administrative building, located on the corner of Illinois and 20th streets. Restoration Hardware will be a subtenant of Orton Development, which master-leased eight buildings along 20th Street that makeup Pier 70’s core. The structures, dating to 1885, once served as the West Coast headquarters for Union Ironworks and, later, Bethlehem Steel…The Port of San Francisco has also agreed to sublease 45,759 square feet of production, distribution and repair facilities at Building 104 to Tea Collection, a San Francisco-based clothing company.

“The announcement of this second project sublease to Tea Collection is evidence of the market’s interest in this exciting location, and adds momentum to last week’s announcement of Restoration Hardware’s sublease for the adjacent Building 101,” said Byron Rhett, director of planning & development for the Port.  “The Port is thrilled that Tea Collection, a Dogpatch-based company since its inception, will be able to grow and continue flourishing at Building 104 for years to come.” 

Hill History Histrionics

Last month’s The Guardian featured an article, “How the poor neighborhood that OJ forgot turned rich and forgot him back,” that takes a rather jaundiced view of the Hill’s sense of history.  “…the Potrero Hill of today not only wants to forget their most famous son, they seem to want to forget where he came from entirely…Another refuge of the poor is being seized as a trophy for the rich.”  According to the story, in the 1970s “Potrero Hill became known for its violence and a place where few in San Francisco dared to tread…Everything changed in the 2000s when restaurants began to appear…” on 18th Street.  Hello, Goat Hill Pizza and Farley’s, both of which were well-planted in the neighborhood decades before then.  The Potero Recreation Center “… has become a home for the entitled.  On Sunday afternoon…mainly white children playing futsal as parents hovered near, ready to whisk them to bathroom breaks…”  The View can appreciate a little press hyperbole, particularly from a British publication.  But the Hill has been populated by one of the largest concentrations of European-Americans in the City since the Spanish were chased away in the 19th Century, especially working class Eastern European immigrants.  Too be sure the number of African-Americans, which likely peaked two decades ago, has greatly diminished, and the community is as expensive as anywhere in San Francisco.  But a tale of Black displacement doesn’t really capture where the Hill has been, and where it’s going.  Of course, The Guardian came looking for a story about a prodigal son gone bad, even if the Hill would, according to its reporter, “…still open its arms to him.”  To be fair, the View’s publisher’s daughter has had the privilege of playing futsol at the Rec Center, though he doesn’t recall any parental hovering, particularly over bathroom breaks…

More Brunch

This spring, Jordan Keao and Jason Alonzo plan to open Aina, a Hawaiian-inspired eatery, on 22nd Street, in the storefront that previously housed the short-lived Ensoleillé, and Cup of Blues cafe before that.  According to Keao, the restaurant will start with brunch, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Once it has its food and service down, it’ll extend into happy hour, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., which Keao calls “pau hana,” combining the Hawaiian words for “to finish” and “to rejoice in the day.” The establishment has a beer and wine license; Alonzo will be designing low-alcohol cocktails. Dinner will come afterward, the dishes reflecting Keao’s childhood in Hilo. “It may just be a nuance that triggered the influence, but everything will stem from something I ate or saw growing up,” he said. He’s currently testing brunch recipes, including many of the dishes that were popular at his Bernal Heights pop-up.

Multi-Million Dollar Renovation Goes to the Dogs

The multi-million dollar redo of one of the City’s most loved parks, Dolores, doesn’t appear to have been accompanied by much innovative thinking about how to manage doggy visitors.  While the kids are low-walled into their previously renovated playground, the animals are allowed to run free, depositing fecal matter and urine willy-nilly on the now luxurious, soon to be degraded, grass.  Apparently politicians are leashed when it comes to dogs, as demonstrated by the similarly uncontrolled Esprit Park, as well as the planned almost $60 million upgrade to Animal Care and Control’s facility.  The nearby Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s modern building has excess capacity, and large private sector vendors, such as Pet Camp and Wag, could be contracted to provide services at a much lower cost to taxpayers…Meanwhile, the Department of Recreation and Park is counting on families to police the new, lovely, bathrooms installed adjacent to the Dolores Park playground, when a more prudent approach might be to engage a monitor or two, perhaps as part of an employment training program….Let’s hope Rec and Park does better with Jackson Park and the Potrero Hill Recreation Center, which are on deck for their own multi-million dollar facelifts.

Community Leader Passes

Irene Crescio, a lifelong and passionate Portola resident, died on January 26.  She was a proud Portola Neighborhood Association member, deeply committed to the betterment of her beloved neighborhood.  So long, Irene!