SF’s 1982-era Crocker Galleria mall seeks face-lift in bid for new shops

The owners of the 1982-era Crocker Galleria mall in San Francisco want to revamp the Financial District property with an updated exterior, open-air restaurant space and new staircases.

Developers hope the $30 million in proposed renovations will help the three-story property at 50 Post St. attract local food vendors and shops.

Developer City Center Realty Partners and owner PGIM Real Estate, a division of insurance giant Prudential, pitched the plan to the San Francisco Planning Commission, which is expected to consider it in the coming weeks.

In a real estate trend as San Francisco continues to add jobs, the plan also calls for converting 6,665 of the center’s 90,000 square feet of retail space to offices.

“With a bold reimagining, this extraordinary asset has the potential to catalyze change in the area,” Sigurd Anderson, CEO of City Center Realty Partners, said in a statement. “We believe our firm’s urban real estate expertise will guide a strategy to breathe new life into the Galleria, and create a vibrant anchor for the heart of downtown San Francisco.”

Other malls around the Bay Area have sought to modernize through renovations or a new mix of tenants as the retail sector has struggled with bankruptcies and a shift to online shopping. A revamp of the former Macy’s in Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco’s Sunset District calls for new restaurants and a movie theater. Both Westfield San Francisco Centre downtown and the nearby vacant 6×6 mall have partial office space conversion plans.

 SF’s 1982 era Crocker Galleria mall seeks face lift in bid for new shops

Crocker Galleria has around 35 shops and restaurants. As of last week, six vacant spaces were visible on the first and second floors. Recent closures included T-We Tea, which had a temporary pop-up space, and Luxe Pieces, a jewelry store that relocated to the San Francisco Gift Center and Jewelry Mart in Showplace Square.

The idea of renovating Crocker Galleria is promising, said Margaret Murray, who works nearby and was eating lunch at the mall Friday.

Murray said the existing retailers seem outdated or a bad fit for office-worker patrons, such as the boutique Aricie Lingerie, which sells intimate apparel. She also feels the food options are unhealthy.

“It doesn’t foster a sense of community,” said Murray, who would also like to see an expansion of the Thursday farmers’ market.

 SF’s 1982 era Crocker Galleria mall seeks face lift in bid for new shops

Crocker Galleria, steps from Montgomery BART Station, was built as part of a development deal in the late 1970s involving its namesake, the former Crocker Bank. The bank built a 500-foot tower at the adjacent 120 Kearny St., along with the Crocker Galleria in a former alley, which maintained a public walkway.

It also removed 10 floors from the adjacent 1 Montgomery St., which is now a two-story Wells Fargo bank branch with a rooftop public space that connects to the mall.

In 2016, early plans for a 500-foot hotel and condo tower were proposed for 1 Montgomery St., but the San Francisco Planning Department opposed the plan because it would remove public space. No formal proposal was filed, according to city records.

More modest changes are moving forward in the area, with office renovations planned and under way at 1 Post St. — soon to be the former headquarters of McKesson — and 111 Sutter St.

Roland Li is a Chronicle staff writer. Email: roland.li@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @rolandlisf

Article source: https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/SF-s-1982-era-Crocker-Galleria-mall-seeks-13628743.php

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