Embarcadero Center struggles to fill vacancies in post-pandemic era

More than 92,000 square feet is vacant or available

San Francisco /
Mar.March 30, 2022 08:16 AM
(Embarcadero Center, iStock)

San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center proclaims in banners that “It’s all here.” It’s also mostly empty.

An informal survey found more than 92,000 square feet, a third of the complex, is either vacant or available, the San Francisco Business Times reported. The empty space includes the 16,000-square-foot Landmark Embarcadero Cinema, which closed in February after 26 years.

More than a dozen retailers, including Allen Edmonds, Gap, Ann Taylor, Loft and the San Francisco Giants dugout store, exited the center during the pandemic. Restaurants such as Kirimachi Ramen and Gochees Pizza have temporarily reduced their hours.

The center says 42 percent of its sales has been generated by downtown workers who vanished in the Covid era. Apart from December, foot traffic at the Embarcadero Center has been as much as 69 percent below pre-pandemic levels.

Other than the movie theater, the largest vacant spaces in the center include one that’s 8,300 square feet and three that are more than 6,000 square feet.

Some of the occupied spaces in the mall are listed online as “available” to new tenants soon, meaning the tenants are nearing the end of their leases or have short-term agreements. Bluemercury, Sellumeh, Escobar Bros and Ambassador Toys are among the soon-to-be-available spaces.

In addition, more than 4,000 square feet on Embarcadero 3’s ground floor is listed as available and branded as “flexible office space” from Codi, which describes itself as a “zero-lease obligation” alternative to WeWork.

It’s a similar story for the nearby Westfield San Francisco Centre, where traffic fell 40 percent or more each month since 2019. The Stonestown Galleria, located closer to residential areas, beat pre-pandemic foot-traffic levels each month from November through February, showing that downtown is rebounding slower than areas next to residential neighborhoods.

[SFBT] — Victoria Pruitt





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