San Francisco Centre signs leases for five stores and two nonprofits

Small tenant mix may not replace big-name exits, but they “will drive additional foot traffic”

Trident Pacific's Gregg Williams; 865 Market Street (Loopnet, Getty, Trident Pacific)
Trident Pacific's Gregg Williams; 865 Market Street (Loopnet, Getty, Trident Pacific)

The San Francisco Centre is replacing its lost big-name tenants with smaller retailers that can now afford storefronts in the troubled mall.

The indoor shopping center, now overseen by a receiver, announced seven new tenants at 865 Market Street, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

Two nonprofits, a toy store, a pet shop, a cell accessories repair service and two other retail businesses leased stores at the 1.45 million-square-foot mall. Terms of the leases were not disclosed.

Opportunities for All leased 17,000 square feet on the fourth level to hold lectures, workshops and other special events under the dome. At the same time, Block by Block, a service provider in the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District, leased an unspecified space.

A&S Cell Accessories and Repairs, Hey Hi Toys and Paw Box, a pet treat vending machine project, set up shop. 

Next month, +Friends, which sells “reworked” and sustainably made stuff, and Merkado, a seller of Japanese “kawaii-inspired” goods, will open on the premises. Other new tenants will be announced soon, mall managers say.

“We’re seeing a momentum shift downtown with increasing interest in locating here and we’re excited about adding this diverse group of new tenants that will drive additional foot traffic to the Centre,” San Francisco Centre General Manager Lane Wade said in a statement.

The seven new leases do little to fill the footprints of big names that have recently left — including Nordstrom, Cinemark, L’Occitane, Sephora, Lego, Madewell, Adidas, J.Crew, Lucky Brand, Aldo, Ted Baker and American Eagle Outfitters.

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The newly announced leases also replace bigger names with smaller ones, something Sarah Dennis-Phillips, director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, acknowledged. “For too long, many small business owners were priced out of downtown spaces,” she said.

The mall, half empty early this year, faces scores of leases on their final legs.

More than half of the San Francisco Centre’s leased stores are set to expire before the end of this month, with another 11 percent set to expire between this July and next July.

A year ago, the owners of the mall announced they would surrender the property to its lenders. Westfield, a unit of Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, and co-owner Brookfield Properties, based in New York, ceased making payments on a $558 million loan tied to the nine-story property.

A San Francisco Superior Court judge in October appointed Newport Beach-based Trident Pacific Real Estate Group as the property’s receiver. Early this year, Trident Pacific and its property manager and leasing agent, JLL, renamed it Emporium Centre San Francisco. 

The appraised value for the mall has fallen from $1.22 billion in 2016 to $290 million as a result of the store closures and a pending change in ownership

— Dana Bartholomew

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