MAYOR LONDON BREED ANNOUNCES LA COCINA MUNICIPAL MARKETPLACE TO OPEN IN TENDERLOIN
Former vacant building to transform into food hall featuring working class and immigrant food entrepreneurs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, September 24, 2018
Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications, 415-554-6131
San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed today announced plans to open the first women-led food hall in the heart of San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. La Cocina Municipal Marketplace will open at 101 Hyde Street and offer below-market-rate rent to working class and immigrant food entrepreneurs to create a diverse look at the Bay Area’s food scene and a community gathering space for Tenderloin residents.
“La Cocina Municipal Marketplace represents the City’s continued investment in equitable economic development in the Tenderloin neighborhood,” said Mayor Breed. “This first of its kind initiative will foster entrepreneurial opportunities for immigrants and women of color, provide affordable food options for Tenderloin residents, and help activate an important neighborhood space. I am thrilled to work with our community partners to transform this location into an extraordinary asset.”
La Cocina Municipal Marketplace will provide business expansion opportunities for women, immigrant, and minority-owned businesses and create 30 new full-time positions for low-income individuals. It will also provide access to affordable foods that reflect the neighborhood’s diversity. The project is led by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD), the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), and the Real Estate Department, in partnership with La Cocina and the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.
“The Office of Economic and Workforce Development is a proud partner of La Cocina Municipal Marketplace, where solutions to addressing empty storefronts and vacant buildings are grounded and led by the community,” said Joaquín Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “The inspirational and creative temporary activation will energize the Tenderloin and provide a savory community asset for residents and visitors.”
The City of San Francisco is the principal funder of the project and will lease 101 Hyde Street to La Cocina at a below-market-rate rent for at least seven years until construction begins for an affordable housing development on site. The project exemplifies a creative interim activation model for future affordable housing developments and ground floor retail in San Francisco. The food hall aligns with the City’s mission to activate vacant buildings and fill storefronts in the Tenderloin to help enhance and improve safety. OEWD is providing financial and technical support to La Cocina on the permitting process.
La Cocina businesses have left their mark on the Bay Area food scene with 30 brick and mortar locations in San Francisco, Berkeley, Marin, Walnut Creek and Palo Alto. La Cocina provides working class food entrepreneurs, many of whom have historically had limited access to economic opportunities, the chance to create self-sufficient businesses that benefit local communities.
“La Cocina believes that talent exists everywhere. In an economy with skyrocketing income inequality, opportunity is unfairly distributed. By investing in working class entrepreneurs in a neighborhood that has long been home to so many of the immigrants who move to our city to seek out better lives, this marketplace truly represents the power of creating opportunities with equity in mind,” said La Cocina’s Deputy Director Leticia Landa.
“I think it’s going to be something really wonderful for this area to have a space we can come to with our families to eat lunch or dinner and just relax and enjoy. We don’t really have any places like that so this project is going to be very important for my family,” said Chef Guadalupe Moreno, the owner of Mi Morena and a participant in La Cocina’s Culinary Incubator Program.
Marketplaces have been important catalysts in the revitalization of neighborhoods. Shared marketplaces lower the barriers to entry, mitigate the risk imposed on low-income entrepreneurs, and increase equity in business ownership. The food hall model also enables business owners to share the cost of maintenance and reduce the individual burden felt by high rents, electricity bills, staffing salaries, general maintenance, and other operating costs that often cut into already thin margins. The Marketplace represents the biggest leap in La Cocina’s history and offers an innovative and replicable model for equitable development for cities nationwide.
In addition to the City’s integral support, La Cocina Municipal Marketplace is made possible through pro bono architectural services offered by Perkins+Will, a committee of real estate development mentors, design firms LMNOP and Office, BCCI Construction and individual, corporate and foundation donor supporters. La Cocina has raised 64% of their $5 million fundraising goal for construction and project implementation and seeks visionary funders to join the City of San Francisco in creating spaces that serve all our City’s residents. The City of San Francisco has pledged $1.5 million in support of the project.
About La Cocina
La Cocina is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that works to solve problems of equity in business ownership, inclusivity in the mainstream American marketplace, barriers to entry for women, people of color and immigrant business owners and the too-high cost of entry for the food industry generally. In an increasingly expensive economy, La Cocina businesses graduate at a rate that far exceeds the national average, outperforming other food industry clusters despite the severe limits on capital that our entrepreneurs have. Find more information at www.lacocinasf.org.