SF's Legendary Flower Mart Might Soon Be Offices

Jul 24 at 10am

First, the Mickey D’s across from Saison and now the Flower Mart at Sixth and Brannan? Yes, two institutions of cental SoMa are set to disappear. (One death knell is sadder than the other, especially if you’re a florist, or if you’ve ever had to hunt around for a Thanksgiving centerpiece, needed a place to stock up on discounted X-mas decorations in early January, or just wanted some hydrangeas). The San Francisco Flower Mart, 102 years old, allegedly one of only five remaining grower-owned institutions left in the U.S., and the one that Martha Stewart Living called the “best in the country” in 2011, is leaving us.

The situation appears complicated, though, as the property is shared by two agencies: the California Flower Market and the San Francisco Flower Growers Association. Bob Otsuka, General Manager of the Flower Mart, was adamant that his office is staying put, but calls to the Growers Association went unreturned.

However it shakes out, this one is decades overdue. While undoubtedly convenient, there is no pressing need for one-story, primarily wholesale-only shops with large footprints to be sited so close to downtown – with the secondary result that parking in the Flower Mart lot is expensive and tricky. Since development we must have, it makes sense for SoMa to grow vertically, bleeding pressure off the rest of the city. As Socketsite reports, the demolition of some 46,000 square feet of the current market may be accompanied by a rezoning, to build two office buildings up to 160 feet in height.

But damn, the Flower Mart really is great. I’m almost as sorry as I was about Flax, which by the way is still very much open, so please buy your colored pencils locally while you still can.

[Via: Socketsite/Curbed/KTVU; photo by Ricky Montalvo via Flickr]

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