Since closing in 2014, the previous Massive Apple Low cost Middle area has grow to be one in every of Polk Road’s most cussed vacancies, with proposals for 2 completely different tasks — a derivative of the Twitter constructing’s The Market and The Bazaar, an Asian-inspired grocery and night time market — in the end going nowhere.
Now, Uncover Polk, the neighborhood’s new neighborhood profit district (CBD), is searching for to brighten up the area at 1650 Polk, till the constructing’s proprietor can comply with a brand new tenant.
Since plans for The Bazaar have “conclusively fallen via,” Uncover Polk is “engaged on an idea for a creative set up over the outside of the constructing, to enhance the look and presence,” chief government officer Iana Dimidjjieva advised us.
The CBD can be doing a bit of selling, “working to attach the proprietor with of us who do the kind of ideas we imagine might work in an area that enormous,” Dimidjjieva mentioned.
Nevertheless it will not be simple, she famous. The constructing wants a compulsory seismic retrofit, which might enhance the time it stays vacant.
And since it is sat empty for thus lengthy, it is grow to be a goal for taggers — the CBD’s workers have addressed 15 situations of graffiti on the constructing in 2019 alone.
There’s additionally the matter of competitors. Neighbors have sought a brand new grocery retailer within the space for years, with Mollie Stone’s just lately asserting its intent to maneuver into the previous Lombardi Sports activities location at 1600 Jackson St.
The situation had beforehand been the location of a years-long effort to maneuver in a Complete Meals 365 retailer, which was in the end rejected by the Planning Fee for an inadequate amount of on-site housing.
Mollie Stone’s, nonetheless, will not be required to acquire a conditional use allow from Planning for the area, which implies it might open a brand new retailer a lot sooner, with no housing. That will imply robust grocery competitors for a brand new tenant within the Massive Apple area, situated just some blocks away.
The 2 blocks of Polk Road that home the Massive Apple and Lombardi buildings have the best emptiness charges of the CBD’s total service territory, with practically 44% of the retail sq. ft vacant within the buildings fronting Polk.
That impacts the opposite companies on these blocks, which the CBD has made new efforts to help.
In June, Uncover Polk launched an Solely on Polk Summer season Saturdays sequence, which options pop-ups, gross sales, and outside activations alongside Polk Road from Broadway to California Road.
The following sidewalk block social gathering, with about 35 taking part companies, will happen on August 31.
Within the meantime, the CBD is difficult at work on an artwork set up for the Massive Apple area.
“[T]he space as a complete would profit enormously if it have been to get a facelift,” Dimidjjieva mentioned.