The San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD), in collaboration with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) and Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), has issued a request for proposals for the lease of the commercial portions of the Fillmore Heritage Center, located at the corner of Fillmore and Eddy Streets in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco.
Built in 2007, the Fillmore Heritage Center was developed as a multi-use facility whose goal was both to revitalize the commercial corridor and to honor the cultural heritage of the neighborhood. Once considered the “Harlem of the West”, the Fillmore neighborhood is known for its vibrant community of African American residents and the center for Black-owned businesses, many of them music and entertainment establishments.
Today, the Fillmore District remains a vibrant community that continues to build on its Black heritage, while embracing its proximity to nearby neighborhoods, such as Japantown. The Fillmore continues to be a destination for live music and entertainment and has become a central location for annual festivals and events attracting thousands of attendees to partake in the entertainment, food, and history of the neighborhood.
“For more than 30 years, the Fillmore has been known as a center for Black-owned businesses, entertainment, and community,” said Mayor London Breed. “This property, like the neighborhood, holds immense historical significance to San Francisco’s Black and African American community, and we are long overdue to return the Fillmore Heritage Center to the hands of this community.”
In the mid-1990s, after an extensive community engagement process, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (SFRA) created a destination dining and entertainment district called the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District. The goal of the district was to revitalize the neighborhood by drawing consumers from outside the neighborhood to supplement local businesses. The Fillmore Heritage Center was one of the last projects built as part of the Western Addition redevelopment program.
The ground floor of the Fillmore Heritage Center offers approximately 50,000 square feet of commercial space. This includes a 28,000-square-foot restaurant/entertainment venue, a 6,300-square-foot restaurant/lounge, a gallery, screening room, and various common areas, including a large commercial lobby area that serves as the pedestrian entrance to the garage. Original tenants of the project included Yoshi’s San Francisco, a 28,000-square-foot jazz club and restaurant, and 1300 on Fillmore, a 6,300-square-foot restaurant and music lounge.
"San Francisco's African American community is due the opportunity to maintain this historic enclave. This building, along with the iconic Muni Substation on Fillmore Street, represents the culture, history, and potential of the City's Black community. These two properties represent the final opportunity for the restoration and continuance of the Harlem of the West,” said Reverend Amos Brown, community leader and former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. “The Black community in San Francisco should be supported and allowed to develop and thrive in the tradition of other groups who have historically received financial capital. I look forward to a fair and transparent process focused on elevating and celebrating the Black community in San Francisco."
The sustained and community-driven vitality of the Fillmore remains a significant priority for the City, which funds several community organizations to provide business assistance, promotional campaigns, community events, and beautification projects. The City has active economic investments to support local businesses such as In the Black, a creative marketplace selling products from dozens of local black-owned businesses. The Fillmore is grounded by many active community and cultural organizations working to preserve the neighborhood's history and contribute to the area's quality of life.
“The Fillmore Heritage Center is a critical space in the heart of the Fillmore, reflecting promises made and broken to the Black community. We’ve been working closely with stakeholders to make sure it remains under community control and is activated as soon as possible in a manner that celebrates and brings together the Fillmore community for generations to come,” said District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston, who represents the Fillmore corridor and Western Addition neighborhood. “The release of this RFP marks a major step forward in activating the next chapter of the Fillmore Heritage Center.”
The purpose of the Request for Proposals (RFP) is to balance multiple objectives informed by extensive engagement by City departments with community members and local businesses. Based on the experiences and feedback shared, the City is committed to ensuring that, through its lease, the Fillmore Heritage Center emerges as a vibrant and financially viable commercial establishment that also provides substantial and sustained community benefits to the Fillmore corridor and the Western Addition community. The City encourages proposals that present a financially viable business plan for providing community benefits and creatively incorporating performing arts, visual/media arts, food, and/or recreation/leisure activities.
"Through this process, we have an opportunity to activate a historic space to celebrate the beauty, culture and lives of San Francisco's Black community,” said Sheryl Davis, Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. “The City has a chance to demonstrate what respect for community and commitment to social justice looks like through government policies and projects."
View the Fillmore Heritage Tour video.
MOHCD is committed to facilitating an open and competitive process for this project and all procurement opportunities. Proposals will be accepted through April 24, 2023. Click here for more information on this project and the procurement process or email firstname.lastname@example.org.