California Construction News staff writer
San Francisco has issued a request for proposals for the lease of commercial portions of the Fillmore Heritage Center, located at the corner of Fillmore and Eddy Streets in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco.
“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.”
Built in 2007, the site was developed as a multi-use facility to revitalize the commercial corridor and honor cultural heritage of the neighborhood. Once considered the “Harlem of the West”, the Fillmore neighborhood is now known for its vibrant community of African American residents and the center for Black-owned businesses.
The Fillmore is a destination for live music and entertainment and a central location for annual festivals.
“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, a destination dining and entertainment district called the Fillmore Jazz Preservation District was created to revitalize the neighborhood. It was one of the last projects built as part of the Western Addition redevelopment program.
The ground floor of the Fillmore Heritage Center offers about 50,000 square feet of commercial space with 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.
“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.”