Central Market/Tenderloin

Central Market and the Tenderloin are located at the very heart of San Francisco.

In recent years, Central Market has undergone a remarkable transformation. Thousands of new employees now flood into the neighborhood daily and an impressive number of new businesses and housing projects are currently in development. Click here for the latest data and accomplishments of our work on Central Market and in the Tenderloin in a press release welcoming Dolby Laboratories to their new building at 1275 Market Street.

To deepen and sustain this revitalization on Market Street, in 2014 the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), the Planning Department, and the Office of the City Administrator began a year-long process to update the Central Market Economic Strategy to better serve the neighborhood. This process led to the inescapable conclusion that Central Market and adjacent areas along Sixth Street and throughout the Tenderloin are interdependent, their fates inextricably linked, and that the success on Central Market could be leveraged to generate a shared prosperity for the larger area.

The 2015 Central Market/Tenderloin Strategy extends earlier economic development strategies for Central Market to include priority areas along Sixth Street and throughout the Tenderloin. It captures important work underway and identifies new interventions that are planned or needed.

Residents and other stakeholders have voiced a resounding commitment to ensuring that the area remains affordable and supportive of San Franciscans with substantial needs. There’s optimism that the area’s unique assets, such as the large stock of permanently affordable housing units and numerous well-established non-profit property owners, provide an unparalleled opportunity to revitalize the neighborhood while also ensuring the low-income residential population of the neighborhood, including children, families, and immigrant business owners, can benefit from cleaner and safer streets, quality businesses, recreation and other opportunities alongside newcomers.

The goal of the Strategy is to harness new investment in the area to create a diverse, healthy, mixed-income neighborhood that offers safety and well-being to all who live, work and visit the area.

Strategy Progress Reports

In partnership with Epicenter-SF.org, the City regularly publishes updates on the Strategy’s progress. Click on the links below to read more:

Get Involved

The new Strategy also creates a much-needed structure for implementation that allows for increased coordination among the growing number of diverse public and private neighborhood stakeholders, now and in the future. We need everyone’s help to implement and achieve the Strategy’s goal.

Whether you’re an employer seeking employee volunteer opportunities, a small business seeking to expand in the neighborhood, a nonprofit interested in leading or participating in “placemaking” activities, a philanthropic entity seeking to make an impactful investment, or city staff interested in coordinating efforts in the area, this Strategy is for you. It will help guide you to meaningful opportunities for involvement in Central Market and the Tenderloin.

By using the Strategy, you’re also joining in a much larger community-driven process to improve Central Market and the Tenderloin for long-time residents and newcomers alike. Section Three provides a list of place-specific activities and neighborhood-wide objectives, all set forth below with corresponding contact information below. If you’re interested in opportunities to get involved in improving a specific area within the neighborhood, check out the place-specific activities organized into nine “Action Zones” and contact the point person:

Action Zone Map

Click on map for larger version and full list of place specific activities


Alternatively, if you are more interested in issues affecting the neighborhood as a whole, such as housing, safety, small businesses or arts, more generally, check out the “Neighborhood-Wide Objectives” detailed in section three and contact the corresponding point people:

Neighborhood Info

For information about events, activities, news and resources related to Central Market and the Tenderloin, please visit the soft launch of Epicenter-sf.org.

EpicenterSF is an online clearinghouse of information about Central Market and the Tenderloin. It’s a way for everyone who lives, works, or visits the area to connect and coordinate with what’s happening in the neighborhood. EpicenterSF is dedicated to promoting new ideas, stories, and ways to get and stay involved.

Neighborhood Newsletter

Subscribe now to receive intermittent updates and invitations from our Office.

Small Business, Nonprofits and Arts Technical Assistance and Resources

OEWD staff and our partners support existing and prospective small businesses, nonprofits and arts organizations in Central Market and the Tenderloin. This support includes project feasibility analysis such as business planning, real estate services such as lease negotiation and site procurement assistance, and financial assistance though access to grants, low-interest loans and other economic incentive programs. We team with the following established non-profit service providers to deliver this support:

For Small Business Assistance

Urban Solutions – Small Business Attraction and Leasing Assistance

  • Assisting small businesses seeking to lease space in Central Market and the Tenderloin by connecting them with available properties; assisting with lease negotiation; assisting with access to City and other resources and incentives; and advising on permitting and build-out
  • Assisting property owners in preparing and marketing their spaces to prospective tenants
  • Assisting small businesses on Sixth Street and Central Market with referrals to legal assistance, business loans, and other supportive resources

Tenderloin Economic Development Project – Small Business Attraction and Retention

  • Increasing the profitability of small businesses in the Tenderloin by providing access to technology upgrades, connecting these small businesses with new patrons including Central Market employees, and assisting with access to City and other resources and incentives
  • Assisting small businesses in the Tenderloin with referrals to legal assistance, business loans and other supportive resources.

For Non-Profit and Arts Organizations

Northern California Community Loan Fund 

Assisting nonprofit organizations, including arts organizations, to:

  • Locate and contact available spaces in Central Market and the Tenderloin
  • Evaluate their financial and organizational capacity to lease
  • Purchase and/or renovate space
  • Negotiate leases
  • Access City and other resources and incentives, including preliminary architectural services, and grant and/or loan assistance, particularly as part of the Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Program for Arts, Cultural and Social Service Sectors.

For any of these technical assistance resources, you may contact the organizations above directly or contact Juan Carlos Cancino juancarlos.cancino@sfgov.org, 415-554-5185

Community Benefit Districts

A Community Benefit District (CBD) is a non-profit organization that operates within a legally defined geographic area to provide cleanliness, safety and beautification services above and beyond those typically provided by the City. CBDs are established by a vote of local property owners in the defined area to pay a special assessment to fund supplemental services that benefit their properties and the community. Together, the Central Market CBD, Tenderloin CBD and Civic Center CBD make the Central Market area a safer, more attractive, more desirable place to work, live, shop, or locate a business.