SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on Monday touted the city's plans to revitalize the long-neglected Mid-Market neighborhood by luring tech companies like Twitter, which is set to go public this week.
Lee took journalists on a walking tour Monday of a stretch of Market Street that is being transformed by an influx of tech firms and workers.
The mayor says the arrival of Twitter and other tech firms illustrates the success of the city's efforts to draw companies to the Mid-Market neighborhood, long known for its crime and seedy theaters and as a place frequented by the homeless.
"We have a lot more to do on Mid-Market, but we're seeing the beginning of a renaissance," Lee said, standing in front of a former furniture market now occupied by the social-media company. "People want to be here."
The mayor says the city began attracting tech firms with payroll tax breaks, but now companies are moving in without the tax benefits because they want to be in an increasingly bustling business district.
In addition, more than 5,500 new housing units have been approved or are under construction in the neighborhood, Lee said.
During the tour, Lee stopped at two local businesses — Sam's Diner and Huckleberry Bicycles — that are seeing an increase in business as more tech firms and workers move in.
"The draw of all the businesses has been huge for us. Twitter, Yammer, all the groups moving in, we see a huge influx of customers from them," Huckleberry Bicycles' co-owner Zack Stender said.