Neighborhood leaders to ask for $1M to create food market in Tenderloin

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SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) Leaders of San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood today will urge 
the Board of Supervisors and mayor to provide $1 million to transform an abandoned city property into a marketplace, organizers said. 

At 11 a.m., representatives of the University of California Hastings Law School, the Asian Art Museum and Unite Here Local 2 will meet in front of the potential marketplace at 101 Hyde St. to make their plea.

A company was selected to run the marketplace, but a million more dollars are needed from the city because of increasing construction costs. 

"We have an opportunity to do something transformative and iconic at 101 Hyde but need help from the city to make this happen," Caleb Zigas, director of La Cocina, the company hired to operate the market, said in a statement. 

Zigas said the Municipal Marketplace will create jobs specific to the Tenderloin and be a place for businesses that are being driven out of the Bay Area because of high commercial real estate prices.

Zigas added that the marketplace will be the first all-women-led food hall in the nation and will be powered by women of color. 

Randy Shaw, director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which is working with La Cocina, said in a statement, "San Francisco can either invest $1 million to revive a troubled corner or do nothing and allow the drug trade to continue controlling the space. The long underserved Tenderloin neighborhood needs the economic boost." 

In a statement, three-year Tenderloin resident Gemma Rosas, who cooks for La Voz Latina, said, "As someone who enjoys cooking for La Voz and my son's school events, 101 Hyde St. could offer me the chance to start my own small business in my neighborhood." 

Two years ago the project cost $2 million, but the cost has risen to $4 million. La Cocina committed $1 million two years ago and will put up another $1 million. 

Organizers are asking the city to commit another $1 million dollars to make the project a reality.