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The Crossing Launches Vibrant Destination at Temporary Transbay Terminal

The Crossing
Written by Linda S. Hohnholz

The curation of outdoor food and beverage, entertainment, and recreation offerings will enliven downtown San Francisco and deliver needed improvements in the East Cut neighborhood with the opening of The Crossing at East Cut.

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  1. The Crossing is an interim activation developed in response to and in coordination with Mayor London Breed’s Downtown Recovery Plan.
  2. The multi-year effort to activate the site will deliver needed benefits for the neighborhood while also contributing to the reopening of downtown San Francisco.
  3. The nearly 3.5-acre block is being transformed into an urban oasis.

East Cut Landing Partners (ECLP), a partnership between The East Cut Community Benefit District (East Cut CBD), Nestory Park, Real Active and Street Soccer USA, has announced the official opening of The Crossing at East Cut, a community destination at the former Temporary Transbay Transit Terminal. The multi-year effort to activate the site will deliver needed benefits for the neighborhood while also contributing to the reopening of downtown San Francisco and supporting small businesses that faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opening September 10, 2021, The Crossing is an interim activation developed in response to and in coordination with Mayor London Breed’s Downtown Recovery Plan. The nearly 3.5-acre block between Howard, Main, Folsom, and Beale Street is being transformed into an urban oasis featuring a family-friendly beer garden, food trucks, soccer fields and a ground mural in the initial phase. An outdoor cinema, food and retail kiosks, a community marketplace, and play areas will be added soon.

“This year has shown us just how essential access to outdoor space is for the well-being of our communities and the overall development of our city,” said Mayor Breed. “This beautifully designed site will provide a safe and engaging space for both community members and visitors of our city to get outside and enjoy the vibrancy of our downtown core.”

“There’s been a multi-year push by residents to activate the site, so we felt obligated to open as soon as possible and add programming over the ensuing months,” said Real Active’s Kipp Kjeldgaard. “Given the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, opening quickly is also important to help local entrepreneurs and lend a hand in bringing workers and visitors back to the City of San Francisco.”

“By partnering with local businesses and community organizations to provide diverse and engaging programming, this exciting new project will advance downtown San Francisco’s recovery and truly be a place for all to feel welcome. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating all that makes San Francisco a world-class city; great food, music, activities and a place for all to gather in a truly unique setting.”

Programming guided by community feedback

The East Cut CBD, a nonprofit that provides cleaning, safety, and maintenance of parks and open spaces in the district, has worked to activate the site for over three years. As part of that process, a survey of over 1,200 neighbors was conducted in partnership with District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney’s office, querying respondents about their preferences for on-site programming.

“The feedback was instrumental in guiding our partnership’s development of the site and the programming visitors will experience reflects those responses,” said Andrew Robinson, The East Cut CBD Executive Director.

“This is a neighborhood that is growing and thriving, but absolutely needs more open space for the community to gather, play and enjoy,” said Supervisor Haney. “The Crossing was designed to meet that need in close partnership with residents. With so many fun aspects and features, it’s definitely going to add even more vibrancy to one of our city’s fastest growing neighborhoods.” 

In the heart of the site will be a family-friendly beer garden and bar operated by Monarch Beverage Catering, which has run both brick-and-mortar venues and pop-up outdoor events for over 10 years in the City. Delivering experiences from a range of environments, including a family zone, lounge, and reservable space for groups and organizations, the beer garden will have picnic tables, outdoor lounge seating, and a ground mural designed by local artist Laura Stevenson.

While the beer garden will eventually be encircled by food and retail kiosks built by local entrepreneur and Lightbox Café owner, Hugo Santana, a diverse line-up of quality food trucks will take their place until fabrication and installation is completed.

Locally based, Street Soccer USA is a longtime partner of the City of San Francisco and the leading national organization in the use of soccer for social change, with over a decade of experience working in San Francisco and across the Bay Area, California, and the nation.  Street Soccer USA will install two state of the art soccer courts to host competitive league play for all in addition to hosting other sport-based events and activations. Street Soccer USA will also train and hire community members to coach and manage programming for a Street Soccer Community Club where neighborhood youth can access life skills curriculum through soccer free of charge.

“By tapping into the unifying force of the game, which brings together players irrespective of race, religion or economic status, Street Soccer USA parks become points of community pride. Our pitches were developed in this same spirit, and we are excited to invite everyone to play here and participate in the power of soccer to unite,” said Street Soccer USA Managing Director, Rob Cann.

The Crossing team also expects the outdoor cinema will be ready to welcome movie enthusiasts to curated showings shortly after the site opening. Event and music promoter Noise Pop Industries, which operates the Bay Area’s DoTheBay.com and has helped bring the Fort Mason Flix and Sundown Cinema Film Nights to life, has been engaged to develop and operate the outdoor cinema.

In addition to a dedicated community fitness area open to both individuals and trainers, group and individual classes will be offered by LuxeFit, which currently operates at Proxy in Hayes Valley.

The Crossing’s Community Zone will feature many public amenities, including approximately 5,000 square feet of indoor space which can be reserved by local community groups at no cost. Management is also developing a community marketplace, which in addition to selling fresh, local goods one might find at a farmer’s market, will also feature packaged goods and retail offerings.

Thanks to input from the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (OCII), The Crossing is working with En2Action and La Cocina, nonprofit organizations working to solve problems of equity in business, for the opportunity to feature their entrepreneur’s products in a centralized, pedestrian-friendly environment enhanced by regular events and activities.

Nestory Park’s David Flaherty stated, “This project represents a big win for the community, small businesses and the reopening of the City. Given the district has added thousands of housing units across the economic spectrum, in a largely vertical neighborhood, this project meets a critical demand by providing broad community benefits where they’ve been lacking. At full implementation, it’s anticipated that over 30 local businesses and entrepreneurs employing over 60 people will be operating on-site.”

Human-centric design by the talented firm behind Oracle Park

For the design, The Crossing team collaborated with Populous, a global architectural and design firm that specializes in drawing people together through unique and customized experiences. The visionary designers behind San Francisco’s Oracle Park and other stadiums, arenas, and convention centers worldwide, Populous also develops temporary activations for the NFL’s Superbowl, the Olympics, and FIFA.

“We want to help imbue this emerging area of San Francisco with a distinctive spirit, inviting people from the surrounding residential and corporate environments to create their own community through the commonalities and orchestrated serendipity they discover here,” said Senior Principal at Populous, Michael Lockwood.

Populous’ work on the project will have implications beyond San Francisco, becoming a model for creative and thoughtful temporary activations of communities as they are being redeveloped and built, and demonstrating how to create meaningful bonds in neighborhoods across the nation.

“The Crossing is transformative in creating value for a piece of land that traditionally would have stayed fenced off during the entitlement phase,” said Populous Principal, Riki Nishimura. “Instead of allowing spaces to go underutilized, we are giving the site back to the community, creating a place for people to enjoy being together again. While historically the site has been a gateway for people to arrive to and depart from the city, it is becoming a place where people can create their own journeys for the day and experience unforgettable moments with their families.”

While ECLP is quickly launching the site so visitors can immediately enjoy programming, it is working with Populous to enhance programming and design elements in a Phase II that will truly make The Crossing an innovative, world-class venue. An elevated bridge crossing a portion of the site and creating a unique amphitheater is envisioned, as is a stage that would function as a modern-day town hall featuring performances, cultural events and civic gatherings. ECLP has retained Bay Area based marketing agency PIVOT to execute a sponsor and partner strategy to help bring these and other enhanced elements to life.

As this activation is a collaborative effort involving numerous organizations and individuals, further participation by artists, businesses and partners to execute and enhance the site is welcomed.

Organizations and individuals interested in partnership opportunities may visit www.eastcutcrossing.com or email [email protected] for more information.

About East Cut Landing Partners

East Cut Landing Partners (ECLP) is a Public Benefit LLC formed for the specific purpose of developing and operating The Crossing at East Cut, a community destination at the former Temporary Transbay Terminal in San Francisco. Comprised of four distinct Bay Area organizations, three headquartered in San Francisco, ECLP draws upon the distinctive experience and expertise of each partner to achieve a common goal: delivering broad community benefits for all to enjoy.

Non-profits East Cut CBD and Street Soccer USA provide site and programming-specific capabilities to the activation, while Real Active and Nestory Park deliver development, activation, and operating experience.

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About the author

Linda S. Hohnholz

Linda Hohnholz has been the editor in chief for eTurboNews for many years.
She loves to write and pays attention to details.
She is also in charge of all premium content and press releases.

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