August 10, 2016 Corey Smith

The Hall: Activating Mid-Market for a New Community

The Hall is the future location of 1028 Market Street, a 186-unit mixed-use project that SFHAC endorsed last year. Until it breaks ground, however, the site is being used as an eclectic food court that was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the “Great New American Food Halls” in January 2015 and was included in the top 10 on the San Francisco Eater’s “Heat Map”.  We recently talked with the Hall’s Community Manager, Ilana Lipsett, to find out more.

What is ‘The Hall’ and how did it come about?
The Hall was created to bring new energy to a site that had been vacant and blighted for nearly 7 years while the development team, War Horse and Tidewater Capital, undertakes the entitlement of a mixed-use apartment building that will eventually replace the existing property. We want to foster a connection among members of the community by creating a space for them to gather, hold events, and enjoy small, local food places.

Today, we feature six local food vendors and a bar with outdoor seating. With most of the vendors originating from food truck backgrounds, the site provides these vendors an opportunity to experiment with brick-and-mortar retail without making the financial commitment usually required for such an endeavor. The Hall is committed to supporting local food economies and creating thriving community gathering places and has hosted over 90 different events for nonprofits. Live music, art exhibits, and private events have added to the active community calendar, ensuring that all members of the surrounding neighborhood are welcome to gather and build community.

What types of activities are facilitated by The Hall and their partners to give back to the community?
The Hall has a robust community engagement program that supports local nonprofits, residents and the neighborhood. We regularly donate our space to local nonprofits for happy hours, fundraisers and other events and have donated over $12,000 to local nonprofits through bar sales, and almost $25,000 as in-kind contributions.

Most recently, we’ve begun a series of jobs fairs, in partnership with the City and the Tenderloin Police Department, inviting in Tenderloin youth to meet employers and apply for jobs on the spot. It’s an exciting new partnership that is bringing a new approach to providing economic opportunity for people in the neighborhood.

We’ve seen discussion about the public art you sponsor; can you please tell us what you’re doing?
The City has a public art requirement, which requires developers creating residential developments of 25,000 square feet or more in the C-3 District to contribute one percent of their project’s hard costs towards public art. This contribution can take the form of permanent public art on or in the building, or through contributing to a public art trust. More details here.

We held 5 public design meetings and collected information from the neighbors regarding what values were important for them to be considered for installation of new public art.

In the end, we had 133 artists apply and our advisory committee chose 8 finalists who are now competing to be selected for the final piece. Each of those finalists created a mock-up of their proposal which are all on display at the Hall through the end of August. We want to know your opinion! Please come by and let us know what you think of each piece. Bonus! You get $2 off any drink for each feedback form you fill out.

You can also see each piece and leave feedback here.

What’s going on with the approved housing and what will happen to the Hall’s tenants?
We hope to go to the SF Planning Commission by the end of this year to get our building permits, which would allow us to break ground next year. For the current tenants, we are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for everyone – the vendors, staff, and customers. We are actively pursuing other locations where either the Hall in its entirety, or various interested vendors, can relocate. We are working with these tenants and their vendors to understand their future needs so that we can help place them in a new location.

That said, if any of your readers know of potential locations for a new Hall, please let us know! We will follow up on any leads!


Corey Smith

Corey Smith is HAC's Executive Director and can be reached at

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