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Locals look to Ikea to spruce up seedy stretch of Market Street in S.F.

Locals look to Ikea to spruce up seedy stretch of Market Street in S.F.
Locals look to Ikea to spruce up seedy stretch of Market Street in S.F. 02:31

SAN FRANCISCO -- Netherlands-based home furnishing powerhouse Ikea is scheduled to open on Market Street between 5th and 6th streets in San Francisco in 2023 and locals hope it will breathe new life into the struggling mid-Market neighborhood. 

Ikea hasn't announced a specific date but has said it should open sometime in the fall.

Ikea will anchor a multi-story shopping mall at 945 Market Street. At around 87,000 square feet, it will be smaller than a typical Ikea outlet. For example, it's about a third the size of the Ikea in Emeryville, at 274,000 square feet.

"Even though it might be a smaller one, hey, that's still a drawer I can buy, it's still shelving that I can buy," said area resident Adrian Tofoya.

Tofoya lives on 6th Street. He said that, aside from the convenience, the development may help push away street crime.

"To be able to have just a little more cleaner streets, instead of some people drug-dealing on the side," Tofoya said.

Neighbors say there's a lot of open drug use and drug-dealing on 6th Street and that extends out to Market Street.

Restaurant owner Tulsi Adhikari said drugs and homelessness are major problems in the area. His restaurant, Diya, is located  across the street from the new Ikea.

"Make it clean, give it more security so people come more," Adhikari advised.

Even though Ikea has its own food court, Adhikari pointed out his food is very different. He said it's a win-win situation since it'll bring more foot traffic to this part of Market Street.

"We have Indian cusine and Nepalese food. People like our food and we have very good reviews," Adhikari said.

"Ikea coming to the mid-Market area of San Francisco shows us that large retail is betting on the recovery of San Francisco in a major way," said Marisa Rodriguez, CEO of the Union Square Alliance. She thinks more businesses will follow suit.

"We couldn't be happier. We're really seeing some positive signs that industry, business and people are really coming back to downtown," Rodriguez said.

The Jonathan Carver Moore modern art gallery will open soon on Market Street across from Ikea. There are still several vacant storefronts on the block but neighbors said this is progress.

"I think it will be really, really awesome to see it finalized, to be able to bring up everybody's -- let's just say -- spirits," Tofoya said.

The popular furniture store already has two locations open in the Bay Area in Emeryville and East Palo Alto.

Ikea also has been working to open a store in Dublin but it has not given a projected date.

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