If you’ve been inside the Metreon in the past week, you may have noticed something different; a lot of the ground floor shops have picked up and temporarily moved to make way for a huge renovation project set to begin in December.
According to this article at the SF Examiner’s website:
The plans include bringing in a slew of new restaurants, retail stores and cultural spaces, and redesigning the first, second and fourth floors of the four-story mall, while leaving intact the successful movie and IMAX theaters on the third floor, said Amy Neches of the Redevelopment Agency.
The first floor is slated to include additional restaurants and shops with (get this groundbreaking idea…) exterior entrances!
I whole-heartedly approve this transformation! It’s such an underutilized building considering its size and lack of foot traffic. Whenever I walk through there, I always wonder what the point of all the closed areas and lack of shops is. It’s as if nobody knows what to do with it. Hopefully now there will be a bigger plan.
One of the ground floor retailers, Chronicle Books, has picked up their kiosk and temporarily moved it to a land where foot traffic isn’t so barren: the Westfield Shopping Centre!
That’s right, they kept their South of Market street cred, and opted into an actual space with four walls, a door and shoppers passing by! Their new (temporary) location is inside the Westfield, on the second floor near Nordstrom. While they say that it’s a temporary fix while the Metreon morphs, I have to wonder if they won’t realize the untapped potential of hundreds of people passing by from day to day.
I don’t know the specifics of their contract with the Metreon, but perhaps the (assumed) higher rent at the Westfield might better fit their needs if they move more books. Only time will tell.