Tenants continue to flee San Francisco’s largest mall, the beleaguered Westfield San Francisco Centre, with another string of retailers announcing that they are packing up in the past month.
Clothing retailer J. Crew, its sister brand Madewell, shoe store Aldo, and Lucky Brand all said in recent weeks that they are shuttering their locations at the shopping center. According to the New York Post, the flurry of departures will leave the mall at only 25% occupancy.
The mall was hit with a major blow last year when its anchor store, Nordstrom, announced that it was closing both of its downtown San Francisco locations due to the “dynamics” of the area.
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In June, the mall’s owner, Westfield, announced that it would be handing the property back to a bank due to “the challenging operating conditions in downtown San Francisco.” Days later, Cinemark Holdings announced that it would be closing its theater at the mall.
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The Post reported that a judge has appointed Gregg Williams of Trident Pacific Real Estate Group to take over management of San Franciso Centre, but the property’s future remains uncertain. San Francisco Mayor London Breed last year floated the idea of tearing it down and building a new soccer stadium on the site.
San Francisco’s downtown area has struggled to recover following the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw widespread lockdowns and caused many of the tech hubs’ employers to embrace remote work, hurting foot traffic in the area that has not returned. Meanwhile, the city has continued to grapple with retail theft and a homelessness crisis, which some businesses have cited as their reasons for leaving.
The city suffered a number of high-profile losses in the area last year. In addition to San Francisco Centre, Park Hotels & Resorts stopped making payments on a $725 million loan for its Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55 San Francisco properties, pointing to several “major challenges” in the city.
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