Civic Center CBD Awarded $200,000 Grant to Make Improvements to Ivy Street

The Civic Center CBD recently learned that our grant application to make improvements to Ivy Street was approved and we will be receiving $200,000 to work with the neighbors, business owners and several partners to turn the 200-block into a pedestrian friendly community space. The grant is coming from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD), and is funded through the Complete Neighborhoods Program (CNP) to fund capital projects. This grant will get the project’s Phase 1 started, with overhead lighting and new entrances to the block at each end, Franklin and Gough.

The Complete Neighborhoods Grant Program was created to fund publicly accessible community improvement projects in San Francisco neighborhoods that are expected to experience increased residential growth. Funding is made available through Proposition C, the housing funding measure passed by the San Francisco voters in 2012. As part of the requirement, the nonprofit applying for the grant must partner with a residential developer who is building housing in the area. We are fortunate that we are able to partner with the Emerald Fund, which is developing the former AAA insurance site on Van Ness Avenue into thousands of residential units.

The Ivy Street Improvement Committee, cheer- leaded by Maryanne Zadfar from the Absinthe Group, spearheaded the project over the last three years, and has assembled an impressive list of partners and stakeholders with a vision for transforming Ivy Street into a “living alley.” The “Living Alley” program was developed by the City’s Department of Planning as part of the City’s Market-Octavia Plan, a comprehensive plan developed to address the City’s needs when the Central Freeway was demolished.

“The steps to reach this place in the process are not that of a singular individual or even a small group” said Zadfar. “From the beginning there have been wonderfully talented, energetic and interested members of the professional community, local businesses, the neighborhood and City agencies who have given of their time, wisdom, experience and expertise to assist the 200 block of Ivy to apply for and fund the phases of our cumulative vision. It has been patience-wracking at times, but most rewarding. we have all evolved in our thinking and approach. I think among all those supporting these types of projects, there is a singular hope for neighborhoods they affect and connect. We are most fortunate to be partnered with the CCCBD and Emerald Fund for this phase of our progressMaryanne Zadfar, the Absinthe Group

The Ivy Street Project Committee

  • Carmen Borg, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP
  • Benjamin Bartos, Hayes St Gardens Home Owners Association
  • G. Ryan Patrick, Wiegel Law Group
  • Janan New, SF Apartment Association
  • Patricia, Unterman, Hayes Street Grill
  • Maryanne Zadfar, The Absinthe Group


  • Larry Cronander, Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association
  • Jessica Look, SF Planning Department
  • Phil Pierce, Friends of the Urban Forest / Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Donald W. Savoie, Civic Center Community Benefit District
  • James Shahamiri, SFMTA / Livable Streets Division
  • Daniel Simmons and David Baker, David Baker Architects (300 Ivy)
  • Doug Wildman, Friends of the Urban Forest / Program Director Partner
  • David Winslow, SF Planning Department
  • David Fletcher Studio, Landscape architect
  • SF Beautiful
  • Community Challenge Grant Program

The 200 block of Ivy will provide a continuous connection to the 300, 400 and 500 blocks of Ivy Street, which are also being improved. Together, these three blocks of Ivy will form a “promenade” that will, in turn, provide a direct connection to the Octavia Green to the Southwest and the Civic Center and Arts district.

The architectural renderings, developed by local Hayes Valley architect David Baker, were cited by City Planner David Winslow and the department as an example of a prototype project. Since receiving that blessing, the project has been well-received by residents, property owners and businesses. The committee was previously the recipient of a grant from Community Challenge Grant Program with SF Beautiful serving as the fiscal agent commissioning mural artist Shawn Bullen for the streets’ first mural.

The project will entail the CBD working as the fiscal agent working close with the members of the committee and the donated services of a construction project manager, Tim Rooney, from the Emerald fund.

We could not be happier to be working with the Emerald Fund and the property owners on Ivy Street to link these two growing neighborhoods together.Donald Savoie, Civic Center CBD’s executive director.

New Website for Project

As the transformation unfolds on Ivy Street, the project committee and the CBD will promote the project, begin to activate it more, and engage the community through a new website called, For more detailed information, please email Don Savoie at the Civic Center CBD at, or Maryanne Zadfar with the Absinthe Group at

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