Ivy Street Promenade Living Alley

Ivy Street Promenade

The Civic Center CBD, working with neighbors, business owners and several partners, was approved and will be spending $200,000 from a grant to make improvements to Ivy Street, to turn the 200-block into a pedestrian-friendly promenade and 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, cheerleaded 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 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 closely with the members of the committee and the donated services of a construction project manager, Tim Rooney, from the Emerald Fund.