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Analysts optimistic about future of San Francisco

A new study paints a curious picture of downtown San Francisco. 

It found that the area may have hit rock bottom as major retailers duck out and issues begin to pile up, but it also says that might be good news.

With companies leaving town, the city’s struggling to get back to its pre-pandemic, high-tech strut. According to Moody’s Analytics, the city’s population fell by more than 7 % in two years and cell phone use in the downtown area is a mere 32% of what it used to be.

“We’re only one third of what it used to be pre-pandemic,” said Lu Chen, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics. “And that puts us at the rock bottom list of all major North American metropolitan areas.”

The city admits it’s looking into ways to change things up.

“So there’s a lot of imagination, a lot of difficult in-the-weeds conversations on policy and laws that are needed to make the downtown more business friendly, potentially more friendly for residential conversion,” said Rodney Fong, CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. 

But all is not lost there, one thing has made a big comeback downtown — nightlife. And it’s bringing young people back.

“All those places which have bars and restaurants adjacent,” said Chen. “And we see how popular San Francisco’s bars and restaurants are.”

A downtown that recently grew because of tech is now seeing new tenants like IKEA, and maybe, a new revolution, sparked by young people having a good time.

“I think so, and that’s partly why San Francisco thrived so many times over and over is because of the culture,” said Fong.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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