San Francisco is still encouraging remote workers to return to the struggling downtown, where there was a strong tech presence. But now the question is whether it is time to try to attract new industries to the region.
At Ziggy’s Burgers in San Francisco, they’re trying to recover from the pandemic and it hasn’t been easy. It’s surrounded by offices, but it didn’t cause a rush like when techs were everywhere.
“A little better than before. But still not a lot of people who come because they work in a hybrid way about two days a week,” said Osman Zughayer of Ziggy’s Burger.
The city has encouraged teleworkers to return to downtown. Some workers did, but the work-from-home trend continued in many ways.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed is among those pondering what the future might look like.
“We have this empty office space, it could be used for housing or other uses. We have to start thinking about biotech and green jobs and the future and what that means and how we’re changing, how we’re adapting, how we’re prioritizing what kind of industries,” she said.
Breed said part of the outreach business. The city is exploring existing office space to see what it would take to fit. They also try to keep business going and point out that some have even grown.
Rufus Jeffris of the Bay Area Council said they are teaming up on a project to review economic strategy.
“What we are working on will probably take up to five to six months. We will come up with a series of recommendations and strategies that will identify and acknowledge what those challenges are for what we can do to address them,” he said.
This may include industry diversification and careful consideration of costs. But Jeffris said concerns about crime, cleanliness and homelessness are also key as the city looks to the future.