Could Ghirardelli Square One Day Rival the Ferry Building?

If the last time you were in Ghirardelli Square was to escort a visiting elderly relative who wanted to buy fudge with traveler's cheques, that's because it kind of sucks.

But as a historic pod of twelve buildings dating as far back as 1864, it certainly has potential beyond its current 55 percent occupancy rate and general forgettable-ness. (Remember, the Ferry Building used to be walled off from everything by an elevated freeway.) In perhaps a bit of recognition that it's underutilized and unloved, Ghirardelli Square has been purchased for $56 million in preparation for a big, post-recession zhoozh.

See also: Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival Offers More than Cacao

And not by some mall-builders, either. Jamestown Properties also owns New York's Chelsea Market and Atlanta's immense Ponce City Market, each highly successful foodie meccas in their respective cities. As the SF Business Times notes, "the goal is to make the property interesting and unique enough to draw San Franciscans." The sellers rejected bids by several would-be suitors before Jamestown rang the bell.

This is pretty much a solid win. Ghirardelli is too historic for much of anything bland or unsightly to be built, and mercifully, it's not being converted to condos with "GBUS to MTV" loading zones, either.

And if you truly suffer from a crippling tourist allergy, they'll all still be sequestered there next to the Wharf. But maybe it'll become a destination for even the most discerning of locavores, too. We shall see.

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Juan Reyes III
Juan Reyes III

That's cheap, I would expect at least 100 million range for such space.

Marc Combs
Marc Combs

when I first went there back in the 60's it was awesome. They have some work to do.

Diana Pardini
Diana Pardini

I love the Wharf, albeit off tourist season. However, it bothers me as a 3rd generation San Franciscan that yet another BIG CORPORATE ENTITY FROM OUT OF TOWN is coming here and buying up another piece of our history. They say the goal is to entice "San Franciscans" to their vision of the new Ghirardelli, but has anyone noticed that the city and the demographic is changing drastically on a daily basis and these "San Franciscans" they are hoping to entice ARE NOT the poor/lower/middle/working class people who have actually lived here for generations.

Dee Dee Russell
Dee Dee Russell

It should, that part of town is awesome I have lived heer decades and love it. Only snobs and elitist newbies diss the Wharf.

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