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Castro CBD gets go-ahead for offices at 14th & Market

Photo: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline
By Teresa Hammerl - Published on November 09, 2018.

On Thursday, the Planning Commission approved a conditional use authorization for a new office space for the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District (CBD). The CBD will move it at 693 14th St. (at Market), the former Snowbright Launderette location.

According to the Bay Area Reporter, planning commissioners did not discuss the item during yesterday's public hearing, but unanimously approved it as part of the consent calendar.

For those unfamiliar with the Castro CBD, it uses funds raised through a special property tax assessment in the Castro and Upper Market area to finance services such as sidewalk cleaning and graffiti removal, a business attraction campaign, safety services, and community festivals.

Back in October, the CBD's executive director, Andrea Aiello, told us that she was excited about the opportunity to have a storefront, citing support from her soon-to-be next-door neighbors Fig & Thistle and Woodhouse Fish Co.

"It will help us be more visible and accessible to the community, and it's centrally located in the Community Benefit District's footprint," Aiello said at the time.

In a letter of support to the Planning Commission, David Troup of the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association (DTNA) wrote that although his group usually "take[s] a dim view" of projects that convert retail space to office use, this is an exception.

"The Community Benefit District is a neighborhood-serving entity that needs to have a central location in the neighborhood from which to coordinate its many activities," he added.

In another letter of support, Mark D. McHale of the Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association said that the CBD needed "a building that will provide more space [and] better functionality."

Aiello said last month that she hopes to move in by December, but it might not happen before January.

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