In Pac Heights, the problem is too much empty retail and not enough restaurants, but down in the [ahem] Lower Fillmore area District 5 Supervisor and potential sheriff Ross Mirkarimi sees a different factor holding back revitalization of the district: Businesses using ground-floor storefronts as offices. Don't these businesses know that's where the boutiques are supposed to go?
According to the Chronicle, Mirkarimi has a proposal in front of the planning commission today that would require ground-floor businesses be "active use". While updates from the planning commission weren't immediately available this afternoon, if Ross got his way, the current street-level offices will have to go elsewhere (upstairs perhaps) and open the storefronts to businesses that will attract pedestrians (who we know love to spend money) and won't close up right at 5 p.m.
We tried to remember the shops we passed on our last stroll along Fillmore from McAllister to Bush Streets (The blocks Mirkarimi's proposed ordinance would affect) and it seemed pretty lively to us. There's a fro-yo place and a Sunday Farmer's on those blocks, after all, but as Gabriel Metcalf of SPUR told the Chronicle, "It is not so much a problem of vacancies as it is closed blinds."