The full city block in SoMa that for much of the last decade served as a bus depot while the new Transbay Transit Center was being built has been "reactivated" with a community space dubbed The Crossing at East Cut.
They've been trying to make "East Cut" happen as a neighborhood name for this part of SoMa around Rincon Hill for four years now. And even though they have their own community benefit district — the East Cut CBD — I'm still not completely buying it, though maybe some who live there are.
The East Cut CBD appears to have been instrumental in turning the abandoned bus lot, which occupies the full 3.5-acre block bounded by Howard, Main, Folsom, and Beale streets, into an active (if temporary) community space, complete with a beer garden, mini soccer fields, a pickleball court, a fitness zone, a reserve-able community room, and an outdoor cinema. The Crossing at East Cut just opened for business three weeks ago, and it's now open from Friday to Sunday with the addition of occasional food trucks and events.
"As more housing is built and more families move into the neighborhood, it’s vital that we continue to create new community spaces to truly make this a residential neighborhood," said Supervisor Matt Haney when the project was first announced in June.
"Our downtown is coming alive again, and as we get more people vaccinated and continue to reopen and recover, this site will be a place for the community to come together safely and have fun," said Mayor Breed in a release. "Using this site in the Transbay neighborhood to provide a safe place for people to hang out, eat a meal, or get some exercise is a great use of this land and will serve people from the neighborhood and throughout San Francisco."
Nothing appears to be scheduled for the outdoor cinema yet, and the event calendar at the space is still empty — but community members can schedule their own events there, and use the 5,000-square-foot community room free of charge. But this is apparently still the "first phase opening" of the project.
The current hours are 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday — but weekday and extended hours were part of the original announcement, including 6 a.m. group fitness classes, and staying open until 11 p.m. on weekends, so that may be part of a second phase.
Also slated to be coming soon are a dog area, and a community marketplace.
The city-owned site, which is being developed as housing and park space starting in 2023, is under the aegis of the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (OCII). So, at most, the Crossing at East Cut is likely only to have a two-year life.
The similar community space in Hayes Valley, Proxy, is still around with its outdoor cinema, though, even though that and the adjacent lots remain slated for affordable housing once the city figures out funding.