Developers and realtors are always going to want to rebrand a part of the city when it lacks a distinct neighborhood designation of its own. But they need to stop because it's just getting comical.
We are now five and a half years into the folly of calling Rincon Hill "The East Cut," and I still have not heard anyone say that they live in "The East Cut." It's still just SoMa, or eastern SoMa, or more vaguely "downtown."
And two years ago, we learned that the developer behind 1550 Mission, the tower that sits awkwardly at the intersection of SoMa and the Mission but it's not really either because it's along Van Ness, decided to rebrand the neighborhood as Van Mission, which exactly no one has used in conversation to this day.
Now, as the Chronicle's John King calls out, another developer working on a project that's barely a block away from "Van Mission," at 30 Van Ness, that is dubbing itself Hayes Point. The developer, Lendlease, says the goal was not to give a name to this edge area that isn't quite Hayes Valley or Civic Center, for its building at the northeast corner of Van Ness and Market. But, obviously, they want to market the building as being connected to hip and bustling Hayes Valley, as opposed to downtrodden Civic Center or mid-Market — or Van Market?
Most locals would argue that Hayes Valley doesn't really make it all the way to Van Ness, but likely ends a block west on Franklin Street — according to the Yelp page for Le Fantastique, the newish restaurant/wine bar at the foot of Franklin, it is in both Hayes Valley and Civic Center.
"We threw everything on the wall, and at the end of the day we felt a kinship to the energy of Hayes Valley," says Lendlease's executive general manager of West Coast development Arden Hearing, speaking to the Chronicle. And, he says, if people want to argue that the building isn't in Hayes Valley, "that's OK."
A block up, the residential tower known as 100 Van Ness definitely leans into photos of Hayes Valley on its website, but when you click on the "Neighborhood" tab it's careful not to define it — and a map of nearby restaurants and cultural amenities kind of covers the words "Civic Center" with a bunch of dots, where "Hayes Valley" is more readily visible.
As anyone who's read the comments section on SFist for more than a minute will know, people in this city love to call out when someone gives the wrong neighborhood designation to an address. And most everyone still makes fun of "East Cut" in the vein of "stop trying to make 'East Cut' happen."
But, will anyone start calling this intersection of Van Ness and Market The Hub — which is what Planning has taken to calling it? This is using a historic name for the area, which, as King writes, was once home to businesses called Hub Bowling and Hub Shoe Repair. And once there are tall towers standing on all four corners, thanks to extra height allowances the city granted for The Hub a few years back, maybe the name will start to stick.
Van Mission and Hayes Point, though? Probably not.