San Francisco is spending $70,000 to rebrand its financial center as a hipster enclave

Salesforce tower 3250
The view from Salesforce Tower. Melia Robinson/Business Insider

San Francisco realtors need no help offloading homes in one of the most competitive housing markets in America.

Still, a local effort is rebranding an area of San Francisco that contains the city’s tallest and most expensive buildings, in an effort to create buzz around the neighbourhood.

A financial hub that includes Rincon Hill, South Beach, and parts of the Transbay District is now called “The East Cut,” a community organising group announced in May.

The Greater Rincon Hill Community Benefit District (now called the East Cut Community Benefit District) spent a reported $US68,000 generated from taxes on local property owners to come up with the new identity and market it, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. In a recent interview with Curbed, the East Cut group denied that figure without explanation.

The area is to San Francisco as the Financial District is to New York City. It holds offices for tech giants including Google, Salesforce, and Fitbit, as well as major banks. While it’s bustling during the weekdays, the neighbourhood empties after 6 o’clock.

San francisco neighbourhood the east cut

That is starting to change. Developers have added about 6,000 apartments and condos in the area over the last decade (including those in the leaning, sinking Millennium Tower), and there are at least 2,000 more in the pipeline, the Chronicle reports.

The East Cut also contains the Salesforce Tower, a $US1 billion skyscraper that will be the tallest building west of Chicago upon completion this summer; and the Transbay Transit Center, a $US2.3 billion transportation hub that could be the most expensive bus terminal ever built.

The reactions to the name change on social media have been mixed.

“This is a neighbourhood with lots of history, and lots of history that still is here,” Andrew Robinson, executive director of the East Cut CBD, told the Chronicle. “It’s a 21st century idea of what a neighbourhood should be, mixing old and new and a variety of uses.”

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