The Emergence of a New San Francisco Neighborhood: The East Cut
The creation of a new identity for our neighborhood is underway and it’s quickly gaining
momentum, and accolades, along the way.
If you haven’t heard – The East Cut is a local effort to unite the Rincon Hill, Folsom Street and
Transbay areas under this new moniker. 181 Fremont, Salesforce Tower, Facebook and the
soon-to-open Salesforce Transit Center are among the most high-profile inhabitants.
What was once lumped in with SoMa, South Park or the Financial District, today The East Cut is
San Francisco’s fastest growing new neighborhood with the highest concentration of new-home
construction in the Bay Area, according to a recent story by CBS 5. The East Cut is already
home to 80,00 employees and one of the defining landmarks will be a bus bridge extending
from Salesforce Transbay Park. When it opens in August, the bridge will bring an estimated
15,000 passengers in and out of the neighborhood daily, the CBS story notes.
“The East Cut Community Benefit District (The East Cut CBD) works to advance the district’s
quality of life for residents, workers and visitors by providing a safer and more secure
community, enhancing environmental quality and beauty and reinforcing the viability of the
neighborhood’s economic base,” said Andrew Robinson, executive director of The East Cut
CBD. “Our staff and 23-person volunteer board are committed to ensuring this neighborhood
delivers on its promise to be a walkable, transit-rich neighborhood that people can be proud of.
This has helped achieve positive acceptance in our neighborhood.”
Many don’t know the rich history of our neighborhood. As outlined on The East Cut’s website,
after the Gold Rush, Rincon Hill became one of the city’s most elegant and fashionable
neighborhoods. In 1869, city planners decided to flatten the center of Rincon Hill along 2 nd
Street, creating the 2 nd Street Cut. While the cut facilitated commerce between downtown and
the docks at South Beach, the change scarred the neighborhood and it lost its cachet. The 1906
earthquake added insult to injury and leveled much of the sector. When the neighborhood was
rebuilt, it was characterized by warehouses and large business operations. Then, the
community’s character dramatically changed again when the Bay Bridge opened in 1936.
Today, The East Cut is approximately 20 blocks roughly bounded by Interstate 80 and Second,
Mission and Spear streets.
“In a city known for neighborhoods, we strive to be part of that fabric. The geographic reach of
SoMa is such that it encompasses many, many neighborhoods. SoMa is not at a human scale,
including Yerba Buena, Mission Bay, South Beach, etc.,” said Robinson. “The people that make
up the East Cut district are what make this place special. By unifying the areas of this district
under the East Cut banner we aim to create a sense of place for an area long overlooked or
misinterpreted by others. We want to provide a point of unity and an identity that people will look
to and say, ‘Yeah, I know where that is.'”
Robinson added, “Residents of 181 Fremont should know that we are not only a resource for
neighborhood cleaning and safety, but also their advocate for district at the city level. We are
co-leading a neighborhood planning process with SF Planning, we’re regularly activating vacant
retail with cultural programming and we are guiding the development of future park space in the
Beyond the sleek glass towers, bustling streets, Bay Bridge views and construction cranes
signaling a building boom, one of the biggest things you’ll notice in the East Cut is the
unmistakable energy. Our neighborhood is a place where longtime locals and family-run
businesses sit side-by-side with the most innovative companies in the world. 181 Fremont is
proud to be a cornerstone within this emerging neighborhood.
Keep up with happenings, events and news by following @TheEastCut on Instagram and
Facebook. You can also sign up for their monthly newsletter at theeastcut.org.