newsom.midmarket.jpgSan Francisco’s rundown Mid-Market neighborhood took a step toward revitalization on Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors gave the unanimous green light for a proposed mall.

CityPlace would be a five-floor shopping center that could attract a number of vendors, and the mall has been making its way through the city’s approval process for the past two years, according to its website.

On Tuesday, the board unanimously approved the mall’s environmental impact report, which had been appealed by several neighborhood groups.

Groups have been concerned that a currently unused historic theater, the St. Francis Theatre, will be torn down along with two other buildings to make way for the mall, which would be built on Market Street between 5th and 6th streets.

But CityPlace officials are less concerned about removing the structures.

“It didn’t make sense to rehabilitate some of the older buildings that were in disrepair,” said Alex Clemens, consultant to the CityPlace project.

Mayor Gavin Newsom also supports the market.

“CityPlace will bring hundreds of jobs and new revenues to boost our city’s economy and thousands of new pedestrians and shoppers to activate one of the most blighted blocks of Market Street,” he said.

Before the board vote, mall developers struck a deal with the city: each car parked in a CityPlace garage would pay a 20-cent fee, which would go toward pedestrian safety improvements in the area.

Retailers are now negotiating with developers to rent space, and CityPlace officials hope to break ground on the project in 2011, Clemens said.

Saul Sugarman, Bay City News

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