San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee today reaffirmed plans to build a Police Department substation along Sixth Street as part of his plan to revitalize the blighted neighborhood.
Lee today outlined his plans for the substation while celebrating the opening of Dottie’s True Blue Cafe, which relocated to the corner of Sixth and Stevenson streets in the city’s South of Market neighborhood.
The substation, which would allow police to have a base to work out of in the neighborhood, would be installed just a few doors down on Sixth Street but it still needs funding, Lee said.
The mayor had promised last year to install the substation there, but the fate of the project was cast into doubt by a new state law ordering the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies that just went into effect today.
“I made a promise and I’m going to keep that promise,” Lee said.
He said the city will be taking money that had been set aside for the project by its now-defunct redevelopment agency and use it to get started on a contract to clean the building where the substation will be.
He estimated that funding makes up roughly half of the $600,000 needed to complete the project.
“We want … to use that money immediately as we spend weeks trying to figure out how to get the rest of it,” Lee said.
The substation, which Lee said he hoped will be completed by the end of the year, would further improve what he said is an increasingly vibrant neighborhood.
The mayor cited the opening of Dottie’s, which relocated from the Tenderloin and expanded its workforce from 12 to 24 employees at the new location.
A new community ambassador program announced by Lee in November is also helping to increase safety in the Central Market and Sixth Street neighborhoods, an area notorious for poverty and crime, the mayor said.
Lee said the ambassadors “help residents, visitors and constituents ease some of the traditionally hard aspects of this area.”
Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district includes the Sixth Street corridor, said the city is “not trying to change the neighborhood per se, but to enhance it.”
Kurt Abner, the owner of Dottie’s, said he was excited to be in the neighborhood.
“Everyone’s been very welcoming and supportive,” Abner said. “We look forward to growing here.”
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News