205 Franklin (Image Source: MapJack.com)
According to The Examiner, the nonprofit SFJAZZ is proposing to raze the auto body shop on Franklin between Linden and Fell in Hayes Valley and replace it with 40-foot-tall “three-story building for jazz performances, classes and administration headquarters.”

The proposed 9,500-square-foot theater includes seating for up to 750 people, with additional standing-room only space, and is expected to host approximately 200 performances a year on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, according to Planning Department documents.

In addition to a box office and gift shop, a café/restaurant is proposed for the ground floor.
Jazz nonprofit wants to build Hayes Valley venue, headquarters [Examiner]

33 thoughts on “SFJAZZ Snubs San Francisco’s “Jazz District,” Targets Hayes Valley”
  1. I guess becoming a more walkable city includes removing all the gas stations (to build condos), and now.. mechanic shops….

  2. Why does everything always have to be presented as a conflict or snub? Is the Civic Center a ridiculous place to have a musical venue?

  3. Fillmore dist is loosersville as far as an entertainment dist goes. Yoshis SF is on life support, and the better jazz bands are back to playing in yoshis Jack London sq, as always. Maybe fillmore is jinxed?

  4. Makes perfect sense for a musical venue. It’s near other performance venues, so there can be cross fertilization. It recognizes that, in many ways, the audience are the same, or at least cross over from, opera/ballet/symphony. And the location is reasonably close to both transit and parking.
    And no, we don’t need nearly as many mechanics shops as we have..especially in neighborhoods this central. They are only there because nothing has displaced them until now…not that they we “need” them there.

  5. Personally I would have preffered if it located onto Fillmore Street, either replacing that old brick building that is sitting boarded up or replacing that ugly McDonalds. Just keep building Jazz venues on Fillmore Street, eventually someone might go to one!

  6. “Why does everything always have to be presented as a conflict or snub?”
    It’s more fun that way?
    The essence of drama is conflict.

  7. This is a fantastic location for this project. It will greatly enhance the neighborhood. All the best success to the folks pulling this together!

  8. “Fillmore dist is loosersville as far as an entertainment dist goes. Yoshis SF is on life support, and the better jazz bands are back to playing in yoshis Jack London sq, as always. Maybe fillmore is jinxed? ”
    or maybe people spending big bucks for jazz and a night out don’t want to be mugged upon exit

  9. Is this thing being built with public money? Seems tough to believe this would pencil as a solid investment for a private operator, especially in today’s economy. Article mentions non-profit with plenty of cash. How many of our tax dollars at work here?

  10. Yet another example of centralized (i.e. government-directed) planning gone wrong.
    “Hey, let’s put a jazz district here.”
    Yeah, that worked really well.

  11. the problem with Yoshi’s Fillmore is that it is a soul-less box in a soul-less box of a redevelopment building. Fillmore is a fine place for music — if you have a good venue. the historic Fillmore Audiroium is case in point. They don’t have a problem attracting top notch performers or selling out. The Fillmore redevelopment zone is a bland enough location that simply putting a performance space in a housing development (which is what Yoshi’s is) is not going to get people to go. People want soul in the music venue itself, not just in the music. I can listen to music at home for free. If the experience of going to the venue and watching a performance in that place is dreary, why should I pay $30+ to do so?

  12. hmm has a good point about the Fillmore Auditorium. Silly me I forgot all about it, even though I love it and have been there millions of times. Hate to admit it, but I’ve never been in Yoshi’s…
    Legacy Dude..likely none of your “tax dollars” are at work here, so don’t worry too much about it. Apparently SFJAZZ, as an established and successful operation, has been very effective at fundraising, and that’s where the capital funding is coming from.
    Like all art non-profits in SF, SFJAZZ is eligible to apply for annual funding from Grants for the Arts (hotel tax fund), but that funding would be to support performance. Last year they got $156,000, which puts them in the same league as Chanticleer and Philharmonia Baroque, and way less than the 800K the Symphony and Opera get. (The grant amount is determined by your annual budget and the size of your audiences, primarily).

  13. Fillmore St. between Geary and Haight is to civic life what Bernie Madoff is to wealth management. No one in their right mind would think to locate anything there but maybe a hit of crack.

  14. While I too am repulsed by the City’s tax subsidy of Yoshi’s, at the risk of sounding like a shill, I have to say I think it is being unfairly bashed as a music venue. My wife and I go to a fair amount of live music, including 6 or more SFJAZZ presentations per year. For the same reasons others have listed, we’d avoided going to Yoshi’s SF up until about a month ago when we saw Charlie Hunter. I am now a convert, and Yoshi’s is my favorite SF music venue, bar none. The GAMH will always have a warm place in my heart, but for high quality sound in a much more comfortable setting in a neighborhood with fewer crackheads, Yoshi’s takes the cake. The room is intimate without being overly crowded, the acoustics are fantastic and the seating is nicely tiered so the sight lines are great. If you eat at the admittedly pricey restaurant or bar your server can reserve your seat in the auditorium ahead of time so that you don’t have to queue up. Maybe it is due to the tax subsidy, but I think Yoshi’s ticket prices are actually pretty reasonable. For example, premium tickets at SFJAZZ shows run $40 to $80, and that is for larger much less intimate venues, such as the Masonic Auditorium. OK, some artists are too big to play Yoshi’s so the larger venue makes sense. But when Poncho Sanchez recently played Yoshi’s Oakland tickets were around $25, compared to the $52 SFJAZZ is charging (with member discount!) for his fall concert at Herbst theatre. With the difference in ticket prices we knock back a couple Manhattans and still have money left for the cab ride home.

  15. Is there seriously that big of a call for a jazz venue? I have no opinion about this site, it just seems odd to me that there is a need for a jazz venue. Yes, Yoshi’s is overpriced, but with what seems to be a struggling live music scene, I don’t know about how successful this venue is going to be.

  16. Yet another example of centralized (i.e. government-directed) planning gone wrong.
    “Hey, let’s put a jazz district here.”
    Yeah, that worked really well.

    Um, do you even know the history of the neighborhood? It WAS a jazz district before the city destroyed it. Learn you history.

  17. Yes, in fact I do. It was a stupid thought that just by “recreating” a jazz district there, it can make up for all the harm the Redevelopment Agency did in the neighborhood.
    Once it’s gone, it’s gone. No amount of city “planning” can bring that back.

  18. I’m with you, usually named. Especially since “jazz” in no way means “black” anymore. And it was guilt over what the redevelopment agency did to a black neighborhood that propelled the creation of the “jazz district”.

  19. Jazz simply isn’t particularly popular and it hasn’t been for a very, very long time. Why they do not understand this fact is not known.

  20. Yoshi’s SF seems to attract a pretty mixed audience. Most shows there you’ll see white couples, white hippies, older black couples, and Japanese tourists.
    It’s pretty popular on weekends. The problem is keeping the lights on the rest of the week.
    You can get half price tickets for quite a few shows on goldstar.com. Don’t be a hater. Give it a try.

  21. We’ve been to maybe half a dozen shows at Yoshi’s and think it’s terrific. Good sound, good food, and a beer is less than ATT Park. If you don’t like the prices, eat elsewhere before the show – it’s not a million miles from anywhere like the Bach in HMB. We need various sized halls for different types of music in SF; it’s part of what makes the city vibrant. Tickets for all live events with known artists are steep, no matter what venue. Since theft (excuse me, “file sharing”) took over the music industry, live performance is the only way to make a living in music, and that’s the price we pay.

  22. Nice. Good luck getting mugged / robbed by the druggies and homeless posse round the corner on Market St…

  23. More jazz venues the better. Yoshi’s SF is great. My issue with their restaurant space is it’s way too big. Cut it down by 2/3 and it’s a more intimate scene. And I’d agree with Hmmm’s comment “a soul-less box in a soul-less box”. That said, the performance space is A+ (and similar to Oakland’s) and usually shows are well priced. If you have not been to a show there, go check it out.

  24. “Good luck getting mugged / robbed by the druggies and homeless posse round the corner on Market St”
    Are muggings really common on that part of Market ? I’ve walked past there many times at all hours of the day and night (well … maybe not the 4am hour) and have not caught even a whiff of danger. Sleaze, yes. Danger, no.

  25. I have walked many times day and night in these blocks. What’s relatively scary is after you cross Van Ness towards the TL. Never been mugged, but a few panhandlers and “corner boys”. This side of Van Ness is fine. A bit bland and no particular charm, but not unsafe.
    What I like about this area though is the Hayes Street section between Laguna and Franklin. This is the place where everybody sips their wine before going to the Opera/Ballet/Symphony/other venues. Try the grilled tartines at Arlequin on the patio. Better come before 6PM though.
    I think a Jazz place would be a great complement to this already great cultural area. Sad to see the Fillmore cannot be more attractive to these ventures though. But then again, I never go to the lower Fillmore. Never had a good enough reason to.

  26. @The Milkshake
    Depends on whether you are a fat ugly smelly male or a cute skinny young female. The latter is more likely to get robbed, hissed-at, mugged.
    My real-estate agent got robbed there last year while showing a place on “Rose” Street. In broad daylight.

  27. Why not just share the space with Yoshis? Help the Fillmore district and actually work together… oh, I forgot this is SF, where everyone needs their own empty building.

  28. ^^^ Bingo. I’m not a big fan of this type of structure.
    If you want to be a promoter or organize a festival, great. If you want to run a night-club, great. If you want to be a performer, great. But there are all sorts of conflicts of interest when you try to be all three. Particularly when you are soliciting donations and present yourself as a promoter of jazz in San Francisco generally, rather than as a performer (a la SF Symphony).
    That’s why organizations that promote the arts as such don’t have performers on the payroll — they have residencies which are ostensibly open via a competitive application process, and are always for a fixed time.
    SFJAZZ crossed this rubicon when they formed the SFJAZZ collective. My impression is that are trying to remake themselves into something like the SF Symphony or the SF Opera, which explains the Hayes Valley location — close to civic center, but hipper.

  29. My god…I don’t understand why a good 15% of the posters on this board are obsessed with being mugged? It’s a big city with a large population of desperate losers…it happens.
    I think you guys need to create a Curbed Pleasanton so these people can discuss the goings on on the cul-de-sacs that are their only proper home. If the big bad city scares you all so much…Blackhawk and Tiburon and Pleasanton await your presence. Jeez Louise.

  30. @ bk
    You automatically assume that just because mugging is being discussed, that everyone discussing it is “afraid” of it ?
    How did you draw that conclusion ?

  31. Not afraid of it…just obsessed with the topic. It just seems that too many threads devolve into a dismissal of every neighborhood as being full of nothing but crack addicts mugging everybody. That’s all. 🙂
    And…I’m not denying the street crime problem in SF (and elsewhere…just wait until the combat-damaged Iraq War veterans start filtering back in big numbers)

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