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Hastings Alumni Mag-Spring 2014

{ THEN AND NOW } UC HASTINGS 69 In 1953, when UC Hastings moved to its current McAllister Street location, the surrounding Tenderloin and Mid-Market areas were home to thousands of middle-class workers. The neighborhood’s single-resident-occupancy housing also served a large population of retired seamen and naval personnel attracted by San Francisco’s maritime legacy. But subsequent decades of neglect, drug and alcohol abuse, and social tumult turned the neighborhood into a bleak, crime-ridden pocket surrounded by wealth and development. Its blight and squalor seemed irreversible. Today, however, the skyline above the Mid-Market corridor is crowded with signs of change. Cranes loom over sleek new office towers and apartment buildings that will soon house tech workers and others drawn to central Market Street. “After many false starts, this area is poised for revitalization, and UC Hastings is in the middle of it,” says the college’s CFO, David Seward, who serves on the boards of several neighborhood organizations. While UC Hastings has always been active with Tenderloin nonprofits and social enterprises, the college has a new neighborhood focus: As tech startups flood the area, students and faculty are doing work central to the success of some of these new enterprises through the college’s Startup Legal Garage. “UC Hastings is committed to public service, and we will continue to support the underserved in this neighborhood,” Seward adds. “As the area becomes more attractive to business, there are also huge opportunities for our students to get real-life experience helping companies, large and small, thrive. Our location, which has at times been a challenge, positions us at the heart of the burgeoning tech renaissance in San Francisco. The implications are profound. UC Hastings can now complement advantages derived from our proximity to the state and federal courts with those achievable from the adjacent technology sector.” Perhaps the single most important event in the transformation of Mid-Market came in 2011, when the city passed the so-called Twitter tax break—a newemployee payroll tax exemption for companies operating in some parts of Mid-Market and the Above: Hip shops like Huckleberry Bicycles serve the many Market Street workers who commute by bike. Below: Market Street Place, a multilevel retail center on Market Street between Fifth and Sixth streets, is slated to open in 2015.


Hastings Alumni Mag-Spring 2014
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