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‘Bloom SF’ events aim to draw downtown workers back to offices

After two years of nearly empty streets, workers are slowly trickling back to San Francisco’s downtown offices, and the “Bloom SF” initiative will soon launch to welcome them back. 

A number of welcome back events will be held between March 27 and April 2 at several locations, including the Ferry Building, Union Square and Salesforce Transit Center. Specific details have yet to be released, but officials said during a Monday press conference that they have planned outdoor fitness classes, a wine walk, lunch-hour DJs and art installations throughout the downtown area.

Downtown recovery has certainly lagged, but some major companies — Gap, Uber and Salesforce — earlier this month made commitments to Mayor London Breed and the downtown revival.

Mayor London Breed said Monday:

“It is time to take those pajama pants off and put on some real clothes. If you can’t fit them anymore because you gave those Covid pounds that we all know we have, then you know go downtown and go buy some new ones because we are open for business San Francisco.”

Breed is traveling to Europe over the next weeks where she’ll visit London, Brussels, Frankfurt and Paris and “meet with airlines, airports, and local leaders to both continue and expand partnerships to reestablish San Francisco International Airport (SFO) as the international gateway to California and a hub for European markets, and to bring tourists back to San Francisco,” according the mayor’s office.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay Mayor London Breed holds a press conference Salesforce Park in San Francisco, Calif. on Monday, March 14, 2022 to announce the “Bloom SF” initiative, which includes events to welcome office workers back to the struggling downtown area. (Jerold Chinn/SFBay)

Rob Tibbetts, a marketing principal with the architecture and design firm HOK, said 200 employees will returning to the office, adding:

“We’re a design firm. We need to work together, we need to see each other. There’s a certain magic and collective creativity that just isn’t possible on Zoom.”

Bun Mee founder Denise Tran said her downtown location is still closed, adding that The City feels like a “ghost town” with empty streets and for lease signs.

Tran said:

“The small mom and pop businesses in downtown San Francisco that make this city so special and unique desperately need folks to come back to work.”

The “Bloom SF” initiative comes as The City’s Covid-19 cases continue to decrease. Department of Public Health data shows a seven-day average of 90 new cases per day as of March 7, reflecting the first time since December that the seven-day average has fallen below 100.

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