Friday, May 9, 2008

Dot-com Central returns to earthly pursuits

I don't remember it quite this way, but the SF Gate has an article on our neighborhood-- Dot-com Central returns to earthly pursuits:

"Only a decade ago when the new high-tech economy was pumping cash into the Bay Area, a tiny part of the Mission District near Potrero Hill became one of the staging grounds for dot-com drama. The place was filthy with startups — some of them hell-bent on selling services or products or even ideas nobody wanted or needed.

Evicted tenants were protesting loudly outside glinting aluminum-windowed offices, where digerati had migrated from around the country to make their fortunes before the age of 25. The Yuppie Eradication Project, founded and implemented by a resident radical, was happily keying SUVs and wheatpasting insults on the buildings catering to the incoming dot-com elite."

More accurately, this area was known as "Audio Alley", and the 1890 Building was a vacant warehouse. The lofts they picture in the article were a cement plant; and yes the 18th and Bryant building across the street was much fancier, but it had been undergoing renovations for years before the dotcom.

ZDTV/Tech TV had their studios on York, near KQED. RealNetworks was there (only I believe it was who they purchased at the time), the 17th and Alabama building was full with companies like and and later all the AOL music properties.

Most dotcommies at the time of the dotcom boom thought of NEMIZ as the wacky artsy creative dotcom areas, not so business focused like the stuff around South Park.

The area was slated by developers for more business action than actually happened; Bryant Park complex across from Blowfish was scheduled to be a large dotcom office building, but then the crash just left that as a large hole in the ground for almost 10 years.

A lot of the anger over displaced local businesses didn't occur in NEMIZ, but rather in the heart of the mission, in the old Bayview Bank building (now US Bank), that high rise on Mission near 22nd.

Our building, and the one across the street, had been abandoned warehouses for years before the dotcom boom.

One thing that bugs me about these articles is that the dotcommers always get the blame for ruining the neighborhoods, not the landlords. The landlords were the ones evicting people and raising their rents when their leases expired in the hopes of getting huge rent increases from new tenants.