Another evidence of San Francisco’s economic woes is Westfield’s decision to sell the San Francisco Centre mall after more than 20 years.
The business cited “challenging operating conditions in downtown San Francisco, which have led to declines in sales, occupancy and foot traffic” for its decision.
After Nordstrom and Banana Republic closed, the mall operator decided to leave San Francisco.
Westfield cited “unsafe conditions for customers, retailers, and employees” for Nordstrom’s closure last month.
The San Francisco Centre, a lively downtown shopping district, has suffered in recent years. Westfield reports a drop in revenues from $455 million in 2019 to $298 million in 2022, and foot traffic from 9.7 million to 5.6 million.
Westfield, mall operator, leaves San Francisco Centre.
Westfield’s departure is another blow to San Francisco’s economy, which suffered from the pandemic’s exodus of white-collar professionals from Silicon Valley businesses that enabled flexible work-from-home practices. San Francisco office vacancies are at a 30-year high three years later, and corporate America has yet to return.
Westfield is the next big corporation to go. Twenty Union Square stores shuttered since 2020, according to the San Francisco Standard.
Park Hotels and Resorts, which operates Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55 hotels, stopped paying its lender last month.
Park Hotels & Resorts CEO Thomas Baltimore, Jr. stated San Francisco’s “path to recovery remains clouded and elongated by major challenges” in announcing the decision. Baltimore cites “concerns over street conditions,” rising office vacancies, and a weaker convention calendar.
Westfield said it has started handing over administration of the San Francisco Centre to its lender, which will appoint a receiver.