An Amusing Attempt to Rebrand the Tenderloin into “Union Square West”

Not sure this is going to stick with San Franciscans (probably not) but one San Francisco real estate is trying to rename the Tenderloin neighborhood of a 16 square block area bound by Mason, Sutter, Jones and Market into “Union Square West.” Of course Union Square West doesn’t exist. It’s a marketing name de guerre in the ongoing battle for selling real estate based on what’s perceived as hot. The Tenderloin name is liked and loved by San Franciscans and the neighborhood has its own gritty-being-gentrified look and feel.

According to furious blogging (done mostly by younger, hipper, protective of SF culture people) going on in the city trying to equate the Tenderloin with Union Square or create some kind of real estate crossover is ridiculous and being hotly ridiculed.

And it’s not new. In the 1980’s a “Union Square West” highrise condo was proposed by a developer trying to drag Union Square into the Tenderloin but residents rose en masse to defeat the building and in 1985 rezoning in the Tenderloin barred future highrise development.

The real estate firm trying to create the new Union Square has presented in its brochures some amusing marketing terms that include a “psychographic” profile. An interesting “psychographic” profile for this 16 block Tenderloin area includes these folks:

• Metro Renters: 65% Educated professionals in their early 30s, largely white, with a median income of $52K
• Trendsetters: 20% Single professionals in their late 30s, largely white, with median income of $51k
• Social Security Set: 15% Late 40s, only high school diploma, diverse group with median income of $16k