(RepublicanDaily.org) – San Francisco, once a booming and picturesque tourist city, continues to see the exodus and closures of many businesses, the latest being a longtime downtown McDonald’s branch that is shutting its doors after close to three decades of business.
The franchise owned cited various factors such as “high office building vacancy rates and visitor trends,” “environmental atmosphere of downtown sidewalks,” as well as a “tepid return by tourists and conventioneers” as the reasons for the closure. The downward trends began during the pandemic, but has persisted during the last few years, the owner explained.
Scott Roderick of Rodrick Management Group, who owns the store, said that the lack of a drive-thru also created additional challenges for the branch, which has been open since 1994. The management group bought the property, located on Front Street in downtown SF, after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.
Fox News reported that a number of nearby buildings have been bought at a “steep discount” as the commercial real estate market in the city is experiencing a “full-on buyer’s market.” The San Francisco business district has seen significantly lesser foot traffic in recent years, due a shift to work-from-home arrangements for many workers, a trend triggered by the pandemic. The sharp rise in petty crime and homelessness throughout the city, coupled with high costs – even for California – has also driven many tourists elsewhere.
CBRE, a commercial real estate services firm, puts the vacancy of San Francisco offices to be at around 30%, seven times more of what would it have been before the pandemic. The trend has also caused a dip of as much as 80% in commercial real estate values for some properties.
Roderick also told news outlet Eater that the 35 employees who worked at the closed store have been transferred to other McDonald’s branches in the city, some them owned by the management group. Rodrick Management Group owns seven other McDonalds franchises in San Francisco. Rodrick has also said that his group’s other branches in the city are doing well.
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