Macris, Dean: Failure of the redevelopment program


Dean Macris


Macris: It's a great failure of the program and that and that's why it's now regarded as largely a failure. But if you if you say to yourself, “now, what would have happened if there were no redevelopment program, where would we be with the city right now?” If you check that out a bit in your mind and you say, “well would the produce center stayed right off of Market Street on the waterfront?” Hardly likely. I mean, all over the world produce centers were in central locations. Whether you were in Paris or Chicago or New York, it would have relocated. And there would have been some kind of redevelopment happening at that place through private sector means, if not redeveloping means. It would’ve probably been in office buildings with ground level retail. Pretty much the way it is whether [what looked like a day], I don't think so. Because you would not have had a single developer. He would have been individually bought up and changed over time. Like the south of Market around the Transbay terminal, on Mission Street already is happening simply through attrition of ownership and new buildings. The Convention Center, where would it have gone? It had to be downtown or near downtown somewhere. Would [it] have been pretty much been where it is now without all of that displacement that took place? I don't know, it's good question to say we would have had a convention center. Because we outgrown the one at the Civic Center, so something were to happen there. So you go but I don't think Japantown would have existed the way it did without redevelopment. And oddly enough, it probably is the most dated of all the enterprises that redevelopment was involved in. If you looked at it today, you would change a lot of things. You wouldn't have created a junior expressway out of Gerry, knowing what we know now with a huge dip in front of Japantown. Nor would you have created what essentially is an indoor mall for Japantown, that obviously doesn't meet contemporary standards. Things would have changed. But there would have been some things where the basic location of things wouldn't have changed much and we could have probably done that over time without the trauma of all that displacement. So when you look back on it, yes, redevelopment was in many respects of failure, yes.


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The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives, University of the Pacific Library

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