San Francisco’s Market Street - with its characteristic tree-lined sidewalks, wide paths paved in bricks, and historic light poles - is the most important transit corridor in the city and is at the heart of Central Market.
The mixed-use district is home to an array of artistic and cultural places, performance venues, public spaces (Hallidie Plaza, United Nations Plaza, 1275 Market Street Plaza and Mint Plaza), diverse housing, and a palpable civic presence.
During the early 20th Century, Central Market took center stage as a theater district. The neighborhood continues to present world-class productions and performances at the Warfield Theater, Golden Gate Theater, and Orpheum Theater, while providing a creative environment for performing and visual artists.
The area’s construction zones and planned development projects also point to a neighborhood renaissance.
Central Market is a short distance to Civic Center, celebrated museums, and the Union Square shopping district.
The Community Benefit District
Located in San Francisco, the Central Market Community Benefit District (CMCBD) extends from Fifth Street to Ninth Street on Market Street and includes some areas of Stevenson Street, Jessie Street, and Mission Street at its most southern point. A dense and urban neighborhood, the district is part of a larger downtown area referred to as South of Market, or SoMa.
The community benefit district was established to improve the mixed-use district and make the neighborhood a clean, safe and inviting place to be for residents, workers, merchants and visitors.
The CMCBD provides a range of services designed to enhance the pedestrian experience, strengthen existing small businesses and cultural institutions, increase pedestrian activity, attract new investment and improve the quality of life in the public realm of Central Market.
From the 1930s to 1970s, Central Market was the bustling center of commerce and public life in San Francisco. With restaurants and theatres – including the popular Paramount and Fox theaters – the Central Market area was the entertainment center of the Bay Area. Market Street was nicknamed The Great White Way
in honor of the neon signs lining the corridor. Remnants of the neighborhood’s colorful past can still be found along Market Street.
Following twenty-five years of economic decline, the CMCBD was established to improve the mixed-use district and to create a neighborhood that is a clean, safe and inviting place to be.
Visit Livable City here to learn more about the history of the Central Market area.
Central Market is easily accessed by a range of public transportation options, and Market Street itself is arguably one of the most transit-intensive street on the West Coast. The Central Market community is connected to the rest of the region by two BART stations and to the rest of the city by the MUNI Metro system, both at Civic Center and Powell stations. The Central Market neighborhood is also served by at least 20 bus lines.
to the Civic Center or Powell stations, or take one of many MUNI
Neighborhood Highlights + Area Attractions
Asian Art Museum (1 block)
Cable Car Turnaround (1 block)
City Hall (1 block)
Civic Center Plaza
General Services Administration Federal Building
Golden Gate Theater
The Art Institute of California, San Francisco
Union Square (1 block)
U.S. Court of Appeals
Westfield San Francisco Centre
Yerba Buena Gardens (1 block)