The East Cut is San Francisco’s fastest-growing and most exciting new neighborhood. For years prior to its rebirth, our area was lumped in with SOMA, South Park, South Beach, the Financial District, or the Embarcadero. But as our neighborhood has redeveloped and come into its own, residents, businesses, and community organizations are embracing a new identity to distinguish our home from the rest of the City.
The East Cut
This unique part of San Francisco has experienced significant change and growth in the past few decades, including the removal of the Embarcadero Freeway, the most dense concentration of new home construction in the Bay Area, and the creation of thousands of new jobs. The East Cut is a local effort to unite the Rincon Hill, Folsom Street, and Transbay areas under a new banner and identity befitting our neighborhood. While building a sense of place and pride today, the East Cut also harkens back to a time when our community was an indelible part of San Francisco.
Our home has a storied past. After the Gold Rush, Rincon Hill, one of the seven original hills of San Francisco, became one of the City’s most elegant and fashionable neighborhoods. Then in 1869, city planners decided to flatten the center of Rincon Hill along 2nd Street, creating the 2nd Street Cut. While the Cut facilitated commerce between downtown and the docks at South Beach, the change scarred the neighborhood and it lost its cachet. By 1880 the wealthy started to leave Rincon Hill for more up-and-coming parts of San Francisco, with the entire area east of the 2nd Street Cut evolving into a gritty swath of industry and commerce.
The 1906 earthquake added insult to injury and leveled much of the sector. When the neighborhood was rebuilt, it was characterized by warehouses and large business operations catering to seafaring and other industries. Then the community’s character dramatically changed again when the Bay Bridge opened in 1936. Finally, after the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 and the removal of the Embarcadero Freeway, city planners began to see the potential of creating a new mixed-use neighborhood in this neglected corner of San Francisco.
The East Cut Today
The 21st Century has brought monumental residential and commercial towers juxtaposed with iconic San Francisco landmarks such as Klockars Blacksmith, the Sailor’s Union of the Pacific, and the Bay Bridge. If you stroll around the East Cut neighborhood today, amid the hustle-bustle you’ll discover intimate public spaces featuring world-class public art along with surprise views of the Bay sparkling in the sunshine and the twinkling Bay Lights racing across the Bay Bridge at night. Where coffee once roasted in the Hills Brothers factory and seamen lugged goods from docked ships, we now have modern office towers that are home to some of the most innovative companies in the world. Longtime local residents and businesses are welcoming their new neighbors as the East Cut promises to be one of the most forward-thinking and hospitable neighborhoods in San Francisco.
Much like the City at large, the East Cut is animated by a vibrant cosmopolitan spirit that celebrates the grand reward of urban living – constant motion and evolution, serendipitous encounters, unanticipated inspiration. The East Cut has evolved from a colorful and rich history to epitomize the dynamic future of San Francisco.
Community Benefit District
In July 2015, the East Cut Community Benefit District was originally formed as the Greater Rincon Hill Community Benefit District by area property owners and other stakeholders to advance the neighborhood’s quality of life, enhance its public realm, and reinforce the viability of its economic base. The East Cut CBD is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation supported by property owners through an annual assessment.