San Francisco’s South of Market area (SOMA) has long been known as the heart of San Francisco’s light industrial area and still remains so to this day. This wide section of area that extends nearly two miles and is bisected by the western terminus of Interstate 80, has served as an integral cog in the development of what has now come to be known as the “New San Francisco.” Often compared to New York’s SoHo District, SOMA has emerged as the art and nightlife center of San Francisco, offering diverse collection of restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and galleries. From a real estate point of view, SOMA was also one of the seminal neighborhood for live/work loft projects in the late 1980’s and 1990’s as many city planners developers envisioned a cohesive marriage between SOMA’s industrial roots and San Francisco’s insatiable demand for new housing. While rising prices over the past decade may have undermined the original intention of providing more affordable housing to people involved in the creative arts, live/work projects continue to be an integral component of SOMA’s housing stock along side the more traditional multi-unit buildings and the occasional single family home.
SOMA is roughly bounded by 12th Street to the west, Market Street to the north, 2nd Street to the east and Townsend Street to the south.