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San Francisco Has Become a Dystopian Wasteland and Nobody Wants to Live There Anymore

by | May 15, 2023 | Startups

San Francisco used to be a paradise.

It’s why almost all of the tech giants set up offices there as the internet went mainstream. Now San Francisco is a wasteland.

When you tell people you live there or are going for a holiday to see the Golden Gate Bridge, people think you’ve gone crazy.

The data tells the story too well

The median house price in San Francisco is down roughly 40%. The median price of a home has gone from $1.54M to $1M.

Image/data credit-Wolfstreet

Recent data shows 26% of residents want to leave. The top places they are going to are Seattle and Sacramento.

Commercial real estate is hit hard too. The vacancy rate of San Francisco offices is at an all-time high of 29.5%. Someone has to foot the bill for the gap in rents in an already tough economic environment.

Image/data credit-CBRE

Nordstrom department store is also leaving San Francisco. Executives at the company refused to call out the elephant in the room dressed in a clown suit.

Instead they said “the market “has changed dramatically over the past several years, impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully.”

The Westfield building owner of the Nordstrom store was much more blunt and did say what everyone is thinking:

“A growing number of retailers and businesses are leaving the area due to the unsafe conditions for customers, retailers, and employees, coupled with the fact that these significant issues are preventing an economic recovery of the area.”

Whole Foods Market in San Francisco also closed, so did four Amazon Go stores, Office Depot, and Anthropologie.

A $300M San Fran office tower also highlights the dire situation. It’s now being sold in a fire sale for $60M (if that). It has many empty offices.

Salesforce recently had half of its office space in San Francisco up for sublet. I’m sure there were plenty of takers–not.

Another office building at 25 Taylor Street had its value drop by more than two-thirds and is 97% vacant.

Cell phone activity in San Fran is also down and at 31% of pre-2020 levels.

Image credit: Statista

Don’t worry about what people’s biased opinions are of San Fran. Just let the actions speak for themselves.

There’s only so long people can put up with open-air drug deals, homeless people that need homes, and ongoing violence that seems to continue without punishment.

San Francisco is a dystopian nightmare and everyone knows it.

The citizens have given up stating the obvious and are simply moving to places that don’t have these problems. Kind of sad, really.

Everyone is blaming everyone

The former CTO of tech company Square was stabbed to death not long ago.

Everybody in the media and tech quickly blamed the homeless people and the drug problem. It now turns out Bob Lee was allegedly murdered by someone he knew over an altercation to do with a woman.

If you read the comments section of the announcement about how he begged for help with blood pissing everywhere, it highlights the problem with San Fran.

I would ask him if he voted Democrat or Republican. If the former, I would take off and say, “serves you right”!

I agree. First and foremost, he was a fellow human being who was in desperate need of help regardless of his political affiliation. This story is a sad one especially when it reeks of “every man for himself.”

Very clear politicians don’t care about the safety of the constituents at all. They care about talking points and in helping criminals, and non citizens or major donors…apparently he didn’t give enough money to the “cause”

Bob Lee is super woke. Check out his tweets. He chastised Hillary Clinton for using the term “super predators”, which he claims led to too many PoCs in prison. He has a bunch of anti enforcing the law tweets. He’s the guy who is getting these soft on crime politicians elected.

I understand he had just moved here to Miami where Mayor Suarez is serious about crime. I wonder how he was planning to vote?

He was a hardcore democrat who supported defunding police and soft on crime politicians so I’m sure he would continue voting blue.

He paid the ultimate price for his political ideology, hope it was worth it to him.

See the problem? It’s nothing but red versus blue. Democrats versus Republicans. There’s no personal responsibility or people standing up for what’s right.

Politics is the cause of the demise of San Francisco.

Instead of solving problems it’s just dividing people and culture more. So homelessness, drug use, and violence continue to be a problem while people throw pies at each other’s face in a social media contest for likes.

San Francisco can be saved

Now that work-from-home is the norm, it’s easy for tech bros to leave their former hometown behind and go elsewhere.

As they do, money will continue to leave the area making it even harder to fund the programs to fix these serious issues.

There are good people like Y-Combinator’s chairman Gary Tan who are trying to solve the issue. But it’s a tough problem that’s only getting worse.

It’s easy to say the solutions are obvious but when nobody will listen to each other and everything becomes a red versus blue conversation, it’s hard to enable change.

I visited San Francisco 5 years ago and loved my stay there. It’s sad to see the city become a dystopian nightmare no business wants to operate in.

It’s time for San Francisco and its leaders to wake up. If not, the city will one day be a place where nobody lives and tumbleweeds roll through the abandoned offices of once untouchable tech giants.

And taking aim at the homeless people isn’t going to solve anything. The homeless need our compassion, not our judgment. We must look at the real cause — drugs — and treat the issue at the source.

No one wants to be homeless. But drugs make us do crazy things.

Change starts with all sides being heard. It’s time to listen to San Francisco.

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