SOMA, San Francisco, CA
SOMA Is An Up-And-Coming Cultural Epicenter
South of Market, or SOMA as it is known locally, is truly one of San Francisco's most unique success stories. Once an unglamorous stretch of warehouses, SOMA has emerged in the past several decades as a symbol of the best of the "new" San Francisco. An energetic blend of high-end, modern living with urban charm and excitement that quite simply can't be found anywhere else.
It is hard to beat SOMA for entertainment, where venues ranging from the funky and hip Mars Bar to the historic Hotel Utah serve up great food and classy nightlife. High-end restaurants like Bacar, Fifth Floor and Zuppa satisfy even the most discerning epicure. Retail shopping in the area is also on the rise and shoppers can now enjoy shopping at a nicely refurbished Bloomingdale's, complete with a restored historic domed interior.
The real story of SOMA is residential real estate. Today, the area is chock-full of lofts and new luxury high-rise condominium buildings including the Millennium Tower, The Infinity, Rincon Center, and the gorgeous BLU building. Primarily near the waterfront, new luxury towers are cropping up like wildflowers, a testament to the vibrancy of this once-moribund and now rediscovered part of town.
SOMA is also an up-and-coming cultural epicenter thanks to the Yerba Buena Gardens, a city-backed redevelopment project covering twelve square blocks above the Moscone Convention Center. The area includes a sculpture court, waterfalls, landscaped lawns, a children's park, a full size ice rink and bowling alley, and a fabulous restored merry go-round. Since the opening of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1995, Yerba Buena has become a hub for museums including the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Museum of African Disapora and the Zeum (a fantastic children's museum). There are also construction plans for the The Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Mexican Museum. Just a short commute from UCSF, USF and The Art Institute SOMA is a great home for professionals returning to school and university professors alike.
Despite its central location, SOMA has in the past lacked good access to public transportation. All that is quickly changing, and plans are in the works for a revamped Transbay Terminal which will transform the corner of First and Mission Streets into a regional hub for commuters and shoppers desiring easy access to the South Bay's Caltrain service, AC Transit busses to take you to the East Bay, and a planned High-Speed Rail corridor serving the fast-growing Central Valley and the Los Angeles metro region.
This summary is based on individual opinions. Individual experience of the neighborhood may vary.
Buildings in SOMA