District 9

Overall flavor

On the Eastern, central side of San Francisco, and literally South of Market Street, district 9 is large geographically with a mish-mash of very distinct neighborhoods, flavors and personalities – suburban (Bernal) to urban (Yerba Buena), historic (SOMA) to modern (South Beach), dense (Potrero) to denser (Inner Mission). The simplest way to think of this area, is closer to downtown is more urban and furthest away will be more ‘neighborhoody.’

Urban or suburban

This is a large geographic area with distinct neighborhoods that range from suburban to urban.

Highlights/interesting tid bits

Home to one of San Francisco’s seven hills; Rincon Hill. There are various creeks running through South of Market that have been built over, either by filling in, or literally letting the water run through it (Armory Building at 14th St. and Mission); this contributes to the area having liquefaction zones and could explain why some older buildings and streets, are heaved, sloped and leaning. SOMA remains industrial as it was for so many years, with a mixture of housing. Be sure to see Salesforce Transit Center Park, a four block long urban park – I think of it as San Francisco’s version of New York City’s highline.


A good portion of this district was destroyed by the fire following the 1906 earthquake. It can be obvious in looking at the architecture, because of the areas that were built after. If you are in the Mission, 20th St was the fire line; it is obvious by walking on both the 200 and 300 blocks of Lexington St. – 200 block burned, 300 block didn’t. Beyond the 1906 fire line, you’ll find some of the oldest architecture. Within the fire line, you’ll find many Edwardian Era and newer buildings, both commercial and residential.

Housing stock

Densely populated, most buildings are in a rowhouse configuration and look attached. There are single family homes in several of the neighborhoods, but most buildings are large scale multi-unit and commercial buildings, including larger condominium complexes. You’ll find more full-service condo buildings in this area.

Commercial area

The commercial areas are as diverse as the neighborhoods. In Potrero -18th and 20th Sts., Dogpatch -3rd and 21st Sts., Bernal – Cortland St., Mission – Mission St.


Salesforce Transit Center Park, South Park, Embarcadero, Franklin Square, Precita Park, Bernal Heights Park, Holly Park


Public transportation – MUNI, both buses and underground, BART

The Transbay Transit Terminal is in Yerba Buena, and connects all the regional transit. AC Transit, SamTrans, Greyhound, MUNI, Golden Gate Transit, WestCAT Lynx, Capital Corridor

CalTrain connects San Francisco to Gilroy, with stops in major cities along the way, including South San Francisco, the Bay Area’s biotech capital, and Palo Alto through Santa Clara, the Bay Area’s tech capital.

Private transportation – Highway 101 connect to Marin and the Peninsula. Interstate 80 connects to the East Bay and Peninsula.

Tech buses connecting to the Peninsula


Is generally difficult in this area, but depends on how dense the area is.