San Francisco's mid-Market corridor is a neighborhood in perpetual flux.
Once a grand, theater-lined boulevard, the street experienced a gradual decline in the decades following the installation of BART lines in the 1960s. It's only in recent years that the city has really made a proactive effort to turn the neighborhood around. Arts organizations are moving in, as are hip new restaurants and retail stores. Pioneering tech companies like Twitter and Dolby are buying up office space above mid-Market's long-shuttered storefronts.
As this push toward gentrification happens, forces are also seeking, in many ways, to apply the brakes amid concerns about economic development pricing out long-time neighborhood residents.
What's going on in mid-Market right now is among the most interesting dynamics of the entire Bay Area and a pair of local filmmakers are looking to turn this debate over the future of the iconic street into cinematic gold.
Dan Goldes and Robert Cortlandt of Urbanstreet Films are in pre-production on a documentary focusing on the transformation of mid-Market called "5 Blocks." "It explores if a San Francisco neighborhood can be revitalized without displacing its people and destroying its character," said Goldes in a video trailer explaining the project.
"It's an opportunity for use to get into the neighborhood in this early, messy period and film the early stages of the transformation," added Cortland.
The pair recently concluded an Indiegogo fundraising campaign for the film, but are still accepting donations on their website.