SAN FRANCISCO—Saying that staying in its current location was no longer feasible, sources across San Francisco confirmed Thursday that the popular Northern California city would be shutting its doors at the end of the month due to rising rent.
Residents and business owners of the iconic West Coast metropolis, which has occupied the same peninsula for generations, told reporters that spiraling costs had reached such a level that remaining in its 47-square-mile waterfront space was simply beyond its means.
“The city’s in such a great area, but ultimately we just couldn’t find a way to make ends meet each month,” said San Francisco resident Jaime Gonzalez, speaking on behalf of the city’s 850,000 citizens, all of whom recently gave notice that they would be vacating the premises by July 1. “We’ve been here for so long, it’s hard to imagine this city anywhere else. But the reality is that we just aren’t making enough to justify what we pay to be here.”
“Unfortunately, we just can’t afford to keep San Francisco in San Francisco Bay,” Gonzalez added.
According to sources, the city’s rent has increased by more than 40 percent since 2010—including 16 percent in the past year alone—requiring San Francisco to set aside a greater share of its income each year until finally pricing it out of the Bay Area completely. While San Franciscans expressed their hope that the municipality could stay somewhere close by, they noted that rents have also risen sharply in the East Bay and that the costly Silicon Valley area was “completely out of their price range,” leaving the city with no choice but to look for a spot further inland.
“We’ve been here for so long, it’s hard to imagine this city anywhere else. But the reality is that we just aren’t making enough to justify what we pay to be here.”
Additionally, city representatives conceded that it has so far been a major challenge finding a new location with the same features they’ve always enjoyed at their current spot, including its desirable outdoor space, easy access by public transit, and impressive views.
“It would be great to end up somewhere with the same proximity to the ocean and mountains, but these days, finding anything on the coast that’s affordable is next to impossible,” said bike messenger and community member Mia Khoo, noting that the city had already considered Oakland, Palo Alto, and San Jose, but was unable to locate anything it liked that was also within its budget. “The Central Valley is a little more reasonable, though I’m not sure how we’re going to move such a large Chinatown all the way out there, not to mention the Golden Gate Bridge.”
“Chances are we’ll have to leave those behind,” Khoo added.
With the municipality’s departure imminent, San Franciscans have reportedly begun the task of preparing for the move by calling to disconnect the city’s electric and water service from the local San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and beginning to pack up the city’s many cable cars.
“This place isn’t perfect by any means, but San Francisco has been a fixture in this area for years, so the thought of leaving has been really tough,” said Gonzalez, noting that anyone who wanted to stop by San Francisco’s original location should do so in the next three weeks before it closes for good. “The bottom line is that we have to move out if we want to keep our heads above water. Sure, our new San Francisco location might not look as nice or have the same character and charm of this place, but that’s the trade-off we have to make if we want a space we can afford.”
“Besides,” he added, “for what we’re paying here, we can probably get a place that’s newer and way less cramped.”
At press time, a piece of paper reading “Thank You For 239 Great Years!” had been taped up on each of San Francisco’s city limits signs.