Marina Community Association
Caught in the middle: Lombard Street

The Marina Community Association is dedicated to protecting and improving the distinctive residential quality of the Marina District. This support extends to Lombard Street, as it is the main thoroughfare to reach our homes. While it may not technically be considered part of the Marina, the Lombard Street corridor is the gateway to our neighborhood.

A recent wave of activity on Lombard Street has caught the attention of many residents and has left some puzzled as to what stance to take. At our annual meeting last fall, the SFPD addressed the criminal activity at the Bridge Motel and the numerous housing code violations that have been reported. These violations have led to the current legal suit brought by the City Attorney’s office against the Bridge Motel’s owners and managers. Aside from the Bridge Motel, in December there were a series of break-ins in several apartment buildings on Lombard Street. In February, three men robbed a cashier and two patrons at gunpoint at the International House of Pancakes on Lombard Street.

The closure of Blockbuster and the debate over Pet Food Express left many residents upset at the outcome. Now the vacant building sits idle, while the parking lot has been turned into a pay-to-park lot. On the corner of Scott and Lombard, the bar and restaurant known as Jones has closed and The Republic has opened in the old Jones location. The Republic has moved its main entrance to Scott Street, possibly as a method to avoid the negative Lombard Street stigma. The AAA office located on Pierce and Lombard Street will be closing by the end of March, in an effort by AAA to close 10 of its 103 regional branches.

The most recent debate in the Marina has been centered on the purchase of the Edward II Inn located on Lombard Street at Scott by the Community Housing Partnership (CHP). The CHP plans to provide rental units to tenants aged 18–24 who are at risk of homelessness, including those who have aged out of the foster care system. The CHP is working with Larkin Street Youth Services and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing on the proposed development.

Businesses all over San Francisco have struggled during this economic downturn. Today, many of the businesses on Lombard and Chestnut streets are at a tipping point. As neighbors and patrons, we can make a distinct difference in the vitality of these businesses by supporting them with our patronage and votes of confidence at City forums and town hall meetings. As friends visit this spring, suggest shopping in our neighborhood, dining close to home and staying overnight at one of the many hotels located on Lombard Street.

The Marina Community Association and other neighboring groups are discussing the need for a Lombard Street plan. Please support us in this effort and get involved with your neighborhood association to create a meaningful future for Lombard Street. Lombard is the gateway to our community, and as such, it is the first impression to those who visit. We have the opportunity to sustain existing businesses and keep our neighborhood safe. Otherwise, Lombard is merely the fastest route to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Ariel Ungerleider is a director with the Marina Community Association. You are eligible to join MCA if you are over 18 and a resident or owner of a dwelling within the Marina. Visit for more information.