It’s the latest business to fail in the wake of the outrageous rent increases in the San Francisco Bay area as tech becomes the ruling industry.
The popular San Francisco nightclub, Mezzanine, announced this week that it would be permanently closing its doors in 2019 because the owners could no longer afford to rent the building. The owners of the building, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, would not be negotiating another lease for the coming year because they wanted to find tenants that would pay greater rent. The rent increase is estimated to be around 600%.
San Francisco’s Dwindling Music Scene
Mezzanine is just one of many live music venues that have been priced out of San Francisco. Because tech companies are willing to pay exorbitant rent prices to house their offices, landlords are upping their prices so high that those are just about the only companies that can afford to be in the area. Even the Mission, one of San Francisco’s notoriously seedy areas, is seeing rapid gentrification amid price increases.
The iconic San Francisco nightclub has been open for fifteen years now. The club, which can hold a capacity of about 1,000 people, has seen shows from some of the biggest artists in the last decade. The club is also famous for offering a wide range of acts to attract diverse audiences. Anyone from Lady Gaga to famous New Orleans jazz bands have played within the doors of the venue.
California is currently in a housing crisis. The westernmost state is an economic powerhouse for countless industries. From entertainment and technology to wine and cannabis [grit daily link]. For this very reason, everyone wants to live there. The problem, though, is that the rent is just too damn high. Areas like Los Angeles have much more room and see cheaper housing prices, but are still more spendy than other US-cities like Portland and Salt Lake City.
Because of this, many tech companies are opting to move their offices to other, smaller US-cities to deal with the rising housing costs. Salt Lake City’s southern suburbs, for example, have become home to tech companies like Adobe, Netflix, EA and eBay in recent years. The area, aptly named Silicon Slopes, has been named one of the up and coming tech capitals of the US.
Unless the nightclubs and other entertainment venues that are forced to close due to price increases are replaced, San Francisco will rapidly turn from a lively city to a sea of corporate buildings. The character of the city’s architecture will still be there. But it will be lost amid the endless new high rise luxury condominiums and office buildings that are being built to accommodate the out of control rent prices in the area. The only thing that won’t change? They probably still won’t clean the streets.
Julia Sachs is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She covers tech, entrepreneurship and entertainment news and is based in Park City, Utah.