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Case Study: The Yard

July 25, 2017


 Demonstrate an ability to develop a viable commercial venue, with community interests in mind, prior to permanent development with a 5-7 year timeline.



Activate the community with an interim, year-round pop-up venue using repurposed shipping containers



  •  The Yard served as a proof of concept--Mission Rock project was approved

  • Placemaking was key to success--programming and activation plan engaged the community 

  • Timeline was accelerated--all tenants were up and running in four weeks time




In 2013 the San Francisco Giants were granted exclusive rights by the Port of San Francisco to develop the Mission Rock area across from the Ball Park. The development timeline would be at least 5-7 years and would require San Francisco voter approval. To garner community support and eventually voter approval, the Giants were intent on demonstrating to the citizens of San Francisco that they could successfully develop the area with the interests of the citizens in mind. A temporary pop-up venue was the perfect solution to begin demonstrating commercial viability, garnering local community support, and building interest in the long-term project from prospective commercial and residential tenants. 


The property chosen for the pop-up venue was an 18,000 square-foot portion of a Giants parking lot that sits within the scope of the larger Mission Rock project that was still years away from development. The decision to use shipping containers was both logical and economical. The 14 shipping containers required were readily available from the Port of Oakland and could be easily customized to meet the needs of local retailers who were signing on to establish a temporary venue for themselves at this location. UrbanBloc worked with the project team and each tenant (e.g. Anchor Brewing, The Whole Beast, and North Face) to customize the containers for each of their specific uses and brand identities. While the containers were being built in the UB factory in San Leandro, the site was simultaneously being prepped for installation. After the containers were shipped, The Yard was up and running in four weeks time--an unheard of turnaround time in the construction industry.

With the addition of a Community Calendar highlighting a variety of activities hosted by individuals and organizations at the site year-round, The Yard has successfully become a unique hub of activity during not only the Giants baseball season but during the off-season as well.


In November of 2015 the San Francisco voters approved the Mission Rock project. The Yard will continue to operate and offer food, beverage and community events until the groundbreaking for the Mission Rock project, expected in 2019. At that time, the Giants will have the option to relocate the containers to a new site as each container carries a State permit that allows it to be placed anywhere in the State of California. The Mission Rock project is anticipated to be completed in 2025.  

















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