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What Comes Next for the Most Empty Downtown in America


For the optimized office employee searching for the trifecta of fast, healthy and filling, few meals are more efficient than a pile of veggies and a few dressing swirled with tofu or grilled chicken. Unfortunately, the aspirations of a salad are sometimes dashed by the issue of constructing one which is definitely good. The ingredients come from every corner of the supermarket, and in the event that they aren’t combined in the proper proportions, or in the event that they are made too far prematurely, every bite is a drag.

Ms. Silverglide, 42, the chief executive of Mixt, tried to resolve this problem with a setup during which customers proceeded down a counter and called out ingredients like grilled chicken and roasted brussels sprouts while stipulating exactly how much dressing they wanted. She said the naysayers of the time told her that there weren’t enough salad eaters to sustain her company, or that only women would eat there.

As a substitute, lines prolonged down the block, and Yelp’s users gave the business three and a half stars. People like Mike Ghaffary discovered a healthier type of lunch in a restaurant where customization was encouraged.

Mr. Ghaffary is a former Yelp executive and serial optimizer who went to Mixt searching for a vegan meal that was high in protein and low in sugar. The salad he got here up with paired lentils, chickpeas and quinoa with greens and a cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette.

Over the following several years, as Yelp grew and went public, Mixt thrived alongside it, adding a dozen locations through downtown and other city neighborhoods. Mr. Ghaffary became something of a Mixt evangelist (“He was very pleased with the beany salad he got here up with,” Mr. Stoppelman said) and ordered his vegetal concoction so incessantly that the salad was added to the everlasting menu and still sits on the board under the name “Be Well.”

In the town, nevertheless, well-being was taking successful.

The tech firms that San Francisco had tried so hard to draw were now the goal of normal protests, including some by demonstrators who at the top of 2013 began blocking commuter buses from Google and other firms to indicate their rage at rents that now sit at a median of $3,600. This was a gap gesture in what would develop into an ongoing debate about gentrification and the effect of tech firms on the town — a debate that played out in arguments over homeless camps, votes to stop development and countless more protests.

All of this was rooted in the fee of housing, which had been expensive for a long time but had morphed right into a disaster. An area government that had all but begged tech firms to establish shop there was now pushing a raft of recent taxes to cope with its spiraling inexpensive housing and homelessness problems. In 2017, the 12 months the Salesforce Tower eclipsed the Transamerica Pyramid as the town’s tallest skyscraper, Mr. Florida published one other book. It was called “The Recent Urban Crisis.”

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