Noe Valley Town Square Receives Unanimous Support From SF Rec & Park Commission

The SF Rec and Park Commission unanimously voted today (4/18) to recommend the purchase of the Noe Valley Town Square to the Board of Supervisors! A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO THE APPROXIMATELY 20 NOE VALLEY RESIDENTS WHO SPOKE IN SUPPORT OF THE TOWN SQUARE TODAY.

The recommendation from the Rec and Park Commission is for the Board of Supervisors to approve $4,242,500 from the Open Space Fund for the purchase and remediation of the Noe Valley Ministry Parking lot (Noe Valley Ministry would receive $3.9 million and the additional $342,500 would be used for remediation of the lot since it used to be a gas station.)

Earlier in the week, Supervisor Wiener introduced legislation that will allow the Board of Supervisors to act upon the Rec and Park Commission’s recommendation – namely, purchase the Noe Valley Town Square! Next on the calender for the Town Square is the Board of Supervisor’s Budget and Finance Subcommittee on Wed May 22nd. And then a final vote by the full Board of Supervisors on June 4th.

In other news, RNVTS submitted its concept proposal for a Prop 84 Urban Greening Grant from the State of California. The concept proposal requests $722,916.00 for development of the Town Square. Rec and Park staff took the lead on this concept proposal and did an amazing job. That’s all the news for now.

If you or your friends have not donated to the Town Square, now is great time to do so!

Updated Timeline on Noe Valley Town Square Acquisition

Residents for Noe Valley Town Square (RNVTS) is pleased to announce that it is looking extremely likely that the Noe Valley Town Square is going to become a reality!

Representatives from Rec and Parks recently informed RNVTS that it is recommending to the Rec and Park Commission as well as the Board of Supervisors that the complete purchase of the Ministry’s Parking Lot be financed by the Rec and Park Open Space Fund. This is fantastic news, but just the beginning of a long journey. After the parking lot is purchased by Rec and Parks, we still need to “build” a Town Square. This means we will need to continue to raise money from the community as well as work towards a positive outcome for our Prop 84 Urban Greening Grant from the State.

Please consider making a pledge today at

Here are the key dates and events to follow:

1. Wed, April 3rd an “acquisition overview” will be presented to the Rec and Park Capital Committee Meeting

2. Thurs, April 18th the whole Rec and Park Commission will vote on whether to recommend the Noe Valley Town Square acquisition to the Board of Supervisors

3. Wed, May 22nd the Board of Supervisors Budget Finance Subcommittee will vote on whether to recommend the acquisition of the Town Square to the full BOS

4. Tues, June 4th the whole Board of Supervisors votes on whether to acquire the Town Square.

5. If approved by the BOS, RNVTS will start collecting pledges on June 5th!

6. If approved by the BOS, the City will own the parking lot free and clear by July 1, 2013 (which allows the RNVTS to apply for Prop 84 development funds from the State of CA.

This is all incredibly exciting and something that the greater Noe Valley Community should be very proud of accomplishing.

If you have not had a chance to make a pledge to the Town Square yet, please do so at

Happy New Year, Here’s The Latest On The Town Square

Hello everyone, we hope your New Year is off to a good start. With the elections in full swing and then the holidays, the past two months have been relatively quiet. However, we do have progress – and good news – to report.
As you know, our goal is now to raise all the funds needed for the project by Dec 2013.  We are pursuing three major avenues of funding:
  1. City of SF:  We are still aiming for a significant amount of funds from the city’s Open Space Fund.  The first step in getting this funding occurred when the Town Square was “officially” added to the Rec and Park acquisition roster at the Jan 8, 2013 PROSAC (Park and Rec Open Space Advisory Committee) meeting!  The next major milestone on this front will be getting approval from the SF Rec & Park commission, which should happen by March.  And then on to the Board of Supervisors (hopefully by April).
  2. Grants: We are applying for Prop 84 Urban Greening funding from the State of California. On November 13, we attended a half-day technical workshop with the team that administers the grant. The feedback we received on our project and our application was very positive. Our formal grant application will be submitted shortly. The next major milestone will be in Spring, when the short list is published and we find out if we made it to the next round in the grant process. All indications are positive so far.
  3. Community i.e., YOU: We are now at $470K in pledges.  If you have been thinking about making a pledge, please do so as soon as possible!  For the City of SF as well as Prop 84 grants, every additional pledge will count as another community “vote” in support of the project. Also keep in mind that we need to raise approximately $1M (depending on other funding) from the community to make this project happen.
How you can help:
  • Make a pledge! If you have made a pledge, display a poster at a visible location in your home or business.
  • Did you know Noe Valley lacks open space? Spread the word. Encourage your friends and neighbors to make a pledge towards this project.
  • If you or someone you know can make a substantial pledge to support this project, let us know! We are looking for major donors to make the Town Square a reality.
January Community Meeting Cancelled: In view of the brisk activity happening on the funding front, and the packed Noe Valley community calendar, we are cancelling the meeting that was targeted for this week (Jan 16th). If you would like to speak with us in person, we will be at our table at the Farmer’s Market. You can also reach us, as always, through our website and via email.
What’s Next:  We will continue extensive behind-the-scenes work to secure funding for the Town Square. This means working with Rec & Parks to draft an operating agreement for the Town Square, staying in touch with (and nudging along) the approval process for Open Space funding, dotting the is and crossing the ts on our Prop 84 grant application, and of course, staying in touch with all of you.  We look forward to hearing from you, and see you at the Farmer’s Market.
— The Town Square Team.
(Todd, Chris, Leslie, Nisha & Kate)

Noe Valley Town Square Update and Benefit Announcement

Today we have an update for you, as well as an invitation to our first ever Noe Valley Town Square benefit event. First, the news:
Fundraising: We have crossed $430K in pledges from the community. THANK YOU. We have been told over and over again that this level of support is unheard of for a community project in San Francisco!

Timeline: We have now established credibility in a more powerful way than any needs assessment could have done. The community has made it clear beyond a shred of doubt that this project is needed and welcomed in our neighborhood. Our goal now is to raise all funds for the project ($4M total) by December of 2013.

What’s Next: We will continue our presence at the Saturday Farmers’ Market, as well as at community celebrations like today’s Harvest Festival. We love talking to you in person, please stop by our table to say hello whenever you have a chance. To augment the support we receive from the community, we have started applying for grants from a variety of funding sources. Given the limited volunteer time available, we are taking special care to make sure we only apply for grants for which we are a good match (i.e., moderate to high probability of success). For example, we are applying for a grant from the State of California under Proposition 84, which provides funds for urban greening. Many thanks to Supervisor Weiner and State Senator Leno for introducing us to this funding source. This is a long process, and we will know the final outcome by Summer of 2013. In addition, we will be kicking our major donor efforts into high gear. We will of course keep you informed as these efforts progress.
Our first ever benefit event
Spring Pilates (1414 Castro St) and trainer Karii Rurup have come forward to host our first ever benefit event. Thank you! The event will be on Saturday November 3, and Karii will be teaching a 60+ minute stress relief and relaxation class. Visit this link for more information and to register. We hope to see you there. Space is limited, register today!
How you can help: 
  • Help us get the word out about our benefit event. Have your friends register and pledge to the Town Square
  • If you have grant writing experience, and a few hours a week to help us get our applications together, please get in touch at volunteer@noevalleytownsquare,com
  • Pledge today, if you have not done so yet. Every additional pledge counts, especially since some of the grants we’re applying to require information about community support for the project
  • Tell your friends and neighbors, and ask if they have pledged yet
  • If you have made a pledge, display a poster in your window – visible community support makes a huge difference for our project
As always, we are available to answer your questions and concerns, and to listen to your ideas. Get in touch at questions@noevalleytownsquare,com 

Residents For Noe Valley Town Square Endorses Prop B

Proposition B will help tackle infrastructure needs throughout San Francisco’s vast park and open space network.

A significant percentage of the renovations and upgrades in the bond are devoted to underserved communities that need it most. In a dense urban city our parks and playgrounds are incredibly important to the health and welfare of our children. Children who live in Chinatown, the Mission or the Tenderloin don’t have the luxury of a backyard – our playgrounds are their backyards.

Gilman Playground in the Bayview, Joe Dimaggio Playground in North Beach, Willie “Woo Woo” Playground in Chinatown, Margaret Hayward Playground in the Western Addition and Hyde and Turk Playground in the Tenderloin all receive funds for critical renovations that will provide safe, clean parks and playgrounds for children in those neighborhoods, as well as neighborhoods across the City.

The Mayor, all eleven members of the Board of Supervisors, The Democratic Party, the San Francisco Labor Council, the San Francisco Parks Alliance, the Trust for Public Land and neighborhood park groups in every corner of the City have come together in support of Prop B because they understand the critical need for park renovations.

Please join us in supporting Prop B to keep our neighborhood parks clean and safe for everyone, in every neighborhood.

For more information visit

Upcoming community meetings: Fall and Winter

It’s Fall already, which means it’s time for another project update. This time, we would like to share all the news in person. Let’s also get the ball rolling on our collective vision of what the Town Square should look like.

Oct 18: The first upcoming meeting is on Oct 18, Thursday at 7pm at St.Philips Community Hall. We will kick things off with a detailed update on everything we’re working on. Come and find out why we’re feeling (cautiously) optimistic about making the Town Square a reality! There will be open floor time to share your ideas, concerns and get your questions answered.

Jan 16: We will follow up after the holiday season with another community meeting (on a Wednesday this time) at the same location. Mark your calendars for Jan 16, 7pm, same location.

And don’t worry if you can’t be there in person. We will send a written update to our email list and post it here after each meeting. As always, send us any questions at and we will be sure to address them.

See you next week!


I’m happy to announce that the Real Management CompanyJ.J. and Michelle Panzer along with Janet and Joel Panzer have teamed up to make a $24,000 Town Square challenge to the neighborhood!  This challenge marks the largest challenge grant to date and will help raise $24,000 twice ($48,000 total) for 24th St.

All pledges made between today and Sept 16th are eligible to be matched
Joel and Janet have long ties to the neighborhood.  Joel started Real Management Company in Noe Valley in 1980.  Joel retired a few years ago and JJ is now head honcho–stop by the office at 1234 Castro (Just north of 24th St) and say “thanks” to JJ for help making the Town Square a reality.
Joel and Janet are long time Noe Valley residents, having moved in to the neighborhood in 1983.  Joel is an active member of the community serving on the Board of Friends of Noe Valley.  You can often find Joel and Janet on 24th St. frequenting the local businesses.
Make your pledge today and remind your friends to do the same. . .
Thank you Real Management Company, JJ, Michelle, Joel and Janet for helping make the Noe Valley Town Square a reality!

Noe Valley Town Square Aug 3rd Fundraising Update–$345,000 Pledged from 265 Donors

We hope everyone is having a nice summer!  Since we started fundraising in early May, the community has pledged a total of $345,000 from 265 donors. Donations range from $10 to $24,000 and the median donation is approximately $1100.  We have had five successful $12K challenge grants.  Each one has helped us raise $24K for 24th Street.  Let us know if you want to offer the next $12k challenge grant to the neighborhood!

You may have noticed the “Save The Noe Valley Town Square” posters popping up at your favorite merchants on 24th St. and around the neighborhood.  Please make sure to thank merchants for supporting the project.  And if you see a retailer who does not have a poster, let them know they can get one by contacting me at

Speaking of Noe Valley Merchants, I want to thank Bob Roddick of Noe Valley Law for his recent contribution to help save the Noe Valley Town Square.  Bob is the President of the Noe Valley Merchants and Professional Association  The Noe Valley Merchants and Professional Association officially endorsed the Town Square project approximately 2 years ago.  We all recognize and appreciate that the merchants play a key role in help making the Noe Valley Town Square a reality. . .So thanks Bob!

One final note. . .The Residents For Noe Valley Town Square group is basically on vacation for the next week or two.  This means you will not see us at our usual table at the Farmers’ Market for the next week or two.  But, do not fret. . . We will be back to our usual tabling activities by Sat, Aug 18th.

It has been a great summer!  Let’s keep the momentum going.



I’m happy to announce that the $12,000 challenge grant offered by the Russell-Shapiro family–Noe Valley residents since 1976–and owners of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar and the Boxing Room has been filled by the neighborhood!  It only took 3 hours of collecting pledges at the Farmers’ Market to meet this challenge grant!
Thanks to the Russell-Shapiro family for helping raise $24,000 for 24th St!
So far, challenge grants have helped raise $120,000 in pledges for the Town Square.  Who wants to offer the next challenge grant to the neighborhood?
Don’t forget to display your “Save The Noe Valley Town Square” poster in your home’s window!


I’m happy to announce that the Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, and Boxing Room, (owned by the Russell-Shapiro family, Noe Valley residents since 1976), is challenging the neighborhood to raise $24,000 for 24th St!  The Russell-Shapiro family has offered a $12,000 matching challenge to help make the Noe Valley Town Square a reality.  All pledges made between now and Mon, Aug 6 are eligible to be matched.
Make your pledge today and remind your friends to do the same. . .
Thank you Russell-Shapiro Family!
Check out Absinthe at