Potrero Hill is a residential neighborhood in San Francisco, California. It is known for its views of the San Francisco Bay and city skyline, its close proximity to many destination spots, its sunny weather, and for having two freeways and a Caltrain station.
Initially a working-class neighborhood until gentrification in the 1990s, it is now an upper-middle-class family-oriented neighborhood.
Potrero Hill is located on the eastern side of the city, east of the Mission District and south of SOMA (South of Market) and the newly designated district Showplace Square. It is bordered by 16th Street to the north, Potrero Avenue and U.S. Route 101 (below 20th Street) to the west and Cesar Chavez Street to the south. The city of San Francisco considers the area below 20th Street between Potrero Ave and Route 101 to be part of Potrero Hill as well, as outlined in the Eastern Neighborhood Plan.
The area east of Highway 280 is Dogpatch. Dogpatch was originally part of Potrero Nuevo and its history is closely tied to Potrero Hill. Some consider Dogpatch to be its own neighborhood while others disagree. Dogpatch has its own neighborhood association but shares merchant association, Democratic caucuses, and general neighborhood matters with Potrero Hill.
Potrero Hill is one of the sunniest neighborhoods in San Francisco, located on the eastern side of the peninsula and flanked by the San Francisco Bay. It is insulated from the fog and chill of the Pacific Ocean that is typical on the western side of the city. It is a residential neighborhood and not considered a tourist destination. Although it is not the most walkable neighborhood in San Francisco due to its hills, it is generally considered a very convenient location due to its proximity to offices, shopping, dining, entertainment, freeways and a Caltrain station. Despite being surrounded by busy neighborhoods, Potrero Hill is quiet and sleepy.
Potrero Hill's South Slope with waterfront in the distance.
Potrero Hill started as a Caucasian working-class neighborhood in the 1850s. Its central location attracted many working professionals during the dot-com era in the 1990s. Today, it is mostly an upper-middle-class family-oriented neighborhood. In addition to Freeway 101 and 280, Caltrain also runs through this area, making it popular with commuters. Most homes in Potrero Hill have views of the downtown skyline, the San Francisco Bay or Twin Peaks.
Potrero Hill has a North and a South Slope, with the North Slope generally more coveted due to its proximity to downtown and its distance from the housing projects. There is no clear dividing line between North and South as the hill apexes in various places. The demographics of the two are mostly similar with the exception of two notorious public housing projects (Potrero Terrace and Potrero Annex) situated on the South Slope. The projects occupy over one third of the South Slope and stand in sharp contrast to the more affluent homes in the neighborhood. The poorly designed, curvy and diagonal grids of the housing projects isolate their residents from the greater neighborhood. A plan is in place to tear them down after 2015 and build mixed-income housing. The presence of the housing projects make the South Slope generally less desirable than the North Slope, and housing prices and rent tend to be higher the further they are from the projects.