rshearin2011 web

Innovative Temporary Retail

by Nate Hunter

A look at a new innovative retail project in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood.

If you have been to San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood in the last six months, you may have seen Proxy in the park along Octavia Boulevard.

Proxy has the potential to be a lot. First and foremost, it is a great idea come to life. It might also be one the smallest shopping centers you’ll ever see. It is also one of the most innovative.

Proxy is four retailers (currently) who are housed in reused shipping containers that have been modified. It was designed by Oakland, Calif-based architecture firm Envelope Architecture + Design. In interviews, the architects have applied the term “flexible urbanism” since the project is meant to be temporary to house pop-up retailers. It is an idea that can be transported to a lot of small lots to incubate retailers. It is interesting to note that the architects’ inspiration came from the recession: knowing the site wouldn’t be developable for several years, they were inspired to create a retail space that was temporary.

We’re working on getting a photo, but in the meantime you can visit or Envelope A+D’s site here.

— Randall Shearin is editor in chief of Shopping Center Business magazine.

You may also like