SoMa, or more officially Riverview Heights, is the neighbourhood squeezed in between Market Street and the north banks of the Clare River. It's name is a shortening of it's location as South of Market. Until the 1980s it was a squalid collection of warehouses, poverty-ridden tenament blocks and wasteland left over from the manufacturing industries of the 40s. In 1980 the SoMa Plan was put into place, the warehouses knocked down and replaced by modern office blocks, the B Metro and T Trolley lines extended and a office blocks constructed. UC Oakwood built a community campus in the area and housing conditions were vastly impoved. Now SoMa is half a trendy and up-coming neighbourhood and half an important commercial district.
This segment of Google Maps shows SoMa.
7.2 6th Avenue
The trendy end of SoMa the shops and housing around 6th Avenue holds the highest prestige. The Richmond Apartments were the first step in the SoMa Plan, built in 1979 they replaced fishing warehouses which once stood there and with their proximity to the offices of downtown and central SoMa they often command very high prices. The Market Street tunnel carrying the A and B Metro lines and the T Trolley under the Clare River can also be seen.
7.3 Central SoMa
The business district, also known as the North Bank Downtown. It is the location of three major office developments. The first; the SoMa business park located at the bottom of the picture comprises of 4 office blocks, Tower 1 and 2 are some of the tallest buildings in the city. City Center is to the left of the picture and is currently owned by AT&T, it is the oldest of the three developments having been built in 1979. To the right of this is Bridgeview and Parkside the two large blocks which incorporate a large retail area on the ground floor as well as a gym and small hotel. These were reclad in 2001. The Riverside extension to the T Trolley line runs through this area with a new station serving the business district at Riverside Gardens.
7.4 Eastern SoMa
The far-end of the SoMa district still has many of the tenaments from the old area but these have been renovated into fashionable apartments. It's major attraction is the city's second stadium; the Staples Stadium home to Oakwood Beasts FC, the city's soccer club. When it is not soccer season the stadium is normally used to house major events such as a recent Kanye West concert. This would be the second and last stop on the Riverside T Trolley extension and would serve the stadium and there are plans to demolish the office blocks to the left of this photo and replace them with a mixed-use development and a park.
7.5 UC Oakwood Community Campus
When the development plan was written up one of the problems found in SoMa was a lack of qualifcations, UC Oakwood was approached and asked to fund a community college in the area. Offering a number of different degrees and vocational qualifications the SoMa Community Campus is a much more accessible pathway to a college education. Also seen is Market / 5th Ave station which was one of the new stations on the extended B line.
7.6 Market & 4th Avenue
Some of the typical Oakwood-style houses which can be found across the city. These were originally constructed for the warehouse workers but are now affordable housing for local families, the Market Street Elementary school provides a public school for the SoMa area.
7.7 Market Street Tunnel
At the other end of SoMa is the Market Street tunnel. Although it already existed to take the A and B Metro lines under the Clare River the portals to the surface for the T Trolley were constructed in 1982. It added an additional two stations to the line and with the Riverside Extension there will be another two. This area of SoMa just before AC Mayer Bridge is home a number of popular delis and coffee shops.
7.8 London Park / Riverside Gardens
The contaminated land from the industrial era was found not safe enough to construct buildings on top of but over the years the wasteland has been decontaminated and turned into the two park areas; London Park and Riverside Gardens. These 'green lungs' provide important open space in the city and offer nice spaces for picnics on warm summers days. The current terminus of the T Trolley can be seen here as well as the line of its future extension.
7.9 AC Mayer Bridge Approach
The main link between Oakwood's downtown area and Flynn Town, SoMa and Katherine is the AC Mayer Bridge constructed in 1933. It is named after local steel magnate Andrew Chancellor Mayer who funded the construction of the bridge and later I-80. On the north side is Flynn Town and on the south side SoMa and the Roosevelt Memorial to Elanor Roosevelt who was born in Oakwood.
7.10 Riverside / Taylor St
The end of the Taylor St shopping district but still achingly hip. Thrift & Thrift stores have been opening up across California and cashing in on the recent trend for Thrift Store closing, next door is the popular bar The Watchmakers and restaurant Antonio's. The embankment here is one of the oldest sections built in 1904 to stop the river from eroding the banks of the town which had grown up around here.
7.11 T Trolley Map
The in-car map for the T-Trolley line clearly inspired by Harry Beck's famous London Underground Map. Infact OMTA and TfL share the same font for their publications designed by Edward Johnston.