Neighborhood Spotlight - Merced Manor
After my tour of upx.world it was time for me to go back to the shop and relax a little. I made my way over to Junipero Serra, said hi to the team at Blockchain Heroes, and then went to Upland Comics to relax. On my way over I got a chance to chat with TDavis and congratulate him on the big news about Little Italy. He said he was in town and would swing by the comic shop to chat with me. We were talking all about Little Italy then he started asking me a little bit about Merced Manor. He was gracious enough to agree to writing up a spot on MM for me. So, we flipped the script and firmly planted my butt in the chair of the interviewee. So, here goes nothing, TDavis take it away!
Ok, so I'm sure you've had questions about your Explorer name, but I think I've figured it out. You're very direct and matter-of-fact, almost to a fault, but you pride yourself on "telling it how it is" and not sugar-coating things. The name Recourier is a play on the old adage, "don't kill the messenger". Courier, another word for messenger, and the prefix re- to indicate that the messenger will repetitiously deliver the news unimpeded. That's gotta be it, right?
Sort of, but nothing that interesting. I needed a screen name years ago and kinda mashed up a combination of initials and emails addresses and just came up with that. I know people would like there to be an interesting back story about a repeat mail carrier or something else interesting, but this one is not so interesting.
Wow... umm... ok, I thought I knew you well enough to have predicted that origin. Alright, well, there's no way I'm going to miss this next one... If you can pick ANY neighborhood in Upland to represent the Recourier brand, would you pick Little Italy - NYC, Little Italy - Fresno, or a yet-to-be-released Little Italy?
I am big on Merced Manor.
(TDavis slams his clipboard down, kicks over a chair, and storms out of the room. He returns 15 minutes later, still cursing under his breath)
Merced `&%*#$@*` Manor, bro? Aren't there like three of those in San Francisco? Pshhh... whatever, man. Go ahead and tell me about it, I guess.
Well, the genesis of it all was the Blockchain Heroes event. That's how I got introduced to the neighborhood and got a lot of properties there. After the event for a while I was figuring out my next steps. Also during that time I was building Upland Comics and making my business plan for that. I spent the next several months getting to know the WAX NFT space pretty well and making a lot of contacts there. I had always had this idea of a nice laid back hangout type place to talk collectibles and comics. I also planned on bringing a full digital comic book to fruition somehow. Plus I have old comic books from my younger years. It all made sense to make that place in Merced Manor both because of the BCH HQ that's there, and a plan to make the neighborhood the NFT collectibles go to spot. I felt that the properties along Junipero Serra were just the right size to make collection specific galleries. So I set my mind to getting as many of those as I could.
(TDavis has calmed down some, but I can still here the sarcasm in his tone. He mutters the words, "sell out" under his breath, then continues the interview.)Wow... Blockchain Heroes, huh? That's going to be a lot of commercial real estate in the area. Where are all the Blockchain Heroes employees live? Do you think that's what Park Merced Manor or Merced Manor Heights is for? Or do you think this neighborhood will have a residential area as well?
I think it will have distinct areas of both. The east side will be like a suburban downtown with a collection of businesses and places of commerce. As you move west through the neighborhood it will become much more residential as the surrounding amenities and adjacent neighborhoods are perfect for that.
Are the businesses all going to be Blockchain Heroes galleries, or will there be Blockchain Heroes Cafes and Blockchain Heroes BlockExplorer shops next to the Blockchain Heroes Arcades?
As time goes on and business types expand in Upland I expect that whole east side to become a business hub for the western part of San Francisco. It should host a variety of businesses with a lot of NFT sales as a central business type.
(TDavis looks up from his phone, having completely ignored the answer to the previous question)
Dude, I just looked, you have 44 properties in Merced Manor! What does a player need with more than 43 in the same neighborhood? That just seems greedy. What are you going to do with all of those?
I am planning to have a line of galleries and NFT shops focused on collectibles and comics. I will also be working with artists looking for gallery space for their own collections and art. I will also be partnering with some larger WAX projects to provide them a presence in Upland. I am also planning on having a cafe that will serve Junipero Sera and be just a few doors down from BCH HQ. This will be important once the game launches as it will give a place for people to congregate and discuss their favorite NFT projects.
So, assuming that you don't get blacklisted for betraying the other neighborhood squads you're aligned with, are there any larger parcels that would be suited for a group purchase?
There is one very large property in the center of the neighborhood that would be great. Currently it's owned by Travis from BCH. I don't know if he would be up for making it a community project or if he has definitive plans for it. The rest of the properties are smaller and more suited to individual owners.
(In a childish, mocking voice, TDavis repeats "Travis from BCH owns it", then asks his next question)
Sounds like you're going to be in the shadows of BCH, bro. Either that or riding their coattails. Are BCH initiatives the only ones you hope to see implemented for the neighborhood?
For the most part it will be about building the hub to western San Francisco and developing a thriving micro-economy. This will be paired with having a well developed residential neighborhood to bring a diverse population to the neighborhood.
(TDavis lowers his eyebrows, cocks his head, looking at Recourier in bewilderment)
Nice answer. You should play for Los Angeles, that was a professional dodge. So, I still don't see what's so special about BCH Manor. What makes this any different than the other 114 non-LI neighborhoods in San Francisco?
There are a number of amazing neighborhoods in the east and north of San Francisco. But they are crowded and on top of each other. Merced Manor has all the right paths of travel in and out that will matter once real travel mechanics are installed in Upland. That tied in with the solid business plan and major opportunity for development make it a huge place to focus. I believe if done right it can capture the economy of a major portion of San Francisco. On top of all that there are significant numbers of great venues near by including an outdoor concert area, easy access to the ocean and Lake Merced, and lot of other great suburban communities.
Did Upland make the BCH Headquarters a SF Landmark? Or does it have real historical and iconic places?
Much like the rest of San Francisco there is a lot of history in Merced Manor. In particular much of Merced Manor was built in a large development boom in the 1930s. Unlike some other areas of San Francisco the houses were built with more space between them to give access from front to rear on the outside. Much of the neighborhood was built with rear garages and shared drives that run up and down the blocks between the houses. This was a relatively new design to the San Francisco area at this time.
Ok, bro... I can tell you're really passionate about this neighborhood. I'm sorry for losing my sh*t there for a minute and having a bad attitude this whole time. Is there anything else you'd like to mention about BC... err.. Merced Manor?
I see a lot of great things coming to Merced Manor. There will be a lot of development and a prosperous neighborhood. Definitely take time to read the article I wrote for the spud wars and find yourself a spot in Merced Manor. I think it might be a sleeping giant that has been under the radar until now.
I want to thank TDavis for taking the time to calmly and rationally interview with absolutely not neighborhood bias. He did a great job.
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