New Commuter Bike Shop: The Hub by BXP

The story of how a downtown property owner transformed a retail space into a bike commuter paradise.

After three years and many COVID-related delays, our newest shop, located at One Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, officially opened its doors on June 1st. This shop is a partnership between Bikes Make Life Better and Boston Properties (BXP), and it’s actually so much more than just a bike shop. We’ll explain.

In late 2018, BXP approached Bikes Make Life Better about transforming one of its primary retail locations in downtown San Francisco into a unique space for bikes. In addition to a full-service bike shop that was open to the public, BXP wanted to provide Embarcadero Center tenants with end-of-trip bike facilities and places to lounge.

For context, Embarcadero Center is one of the largest mixed-use complexes in the western United States, stretching four blocks in the heart of San Francisco’s prime commercial district. Its four adjoining office towers and three interconnected shopping levels span 3.3 million square feet and 45 stories.

We were excited to work with Boston Properties on a public-facing bike shop for Embarcadero Center, not only because it would be an attractive amenity for office tenants, but also because the location is perfect: The spot is in a bike-shop desert, with the nearest shop nearly a mile away. Plus it sits right off the city’s main drag, Market Street, which was recently closed to personal vehicles to prioritize bicycle and foot traffic.

And then we were double excited that BXP wanted to create a bike commuter mecca! The shop, called The Hub by BXP, and its adjoining indoor bike racks, shower facilities, and lounge spaces are truly a unique combination. These photos show why this space really does have it all when it comes to bikes.

Embarcadero Center tenants, most of whom are office workers, get special perks like free access to secure bike parking facilities and showers (non-tenants must pay a fee to use) as well as free bike maintenance classes.

The Hub by BXP is just that: A hub. It’s a great jumping-off point for community rides, and its lounge spaces are equipped with couches, tables, chairs, a conference-sized table, a TV, and wifi.

With our help, BXP installed 66 double decker racks (parks 132 bikes) and nine staple racks (parks 18 bikes) – ample bike parking for all! The facility also features a deluxe repair station and pump for DIY maintenance.

State-of-the-art locker room with showers, and even towel service!

We’re over the moon with how The Hub by BXP turned out, especially after the opening anticipation. Looking for inspiration on how to improve your bike facilities; or have a problem you’d like to solve with bikes? Drop us a line!

Bikes Make Life Better is dedicated to helping employees at large organizations use bikes for healthy sustainable transportation. They’ve helped design bike programs, facilities, and fleets for Airbnb, Meta, Kaiser Permanente, LinkedIn, Netflix, Salesforce, Stanford, and many others.