Poster Inside Front Window of Sweet Inspiration
Sketch of the new proposed Starbucks
A coalition of local Castro merchants have taken up the fight to stop a proposed mega-Starbucks on Market at Sanchez Street. As we reported in August the project has received the rubber stamp approval of the Merchants of Upper Market (MUMC). It is however heartily opposed by MUMC’s sister organization the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association (DTNA) and the Castro Community District Board (CBD).
The opposition coalition, led by Sweet Inspiration Bakery Cafe‘s Wendy Mogg, has initiated a petition drive through out the Castro that’s received thousands of local signatures. They’ve also held a public forum to discuss the issue and get more neighborhood feedback and met with Supervisor Scott Wiener to discuss the situation and enlist his help. Mr. Wiener has, at this time, been giving support to the new project-but-open to hearing from the community opposed to the new franchise development. Additionally they’ve created a Facebook page people can join to keep up on the latest developments and to find out how they can help keep the corporate coffee giants at bay.
Ms. Mogg, the DTNA and other’s within the coalition of neighbors have claimed that Starbucks does not meet the criteria for a “necessary and desirable” formula retail (“chain”) use,with individual character, offering instead a faceless, and expanding corporate concentration in our neighborhood. Starbucks would be replacing a small business, The Industrialists at 2201 Market Street, a unique glass and gift store.
Starbucks has also been accused of not following proper procedure in procuring it’s approval and that they’ve misled neighbors to get their support when gathering signatures on a ‘pro-Starbucks’ petition circulated earlier this year in the Castro.
The coalition also has pointed out that Starbucks would adversely effect the business of multiple, small, San Francisco based businesses who’ve long been established in the neighborhood providing years of tax income to City coffers.
Starbucks has also agreed to pay $15,000 a month in rent for that space. Critics claim that this huge sum would set an unhealthy rent scale for other landlords in the neighborhood and could lead to raised rents and other small businesses in the area being forced out who’re unable to meet the increases.
Despite the unified opposition of neighborhood groups, and ignoring the fact that they already have three Starbucks within the neighborhood the Seattle based corporation has continued to press forward with their application. Any local merchant or resident interested in helping with the coalition to oppose Starbucks or to get copies of the petition to circulate, e-mail Wendy Mogg at email@example.com.