Fence up around Industrialists’ parking lot. New Starbucks just around the corner?

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Fence surrounding parking lot outside Industrialsts.

About two weeks ago a chain-linked fence was placed around the parking lot adjacent to the Industrialists’ stainless steel furniture shop at Market and Sanchez (the future location of the Castro’s fourth Starbucks). The chain-linked fence nearly completely blocks the entrance to the shop and gives it the appearance of being out of business, even though they are still open.

Support beam with reinforcement.

Support beam with reinforcement.

While some are taking it as a sign that Starbucks is readying demolition of the space, we spoke with an employee who noted that the fence was actually put up by the city due to the rotting of the base of the support beams that hold up the open overhang above the parking lot, making it a public safety hazard. Many of the beams even have steel supports at their base to reinforce them, but even those are starting to bend and give way. The fenced-off area was home to a former ZipCar car-sharing parking lot.

As for the dug up street corner in front of the shop, SF Curbed has confirmed that the utility work happening there matches a permit filed by the chain a few months back for the buildings rehab.

Gate blocking Industrialists entrace

Fence blocking Industrialists entrace

The owner of the shop gave no indication as to when they would be vacating the space to make way for the construction of the new Starbucks, but a giant fence in front of the shop’s entrance will no doubt hasten the closing of the Industrialists’ already low-trafficked shop.

 

Roy McKenzie

Roy has been a Castro resident since 2010 and is passionate about politics, camping, and food. Follow his babbling on Twitter.

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23 Responses

  1. SF_TomBoy says:

    This is right across the street from our place, and we’ve been observing a lot of heavy duty utility work going on right on the corner of the lot. It’s been confirmed by at least CurbedSF that this work is indeed the beginning phase of the building’s reno and rehab; Starbucks won’t be far behind. http://sf.curbed.com/archives/2013/03/12/whats_the_story_with_the_new_starbucks_at_market_and_sanchez.php

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    • Waiyde Palmer says:

      Sorry to hear that you’ll be facing the Bux-Plex if and when it opens Tom. I certainly hope it falls through as there has been a concerted effort by local merchants to stop it from coming. MUMC voted in favor of it while DTNA vetoed the 4th Starbucks in the neighborhood.

      BTW: The linked story from sfcurbed has some factual errors and assumptions that our post rectifies.

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  2. wendy mogg says:

    Industrialists is alive and well, and Starbucks is by no means a sure thing. The construction is City ordered, the landlord put it off as long as he could hoping that Starbucks bid would be quickly approved and they would absorb the cost of the required maintenance. Planning Commission reports they will likely be on the calendar mid April. Nine neighborhood groups have come down squarely against the proposal, there is a very active campaign to keep them out of this site. If you didn’t know the Industrialist shop is less about the glassware in front, more about the very high end custom Stainless Steel cabinetry they design and build. They can hardly keep up with their orders! The only reason this unique locally owned shop would vacate is if the landlord forces them out to make room for the double rent that Starbucks is offering him to boot the current merchant!

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    • Wendy – I proposed in an earlier post that the Starbucks at Sanchez/Market might be ok if the Starbucks on 18th Street closed and the Starbucks next to Safeway on Market closed. Do you think that if Starbucks did a net reduction of locations within the Upper Market business district that the new location would be accepted?

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      • wendy mogg says:

        The primary reason the Planning Commission Director has indicated approval is unlikely is that according to the Upper Market Corridor plan we are over saturated with Formula Retail, especially at the intersections. It does not help that this plan it would displace an existing local merchant. Also there is no demonstrable need, as there are plenty of coffee shops and bakeries nearby. While having four of any single retailer in a neighborhood seems excessive to me, my guess is that reducing the proposal to two Starbucks instead would not resolve all of the problems with this particular proposal.

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        • Thank you for the information, Wendy. I had to look you up because your name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t remember who you were. It may have been appropriate for other readers and full disclosure to state that you are co-owner of Sweet Inspirations which is only steps away from the Sanchez/Market location we are discussing. Your business would be impacted if Starbucks does open at the Sanchez/Market location.

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          • wendy mogg says:

            Always happy to claim all my associations:) Not only am I a proud co owner of Sweet Inspiration Bakery Cafe I am also a board member of Castro Community Benefits District, a member of MUMC a native Californian and a SF homeowner. I am definitely a stakeholder in the future of our neighborhood and our City.

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        • ls says:

          We keep hearing that we have too many “Formula Retail”… but that does not include banks ?!? Why on earth do we need BoA, City, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Chase, and now Bank of the West, and even another bank might land in front this potential Starbuks… I think we should include the banks in this “Formula Retail”, and slow down their expansion in the neighborhood.
          Actually, I would prefer a “Formula Retail” like La Boulange, or even Trader Joe’s rather than one more bank !

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          • Stephen says:

            According to existing Planning codes…banks/credit unions are exempt from applying for a “Conditional Use” Permit.This is the permit required of national chains who wish to open neighborhood locations. Its a terrible loophole that should be eliminated.

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    • Tom says:

      The Industrialists is such a wonderful shoppe. I hope that they’re able to hang in there.

      On another note, thanks for keeping those of us on this coast up to date on Castro happenings, especially this one. My head is already spinning at the changes I’ll see in 8 months for my annual birthday visit.

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  3. Stephen says:

    Starbuck’s is not going to “consolidate” locations. All three of the current locations are high volume locations, the idea is to open a middle location between existing outlets is to capture sales from a fast growing residential build-up on the three opposing corner properties.
    Typically, the goal of a chain corporations like Starbuck’s is to increase sales volume not consolidate unless when merging with competitors or downsizing.
    A typical strategy is to saturate an area with as many locations as possible, this dilutes the amount of sales among different competing outlets (usually locally owned businesses). Since these competing outlets generally do not have deep enough coffers to survive the decrease in business, they are forced to close. The end result: Starbuck’s has captured and monopolized another market.
    Another damaging side effect of allowing a proliferation in “formula-retail” (chain stores), is that it creates an over inflated value in the rents for commercial properties. The more formula retail that is allowed to move into a local market, the more it shuts down small business.
    The proposed Starbuck’s may look very pretty and they may throw out lots of goodies to the “community” .However the money will not stay in the “community” it goes back to Seattle and their shareholders.

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    • Waiyde Palmer says:

      Thank you Stephen for this clear and concise explanation of the corporate model currently underway through out the City and the Castro.

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    • Stephen – You are completely correct in your comment regarding corporate workings. I was trying to offer an alternative to Starbucks to get the Planning Commission to approve the new location at Sanchez/Market. It will be interesting to see if Planning approves the Starbucks even with the opposition of the neighborhood associations. Remember, Supervisor Wiener changed the zoning rules to allow for a coffee shop with the square footage at this location. Why do that if he wasn’t going to get this approved through Planning too? We shall see.

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      • Stephen says:

        Unfortunately, Mr.Weiner has voiced opposition to a moratorium on formula retail, despite the growing concern of constituents about the detrimental effects of these national chains. I have absolutely no doubt that Mr. Weiner will push as hard as he can to get the Starbuck’s approved,

        Also, I hope the same opposition to Starbuck’s applies to the a Coffee and Tea Leaf location trying to get approval to open in the Fitness SF (Gold’s).
        Seriously, if another Starbuck’s is damaging…how about another chain moving in on the next corner. Formula retail is making a strong push into our neighborhood because many other neighborhoods have been smart enough to get bans on national chains.

        I would be curious to hear the opinion of local merchants on the Coffee and Tea Leaf Co. I hope they are aware of this proposal

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        • Stephen – Would you please expand on your comment “many other neighborhoods have been smart enough to get bans on national chains.”? What neighborhoods? What is the method of the ban? I know DTNA has been working on a Formula Retail Matrix (http://www.dtna.org/uploads/8/5/0/2/8502918/retailmatrix.pdf), but an outright enforceable ban sounds like a good thing for chain stores in the Castro.

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          • Stephen says:

            I have read in various articles concerning this topic, that the Upper Haight and Hayes Valley have restrictions against formula retail. Upper Haight has been particularly successful because restrictions on formula retail has allowed local merchants to flourish. Also, because of the restrictions, rents for commercial spaces are more reasonable due to the fact that national chains who would normally pay inflated rents are not present. A landlord is limited to the amount a lessee has the ability to pay. I also know that Starbuck’s is in a fight with Hayes Valley residents over opening a location
            I have read the outline of the DTNA proposal, I have concerns that it is overly complicated. At least it reads that way from the materials I have read.
            The Planning (I use the term lightly) Department may be able to shed more light, if not them, perhaps a direct outreach to neighborhood groups in those neighborhoods.
            The Castro will only be successful if there is a large amount of education, outreach to our community and support by the community Mr. Weiner is a political animal, he will respond to public pressure.

            Hope I have been helpful

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  4. wendy mogg says:

    There is merchant opposition to the Coffee and Tea Leaf Co, and the Chipotle’s proposals for the same reasons. If one believes the best thing for the neighborhood is a balance between formula retail and Mom N Pops, (as Scott Wiener has suggested) we need to fill all vacant spots with locally owned shops. Formula Retail is already over represented in our area, to achieve that “balance” point, we need to strongly favor local businesses.

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    • Wendy – You indicated in an earlier post that you are a member of MUMC. Does MUMC have classes or training for small business owners? Some sort of small business incubator for the Castro? If not, it might be a good way to promote small businesses with local owners.

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  5. Stephen says:

    Thanks Wendy. It always concerns me when Planners and Politicians offer up “balance” as the ideal alternative. Based on experience there is usually not much “balance”, at least not in favor of existing smaller merchants.

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    • I think we are missing the input of the property owners. They need to be on-board to the rent control to prevent formula retail from trying to squeeze out the local merchants. Maybe we need to get Supervisor Wiener to introduce rent control for commercial spaces in the Upper Market district.

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      • Stephen says:

        I would be surprised if any property owners would be supportive of any kind of rent control ordinance. Aside from that, Prop 13 exempts commercial properties from any kind of rent control restrictions. A change would have to be initiated at the State legislature level. The would be a big hurdle, even with a Democratic majority in both Houses and the Governor’s office

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        • Stephen – I would not expect any property owner to be in favor of rent control. So, we agree on that. I did not know that Prop. 13 exempted commercial property from rent control. I know that Prop. 13 has some big loopholes related to tax increases on commercial property. That has severely affected the State’s income stream.

          Do you have any constructive suggestions to limit formula retail in the Castro? You have provided valuable information that shows that my suggestions would not work. That’s very helpful. But, do you have any thoughts on the subject?

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          • Stephen says:

            I was in error about Prop 13. I do know that commercial tenants are not included in SF rent control regulations. Commercial units and residential units in buildings for which a certificate of occupancy was first issued after June 13, 1979 are exempt from the Rent Ordinance. Apologies.
            I personally would support a temporary moratorium on any new formula retail for a minimum 5 years.. If at the end of 5 years, no stabilization in rents and/or increase in local establishments was evident, a return to the Conditional Use Permit process would resume. It’s a tricky topic,
            Also, i am sorry if I gave the impression your ideas were no good. They were very good ideas. I was just offering up the roadblocks that would most likely occur.

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