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Ronin
Dec 18, 2006, 9:03 PM
^^^ YES!!! That is one of the reasons to visit the malls in Vancouver, but now we won't have to.

Ronin
Dec 18, 2006, 9:04 PM
*duplicate*

Ronin
Dec 18, 2006, 9:06 PM
So has anyone been to Union Square since Thanksgiving? It's interesting to note that (based on my extremely unscientific observations yesterday) holiday-season weekend foot traffic in the area seems just as heavy as it was last year before the Westfield opened, suggesting that the mall hasn't hurt businesses on the surrounding streets as some feared.

I'd be curious if there's any official data on that, though...

Yes, but the mall probably attracts more new people who wouldn't have visited that area otherwise. It creates more overflow in the general vicinity.

rs913
Dec 18, 2006, 10:23 PM
Daiso, huh? Never heard of 'em but they look interesting. And colorful..very colorful. (http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=daiso&page=2) It'd be interesting to see if they could gain crossover popularity here and get over that "dollar-store" image.

fflint
Dec 18, 2006, 11:24 PM
I was at both Union Square and the Mall on Saturday, showing out-of-towners around. The crowds were out in full force everywhere, including inside the mall.

dimondpark
Dec 21, 2006, 12:35 AM
Here's another testimonial to Union Square's vitality.

Its really hectic over there. I cant wait to see who steps up and builds a flagship on Market and 4th.

edmondpf
Dec 21, 2006, 8:02 AM
Hey there Ronin. Have you been to the new Daiso at Serramonte yet? I too loved the store they had in Vancouver. Not sure if there is more then one in Vancouver but the one I went to was two stories and seemed to have 3 to 4x the floor space as the one in Serramonte. For the most part it seems to offer the same appeal as the one in Vancouver while being smaller. The isles are cramper as they are trying to fit more into less but the selection is pretty good. I also noticed most of the workers at hand on opening weekend seems to speak Japanese and English.

FourOneFive
Jan 15, 2007, 10:25 PM
Planet Funk's tony denim hits Westfield
San Francisco Business Times - January 12, 2007by Sarah Duxbury

Westfield San Francisco Centre is giving shoppers yet another place to buy $150 jeans.

Planet Funk, a Los Angeles-based boutique, will open its first San Francisco location in 2,700 square feet at the shopping mall in late January. The store will be the company's 17th; it also has a children's store at Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose.

Almost half of Planet Funk's customers are between 18 and 25 years old, and they come to find exclusive designs from such wardrobe staples as Frankie B. and Seven for All Mankind. Last year, the company sold over 50,000 pairs of jeans.

The company has added new boutiques regularly since it opened in 1997. "We are seriously looking to expand as locations come up in Northern California," said co-founder Noy Hayun.

Privately held Planet Funk does not release sales figures, but Hayun said he expects the San Francisco location to outperform most of his other shops.

Planet Funk is not the only late arrival to the Westfield party that started Sept. 28. Maui Divers will open at the end of the month, and an expanded, remodeled Victoria's Secret will open in time for Valentine's Day. Go Global, a 5,200-square-foot, ground-floor restaurant, will open in the summer and a 5,800-square-foot Hugo Boss will open just outside Bloomingdale's by the fall.
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since i just got back from london a few days ago, i've concluded that san francisco needs a topshop/ topman. i've don't know if anyone else here has been to the company's flagship location at oxford circus, but it's simply amazing. a topshop would fill the corner of geary and powell nicely... :D

San Frangelino
Jan 15, 2007, 10:34 PM
I suppose this is worth a mention too.

Gucci store arrives at SFO
http://www.insidebayarea.com/portlet/article/html/fragments/print_article.jsp?articleId=4878261&siteId=181

By Michael Manekin , STAFF WRITER
Inside Bay Area
Article Last Updated:12/21/2006 02:44:05 AM PST


BEYOND a security checkpoint at San Francisco International Airports International Terminal, travelers are met by five golden letters beloved by jet-setters, respected by royalty and pined for by the aspiring masses: Gucci.
These magic letters, which graced the likes of Jackie O, Princess Di and Mary J. Blige, represent nothing more, nor less, than a line of leather goods and apparel — now available at of all places the Bay Areas largest international airport.


The brand-new Gucci boutique is the first of its kind at a U.S. airport, lending an extra aura of luxury to travelers who already have the option of getting their hair done at a salon, luxuriating in a spa or dining in a range of locally owned gourmet eateries.

Gucci selected this particular airport because of its sleek design ... and its very much in line with modern luxury, said Janet Mullinax, a marketing manager for DFS Group, the international duty-free company operating the boutique.

Any travelers first stride into the Gucci store — which glistens with beige and cream aluminum — is met by the pungent smell of premium leather and a neat array of belts, shoes, scarves, watches, wallets and a world of bags stamped with G.

This is a little bit like heaven, said Victoria Burton, an aspiring British television personality. Its nice to see Gucci.

Burton, 26, was shooting episodes of a British reality auction show for an American launch and said that she felt a little starved for the good life.

Ive been in Reno for four weeks ... so you can imagine, she added.

I like the luxurious ... a bit of glamour, she said, eying a pair of tortoise-shell sunglasses with the classic interlocking G symbol on the frames.

By the counter, a sales representative talked Gucci 101 with a woman flying to Hong Kong.

Wheres this from? asked the woman.

Its Italian, said the clerk.

How much? said the woman.

$700, the clerk said, smiling.

Its beautiful, but so expensive, the woman said. You dont have any discount?

At Gucci, the prices are not negotiable.

The wallets average $350, the scarves range from $215 to $315 and a sterling silver dog collar in the shape of a bone costs $95. The cheapest item was a striped cell phone strap ($70); the priciest was a large womens watch with a mother-of-pearl face framed by an enormous G encrusted with diamonds ($1,895).

Of course, the goods do come duty free, and the high costs didnt seem to deter sales Wednesday morning.

A Korean man, a finance officer for a U.S. post office on a U.S. military base in South Korea, handed the clerk a $685 handbag, a Christmas gift for his wife.

Expensive, but worth it, he said proudly.

Of course its worth it, the sales clerk said.

The spread of ultraluxury brands like Gucci, Hermes and Bulgari to the worlds airports and shopping plazas is a growing trend, according to Kazuko Morgan, the director of retail service at Cushman and Wakefield, a San Francisco real estate firm.

Morgan, who travels the world and eyes the brands marketing strategies carefully, explained the sales logic.

How it starts is, you get an accessory, and then you grow with the brands, she said. So they start with the $200 sunglasses, and many years later they end up with the $3,000 purchase.

For retail centers like SFO, the presence of a Gucci store becomes something of a status symbol in and of itself.

Airport spokesman Mike McCarron understands that a store like Gucci has a certain cachet for SFO, but the decision to pluck the boutique from a pool of about a dozen retail applicants for the space was only in the best interests of the airports clientele, he said.

The international market spends 15 to 20 percent more at the airports retail stores than the domestic market, he said, and we want to make sure that we meet the needs of the market.

Gucci is part of that, he added, explaining that the airport will monitor the stores performance while considering the addition of other high-end stores.

For the boutique, which opened last week in the midst of the Christmas rush, the signs look bright and shiny as a brass G buckle.

Erik Almas, a photographer based in San Francisco, stopped in the boutique Wednesday with his girlfriend while waiting for a flight to Norway to visit his mother.

Last year Almas saved the Christmas shopping until his arrival at Londons Heathrow airport, where he found, for his mother, a pair of Gucci sunglasses and a Gucci purse.

This year the Christmas shopping came one airport earlier. At the new boutique, Almas chose a supple brown wallet with the classic Gucci signature print ($340), a percentage of which will go to the airport at the end of the year.

Only, heres a question: Why would someone shell out that kind of money for a pedigreed wallet?

Almas paused to consider but couldnt seem to arrive at an answer.

Because your mother is special to you, prodded his girlfriend.

Yeah, he said, approvingly.

Then, as Almas watched the clerk walk away with his credit card, he gave the matter more thought. I mean, he said, you dont just buy this s—- every day.


Staff writer Michael Manekin can be reached at (650) 348-4331 or by e-mail at mmanekin@sanmateocountyimes.com.

sf_eddo
Jan 16, 2007, 6:40 AM
since i just got back from london a few days ago, i've concluded that san francisco needs a topshop/ topman. i've don't know if anyone else here has been to the company's flagship location at oxford circus, but it's simply amazing. a topshop would fill the corner of geary and powell nicely... :D

I concur! Top Man is AWESOME!!!!!

rs913
Jan 16, 2007, 6:59 AM
An interesting story about TopShop's expansion plans in the US (http://business.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=368&id=668842006). Probably a while before you'll see them SF, as we'll have to see how they do in NYC first.

BTinSF
Jan 16, 2007, 6:41 PM
^^^Read that article. What do they know? They didn't even mention Barbour. My Barbour jacket, very like the one worn by Helen Mirren slogging through Scottish streams and fixing her Land Rover, makes me look very regal, I think. ;)

San Frangelino
Jan 25, 2007, 7:10 AM
Valley Fair Mall Expansion

More details and image of the proposed site plan here:
http://www.renewvalleyfair.com/learn/index.php

The drawing above shows the planned changes to Valley Fair. Updated and new areas are in the dark green and dark blue. In addition to 2 new department stores and 50 small stores, plans call for:
• Upgraded and improved grocery store and pharmacy
• New convenient parking with 3,000 additional parking spaces
• Easy, safe walkway between Valley Fair and Santana Row

kenratboy
Jan 25, 2007, 5:17 PM
Valley Fair Mall Expansion

More details and image of the proposed site plan here:
http://www.renewvalleyfair.com/learn/index.php

The drawing above shows the planned changes to Valley Fair. Updated and new areas are in the dark green and dark blue. In addition to 2 new department stores and 50 small stores, plans call for:
• Upgraded and improved grocery store and pharmacy
• New convenient parking with 3,000 additional parking spaces
• Easy, safe walkway between Valley Fair and Santana Row

:D - that is already a huge shopping center, and this would just be insane. Glad to see they are densifying, and not growing out (parking lots to parking garages to make new space). Also, good to see a connection between Santana and this complex. As it is now, you kinda ungracefully sneak out of Santana and work your way over to a low-capacity crosswalk. It is obvious they did not design an easy way to get between the two. Glad to see this change.

BTinSF
Jan 25, 2007, 6:28 PM
^^^I'm still having trouble with the concept of putting a grocery store at a megamall. Westfield did it at SF Center as well and I haven't been in town much since, so I don't know how that is working, but I do know that when I go grocery shopping I want it to be as quick and efficient a trip as possible--which it can't be at a mall. At SF Center, at least, in theory you can sell to commuters who just want to grab something for dinner before heading home on BART. But Valley Fair's new grocery stores will still requite you to drive and park like any other auburban grocery store but with the added disadvantage of having to compete in the lot with people going to all the other stores. What's with that?

rs913
Jan 25, 2007, 7:32 PM
But Valley Fair's new grocery stores will still requite you to drive and park like any other auburban grocery store but with the added disadvantage of having to compete in the lot with people going to all the other stores. What's with that?

Well, there's always been a Safeway next to Valley Fair...this plan seems to move it closer, but it's still not part of the mall proper, so I'm not sure why it's now being mentioned as "Valley Fair's new grocery store". But it's true that this probably won't be the easiest place to do quick grocery shopping, next to what'll be Northern CA's largest mall by far.

It'll be interesting to see who moves into those two anchor spaces.

kenratboy
Jan 26, 2007, 1:44 AM
Yeah, it will be on the fringe of the mall, kinda out of the way. I think it should be OK as long as there is semi-segregated parking (as in, its own little section that is NOT connected to the main area).

FourOneFive
Feb 12, 2007, 3:46 AM
This was in the SF Chronicle on January 30th. I think it was posted somewhere on this forum, but I wasn't sure.

http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2007/01/30/bu_ofarrell26.jpg

Pricey jeans shop to open on O'Farrell

AG Adriano Goldschmeid, whose AG Jeans retail for up to $195 a pair, has signed a 10-year lease at 26 O'Farrell St., near Market Street, for its flagship store in San Francisco.

The 3,000-square-foot store will be the first premium denim store in the Union Square area, according to the Cornish & Carey Commercial brokerage. AG Jeans are also sold by retailers such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, as well as in boutiques and online.

Julie Taylor and Jennifer Hibbitts of Cornish & Carey represented the building's owner, 26 O'Farrell LLC. Pam Mendelsohn of Johnson Hoke represented Adriano Goldschmeid.

The annual rent is $305,000 with yearly increases, according to Cornish & Carey.

The ground-floor space, where the store is scheduled to open in May, is under renovation. It was previously occupied by a United Airlines ticket office.

The denim manufacturer's San Francisco brand-name store is one of six locations scheduled to open in 2007, adding to 13 already in operation in the United States and South Korea, according to a report last month in Women's Wear Daily.
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SpongeG
Feb 13, 2007, 12:41 AM
Daiso, huh? Never heard of 'em but they look interesting. And colorful..very colorful. (http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=daiso&page=2) It'd be interesting to see if they could gain crossover popularity here and get over that "dollar-store" image.

its awesome - a lot of local restaurants actually get their dishes at the Daiso - as they are so cheap and nice

the store here - everything is $2

they have $2 clothes now - which is scarey

hows it going down there for Daiso? has it caught on?

rs913
Feb 16, 2007, 5:43 AM
hows it going down there for Daiso? has it caught on?

I got a chance to check it out on a recent Saturday when vistiing a friend in SF near the Daly City border. First of all, it was bigger than I thought, housed in a freestanding structure in the parking lot separate from the mall (can't imagine what one 3-4x this size would be like!). It's also surprisingly clean and orderly, and of course, stuffed to the rafters with damn near everything under the sun. They just need to keep the registers open and the lines moving faster...with no backup, I'd bet everyone would have walked out of there with something. Seems like a cool place to decorate an apartment on the cheap or have a little cross-cultural experience.

Of course, this is just one guy's opinion. Here's (http://www.yelp.com/biz/l70aNWmOr4sQWsm3kzWcYA) how the locals are responding to Daiso.

BTinSF
Feb 26, 2007, 9:07 AM
Anybody out there who may have walked past the corner of Turk and Van Ness lately and can tell me what the name of the restaurant with the orange awning in this photo is:

http://aycu25.webshots.com/image/10744/2003505680791391481_rs.jpg

Just before I left town in the fall, this place was "Senor Pepper" and it shut down. Clearly, there is now an "Open" sign in the window and the name looks like it could be "Naan and Curry", which is an excellent Indian place that previously had branches in Berkeley and deeper into the "Tandoorloin". Anyway, I love Indian food and it would be great to have one across the street when I get back to town. So what is it? Anyone?

EastBayHardCore
Feb 26, 2007, 2:56 PM
Yup, that's Naan N Curry

http://www.yelp.com/biz/t8hb62y_HGk4Jog5dl-cQg

swestrich
Feb 27, 2007, 9:00 PM
Does anyone know what's up with the long-vacant ground floor space at Post and Grant and the other building across the street that is being remodeled? There are a number of high profile locations that have been empty for quite some time.

BTinSF
Mar 2, 2007, 11:47 PM
BizTimes says Cody's Books has had enough in downtown SF and their location on Stockton St. is being marketed to other retailers including a "new-to-SF homewares retailer".

Will post the article Sunday.

fflint
Mar 3, 2007, 1:56 AM
It's painful to watch one of the great indie book titans circle the drain like this.

BTinSF
Mar 3, 2007, 2:07 AM
^^^True but I think it was predictable. Aside from the chain competition in that location (mainly Border's), San Franciscans willing to travel and/or pay a bit more to support a local institution were likely to go to Stacey's. I think Cody's future, if it has one, was always in the East Bay.

rs913
Mar 3, 2007, 2:12 AM
Yeah, it's like Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Borders have their rocket launchers, and Cody's is firing away with a slingshot. In the end, despite the nostalgia factor, it just seems like the indies can't compete in SF or anywhere else.

It's too bad to see Cody's hang it up on Union Square, though. That location was a great space and a nice addition to the neighborhood.

CHapp
Mar 3, 2007, 8:45 AM
BizTimes says Cody's Books has had enough in downtown SF and their location on Stockton St. is being marketed to other retailers including a "new-to-SF homewares retailer".

Will post the article Sunday.

Can't wait. More crocodile tears from Andy?

FourOneFive
Mar 4, 2007, 1:07 AM
BizTimes says Cody's Books has had enough in downtown SF and their location on Stockton St. is being marketed to other retailers including a "new-to-SF homewares retailer".

Will post the article Sunday.

i'd put good money on pottery barn occupying the space vacated by cody's books. considering pottery barn's parent company, williams sonoma, is based in san francisco, it's always been odd that it didn't have a flagship location in the city. it would also be nice to see a west elm open a location in san francisco, but i'd expect to see them on chestnut street, union street, or showplace square before union square.

another retail tidbit... apple is opening another store in san francisco on chestnut street, occupying the former walgreens location.

San Frangelino
Mar 4, 2007, 1:53 AM
What about William Sonoma Home, that would be new to the city. Isnt there only one in the Bay Area at Stanford Shopping Center.

BTinSF
Mar 4, 2007, 8:29 AM
i'd put good money on pottery barn occupying the space vacated by cody's books. considering pottery barn's parent company, williams sonoma, is based in san francisco, it's always been odd that it didn't have a flagship location in the city. it would also be nice to see a west elm open a location in san francisco, but i'd expect to see them on chestnut street, union street, or showplace square before union square.



There are already 3 Pottery Barn locations in the city. Admittedly, none are really large, but it's hardly "new to SF". West Elm would be--actually, they belong on Fillmore (near California). So would W-S Home.

San Frangelino
Mar 4, 2007, 5:03 PM
Ok here is my next guess to throw in the pot. A second American location for the Conran Shop (there being one in New York). If you have ever had an "anglophilic", word for word obsession with Absolutely Fabulous, you know what I am talkign about.

BTinSF
Mar 5, 2007, 5:37 AM
Cody's could be leaving Union Square location
San Francisco Business Times - March 2, 2007
by Sarah Duxbury

Cody's Books' Union Square location is being quietly marketed to new tenants just 18 months after the well-known bookstore moved in.

Retail brokers say that leasing agent Cushman & Wakefield has already shown the property to prospective tenants on behalf of the landlord, a pension fund managed by Morgan Stanley.

The move would be a surprise, as Cody's opened to some fanfare in September 2005 at the site of a former Planet Hollywood restaurant that had been vacant since 2001. Cody's will stay open until a new tenant is found, retail brokers say they've been told.

Cushman & Wakefield confirmed that it has been named by the landlord as leasing agent for 2 Stockton St., where Cody's is the sole occupant, and that its appointment was subsequent to Cody's moving in. Its web site includes 2 Stockton St. as a current listing, with 21,720 square feet listed as available. Cody's occupies roughly 22,000 square feet.

Otherwise, Cushman & Wakefield declined comment, as did Andy Ross, who sold Cody's to Japanese retailer Yohan last year but continues to operate it. Yohan and Morgan Stanley did not return calls seeking comment.

Retail sources suggest that shopper traffic at the property has been less than Cody's wished, especially considering the expense of the store's build-out.

Cody's is said to be paying in the neighborhood of $600,000 annually. Brokers familiar with the Union Square market believe those 22,000 square feet could attract up to $800,000 today.

The site has reportedly garnered interest from potential tenants including a large new-to-San Francisco homewares retailer, sources said.

It's not the only space that size available. Old Navy is interested in leasing its basement level, just a block away at Market and Fourth streets. The former Casual Corner space is available at Powell and Geary streets, and 800 Market St. also has up to 50,000 square feet available for retail.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/03/05/story5.html?t=printable

Plenty of room for all the retailers mentioned above. ;)

San Frangelino
Mar 15, 2007, 1:52 AM
So you have seen Valley Fair's potential expansion...now let's looks at Stanford Shopping center's potential expansion with a new hotel and 250,000 square feet of added retail.

I only wish there were plans for a transit village at the Caltrain stop to better connect the mall with downtown Palo Alto.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/123/421627947_2d0f504ae3_o.jpg

rs913
Mar 15, 2007, 2:48 AM
That's interesting. 10 years ago, Stanford Shopping Center was the king of the Bay Area's upscale malls. Valley Fair seems to have overtaken it, despite having fewer anchors. Now the two seem to be in a battle for supremacy. (Edited to add: it sounds like Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus are filling the two new anchor spaces at Valley Fair)

BTinSF
Mar 27, 2007, 4:43 PM
This is great news--on its own and because there's a Peet's in my building too so I guess we also have arrived. ;)

How one neighborhood is being reborn, a bean at a time
John King
Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Not so long ago, neighborhoods were defined by little things like race and class, religion and ethnic roots.

Now the measuring rod is something that really matters, at least in the Bay Area: what sort of coffeehouse takes root.

So consider the arrival of Peet's and Caffe Trieste on Howard Street in San Francisco to be a cultural benediction and a sign of the times. The more that our lives are defined by perpetual motion -- driving in the car, surfing on the Web, multitasking with a vengeance -- the more we seek places that allow us to feel moored. And in an age where the "urban lifestyle" is a state of mind, good coffee with a familiar name validates our decision to be somewhere in the first place.

The names don't get more familiar than the two newcomers on this stretch of Howard Street that runs east of Yerba Buena Gardens. It's a terrain that until recently was defined by modest warehouse structures and cheap parking lots, with most of the traffic from commuters heading to and from the Bay Bridge.

No longer.

Peet's is in One Foundry Square, a 10-story office building that opened in 2003 at First and Howard streets. The building is clad in blue-gray granite and taut clear glass, with a sophisticated aura but a chilly tone; Peet's compensates with two leather couches in addition to its standard look of dark wood and exposed coffee beans.

There's even a funky chalkboard sign that touts raspberry mochas -- not the sort of drink that Alfred Peet had in mind when he opened at the corner of Walnut and Vine streets in Berkeley in 1966. Still, most people passing through have the look of workers off their leash.

Where Peet's is revered for its devotion to the nuance of the bean, Caffe Trieste has a different allure. It's been the storied base of poets and poseurs since 1956, familiar to anyone who has wandered up Grant Avenue and wished they could call North Beach home.

In a gesture to that heritage, the outpost at New Montgomery and Howard streets has photographs on its wall of founder Papa Gianni (a.k.a. Giovanni Giotta) and such regulars as Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Francis Ford Coppola. But instead of the rickety charm of a weathered corner storefront, it occupies a retail space in the ground floor of 199 New Montgomery St., a 16-story condo tower from 2004.

Another difference from Peet's at Foundry Square: The clientele draws heavily on students from the Academy of Art University. If you want fresh takes on tattoos and dyed hair, head this way.

Peet's touchdown wasn't a shock, since the company went public in 2001 and now has 140 branches in six states. But Caffe Trieste? On the edge of the Financial District and within a stone's throw of the W Hotel?

"There certainly wouldn't have been the foot traffic 15 years ago, but the city has changed so much," shrugs Fabio Giotta, Papa Gianni's son. He points out that Caffe Trieste has three other branches, including one in Berkeley that feels as though it was shipped intact from the Adriatic coast. Not so at 199 New Montgomery. The owner of the retail space is Komendi Kosasih; he wooed Caffe Trieste to head south, he loves the lore, but he toned down the Old-World flavor of the original shop: "Many people are young in this neighborhood. They may not even know the original. So we didn't design it too Italian."

The true purist would recoil at both -- sneering at Peet's in its expansion as a wannabe Starbucks, and the new Caffe Trieste as a pale imitation of the mother bean. But when I hopped out of the casual carpool one morning and saw Peet's on the edge of Foundry Square's austere plaza, I confess: It was a pleasant shock of recognition. In this austere world, an old friend!

As for Caffe Trieste, it's as if old North Beach has blessed the new scene South of Market. The boho trinity of Caffe Trieste, Vesuvio and City Lights Books still go strong -- historic landmarks of hipsterism -- but mainly, wealthy homeowners and rent-control radicals populate North Beach itself. So why not bring a San Francisco icon to a new generation?

Even without the cafes, the changes along Howard Street are vivid. The largest tenant at One Foundry Square is law firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe; once it was on the north edge of the Financial District, but younger lawyers sought easy freeway access to Silicon Valley. As for 199 New Montgomery, a short block from the one-time heart of Skid Row, a two-bedroom condo right now is on the market for $899,000.

But new buildings don't make a neighborhood. They just signal the willingness to invest by big players. A neighborhood is defined by the fabric of time, the patterns that emerge as some threads endure and others fade.

Midway between Peet's and Caffe Trieste sits 564 Howard, a sturdy survivor from the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake. Claude and Nina Gruen bought the building in 1975 for their real estate consulting firm. They were "south of the slot" and far off the map.

"When we moved here, for lunch we'd go to the Embarcadero or to Union Square," Gruen recalls. "Now, I don't drink coffee, but Nina can go in three directions and get good cappuccino."

The Gruens' building began life as apartments upstairs. Downstairs, a saloon served the blue-collar employees of the nearby warehouses and clothing manufacturers.

"In those days, you had workers that went to saloons," Gruen laughs. "The saloons of today are coffee-brewing entertainment venues."

And thus do cities change.

http://sfgate.com/c/pictures/2007/03/27/dd_place27_0007_db.jpg

http://sfgate.com/c/pictures/2007/03/27/dd_place27_0002_db.jpg

Place appears on Tuesdays. E-mail John King, who carries a Peet's debit card in his wallet, at jking@sfchronicle.com.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/27/DDGLNOQTPL1.DTL

That bit about how the New Montgomery Academy of Art kids are "too young" to know or appreciate Cafe Triest unadulturated, though, is a bit sad IMHO. Heck, I appreciate their tatoos (if not so much the dyed hair).

BTinSF
Apr 6, 2007, 8:06 AM
I don't understand why Cody's owner doesn't understand his lack of success. In an era where customers of brick and mortar book stores are limited anyway, San Francisco never had any shortage of such stores. This transplanted Cody's was in direct proximity to both a huge chain store (Borders on Union Sq.) and a local independent book store icon (Stacey's a couple blocks down Market St.). Why would the customers of either switch to Cody's? In the end, they wouldn't and so the story has a sad ending:

Cody's Books to leave S.F. -- 'It just didn't work'
Independent bookstore retreats to Berkeley after tough 18 months battling retail giants

Pia Sarkar, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, April 6, 2007

(04-05) 19:25 PDT -- Cody's Books will shutter its only store in San Francisco after 18 months of trying to survive in a cutthroat environment for independent booksellers.

The 22,000-square-foot store on Stockton Street, between Union Square and Market Street, will close on April 20. It will send 20 percent of its inventory to the last remaining Cody's location, on Fourth Street in Berkeley.

Cody's President Andrew Ross, who mortgaged his house to open the San Francisco store, said it has been losing $70,000 a month. He expressed disappointment in its failure.

"It wasn't like it almost didn't work -- it just didn't work," he said. "To make it work, we would have had a long, long way to go."

The store had always been considered a risk, with its 34-foot bright yellow sign straining to stand out amid such chain retailers as the Apple Store across the street and Border's Books just a few blocks away. The street-level entrance, which led downstairs to a large, quiet basement of books, never drew large crowds despite its high-profile location -- something that still baffles Ross.

"I bet the bank on that store," he said. "In spite of the location and the size, it just didn't work. I can't interview the customers who didn't come. The customers who did come liked the store."

Nick Setka, board president of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, said it is almost impossible for any independent bookseller to open such a large store going head-to-head with chains such as Barnes and Nobles and Borders, as well as Internet retailers.

"In this economic environment, it's unrealistic to have those grand ambitions," he said. "I admire someone (who tries to) do it but it's overly ambitious."

Cody's could have been a hero among the independents had it triumphed over the chains.

"If it had been a success, it would have been the stuff of myth and legend in the independent bookstores," Setka said. "Alas, things are different now than they were 10 years ago."

Setka said independent booksellers must realize that as the landscape changes, they too must change.

"The larger lesson is that in this new financial reality for bookstores, you have to be efficiently run, have a good inventory control system, a lean staff and go smaller," he said. "You have to fill the niche your community needs to have filled."

Ross said one of Cody's problems was construction on the new Barneys clothing store at Stockton and O'Farrell streets, which started last summer and made it difficult for the bookstore to attract shoppers. Business declined by 40 percent.

In September, a Japanese book distributor, Yohan Inc, bought Cody's from Ross and kept him as president. The deal allowed the company to stay afloat.

"It put some money into our business and it gave us some breathing space, but not enough," he said.

Ross had hoped the San Francisco store could weather the construction of Barneys, set to be completed in September. But in the final assessment, it did not make sense to keep it open.

"We didn't have time to wait," he said. "We didn't have confidence that it'd make a big enough difference."

Last May, Ross was forced to close the Cody's store on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley after 43 years because of declining sales and a changing neighborhood. The Fourth Street location is thriving and Ross said he plans to keep it going.

"The Cody's brand lives strong in the East Bay, and that's what we're going to focus on," he said.

Still, Ross said he cannot help but reflect on the Stockton Street store with regrets. His house is now up for sale.

"This is the second store I've had to close in two years," he said. "This is not what I wanted to do in my life. I wanted to open stores."

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/04/06/CODYS.TMP

BTinSF
Apr 16, 2007, 6:19 AM
Wine, chocolate and a bespoke suit from the tailor of choice to the preppy set when I was in college--now available on Yerba Buena Lane:

Yerba Buena joins the Mid-Market fast lane
San Francisco Business Times - April 13, 2007
by Sarah Duxbury

Yerba Buena Lane is edging closer to its promise of becoming a bustling retail thoroughfare connecting Market and Mission streets.

Millennium Partners has signed three new leases totaling more than 15,000 square feet on the lane. Just four spots totaling about 10,000 square feet remain unspoken for, and three of those are in advanced negotiations.

The developer initially expected the Lane to be hopping last summer, but it had trouble convincing retailers to sign.

That's since changed with the opening of Westfield, the impending arrival of Barneys, progress on the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the success of high-end hotels like the Four Seasons and St. Regis. Now retailers are signing on to Millennium's vision of a high-end enclave of food, wine and cultural offerings.

"Initially we wanted to be in the Union Square area; that's where we thought our customer is," said Andrew Chun, who will open a wine tasting collective in 10,000 square feet with Jan Wiginton. But Yerba Buena Lane won Chun as the "perfect convergence of art, the convention center, hotel visitor market and now a great food and wine pairing to that."

The wine tasting collective, provisionally called Taste, will be Millennium's largest new tenant. It will feature up to 10 premium Northern California wineries on a permanent basis and a rotation of visiting wineries. The aim is to provide a wine country experience for the time-strapped. Each winery represented will have its own tasting and retail area staffed by its own employees. Chun and Wiginton are in final negotiations with their tenant wineries.

In September, old-school New York retailer Hickey Freeman will open a 4,500- square-foot store next door to St. John's Knits on Market Street. It will be the company's third store and the first outside of Manhattan. Philip Kornblatt, director of retail at Hickey Freeman, said that coming in ahead of the curve on a Market Street resurgence was an opportunity the company didn't want to miss. The shop will carry a full line of boys' clothes in addition to an adult made-to-measure section.

The lane's final new tenant is Dominik Schiewek, who will open a high end chocolate café in close to 1,500 square feet. He'll import product from Schoggi, an ultra-premium Swiss chocolatier without any West Coast distribution.

The new tenants join Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Beard Papa, Yerba Buena Lane's current food offerings. Mid-lane, the Museum of Craft & Folk Art opened in its new location over a year ago. Across from it, the Contemporary Jewish Museum under construction will open in Spring 2008. And at the head of the lane, Amber India signed a 5,000-square-foot lease to open a 130-seat restaurant.

Kazuko Morgan of Cushman & Wakefield represented landlord Millennium Partners on the leases.

Millennium has spent a total of close to $10 million for physical improvements to the lane and to support tenants in their buildouts.

"It's slower than we initially hoped," said Sean Jeffries, vice president and principal of Millennium. But the tide has changed and Jeffries said he's very happy with his current tenant lineup.

sduxbury@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4963

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/04/16/story6.html?t=printable

BTinSF
Apr 16, 2007, 6:25 AM
SF continues its tradition of being a center of content for the internet (but no more sock puppets):

Macy's to invest $100M to build S.F.-based online store operation
San Francisco Business Times - April 13, 2007
by Sarah Duxbury

Federated Department Stores, the Cincinnati-based parent to Macy's and Bloomingdale's, will invest $100 million in its online operations with a goal of $1 billion in online sales next year.

Macys.com is headquartered in San Francisco, the technical hub, and New York, the merchandising center, with the division's 350 employees split between them. Macys.com CEO Kent Anderson is based in San Francisco.

Most of the $100 million will be spent on a 600,000-square-foot distribution center in Goodyear, Ariz., that will be the main West Coast shipping point for Macys.com. Construction will begin this spring and take a year.

Some will be spent in San Francisco to support technical upgrades and infrastructure improvements. It is on top of $130 million being invested in such improvements in 2006-2007, including a 600,000-square-foot distribution center opening this month in Portland, Tenn.

"Research has certainly demonstrated that a customer who shops both online and in stores is a much larger customer," said Jim Sluzewski, a Federated spokesman. He said a goal for the company now is to encourage in-store shoppers to begin research online at home and online shoppers to come in and browse before clicking and buying.

Macys.com is not alone in choosing the Bay Area, with its deep technical talent, for its web operations. Wal-Mart put Arkansas on the retail map, but Walmart.com is in Brisbane.

Federated's online sales were $620 million last year, up from $450 million in 2005. Those include sales from Bloomingdale's.com and Bloomingdale's by Mail, but the bulk of the direct business comes from Macys.com. Federated declined to break out specific figures for Macys.com, but said the site attracted up to 280 million visitors last year.

Macys.com is a separate operation from Macy's West, based in San Francisco and headed by Robert Mettler. Macy's West includes 190 stores.

sduxbury@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4963

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/04/16/story13.html?t=printable

rs913
Apr 16, 2007, 4:53 PM
The new Yerba Buena Lane openings seem in line with a trend towards really high-end retail. I wonder if this is consistent with what some people are arguing is happening in the city of SF, i.e. it's being taken over by the rich as the middle class vanish?

fflint
Apr 16, 2007, 5:29 PM
Oh, I think that's a bit much. Although SF has always had an upscale segment, it didn't have a lot of these upscale chain stores that are now opening up with the creation from scratch of places like SF Centre and Yerba Buena Lane.

FourOneFive
Apr 19, 2007, 4:50 AM
Can anyone tell me if there's been any progress on the former FAO Schwartz building at the corner of Stockton and O Farrell? I'm looking forward to the Barney's!

EastBayHardCore
Apr 19, 2007, 5:26 AM
They've been gutting/renovating it for the past few months. :)

BTinSF
Apr 19, 2007, 5:36 AM
Can anyone tell me if there's been any progress on the former FAO Schwartz building at the corner of Stockton and O Farrell? I'm looking forward to the Barney's!

The article I posted above on Yerba Buena Lane refers to "the impending arrival of Barney's". I believe they intend to open in September.

FourOneFive
Apr 19, 2007, 2:31 PM
They've been gutting/renovating it for the past few months. :)

Thanks. I was just curious to see if they were reworking the facade of the building since we never saw renderings of the new project. I assume they are simply converting the interior space.

fflint
Apr 19, 2007, 7:05 PM
Yeah, I haven't noticed any facade changes--but then I cannot say I've been looking for them, either.

BTinSF
Apr 19, 2007, 7:30 PM
^^^ Yup. Sept. 19th

Barneys working to make S.F. store super chic
Sylvia Rubin
Sunday, April 8, 2007

Don't call it Frisco: When Simon Doonan puts on a construction worker's hard hat, he's thinking fashion. "Very Balenciaga last season,'' he jokes, and he isn't far off the mark. Doonan, the creative director for Barneys New York, the upscale emporium known for its fabulous windows, was in town briefly for a walk-through of the raw space on Stockton Street (formerly FAO Schwarz) that will soon be Barneys' third West Coast location.

With opening day set for Sept. 19, the space is coming along, but there's much to be done. Doonan, the imaginative force behind Barneys New York windows for two decades, sees beyond the white-gray dust that covers everything. Every cable, every broom, every wastebasket is potential material for a merchandising display.

During the walk-through, Doonan is taken with a huge industrial broom. "Can you leave this when you're done?'' he asks the foreman. "A mannequin in an evening gown pushing a broom. Works every time,'' he says. He looks up, spots a tangle of thick white cables hanging like sculpture from the ceiling. "Fabulous!'' He inquires about power outlets and other tools of his trade. "Can we put hooks in the ceiling here?'' The foreman gives him a look. "Hooks?''

"We want to dangle things, you know,'' Doonan explains. The foreman doesn't know, but he'll look into it.

Undeterred, Doonan says, "I hope there are enough power outlets for all our Christmas jooosh. You know, we have to festoon!''

He has been busy recently, checking out new Barneys buildings in Boston and Dallas and here. They are all a bit different. What will make this one all about San Francisco? "This is the only one in an exquisite old building,'' he said, referring to the 1909 structure, built to house the Newman and Levinson department store.

The other big difference? Don't call it Frisco. Doonan's first set of mailers included the tagline "Hello Frisco!'' Until the 1920s, sailors called it Frisco and nobody minded. But right around then, for reasons still unknown, the term began to offend the natives. "I am a complete idiot,'' Doonan says. "I've been coming here since the '70s, and I didn't know. ... We're here to make friends.''

Moving forward, Doonan aims to create a unique shopping experience for San Franciscans who may not be familiar with Barneys New York. Around since 1923, the shop began as a men's store and then grew into a place known for the latest labels from Europe as well as up-and-coming designers. The windows always draw crowds. There might be a Cleopatra bust made of beer bottle caps, a window devoted to Cher or holiday windows devoted to the cast of "Sex and the City.'' The first windows in San Francisco, Doonan says, will be a montage of Barneys' 84-year history. "Fun stuff, like ads from the '50s; lots of photos,'' he says.

Inside the store, there will be dramatic staircases, just like in the flagship Madison Avenue store in New York. "The designer department will have a "gallery-esque'' feeling, Doonan says, "with beautiful antique furniture. We will be the sumptuous home for Lanvin, Vionnet, Balenciaga, Prada.'' Barneys is also known for its jewelry and cosmetics departments, the latter stocking hard-to-find, pricey blushes and lipsticks from Serge Lutens.

But the second floor, where the women's shoes will be, says Doonan, "is the heart of every Barneys store.''

E-mail Sylvia Rubin at srubin@sfchronicle.com.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/04/08/LVGHGP3QUF1.DTL

fflint
Apr 20, 2007, 8:48 AM
I was at Crate and Barrel and made a point of checking out the Barney's facade--it is as it was. Cleaner and better-detailed, of course, but there is no significant change to the old building's facade that I can detect.

dimondpark
May 10, 2007, 7:35 PM
Because you have never have too many flagships:D Wasnt this where the Prada cheese grater was supposed to go?

Stunning Union Square Showcase Building Welcomes De Beers Flagship Store to San Francisco

De Beers international jewelers will open its San Francisco flagship store at the magnificently renovated 185 Post Street building, a six-story retail and office development situated at the corner of Post Street and Grant Avenue in San Francisco's elegant Union Square shopping district.

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 10, 2007 -- De Beers international jewelers will open its San Francisco flagship store at the magnificently renovated 185 Post Street building, a six-story retail and office development situated at the corner of Post Street and Grant Avenue in San Francisco's elegant Union Square shopping district.

185 Post Street, purchased by the international property group Grosvenor in 2005, has undergone a complete building renovation that artfully preserved the original 1907 brick exterior by encapsulating it in layers of translucent and frosted glass. The building stands out like a jewel amongst the dark masonry buildings that surround it and will be in perfect harmony with its new toney retailer. The building has also undergone full seismic and top-to-bottom base building system upgrades.

Alan Chamorro, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Grosvenor's San Francisco office and the developer for the project, is thrilled to welcome De Beers as the anchor tenant at this prestigious address, and to deliver the newest trophy building in years to the Union Square area.

Grosvenor is currently marketing premium office and retail space on the upper floors of the building accessible at 170 Grant Avenue and is seeking boutique tenants for high-identity, 3,200 square foot floors.

The opening of De Beers San Francisco store closely follows the international jeweler's opening of a new boutique in Las Vegas in early 2007. De Beers opened their first store in the US in 2005 with a flagship in New York at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street. De Beers also has a boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills at the corner of North Rodeo Drive and Brighton Way.

Grosvenor is a privately owned international property group, representing the interests of the Grosvenor family. The Group undertakes real estate development and investment on its own behalf and on behalf of partners and investors through its regional operating companies and fund management business in the Americas, Britain & Ireland, Continental Europe and Australia Asia Pacific. It operates from 12 offices and has interests in 17 countries. Grosvenor manages or has assets under management of approximately $21.6 billion of real estate. For more information about the Company, please visit: www.grosvenor.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Lorin Horosz
Director of Marketing Communications
Grosvenor
Tel: (415) 434 0175
lorin.horosz @ grosvenor.com

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/05/prweb525128.htm

rs913
May 10, 2007, 7:41 PM
Flagship Store

Anyone know what the deal is with the usage of this term? I've seen it applied to store locations that don't have anything to distinguish themselves other than a high-profile location (i.e. aren't really bigger or nicer).

I think it's safe to say Union Square's come a long way the last few years, even without Cody's and the Prada cheese grater. :-)

sf_eddo
May 10, 2007, 8:51 PM
Anyone know what the deal is with the usage of this term? I've seen it applied to store locations that don't have anything to distinguish themselves other than a high-profile location (i.e. aren't really bigger or nicer).

Hey rs, we actually had the discussion about flagships on the very first page of this thread... and then the subject was brought up again on page 6 as well that carried over several pages....

dimondpark
May 11, 2007, 7:50 PM
look out manolo blahnik...:)

Payless ShoeSource Announces Three New Payless Fashion Lab(TM) Stores in Manhattan's Hip Shopping Districts

TOPEKA, Kan., May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Payless ShoeSource, the nation's
leading specialty footwear retailer, announced today that it is opening
three new Payless stores featuring the retailer's flagship Payless Fashion
Lab(TM) store format in hip Manhattan shopping districts of Soho at 513
Broadway, Lexington and 59th at 716 Lexington, and the high-traffic area of
14th Street near Union Square at 40 West 14th Street.
The first store is opening today in Soho, with the remaining stores due
to open in the summer. These new store locations are important for their
high-volume foot traffic, cache, and shopping clientele, which is well
suited for Payless Fashion Lab format -- the new flagship store design
launched by the retailer last July.
Payless Fashion Lab stores offer the same great Payless products, with
a broader fashion assortment like Payless' Designer Collections and an
increased selection of handbags and accessories -- all at traditional
Payless value prices. The stores feature a self-select shopping environment
and are intended to make it easier for shoppers to have fun and experiment
with fashion by letting them more quickly find the styles they love.
Product is displayed by seasonal trend stories atop self-select custom
fixtures that house shoe box inventory below. The stores are brightly lit,
open and have ample seating for trying on shoes.
"These shopping districts are new for us, but with our new Payless
Fashion Lab stores, we feel right at home," said Matt Rubel, chief
executive officer and president, Payless ShoeSource. "We are dedicated to
democratizing fashion in footwear and accessories to deliver the latest
on-trend styles at a great price, and we look forward to serving the
shoppers in these new areas with our fun, inspiring new stores and our
enhanced seasonal collections."
Payless said that the new Payless Fashion Lab format is helping the
retailer secure locations in high-fashion malls and other premier shopping
areas such as New York's Fifth Ave.; San Francisco Centre near Union Square
in San Francisco; Valley Fair Mall, Santa Clara, Calif.; Houston Galleria,
Houston; and Dallas Galleria, Dallas, among others. The Soho store is the
second Payless Fashion Lab store in New York City and the 13th Payless
Fashion Lab store now opened nationwide. There are 15 of the flagship
stores planned nationwide in fiscal 2007. The Payless Fashion Lab and Hot
Zone formats began rolling out last year and continue nationwide as part of
Payless' strategic initiative to refresh its store chain.
Payless ShoeSource, Inc., the largest specialty family footwear
retailer in the Western Hemisphere, is dedicated to democratizing fashion
and design in footwear and accessories and inspiring fun, fashion
possibilities for the family at a great value. As of the end of the fourth
quarter 2006, the company operated a total of 4,572 stores. In addition to
its stores, customers can buy shoes over the Internet at
http://www.payless.com.



http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/05-03-2007/0004580112&EDATE=

rs913
May 11, 2007, 8:42 PM
look out manolo blahnik...

:D I think they need the right celebrity spokesperson to pull this off. Maybe Lindsay Lohan after her career goes in the tank? Or Tara Reid, if they can't wait that long?

coyotetrickster
May 11, 2007, 10:41 PM
I dunno, Starr Jones was a lot of celebrity!

BTinSF
May 11, 2007, 11:57 PM
BizTimes says Whole Foods is taking over the supermarket space at Haight & Stanyon.

BTinSF
May 14, 2007, 4:45 AM
:previous: Here's the story:

Whole Foods plans store on Haight Street
San Francisco Business Times - May 11, 2007
by Sarah Duxbury

Call it a case of crunchy colliding with yuppie: Whole Foods wants to bring its brand of upscale grocery store to San Francisco's Haight district.

That is one of four new leases signed by the Texas-based retailer, which has helped bring health food and organics to the mainstream. Other new stores will be in Lafayette, Capitola and Santa Rosa.

The proposed Haight Street store, on the corner of Stanyan Street, would be part of a mixed-use development with 60 condos and three stories of parking, a proposal that some neighborhood activists have been fighting.

The upscale grocer is subject to the city's chain store ordinance and needs a special permit to operate on the site, which was once a Cala Foods and is now a surface parking lot.

Matt Holmes of Retail West, which is developing the site, said his firm is working with the neighborhood to get backing, but knows there's a "battle" ahead.

The four new stores join 21 others being built in California, 12 of them in Northern California. They and the four locations just announced will all be open by 2010. The grocer already has 20 Northern California stores open.

The Haight location will be San Francisco's fourth Whole Foods; the third is scheduled to open in 39,000 square feet in Potrero Hill later this year. The new stores range from 25,000 square feet to 38,000 square feet.

In July, Whole Foods will open its largest store in the Western U.S. in 63,000 square feet in Cupertino.

Sales for the second quarter, ended May 9, 2007, were $1.5 billion, an 11.6 percent increase from the same period last year. A 12 percent increase in square footage drove much of that growth.

The company has 194 stores in operation.

sduxbury@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4963


Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/05/14/story14.html?t=printable

rs913
May 15, 2007, 12:59 AM
In July, Whole Foods will open its largest store in the Western U.S. in 63,000 square feet in Cupertino.

Well, until they open their behemoth 86,000 square foot store in San Jose (http://www.almadentimes.com/012507/expansive.htm). That's a whole lotta Whole Foods!

They're also opening in Oakland and Dublin. Not surprising, since the Bay Area represents WF's target demographic in a lot of ways.

Hal Incandenza
May 16, 2007, 5:55 AM
That's such a horrible intersection that nearly anything would improve it. Whole Foods isn't my bag--if I'm going to overpay for food, it's going to be a locally-owned store--but the existing parking lot is desolate and ugly, and housing over grocery stores is a model that works in SF. See for example the Albertson's at Masonic and Fulton, which by the way isn't close enough or decent enough to be any real competition.

What's really going to be awesome is the juxtapositions it will create. Amoeba next to McDonalds across from Whole Foods interspersed with psychotropic drug dealers? Where else but The City?

BTinSF
May 16, 2007, 7:04 AM
^^^You forgot the homeless encampment across the street. Probably their diet will improve dramatically out of the Whole Foods dumpster.

BTinSF
May 21, 2007, 4:34 AM
Cheap chic retailer has eye on spreading out in Bay Area
San Francisco Business Times - May 18, 2007
by Sarah Duxbury

Steve & Barry's is bringing to the Bay Area its vision of a store where no fashion costs more than $20.

The fast-growing chain -- last year it opened more square footage than any other specialty retailer -- has signed a lease for 24,000 square feet in Newark's NewPark Mall. It took the company two years to execute its first lease here, but it will soon blanket these parts. It is close to signing other Northern California leases, including one in downtown San Francisco. Doug Calvin, Steve & Barry's director of real estate, said the company could have 12 leases signed by the new year.

Bay Area stores will range from 20,000 square feet to nearly 75,000 square feet; the company's average store size is 60,000 square feet with some as big as 170,000 square feet.

"Population density is the most important factor we take into account," to be able to have the high volumes the company needs to make a profit on its cheap clothes, Calvin said. "Household income, ethnicity and other (demographic) indicators don't factor in as much. ... It allows us to be very flexible on our real estate."

The Port Washington, N.Y.-based company was founded in 1985 and has been doubling its store count annually for the past few years. Last year it opened 70 stores, and this year it is poised to open the same number. It has 196 stores in 33 states.

The company's something of a celebrity darling. New York Knicks star Stephon Marbury turned to Steve & Barry's to create the Starbury, his $14.98 athletic shoe that both he and Chicago Bulls star Ben Wallace wear on court. Starbury is a full fashion line, and Wallace will introduce his own shoe and clothing line this fall.

Fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker signed with Steve & Barry's for her first fashion line, called Bitten. It has over 500 clothing items and accessories, each priced under $19.98, and is scheduled to debut June 7. Teen actress Amanda Bynes is the latest star to sign with the retailer, with a line hitting stores Aug. 10.

Steve & Barry's began as a branded college apparel store, and those logo sweatshirts remain a big part of the merchandise mix.

The Newark store will be open by mid-summer.

sduxbury@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4963
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/05/21/story9.html?t=printable

dimondpark
May 22, 2007, 6:34 PM
Gen Art Introduces Shop SF

A Shopping, Selling, Pampering Extravaganza that is All Things SF

SAN FRANCISCO, May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Always in fashion and ahead of
the curve, Gen Art introduces the event of the Spring -- Shop SF.
On May 31st, this unique shopping experience comes to you from the
leading non-profit for emerging musicians, artists and fashion designers.
Gen Art welcomes you to the San Francisco Design Center Galleria where over
50+ local designers and retailers will showcase their cutting edge
clothing, jewelry and accessories for both men and women.
Gen Arts Shop event is designed to finesse fashion with cocktails,
dining, local DJ Beats with interactive beauty consultations for a complete
San Francisco shopping experience.
The event will feature amenities such as on-site skin consultations and
brow waxing courtesy of Belle Pelle Skin Studio, coiffeurs services
compliments of Hair Play and Spa-Bar and on-site event make up applications
by Hilary Clark and her team at Blush Beauty.
In addition, Shop SF offers guests a custom Baileys cocktails bar, four
hosted bars, a VIP lounge featuring complimentary decor by Cinda, hors
d'oeuvres courtesy of the Park Grill Restaurant and even a visit from the
world famous Trader Vic's Mai Tai Boat.
With an expectancy of more than 1,000 attendees, Shop SF will offer
guests discounted items, current season samples and an opportunity to
interact with the finest local emerging designers as well as the regions'
hottest emerging designer boutiques.
Featured designers include Bryna Nicole, She-Bible, Artefacture, Alba
Nikka, ESLA, GR Dano, GG blue and Cari Borja.
Beverage sponsors include Fiji Water, Baileys, Johnnie Walker Black,
Sonnema Vodka HERB, Trumer Pils, Anchor Stem, Beaulieu Vineyards and Trader
Vic's original Mai Tais. Additional Support Provided by: Acura, Jet Blue,
Max Racks, Le Meridien Hotel, Splendora, 7 x 7 Magazine, Energy 92.7 FM and
Hollenbeck Associates.
Shop SF is May 31st from 6 - 10 p.m. Tickets start at $10 for
non-members, and $40 for VIP non-members inclusive of gift bag and access
to the VIP lounge.
Gen Art is the leading arts and entertainment organization dedicated to
showcasing emerging fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians and visual
artists. With offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and
Chicago Gen Art produces over 100 events annually in support of the arts.


http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/05-22-2007/0004593912&EDATE=

dimondpark
May 22, 2007, 6:38 PM
SLOW WEAR
A new movement promotes punk-practical, sweatshop- and chemical-free clothing that's still dance-worthy
Terri Saul, Special to The Chronicle

Sunday, May 20, 2007

http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2007/05/20/lv_x1_mac_0052_el.jpg
Chris Ospital wears Martin Margiela and Ben Ospital sports Lanvin at MAC, their Hayes Valley store. Chronicle photo by Eric Luse

"The hills are groaning with excess, like a table being ceaselessly set. C'mon will you dance my darling?"

-- Joanna Newsom, "Monkey and Bear"

Inspired by the cuisine of Alice Waters and the successful organic markets of the Ferry Building (a temple of conscientious consumption), Ben and Chris Ospital and their mother, Jeri, are on the cutting edge of San Francisco's Slow Clothing movement, which combines new ideas about beauty with old-fashioned concepts of utility that are now coming back into vogue.

The siblings run Modern Appealing Clothing, a.k.a. MAC, a Hayes Valley store and gallery that has become a popular gathering place for those who combine fashionable tastes with progressive leanings.

Eco-styles found at the store draw on punk practicality: pants that won't get caught in a bike chain, skirts with wide bottoms, jackets that become pillows, unrestricting shirts, materials used economically (sparing the extra petroleum products), sweatshop-free dresses, more expensive but longer-lasting items, dance-worthy mix-and-match lines, sex-positive lingerie and naturally dyed designs.

Interviewed at the store, Ben does most of the talking, while Chris nods and chimes in once Ben's bushy mustache stops moving. Ben is wearing khakis by Dries Van Noten and an Engineered Garments button-down shirt. Chris is clothed in a responsibly produced cotton shirt and pants by Sofie d'Hoore.

When the Ospitals decided to create MAC in 1980, "we were free-minded and wanted to do our own thing," Ben recalls.

"We feel very strongly about our tribe," Ben says of their designers, including such local favorites as mod Lemon Twist and super-mod Dema.

Danette Scheib of Lemon Twist, known for modular forms, circular pockets and frayed edges held in place with color-contrasting topstitching, says: "Our pieces are made well and although very modern, have a sort of timelessness that enables one to wear them for a long time. This, to me, is also helpful to the environment." Jumpers, skirts and dresses are about $120 and up. They hang on the average hips well without pinching. One can play at being Monica Vitti in an Antonioni film.

The clothing of Dema Grim, famous for her Vespa-riding gear for women, shouts out an implicit message: "Rock on with your frock on!" Her pants are long and loose. Her skirts swing. Her little button-up blouses are softly lined and studded with old-fashioned satin buttons. She's still not able to produce low-impact, sustainable clothing, but knows that protesters are asking for change. Some Lemon Twist customers request custom-made clothing snipped from eco-fabrics, but they aren't complaining about Dema's threads enough to fund her transition to earth-friendly motor gear.

Ben, Chris and Jeri are auteurs of this budding movement; they apply a film director's sense of mise-en-scene to their store and its contents. Where else can one find a bustier fronted by a miniature formal pantsuit that looks like a small person clinging to one's cleavage? In the entryway, visitors are greeted by a greenhouse-like tableau and rolling racks attended by dandies. Children drawing on the floor and two man-size dogs lounge harmonisouly amid biomorphic cardboard sculptures and leftover tea snacks.

MAC's aesthetic may serve a deeper purpose: Since hurried shopping leads to degradation of the environment and the filling up of landfills with useless garbage bought on the run, it's best to take the time to find what's really deserving of the moniker "second skin." Ben points out that these days, when shoppers flip the label to see the price, they also take the time to flip the label over to see where it's manufactured.

"The overwhelming thought about expensive clothes is that you go into the store and it feels like an emergency room," Ben contends. But clothing should be carefully considered, as much as food. Fashion isn't just about what's in, but what's not in it: fur, plastics and chemicals. More and more mainstream companies are becoming aware of the desire for chemical-free fabrics. Levi's recently launched an organic brand, Levi's Eco.

In the essay "Beautility: Good Design Has Utility," product designer and New York University communications Professor Tucker Viemeister defines "beautility" as "the convergence of ethics and aesthetics."

The desire to be fashionably dressed is often associated with superficiality; the craving for beautiful garments has been tied up with pain -- unhealthy stereotypes and exploitative practices. Punks are typically anti-fashion and morally opposed to shopping. But everyone needs something to wear, and trading clothes with friends can have its limits.

Ben and Chris have a lot to say, not only about eco-chic but also party politics. "We took back the Congress. We took back the Senate. Now we're going to take back khakis," they say in unison. They carry unusual khakis in shapes they suspect a Republican wouldn't be caught dead wearing, such as a full-length fishtail-hemmed evening skirt. Ben has faith in khaki as a proletarian fabric, rooted in the idea of everyday work and life, like an Eames chair.

"Japanese designers are doing khakis in so many different weird, wonderful, wacky ways that no supporter of George Bush would touch them!" he says, adding that Belgians like Martin Margiela, inspired by the wash-and-wear styles of the '60s, are making washable suits in khaki.

In San Francisco, it's about survival of the fittest outfit, and the forgotten joy of being mobile. Preventing-the-apocalypse fashion is not just about eco gear-heads and survival freaks with GPS devices, it also speaks to ordinary environmentalists, hitting anxious urbanites in the gut. Ben and Chris wax enraptured when they talk about the long process of developing lines of clothing with independent designers.

"When you look at the nature of clothing, they're made by hands," Ben says. "Hands make them. It's really sad when people get caught up with names and labels. At the end of the day, it's the process that created the extraordinary garment."

Persuading consumers to buy green isn't always easy. Take hemp. So far, hemp lines have failed to attract a large following, even though it's one of the most sustainable fibers on the planet; it requires absolutely no fertilizer, and it's tremendously pest resistant. The problem is, its heavy texture is seen as un-hip.

Zoe Banks, a retailer of organic sheets, says, "Back in the day, hemp clothing used to look ridiculous, like hemp muumuus. Eco-fashion will start reflecting trends more, what's wearable. The electric car used to look ridiculous -- now it's almost indistinguishable from any mainstream car."

While hemp "silk" has potential to be a beautiful fabric, it's hard to come by. The government makes it difficult for hemp farmers to grow and refine their products, even though hemp contains little or no THC, the chemical that provides marijuana's high.

Shay Camarda had her bridesmaids' dresses made out of hemp from Two Star Dog of Berkeley. She says Two Star Dog, one of the earliest producers of hemp fashion, has dramatically improved its designs, from unappealing functional clothes to items that would never brand her as a pot farmer living off the grid with a composting toilet. They've experimented with such blends as hemp and Tencel, a fiber derived from wood. Maybe soon your pants will be laced with dope you can't smoke. (The downside of hemp manufacturing is, as in the case of cotton, long-term exposure to its dust can lead to lung problems in textile workers.)

But dressing for global survival doesn't necessarily require sackcloth chic or taking on the Drug Enforcement Administration.

When fresh San Francisco designers combine organic cottons with street-inspired silk-screens, Ben says, "It kind of debunks the theory that organic things have to be homespun. They can have a sense of humor and be well designed."

But Dema finds that eco fabrics are still prohibitively expensive and bulky. "Unfortunately, I have a hard time finding environmentally friendly fabrics in the small quantities that I use as a small manufacturer," she says. "I look every time I go to the textile shows, but the minimums are usually more than I can bear."

A lot of times designers come up with great ideas, and we always have to think about -- well, it's fun and freewheeling, and sometimes the design itself will give you goose bumps," Ben says. "But at the end of the day you always want to feel like you can hike up Nob Hill in that skirt." He likes to imagine his customers wearing a MAC outfit while they ride their dressy bikes to the Opera. MAC carries lighter fabrics for San Francisco winters, heavier weights for foggy summers, and garments that don't require dry cleaning or frequent washings.

And you won't be tricked into buying dog fur; the fake fur at MAC is synthetic and cruelty-free.

"Anything we do has to resonate with some level of authenticity, so then you have it for a long time," said Ben. Asked what matches what, he replies, "All good things go together."

When anti-fashion activists see red, they can run the risk of protesting everything experimental, from bamboo fabrics to organic cotton, on the grounds of the potential danger they can cause to the environment. But bamboo, an ingredient in some of the hottest eco-fabrics, is more sustainable than cotton, even though its critics worry that the fast growth of bamboo forests will lead to ecological imbalance.

One of MAC's favorite Belgian designers, the deconstructionist Margiela, has an artisanal line, using 100 percent post-consumer garments to make new ones, finding beauty in the trash bin. He uses some new fabrics in his Replica line, where he recycles ideas instead of objects, but he distresses the fabrics to make them appear older. It's a mystery whether this designer is truly championing recycling or just seducing his buyers by giving his pieces a vintage look. His latest creations include jackets made out of old suitcases and garment bags. He's also built jagged postmodern dresses out of torn-up headscarfs, and waistcoats made of butterflied high-tops.

"What's great about the Belgians is that it's less likely that they're going to have a 20-page ad campaign," Ben says. "Quite frankly, you're going to be paying for that in the clothes. Instead they put their efforts into the designs."

More people are becoming aware of the expenses of excess and ignorance. If one keeps a carefully produced garment for years, that's saving money and helping the environment.

MAC's idea of luxury is a comfortable, safely produced T-shirt that outlasts less expensive products made under questionable conditions with a shorter shelf-life.

"Yes, they're more money, but if you advertise the cost of a perfect T-shirt, it's far cheaper than the $10 designer garment you got at some big chain store, that somebody died making, that will give you BO," Ben said.

Participants in the clothing revolution at places like MAC are influenced by an idea put forth in "The Cultural Influence of Brands: In Defense of Advertising," an essay by Chris Riley (a brand strategist and founder of Studio Riley): "A business designed only to grow capital is far more likely to create distress and cause destruction than one within which the total value of the business, its role in the lives of the people involved with it, is the purpose."

MAC isn't only eco-minded; it also creates a sense of community by supporting artists with disabilities who get a chance to display their creations between the racks. Ben and Chris are on the board of Creative Growth, an Oakland nonprofit center providing programs and exhibition space for visionary artists with disabilities, and work by artists from the center is showcased in the store.

"If you're a small business, you need to think about what you can offer differently, and what we try to do is to bring community into the store," Chris says. "We try to make the process very transparent because everybody has less time to look at things, less time to sew. It's about feeling comfortable that you're getting something that's small, indigenous and that really has a soul and a person behind it."

Post-apocalyptic nihilism is so inflated in fashion right now -- feeling like a fem-bot in metallics is supposedly motivating. But at MAC and other eco-conscious outlets, the authentic concern for individuals as emotional beings is not just apparent, it's in the apparel. An oversize all-weather jacket by Final Home, in safety orange, comes with a minimalist teddy bear stashed in the pocket, highlighting the need for a futuristic transitional object. (Unfortunately, it's made of nylon.) International protest scarfs come ready to wear with messages of peace woven throughout.

"(We) consider ourselves part Kreskin and part Margaret Mead," Ben says. "We see these incredible clothes and say, my God, that's going to be so cool next year. But sometimes we have to kind of bend the fork, so to speak, because we have to figure out -- how does that fit in the real world?"

Terri Saul is a Bay Area freelance writer and artist.

This article appeared on page F - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

BTinSF
May 28, 2007, 7:51 AM
Diamond king DeBeers polishes plan for flagship
San Francisco Business Times - May 25, 2007
by Sarah Duxbury
San Francisco will soon have a new place to get its glitz on.

De Beers LV has signed a lease to open a 3,200-square-foot flagship at 185 Post St. Prime Union Square rents are around $400 per square foot, and retail brokers estimate that the jeweler could be paying as much as $1.5 million for the corner spot.

De Beers' arrival indicates the continuing attractiveness of San Francisco to luxury retailers. Within blocks of the new De Beers store are Cartier, Bulgari, Shreve & Co. and Tiffany & Co.

Guy Leymarie, worldwide CEO of De Beers, is unfazed by the competition. The store will feature De Beers' many lines, including new collections for men and designer watches.

De Beers opened its first U.S. retail store in Manhattan in 2005 and also has stores in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas. The company will open stores in McLean, Va. and Houston, Tex. later this year.

"Our objective is to be the global designer destination so when we say 'De Beers,' you hear 'diamond,'" Leymarie said. If these stores are successful, other U.S. stores could follow, provided De Beers finds the right real estate opportunities.

De Beers' arrival also signals the return of one of the city's prime retail corners. The space at 185 Post has been vacant since the mid 1990s when Prada, which owned it, backed off plans for a 10-story West Coast flagship.

Grosvenor bought the building in 2005 for roughly $11 million with hopes of leasing to a single retailer, only to learn that most retailers don't want to go vertical, and those that do, like Barneys which signed for 60,000 square feet at 148 Stockton St., want something bigger than the 19,000 square feet at 185 Post.

"Such a strong retailer as DeBeers I think will attract equally strong" tenants to the upper floors, said Alan Chamorro, senior vice president and general manager of Grosvenor. At least one and likely two of the 3,200-square-foot upper floors will house a retail tenant; the remainder will be office space.

Grosvenor kept the original 1907 brick façade, but has encased it in glass for a modern look. Inside, nothing of the original structure remains. Though technically a rehabilitation -- a move that expedited the permitting process -- the building is effectively a new six-story structure. Privately-held Grosvenor declined to say what it cost to rehab 185 Post, but Chamorro said it was "a sizable investment" in line with the cost of a new building.

"We think with De Beers there, it will be considered a trophy building," Chamorro said. "We held out for who we think is the right group."

sduxbury@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4963
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/05/28/story5.html?t=printable

BTinSF
May 28, 2007, 7:58 AM
Long-empty Union Square site to be a Skechers store
San Francisco Business Times - May 25, 2007
by Sarah Duxbury
Skechers is coming back to San Francisco.

The shoe brand popular with teenagers found a fit at 200 Powell St., a 8,240-square-foot building that has stood vacant for years. Actual selling space will likely be around 4,000 square feet on the ground floor and mezzanine levels.

Skechers converted its Market Street store to SoHo Lab, another of its brands. It operates a Skechers Outlet store on Mission Street.

Skechers will pay close to $1 million annually for the Powell Street space.

The building stood vacant for so long because its previous owner, Hui & Hui Chan, never tried to lease it. By leaving it vacant for more than five years, the former landlord lost over $5 million in potential rental revenue.

"That corner has been frankly blighted for a long time," said Julie Taylor, a broker with Cornish & Carey.

The intersection's fortunes began to change when H&M opened its first West Coast store kitty corner to the future Skechers. Then in May 2006, Blatteis & Schnur purchased the building for $12.6 million or $1,529 a square foot. The firm is said to be spending $2.5 million to renovate the space, including a seismic retrofit.

The space at 200 Powell was just the beginning of Blatteis & Schnur's interest in San Francisco retail. Last year the firm also purchased 800 Market St., the former California Savings Bank, across the street from the Westfield San Francisco Centre. It plans to convert the building to retail.

sduxbury@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4963
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/05/28/story9.html?t=printable

BTinSF
May 29, 2007, 3:58 AM
^^^I walked by that 200 Powell building today. Boy is it a wreck now (but clearly was a beautiful building once). I somehow never noticed either its art (what? deco? moderne? nouveau?) beauty or its present condition of appearing on verge of collapse. I hope they do a really good restoration of the tile work on the facade and all the architectural detailing--if they do it'll be a stunner.

viewguysf
May 29, 2007, 4:30 AM
^^^I walked by that 200 Powell building today. Boy is it a wreck now (but clearly was a beautiful building once). I somehow never noticed either its art (what? deco? moderne? nouveau?) beauty or its present condition of appearing on verge of collapse. I hope they do a really good restoration of the tile work on the facade and all the architectural detailing--if they do it'll be a stunner.

The building used to be much more uniquely interesting before the top decorative detail was removed years ago for seismic safety. In the '70's and earlier, it housed a well known restaurant called Omar Khayyam's. It would be fabulous if the structure were restored to its original historic appearance.

MarkSFCA
May 29, 2007, 7:10 PM
Is it possible for someone to post the SF Bus Times article regarding the changes going on in SF Japantown. The article is in the most recent edition but I was only able to read the first paragraph since I don't have a subscription. Thanks in advance . . .

BTinSF
May 29, 2007, 11:16 PM
^^^This one?

Hotelier aims for hip with Japantown inn
$6M project is part of redevelopment
San Francisco Business Times - May 25, 2007
by Ryan Tate

The first major piece of the redevelopment of Japantown will fall into place next month, when Joie de Vivre Hospitality opens Hotel Tomo, a $6 million transformation of the Miyako Inn into a shrine to Japanese popular culture.

The project will be followed by the remaking of the larger Miyako Hotel into the Hotel Kabuki, complete with a new, upscale Japanese sports lounge called O, and continued improvements to the former Kabuki movie theater, now owned by Robert Redford's Sundance Cinemas.

Eventually, Japantown will have two cornerstone projects, a planned "J-Pop Center" from Japanese publisher Shogakukan at 1746 Post St., with a theater and bookstore, and plans by 3D Investments of Beverly Hills to remake the Japantown mall in some fashion.

In the meantime, Joie de Vivre is happy to be first out of the gate, and hopes to make its new Japantown hotel a campy-cool destination for hipsters, video game addicts and young families.

"I would love for people to say, 'We never used to go to Japantown and that's where we like to stay now,'" said Derek Banderas, general manager of the Tomo.

Joie de Vivre is managing the hotels on behalf of owner 3D Investments, which acquired the properties last year from Osaka-based Kintetsu Enterprises of America, which had held both properties since they were built, in 1968 for the Miyako Hotel and 1975 for the Miyako Inn. There were concerns among community members when the deal went through that 3D would strip the properties of their Japanese character.

At the Tomo, Joie de Vivre is clearly aiming for a shift in character, but the company argues it is actually bolstering the personality of the hotel with its "j-pop" theme. Joie de Vivre executives said Kintetsu had not invested significantly in the hotel, putting in the bare minimum capital to keep it operating.

Joie de Vivre has remade the lobby, rooms and the on-site restaurant. The lobby features flat-panel TV screens showing anime (Japanese animation) and playfully-textured sofas. By opening day, vending machines in the lobby will sell dolls and electronics.

Like the lobby, the rooms have been remade with attractive, light-toned woods. The floors are covered with playfully textured carpets and one wall in each room is painted with a bold, bright, pop-art mural with a Japanese theme. Touches of bright color dapple the furniture, and an anime-inspired stuffed animal sits on the bedside table, completing the playful look.

The on-site restaurant, which is independently owned, has attracted a loyal following as an obscure, charming hole-in-the-wall on the second floor. Joie de Vivre helped the restaurant replace its more divey elements with understated design touches that add a soft, 1970s glow.

The Tomo will start out with average daily rates close to $100 for each of its 125 rooms, but plans to get that up to $115 with a year or so.

With the Tomo renovation near-complete, Joie de Vivre plans to move on to the Miyako Hotel, which will be renamed the Hotel Kabuki.

The approximately $8 million remodel will bring in new furnishings, decor and finishes to the 218 guest rooms and preserve and better showcase existing soaking tubs, ornamental alcoves and rice paper screens.

The new bar and restaurant, O, is being designed by the designer behind Myth and Bix and is slated to focus on Izakaya dishes, a kind of Japanese bar food, as well as small plates from other Asian cultures. The 100-seat restaurant is "about being a great meeting place," said David Hoemann, Joie de Vivre food and beverage director.

Around the time of the Miyako Hotel's reopening as the Kabuki, Sundance Cinemas is expected to complete a transformation of the former Kabuki Theater as one of the first two Sundance Cinemas.

Nancy Klasky Gribler, Sundance Cinemas' vice president of marketing, said the plan is to add stadium seating, which is already accomplished, and then add two full bars with food service, remodeling the former Pasta Pomodoro next door as the Kabuki Kitchen, serving bistro fare, and renovating the theater with stone and wood design touches intended to reflect Japanese culture.

Even the popcorn is being upgraded -- with real butter -- and the coffee will now come from Peet's. Patrons will be able to reserve their seats for a lineup focused on art, independent, documentary and international films.

The theater will continue to host Japantown festivals and events that have historically taken place there.

rtate@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4968
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/05/28/story10.html?t=printable

MarkSFCA
May 29, 2007, 11:55 PM
Yes! Thanks! I live in the area so I like to keep up to date about what's going on in JTown.
They should get Joie de Vivre to update the interiors of the mall too. It's atrocious!

BTinSF
May 30, 2007, 2:00 AM
The DeBeers site @ 185 Post:

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000226.jpg?t=1180490357

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000224.jpg?t=1180490407

BTinSF
May 30, 2007, 2:05 AM
The Skechers site @ 200 Powell:

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000180.jpg?t=1180490502

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000184.jpg?t=1180490593

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000182.jpg?t=1180490555

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000185.jpg?t=1180490626

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000187.jpg?t=1180490656

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000188.jpg?t=1180490697

coyotetrickster
May 30, 2007, 4:00 AM
The Skechers site @ 200 Powell:

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000180.jpg?t=1180490502

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000184.jpg?t=1180490593

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000182.jpg?t=1180490555

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000185.jpg?t=1180490626

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000187.jpg?t=1180490656

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x128/BSTJr/P1000188.jpg?t=1180490697
Love the terra cotta.

condodweller
May 30, 2007, 7:37 AM
The building used to be much more uniquely interesting before the top decorative detail was removed years ago for seismic safety. In the '70's and earlier, it housed a well known restaurant called Omar Khayyam's. It would be fabulous if the structure were restored to its original historic appearance.

And upstairs was Cable Car Clothiers - my mother brought me there for my first real suit! I'll be glad to see the building in use again, even though I have no idea what Sketcher's is. I hope they restore, rather than destroy it.

BTinSF
May 30, 2007, 4:27 PM
^^^I've shopped at Cable Car Clothiers for 26 years and I don't remember them being there. That plus the fact that you don't know what Skechers is means you may be almost as old as me ;) .

Skechers makes shoes that, at least at one point, were favored by the "kool" kids such as skateboarders. Obviously their tastes change and I don't keep up, so I don't know if that's still true:

http://www.skechers.com/images/productimages/medium/60487_CDB.jpg

condodweller
May 30, 2007, 8:49 PM
^^^I've shopped at Cable Car Clothiers for 26 years and I don't remember them being there. That plus the fact that you don't know what Skechers is means you may be almost as old as me ;) .

Skechers makes shoes that, at least at one point, were favored by the "kool" kids such as skateboarders. Obviously their tastes change and I don't keep up, so I don't know if that's still true:

I think maybe I was 9 or 10 when my mother dragged me in there for a suit (I was not happy about it, but I do remember the cool green building!). So that would be in the early 70s.

Man, are those some ugly shoes!

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w50/zachgeo/OmarKs.jpg

BTinSF
May 30, 2007, 11:14 PM
^^^I just picked what I thought was a fairly typical pair of their shoes but they make a wide range of styles. Since I'm not exactly an arbiter of teenage taste, maybe I didn't pick the best ones (but I kind of liked those).

rs913
May 30, 2007, 11:34 PM
Skechers has definitely changed...used to be just "urban" sneakers for teens, but when I recently visited their outlet across from El Cerrito North BART, damned if I didn't find just about any kind of shoe one could want, and for some pretty good deals too (think $40 a pair and lots of "half-off 2nd pair").

You probably won't find those deals in their regular store, but kudos to them in advance for bringing that Powell building back to life.

Ronin
May 31, 2007, 12:17 AM
Skechers' tennis shoes aren't so great, but the dress shoes are nicer. Too bad that cheap looking "S" logo kind of ruins everything.

Manarii
Jun 10, 2007, 2:51 AM
Does anybody know what used to be at the corner of Kearny & Post st? (link attached). Where the "Diesel" store is? I am racking my brain trying to remember what used to be there. The present "diesel" store building is not bad and fits in well, but I know it was not there sometime in the 90's. The sherman clay building? Wasn't there some sort of "Rizzoli" (name not sure) bookstore around there that went in mid 90s?

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=690+Market+St.+San+Francisco&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=109.737819,107.578125&ie=UTF8&ll=37.796458,-122.402716&spn=0.014819,0.02017&z=16&om=1&layer=c&cbll=37.78899,-122.40368&cbp=2,219.805097656251,0.476543149171149,0

citizensf
Jun 10, 2007, 5:56 AM
^ I think the Rizzoli bookstore was in the building immediately to the right of the corner Diesel building in the google street image you posted. I, unfortunately, don't remember what was in that corner location. But fwiw, the Rizzoli bathroom was a key Union Square "pit stop" location cuz the bathrooms were nice and immaculate! Too bad that's no longer available...

viewguysf
Jun 10, 2007, 7:21 AM
Does anybody know what used to be at the corner of Kearny & Post st? (link attached). Where the "Diesel" store is? I am racking my brain trying to remember what used to be there. The present "diesel" store building is not bad and fits in well, but I know it was not there sometime in the 90's. The sherman clay building? Wasn't there some sort of "Rizzoli" (name not sure) bookstore around there that went in mid 90s?

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=690+Market+St.+San+Francisco&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=109.737819,107.578125&ie=UTF8&ll=37.796458,-122.402716&spn=0.014819,0.02017&z=16&om=1&layer=c&cbll=37.78899,-122.40368&cbp=2,219.805097656251,0.476543149171149,0

It was Hastings, a high end men's suit store; the building had a brick facade and looked rather classical. There was also another one on the southeast corner of the St. Francis at Powell and Geary.

Manarii
Jun 10, 2007, 9:28 AM
double post

Manarii
Jun 10, 2007, 9:31 AM
Thanks both of you. With your information I did a little more research.

Was this it? If so, did they tear it down and i wonder why if so. Or is that diesel bldg a modification of what was there? I still for some reason dont remember a Hastings there, but since I never went in there I guess I wouldn't remember.

Here is a photo I found of that corner. Just trying to rack my brain on what happened to the other building since the one there now isn't any larger and is in fact, smaller. You can see that the same building next door is still there..

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o23/AllenJamesHNL/I0016298B.jpg


Here in this photo it says Hastings at Post & Grant. the building is still standing and is now the COACH store. Across from it is the still standing Shreve & Co I believe. Still a beautiful building. I remember Hastings had several stores in SF. Wasn't the present Virgin Megastore on Stockton one? (or was that Mens Wearhouse).

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o23/AllenJamesHNL/hastings.jpg


And present day COACH store at Post & Granthttp://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=690+Market+St.+San+Francisco&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=109.737819,107.578125&ie=UTF8&om=1&layer=c&cbll=37.7887,-122.40524&cbp=2,20.2150976562511,0.51476474099788,0&ll=37.796153,-122.404282&spn=0.014819,0.02017&z=16

CHapp
Jun 10, 2007, 8:14 PM
:previous: I think the long defunct Ransohoff was in there once.

viewguysf
Jun 11, 2007, 12:25 AM
Was this it? If so, did they tear it down and i wonder why if so. Or is that diesel bldg a modification of what was there? I still for some reason dont remember a Hastings there, but since I never went in there I guess I wouldn't remember.

Here is a photo I found of that corner. Just trying to rack my brain on what happened to the other building since the one there now isn't any larger and is in fact, smaller. You can see that the same building next door is still there..

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o23/AllenJamesHNL/I0016298B.jpg

I remember Hastings had several stores in SF. Wasn't the present Virgin Megastore on Stockton one? (or was that Mens Wearhouse).

No, the building in the picture must have been demolished to make way for Hastings, since it was not an old building. It had a light red brick facade with classical cement trim which framed a clock in the center of the front and a dark green canopy. The Hastings building was stripped down to its skeleton and redone for Diesel.

The present Virgin Megastore was Grodins. Across the street where Ross is was Roos-Atkins. Roos-Atkins also had a store in the Fitzhugh Building at Post and Powell. I don't remember another Hastings store other than the one that I mentioned in the St. Francis.

BTinSF
Jun 12, 2007, 2:56 AM
Pacific Heights residents clash over 99-cent store
Alexandria Rocha, The Examiner
2007-06-11 10:00:00.0
Current rank: # 22 of 6,895

SAN FRANCISCO -
While everything in the 99 Cent Only Store proposed for a Pacific Heights neighborhood would cost less than $1, neighbors are not sure the addition would come without a price.

The 99 Cent Only Store is hoping to open its first San Francisco discount house on the 1300 block of Post Street between Gough and Franklin streets, the former site of a Ralphs grocery store, vacated a year ago, that has been empty since.

Some nearby residents say the proposed bargain store would clash with the high-end neighborhood, attract people from outside the area and pose a safety risk.

“You have professional people that live here,” said one resident of nearby Sutterfield Condominiums who didn’t want to give her name. “I just don’t think it’s going to work. It just kind of degrades the neighborhood.”

Michael McDonagh, who has lived in the area since 1993, said he doesn’t think the deep-discount store would be a proper fit either. He said his friend suggested a Ferry Building-like indoor plaza with a variety of retail shops for the space.

Representatives of the West Coast chain, however, say 99 Cent Only Stores are clean, first-rate establishments that stock fresh produce, health and beauty products and other household items.

“Our stores are attractively merchandised. We pride ourselves on our stores and that they’re clean and well serviced,” said Will Judy, senior manager of property development for the chain.

In October 2006, The City adopted a strict policy for chain stores in certain areas of the The City, including Pacific Heights. The 99 Cent Only Store is the first project subjected to the new guidelines, including a public hearing.

Gaynell Armstrong, a San Francisco Redevelopment Agency project manager, said the new policy came about after residents strongly opposed a Starbucks in Japantown.

“They felt the Starbucks would put the mom-and-pop stores out of business,” she said.

For Margaret Carter, who has lived in Sutterfield Condominiums for 12 years, the store would give her a place to shop for groceries again.“One of the main reasons I bought into the building was because of the grocery store,” she said. “If this is not approved, I’m just afraid it will sit vacant for years.”

arocha@examiner.com
Source: http://ewww.sfexaminer.com/printa-774136~Pacific_Heights_residents_clash_over_99-cent_store.html

MarkSFCA
Jun 13, 2007, 12:01 AM
I can't believe a 99 Cent Store would be allowed at this location. I would prefer any other supermarket.

BTinSF
Jun 13, 2007, 12:04 AM
^^^It's pretty clear no supermarket wants the location. I don't know why--I used to shop there a lot in spite of Bell/Ralph's high prices--but it seems to be true.

CHapp
Jun 13, 2007, 12:44 AM
Sorry, double post.

CHapp
Jun 13, 2007, 12:47 AM
You have professional people that live here,” said one resident of nearby Sutterfield Condominiums who didn’t want to give her name.

O yea, how could they forget? Can't go around insulting professionals with stores like that! :D

viewguysf
Jun 13, 2007, 2:32 AM
I can't believe a 99 Cent Store would be allowed at this location. I would prefer any other supermarket.

I can't either. In one thread we talk about this ultra cheap store (not that I mind bargains!) and in another thread we talk about a beautiful new skyscraper a block away. It's incongruous and doesn't serve this neighborhood well at all. It's too bad that Trader Joe's didn't go in there since they always seem to be successful.

viewguysf
Jun 13, 2007, 2:33 AM
^^^It's pretty clear no supermarket wants the location. I don't know why--I used to shop there a lot in spite of Bell/Ralph's high prices--but it seems to be true.

Maybe you should have eaten more! :)

BTinSF
Jun 13, 2007, 3:07 AM
I can't either. In one thread we talk about this ultra cheap store (not that I mind bargains!) and in another thread we talk about a beautiful new skyscraper a block away. It's incongruous and doesn't serve this neighborhood well at all. It's too bad that Trader Joe's didn't go in there since they always seem to be successful.

Trader Joe's already has advancing plans for a store two and a half blocks away at Sutter and Van Ness (ground floor of the building planned to replace the Galaxy Theater). I do wonder whether they considered changing plans when the Bell location became available but the location right on Van Ness will be more prominent (and good for the Van Ness corridor). Also, their stores are usually smaller than regular supermarkets and that space is regular supermarket sized.

As for my eating more--that's a VERY bad idea. I need to lose a lot of wieght(but it probably won't happen).

nequidnimis
Jun 13, 2007, 6:01 AM
I live across the street from the empty store and and liked what I heard at the presentation from 99 Cent Only at the Cathedral Hill Neighborhood Forum.

They would carry milk and produce. Because of the 99 cents price, the size of their goods tends to be small. As a result, their target clientele isn't families, but singles and seniors, which makes them a perfect fit with the Cathedral Hill demographics. They say they primarily compete with convenience stores, and people tend to walk out from their stores with a handful of items, as opposed to driving away with a carload.

Also, with a Trader Joe's opening around the corner, no bona fide supermarket will want to move in, so if 99 Cents Only isn't allowed, this storefront will remain vacant for the foreseeable future, depriving the street of foot traffic and contributing to an increase in petty crime.

Finally, I am shocked to hear of so called "professional" people declaring all aren't welcome. That's an unprofessional attitude.

CHapp
Jun 13, 2007, 7:50 AM
OT: can't wait for Trader Joe's to move at some Ea Bay sites! :)

BTinSF
Jun 13, 2007, 9:49 AM
:previous:

Commissioners went too far in blocking Trader Joe's
Chip Johnson
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Folks living in Oakland's Lakeshore and Rockridge neighborhoods have made it loud and clear that they want Trader Joe's to open its grocery stores in their areas. You'd think the city's Planning Commission would bow to the will of the people.

Not quite. Two planning commissioners tried to hold up the approval of liquor licenses at Trader Joe's stores scheduled to open on Lakeshore and College avenues.

The move last week by Commissioners Michael Lighty and Doug Boxer (the son of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer) had nothing to do with whether alcohol sold at the stores could end up in the hands of minors, one argument used in a failed attempt to block Trader Joe's in Berkeley.

They wanted the popular specialty market chain to agree to allow a Northern California grocery store workers' union to ask employees of the new stores whether they would want to vote to join the union.

While it's not the planning panel's job to include labor issues when determining conditions on a use permit, Lighty said it was as legitimate a concern as any other.

"What I was suggesting is that when we look at major projects we often look at affordable housing, and I've suggested we look at health impacts, socioeconomic impacts, gentrification," said Lighty. "We require developers to meet with community groups even when there are no conditional-use permits or variances involved. I think this is consistent with that."

I don't.

In this particular case, there were no issues over affordable housing and no founded concerns over loitering, which are the primary reasons for and the ones most often associated with the rejection -- or repeal -- of city permits issued to sell liquor.

This was a battle of political ideology for Lighty, a commissioner whose day job is director of public policy for the California Nurses Association, one of the largest and most active labor unions in California.

The crowd at Wednesday's meeting was stacked with partisans of the store that is to open on Lakeshore Avenue, and Lighty said they acted as if he had slighted "God's gift to retail" in what was a reasonable request for a union query of store employees.

But he should have done a little more homework on this subject. Lighty and the community's generally liberal politics take a backseat to community desire, especially for Lakeshore Avenue residents who have lobbied hard for years for a Trader Joe's, which offers quality food at rock-bottom prices.

As a shopping experience, it's far more efficient than some of its larger chain-store competitors. There are clerks at the counter, the line moves at a reasonable pace, and the food selection is unique and pretty darned tasty.

It also should be said that both Trader Joe's stores opening in Oakland are on sites where Albertson's stores shut down, and the competition from the trendy grocery is undoubtedly perceived as a threat to employees at other grocery chain stores nearby.

Oakland City Attorney John Russo, when he represented the Lakeshore Avenue area on the City Council, proposed a plan to wedge a Trader Joe's store across the street from the Grand Lake Theater, where a popular farmers' market is located on Saturdays.

That proposal died, but the community's desires didn't.

City Councilwoman Pat Kernighan, who sits in Russo's former seat, said she spent months lobbying on the community's behalf to bring the popular store to the neighborhood. And that could well have helped her win a close race.

"To this day," she said, "people stop me on the street and say 'Hey, thanks for the Trader Joe's.' "

The most obvious flaw in the plan to hold Trader Joe's feet to the fire was that the union did not contact the company and discuss the issues with them before taking up the issue in a public forum.

After learning that, Commissioner Madeleine Zayas-Mart, who at first abstained from voting on the liquor-sales permit last week, cast her vote to allow Trader Joe's a permit for the Lakeshore Avenue store. A vote on a permit for the College Avenue store was delayed for two weeks, during which time union officials are expected to contact Trader Joe's management.

It's completely reasonable for a city council, a county board of supervisors or a city planning commission to raise legitimate questions about local hiring rates, traffic and land impacts and certainly nuisance impacts on a new or existing business.

But in this case, Lighty and Boxer went too far by attempting to twist the arm of a business that has been invited to town, that is overwhelmingly favored by the neighborhoods it will serve and whose employees have the right to call a union vote any time they want to.

I can understand cases in which market climate should determine public policy. What I don't understand is how a union's concerns can trump -- even temporarily -- widespread public demand for a grocery store that will be a much-needed boost to the city's retail base.

Chip Johnson's column appears on Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail him at chjohnson@sfchronicle.com.


http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/12/BAGFJQDKFJ1.DTL

BTinSF
Jun 13, 2007, 10:05 AM
They say they primarily compete with convenience stores, and people tend to walk out from their stores with a handful of items, as opposed to driving away with a carload.



I can't say I've been in "99 Cents Only" but I'm more familiar with Dollar General and Family Dollar. Those places tend to be somewhat anarchic dusty basic places full of off-brands and knick-knacks that remind me of an old Kresge's or Woolworth's--what in my youth we called a "Dime Store" (yeah, the buck's worth about 10 times less now--gas was $.25 a gallon then). If only they had Woolworth's lunch counter--but I reminisce.

Are you familiar with the Bargain Bank on Polk near Sacramento? That might be the closest thing that's still around in SF but much, much larger--and less food, more cheap trinkets and no alcohol.

This is precisely what has me wondering about that location. It's just not a place very many people are likely to walk to. There are residents of The Sutterfield, of course and a few surrounding condos like, I suppose, yours, but that's not so many people. The old "Dime Stores" were invariably at busy downtown locations like the Woolworths next to the Powell/Market cable car turnaround--lots of foot traffic--or, after WW II, sometimes in strip centers with other shopping to attract people.

nequidnimis
Jun 13, 2007, 4:23 PM
Duplicate.

nequidnimis
Jun 13, 2007, 4:24 PM
I can't say I've been in "99 Cents Only" but I'm more familiar with Dollar General and Family Dollar. Those places tend to be somewhat anarchic dusty basic places full of off-brands and knick-knacks that remind me of an old Kresge's or Woolworth's--what in my youth we called a "Dime Store" (yeah, the buck's worth about 10 times less now--gas was $.25 a gallon then). If only they had Woolworth's lunch counter--but I reminisce.

Are you familiar with the Bargain Bank on Polk near Sacramento? That might be the closest thing that's still around in SF but much, much larger--and less food, more cheap trinkets and no alcohol.
I wouldn't necessarily judge a business by its competition. Being better than your competition is actually a great growth strategy. I have actually heard good things about their stores from residents of my building who have visited their stores with relatives in Hayward, and in Texas.

Also, at their presentation, they assured us they wouldn't sell alcohol at this location.

nequidnimis
Jun 13, 2007, 5:06 PM
This is precisely what has me wondering about that location. It's just not a place very many people are likely to walk to. There are residents of The Sutterfield, of course and a few surrounding condos like, I suppose, yours, but that's not so many people. The old "Dime Stores" were invariably at busy downtown locations like the Woolworths next to the Powell/Market cable car turnaround--lots of foot traffic--or, after WW II, sometimes in strip centers with other shopping to attract people.

I wouldn't be so sure about the not so many people within close walking distance. I believe Cathedral Hill has one of the highest population densities in town. Daniel Burnham Court, and other tall condos have large number of residents. It is a bedroom community, but convenience stores do well in bedroom communities . (I would get back to my old theme, that residential highrises do not generate a pedestrian friendly streetscape, but it would be off topic, and for now, we'll agree to blame this on highrises designed without consideration for street life).

Also, we have a very large number of seniors: not just the Sutterfield, but the older building next to it (I forget its name), the Sequoias, St Mark's Tower, the Carlisle, the Avenue, the San Francisco Towers. Many of them are not much on the streets around here, in part because they are frail, but also because there's not much street life, and they probably do not care much for what's offered in trendy stores anyway. 99cents Only views them as an ideal clientele: they like the low prices and the no-nonsense nature of the offerings.