January 10, 2008

Home Depot Bayshore (San Francisco): Let’s Get Ready To Rubble!

The future site of Home Depot's Bayshore (San Francisco) store

It was well over two years ago that we first wrote:

Next week Home Depot is headed back in front of the Planning Commission. Having signed a lease for the old Goodman Lumber location at 491 Bayshore Blvd. over five years ago [now almost eight], the Depot is still seeking approval to begin development.
Proponents point to desperately needed neighborhood jobs and a significant increase in local sales tax revenues, while opponents "view Home Depot as a goliath that would hurt local hardware stores, tarnish quality of life and create a traffic nightmare on Bayshore and adjacent Bernal Heights."
Considering the site used to house Goodman Lumber (which we desperately miss), a Home Depot doesn’t really seem like that much of a stretch to us. And we're damn tired of having to drive down to Colma to ogle the power tools.

And while Supervisor Ammiano vowed “it’s not over yet” when Home Depot received their initial approval, it does appear that progress is inching forward: Home Depot has secured demolition permits for the site and building permits are in the works.

If we’re lucky, a plugged-in tipster will drop us a line (or photo) at the first physical signs of action. And if the stars align, perhaps a reader or two will offer up the inside scoop with regard to overall timing and design.

Home Depot Almost Home? [SocketSite]
Can’t We All Just Get Along? [SocketSite]
Do-it-yourself emporiums making themselves at home [Business Times]

First Published: January 10, 2008 2:29 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

This has to be one of the most ridiculous things that San Francisco government wastes its time on. Give us our Home Depot already!

Posted by: SmugCloud at January 10, 2008 2:49 PM

So glad Ammiano's getting termed out. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Posted by: Usually Named at January 10, 2008 2:50 PM

I live in Bernal Heights and am very happy to see this going forward. The current site is decrepit and menacing. It will be a big improvement to the area. And finally some of tax dollars will stop going to Colma. I don't think there will be much of a traffic impact on Bernal Heights. The site is on an already busy corner and it makes no sense to use Cortland as a short cut.

Posted by: Michael E at January 10, 2008 2:54 PM

with the new lowes being constructed down the way in south city it looks like we'll have the home improvement center overload that we need...

just in time for retail sales to slow down. have we saturated the retail space sector yet satch?

Posted by: paco at January 10, 2008 3:02 PM

I agree..It's great to hear support for the new Home Depot. It will be a great asset to that area.

Despite all the bs and government crap they went thru, thanks to Ammiano..it will be a welcome addition. Can't want to see Ammiano out. [Removed by Editor]

Posted by: noearchSF at January 10, 2008 3:06 PM

"just in time for retail sales to slow down. have we saturated the retail space sector yet satch?"

Who cares. Leave it to Home Depot and Lowes to figure that out.

Posted by: coreyL at January 10, 2008 3:20 PM

It's about time...I live about 5 blocks from this site, and can't wait to have the old Goodman's eyesore razed and the new Home Depot...it will be a boon to the area, to be sure.

Posted by: BernalDweller at January 10, 2008 3:21 PM

I'm not an anti-development type, but I'm a fence-sitter on this project. I'm from the land o' stip malls and "big box retailers", so I can't say I find the activists' arguments completely unfounded.
I wish the Lumberman family would've never had their feud because I like the old hardware supply store much better than any Home Despot (tee hee). I like Discount Builder's Supply well enough, loved Lumberman's, and hate filing off the 101 to get in line for the Colma Home Depot parking lot.
Yes, the anti-everything contingent is just up to their usual. I just wish they could put their energies to constructive use like guiding a development I don't find depressing.

Posted by: kaya at January 10, 2008 3:24 PM

Goodman's, it was good while it lasted. I'm only 29, but methinks I'm an old-schooler. Damn the Home Depots of the world. I said it--someone kinda has to.

Oh, and yes, Cortland will be used to get there. How can it not?

Posted by: 49Giants at January 10, 2008 3:31 PM

"Oh, and yes, Cortland will be used to get there. How can it not? "

Isn't that what roads are made for?

Posted by: MarkSFCA at January 10, 2008 3:37 PM

If you live in Bernal, you'll use Cortland to get there...if you're from almost anywhere else you'll use Bayshore and other arterials like Cesar Chavaz and Potrero. The traffic argument was just a stalling tactic by the Ammiano gang. For our city's sales tax benefit, I'm glad to see this finally going forward.

That said, I've been shopping home depot a lot lately in Colma, and hate to say it but I HATE IT. I too wish there were a reasonable alternative. I didn't love Goodmans...it was pretty crappy in its later years. Discount Builders isn't that great either (and my god, the parking! Impossible).

Maybe I have high standards...I grew up working in a building supply store. Where people actually know what they sell ad how it works. Where they help you figure out what you need. Where they help you find it, cut it to length, load it on your truck, and write up your order. Ah...I should have stayed in NH. (end of mayberry rfd daydream...).

Whenever I can, I shop locally at Cliffs or Cole Valley. But there's obviously a limit on what you can get in a neighborhood hardware store.

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 10, 2008 4:06 PM

Lets see---empty blight or active retail?
mmm.

Posted by: MH at January 10, 2008 4:13 PM

i'm happy that i will not have to go outta the city for homer runs and even more happy to keep the sales tax local. but overbuilding big box retail will just create the future 'empty blight'

Posted by: paco at January 10, 2008 4:25 PM

I think people in this city, especially supervisors are too fixated on keeping chains out at all costs.

Sure it is nice to preserve the character of local establishments. However, neighborhood improvement of blighted areas should be paramount. Nevermind Home Depot, I'd take a Wal-Mart in this spot over what currently exists.

Posted by: SFhighrise at January 10, 2008 4:25 PM

Curmudgeon:
You're right about the end of Lumberman's, but it was pretty darn good for a "local hardware store" in its time. I will avoid Home Despot at all costs!!! I just can't stand the store. Of course, I hate CostCo, for some of the same reasons....

Posted by: kaya at January 10, 2008 4:27 PM

That 1/2 mile strip used to be a weekly destination with Whole Earth Access and Goodman's next to each other and a dozen or more specialty shops in the hood.

Regarding Home Depot, I am a fence sitter too. It's silly to not have one if it just means people drive to one in the next County. But if the local, within walking distance, hole-in-the-wall hardware store that has saved your a** many times in the past shuts down (to be replaced by a manicure shop), don't be surprised.

But I am just a bitter old timer. I still miss J. Borg Home Improvement at 16th and Protrero - open until midnight most nights. YOU COULD BUY GYPSUM BOARD AT MIDNIGHT!

Posted by: redseca2 at January 10, 2008 4:47 PM

Home Depot has been working for 8 years to open at this location - are you kidding me! The supervisors and Planning Dept should be ashamed - I guess if we didn't have term limits Home Depot would wait another 8 years. I know that we all support local vendors and despise Walmart, etc - so why do we need our gov't to determine who can open a store in San Francisco? Just let Walmart, Sams Club, Home Depot, etc open their stores. If San Franciscans choose not to shop there, then those stores will close.

Posted by: anticommunist at January 10, 2008 5:08 PM

Believe it or not, there are two Homers in Manhattan, and I've lost count of the Targets in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Posted by: Guest at January 10, 2008 5:15 PM

nyc population; 8 million-2 homers.

sf,san mateo, alameda population; 3 million-6 homers, 2 lowes

Posted by: paco at January 10, 2008 5:27 PM

Anticommie:
You need government to regulate what opens where because it's the people who live in the area that have to deal with what's built there, and the customers aren't neccessarily local. It's nice to be free market and all, but if you're asking these kinds of questions, I'm not sure why you would want to live in San Francisco.

Posted by: kaya at January 10, 2008 5:45 PM

"Just let Walmart, Sams Club, Home Depot, etc open their stores. If San Franciscans choose not to shop there, then those stores will close..."

Bingo! This should be a matter of consumer choice, not overzealous government regulation. And something tells me the likes of Cole Hardware will manage just fine, thank you. This is not a zero-sum game, much as Ammiano et al claim otherwise.

Posted by: zzzzzzzz at January 10, 2008 6:02 PM

Oh, and one more point. With the ever-growing burdens imposed on small businesses in SF (mandatory health care, minimum wage well above state levels and indexed for inflation, required sick leave) who else but big chains will be able to afford to do business here, anyway?

Posted by: zzzzzz at January 10, 2008 6:05 PM

I'm tired of the Bernal Heights elite trying to stop progress because of their precious little neighborhood. Most of the HD customers will come via Bayshore so their little community will still survive. Think of all the people from other communities, other than Bernal Heights, who will benefit with jobs, benefits, and self esteem. We won't have to polute the environment by driving all the way to Colma. The new taxes will help our city.
I am so glad the spoiled, selfish, self centered Bernal Heights residents who fought this plan, are not getting their way. And as for Tom Ammiano, I'm an Italian American and because I am a gentleman all I will say is I'm sorry.

Posted by: dap at January 10, 2008 6:15 PM

Most Bernal folks I've ever spoken to are very much in favor of this Home Depot going in on Bayshore.

Posted by: fluj at January 10, 2008 6:20 PM

yeah this will be great (sarcasm off).

In the US we have something like 10 times the retail square footage per citizen as the next most retail-dense european nation. You're either a) mentally lacking or b) have lived under a rock for the last decade if you don't see how totally out of control the consumer machine is in the US. How about a park in this space? or a rec center for the community (anyone on this board ever been to one of SF's aging public pools). a library...naw who would want any of that. gives us another portal to China's finely crafted wares.

Posted by: consumerwhore at January 10, 2008 6:38 PM

In getting approved, the Home Depot was reduced in size by 30%, so that it is substantially smaller than the Goodman's it replaces. So I can't imagine that the traffic impact will be that great.

One reason that the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center opposed the Home Depot is that they had proposed that the city to buy them the property to build affordable housing there. BHNC's hope was that after Home Depot was blocked, they would get a big contract to build housing.

Several years ago, BHNC blocked the construction of a Lucky's supermarket at Cesar Chavez and Mission St, then got money from the City to build affordable housing there. Last year, BHNC tried to block the construction of condos across the street at 3400 Cesar Chavez, again so that that BHNC could get money from the city to build affordable housing.

While there was sincere opposition to the Home Depot from residents concerned about traffic, much of the hysteria was drummed up by BHNC, which ran the anti Home Depot campaign out of the community center, and published hyperbole about potential harm to the community though BHNC's newspaper, the New Bernal Journal.

Posted by: Dan at January 10, 2008 6:55 PM

Great idea. Build a park so the 300 people who would otherwise find employment at HD will have a place to sleep at night. Or build a rec center so there's even less money in the budget to support the under funded schools and libraries we already have.

Posted by: SarcasmOn at January 10, 2008 7:01 PM

"How about a park in this space? or a rec center for the community (anyone on this board ever been to one of SF's aging public pools)."

There already is a new city swimming pool nearby:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/martin-luther-king-jr-pool-san-francisco

The Home Depot site is surrounded by 101 and 280 and an industrial/warehouse area. It doesn't make sense to put a park here-- much better to put more parks along the bay and/or in residential areas. Anyway, on the other side of 101 and Cesar Chavez there already is the Rolph Playground and the Potrero Del Sol park.

Posted by: Dan at January 10, 2008 7:16 PM

There are already two parks nearby, one on either side of Potrero st and Cesar Chavez.

Posted by: fluj at January 10, 2008 7:21 PM

Bernal Heights elite?

Now I've heard it all.

Posted by: Stu at January 10, 2008 7:29 PM

Now the ladies of BH will have a new "club" to hang out in close to home. Have you been in the Colma HD? It's as good as the Lexington. Yeah!

Posted by: Creggy at January 10, 2008 8:56 PM

"How about a park in this space? or a rec center for the community (anyone on this board ever been to one of SF's aging public pools). a library"

Good grief, money doesn't grow on trees. If you want parks and the like, and you want to maintain them (something lost on the populace here) you need sales taxes. And those little mom and pop stores are so woefully run, they don't generate much in the way of taxes at all.

Posted by: tipster at January 10, 2008 9:07 PM

I find it very telling that the local hardware store mafia have been so opposed to home depot - might it be that a new HD in SF could force them to lower their prices and see less profit?
Sometimes I'm amazed at just how ballsy the pricing is at the cole valley hardware stores. You can buy a metal electric outlet box there for 5 bucks - or for 30 cents at HD.

Posted by: joe at January 11, 2008 8:59 AM

also for all the hemming and hawing over mom and pop - has anyone actually looked at the stuff at cole valley hardware? Virtually everything is Ace hardware. When is a chain store not a chain?

Posted by: Joe at January 11, 2008 9:00 AM

I wonder how many Bayshore H.D. haters drove down to Colma, leaving the city, to shop there? Probably quite a few. Why are people OK with needing to leave the city in order to shop for hardware and building supplies? There is no reasonable equivalent to a Home Depot in SF. Goodman Lumber is long gone. Local hardware stores will still serve their purposes. No, it's Discount Builder's Supply that is going to be affected by this. And that store never offered the same range of service as H.D.

Posted by: fluj at January 11, 2008 9:15 AM

Someone tried to point out how much more retail square footage per person we have in the USA as compared other countries and was ridiculed.

But the point is that if HD builds this new store on Bayshore, they will simply close one somewhere else and abandon that building, because that is their business plan.

Posted by: redseca2 at January 11, 2008 10:03 AM

Low prices are part of the problem. I'm not opposed to this development but at the same time I won't shop there. I live in Cole Valley and the convience of being able to walk 4 blocks to Cole Fox Hardware is priceless. Having to get in the car and deal with Home Depot wherever it is makes that 30 cent part cost 100 dollars to me.

I also like knowing that I'm supporting a local business with a local payroll. More of my money gets injected back into the local economy when I shop at Cole Fox instead of Home Depot.

Posted by: Eric in SF at January 11, 2008 10:25 AM

Two things Eric in SF, one, you can get a lot of stuff at Home Depot that you can't get at a local hardware store. Two, more money gets injected back into the local economy by a store like this one. Maybe not more of your money. But more money.

Posted by: fluj at January 11, 2008 11:26 AM

One of the good things that came out of the neighborhood resistance to this was that Home Depot agreed to plant a ton of trees going up Cesar Chavez, and improve some of that street infrastructure. I think all in all it will be a great thing to have it down there. The current wasteland down there is really depressing.

As for the worry that it will put other smaller local places out of business, I don't think so. The people who don't like to deal with Home Depot will still go to these other places (myself included), and will go to HD only when they need too, like many do now.

Posted by: Adam at January 12, 2008 9:12 AM

The main benefit of the big box retailers over the small stores is that HD will report 100% of it's sales receipts and correctly collect and remit the appropriate levels of sales tax, workers comp, payroll tax, etc.

HD brought in 89 billion in gross revenues over 2200 stores using trailing data that is an avg. of $40 million in gross receipts. If you assume that SF will be a higher than avg. revenue center for the company you can estimate $50 million for this location in gross receipts, this is a great boost to the SF economy.

Most of the small business groups opposing this pay employees cash, under-report sales (especially cash) and mis-categorize worker roles to reduce workers comp payments. Some do play by the rules, but many don't (example 99% of dry cleaners and nail salons in SF). But I think you'll find that the primary groups opposing (and frequent contributors to Ammiano causes and campaigns) and funding the opposition are the cities of Colma and SSF who will say goodbye even more tax revenue than they did when Best Buy was finally allowed to open.

Just build it and then we can finally get a Target.

Posted by: Jimmy C. at January 12, 2008 11:16 AM

the new HD will probably INCREASE the business of all the independent trade suppliers in the area, since it will bring MANY MORE PEOPLE to shop in the bayshore corridor.

i too am not crazy about HD, but sometimes i do shop there because of price/availability of specific products. most people who are in the construction or renovation business utlize different stores for different products/services.

HD will hopefully make the bayshore corridor a mecca in SF for construction/home improvement.

Posted by: AMinSF at January 14, 2008 10:40 PM

Photos of the coming soon Home Depot signs:
http://www.bayviewblog.com/2008/01/home-depot-coming-soon.html

Posted by: Derek Dubuque at January 23, 2008 5:15 PM

The old Goodman's site is a blight so i'm happy to see it gone but:
1) can anyone confirm that the City gets any sales tax from the deal ? A lot of the big box retailers use tax-increment financing to 'steal' our local tax dollars
2) Jobs??? frankly I'm surprised that someone hoping to work at Home Depot can afford to live anywhere in SF ...Bay View and the Point included
3) like local ? Center Hardware and Supply ... enough said

Posted by: gumo at January 23, 2008 11:35 PM

We've got lumber, hardware, paint and so much more. Carpets and linoleum that you've been looking for. We're here to help you with advise and help you with your chores. We're J. Borg & Company; your home improvement store.

KBHK TV-44 San Francisco.

1980

Posted by: Brian at October 5, 2008 7:30 PM

I could have sworn Home Depot pulled out, due to the economy turning south.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at October 6, 2008 1:26 AM

No, no, no! No more BIG retail outlets to fuel the rancid flames of piggish capitalism. What would be ideal on that site would be a grand meeting facility for us growing atheistic community. We atheists are tired of cramped, wee-bit, hole in the wall meting halls. Are community is growing by leaps and bounds every year and a new, commodious facility that would be our atheist "church," meeting hall, auditorium, music practice facilities and TV studio for our local community access programs is a must. Finding a new locale that is large enough has been difficult. Come on fellow atheists on this board, help us to get our mission accomplished! www.atheists.net

Posted by: Rogen at October 2, 2009 1:28 AM

I live in bernal heights and i believe its good that your opening another store. It gives unemployed people the opportunity to try and get a job to support themselves and their family. I would love to work their and give to my community and myself.

Posted by: Kelvyon Burton at March 4, 2010 2:30 PM

I live in bernal heights and i believe its good that your opening another store. It gives unemployed people the opportunity to try and get a job to support themselves and their family. I would love to work their and give to my community and myself.

Posted by: Kelvyon Burton at March 4, 2010 2:32 PM

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