May 30, 2008
3400 Cesar Chavez Update: Permitted, Excavation On The Way
"Developer Seven Hills has received site permits for its 60-unit condo project at 3400 Cesar Chavez St. and will begin excavation in the next week or so, according to firm principal Thomas Rocca. The project, which anti-development forces in the Mission District attempted to block at the 11th hour, will also house a 12,000-square-foot Walgreens, an after-school center for kids and two other retailers."
∙ Cesar Chavez condo project ready to begin [San Francisco Business Times]
∙ 3400 Cesar Chavez: Approved But Opposed (By MAC) In The Mission [SocketSite]
First Published: May 30, 2008 11:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
There is a project that looks almost exactly like this on El Camino in Sunnyvale. All the way down to the Walgreens as the ground floor tenant.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 30, 2008 9:47 AM
Yeah, it does look like the Sunnyvale project! It's boring and too short for the site.
Posted by: Cathy at May 30, 2008 11:05 AM
Wow, another Walgreens. I'd bet there are nearly as many Walgreens in this town as their as Starbucks.
As for this project, sure a little boring but that area needs some new life.
Posted by: lolcat_94123 at May 30, 2008 11:18 AM
I know this is heresy, but I actually *like* Walgreen's and happen to shop there frequently. They have good prices and a good selection for many simple household needs.
It's so rare that the Supes ever make a good choice these days, but the development of this site is definitely something to be celebrated. Anything at that location is bound to be a vast improvement from the status quo.
Posted by: zzzzzzzz at May 30, 2008 11:48 AM
I agree completely with zzzzzzz-
Walgreens is not part of the evil empire. they serve a need for MANY people in SF and the bay area. This project is going to be a vast improvement to the local neighborhood.
for you armchair critics- if you think this project is "boring" why not elaborate a bit. explain your reasons. articulate your thoughts, instead of just saying "it's boring."
I think the building, in fact, is well designed, reasonably modern and fresh, not overly offensive or garish..and the right height and scale for that location.
Posted by: noearch at May 30, 2008 12:41 PM
I'm down with Walgreens
If fact this one is reasonably close to me and I look forward to it
I do agree with others that this building could have been taller
We are really ridiculous in this town. In the Mission and Upper Market the buildings from the 1920's, often at the corners, are 5 or more stories and everything has been ok for the last 80 years. I don't think this should be turned over completely to the free market but to my mind someone should be able to build as tall as they want within reason. To me there is no reason not to put a 10 story building at this corner if the owner chooses.
Posted by: Zig at May 30, 2008 1:01 PM
just to clarify, I'm not criticizing this building, just pointing out that it has a twin in Sunnyvale.
Sunnyvale actually has some pretty interesting architecture in the northern industrial side of the city. Stuff that apparently is not protected at all because buildings are frequently torn down or given a "modern facelift". I'm guessing that silly valley will get down to just one or two examples of early 80s techarch before realizing that there is some merit in those "dated" designs.
As to this Cesar Chavez project : I'm neutral on its design but think it is a good idea that something reasonably dense is going into this site.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 30, 2008 1:21 PM
I don't think people are against walgreens perse. it's the number of them that concerns people. there are supposedly already 2 walgreens within walking distance of this one, with one being literally a block away at 1580 Valencia.
Posted by: natomahead at May 30, 2008 2:14 PM
sorry, wrong map.
Posted by: natomahead at May 30, 2008 2:17 PM
The Walgreens at 1580 Valencia is not a full Walgreens, but rather, the St. Luke's outpatient pharmacy that Walgreens took over.
There is a full Walgreens at 30th and Mission, however.
Posted by: Dan at May 30, 2008 2:24 PM
Enough of the Wallgreen Drug store debate? How about the after school center- a few words of praise or discussion? That is needed badly by the neighborhood. Yes, I love the development and the density and it will work greatly with the improved Cesar Chavez streetscape (once that is complete.) It will take time but Mission street is on the mend. Praise the 49, 14, and the 14L!
Posted by: Bruce at May 30, 2008 2:38 PM
ok, fair enuf. so some people are against the NUMBER of walgreens.. but explain why.
i dont care if there are 5 Starbucks..or Walgreens..in one block. let the market place determine which ones survive.
let's stop legislating the life out of SF.
Posted by: noearch at May 30, 2008 2:39 PM
So, no comment on the 60 condo units? Haven't most failed to sale within the mission corridor this year? Would anyone buy one? Curious.
Posted by: condo at May 30, 2008 2:48 PM
If the condos are priced right, they'll sell. If not, they won't. We won't really know for 2 years anyway.
Posted by: anono at May 30, 2008 2:59 PM
"walgreens" explanation for noearch:
1. opportunity costs: having a walgreens (or any biz) on every corner in a neighborhood kills the 'hood. walgreens takes up so much space and that space could be used for 'hood serving needs, like cafes, bookstores, bars, restaurants, 'bodegas', etc.
2. "market place": walgreens and small biz have different market imprints. for instance, walgreens can afford much higher rents than small biz. so much so that walgreens will artificially inflate market rates, cuzing small biz to go out of biz.
3. competition: having more than 1 walgreens (or any biz) kills competition. competition in the market place is a good thing.
again, walgreens is not bad. but there really is no reason to have more than 1 in your neighborhood (usually). a lively 'hood isn't one where all you can walk to is walgreens & starbucks, but one where you can walk to walgreens, starbucks, cafes, smaller pharms & grocery stores, bars, bookstores, retail, restaurants, etc.
Posted by: natomahead at May 30, 2008 3:44 PM
I wasn't flaming walgreens, I'm just simply amazed how many there are in this town. I hit the one closest to me (divis and lombard) quite often, no complaints.
Posted by: lolcat_94123 at May 30, 2008 3:57 PM
what's with all of the whining about Walgreens? This store will have a 24 hour pharmacy which is great for the neighborhood. This one will be a short walk from the 24th street BART and will no doubt do brisk business in what was for many years an abandoned paint store.
It would be nice if all the NIMBYs actually did something to help fill up the vacant store fronts and vacant lots before complaining about and trying to block real businesses from going in. Call me crazy but I think Ammiano's pet project to ban formula retail in this area is insane when there are so many vacant storefronts.
Posted by: anono at May 30, 2008 4:03 PM
sorry natomahead, but I disagree with you completely. You missed my point entirely. of course I dont expect LITERALLY to see multiple Walgreens or Starbucks (or any other formula retail for that matter) close to each other in the same block. But if they want to, they should. the market (consumer) determines success.and of course, a good neighborhood is composed of all kinds of retail, both local and perhaps not so local. The Starbucks in Noe V on 24th St. did not kill or hurt any of the local coffee shops, despite all the uproar about them coming into the 'hood.
again, you personally see "no reason to have more than one in your 'hood..." thank you for that sage advice. You should go work for Chris Daly.
may god strike me down if I should decide to walk to no less than 4 Walgreens in or near Noe Valley.
surely the planet will stop spinning if that happens. I'm joking.
Posted by: noearch at May 30, 2008 4:04 PM
There do seem to be lots of Walgreen's around but I assume that the people who run Walgreens are smart enough to space them so that each of them are viable business. If they can afford to pay "much higher rent" that must be because the people in the neighborhood actually purchase stuff there. (and let's face it, as much was we may like small stores, the convenience of a 24-hour pharmacy that Walgreens provides should not be discounted). So my guess is that Walgreens is actually serving a real neighborhood need even if it isn't as warm and fuzzy as some mom and pop stores are.
There are lots of vacant and underutilized storefronts on mission and valencia streets; I can't see how this Walgreens is going to prevent any local store from finding space.
While the architecture isn't inspiring, it will definitely brighten that part of CC.
Posted by: NoeNeighbor at May 30, 2008 4:28 PM
calm down. no need to attack me for answering your ?s. also, your wrong in saying that the market "determines success". walgreens is NOT a franchise. therefore it does not solely depend on the local economics the way a small biz does. Also, there are many regulations that this city places on biz, which affect small biz much differently then larger biz. it's not apples to apples.
you said "The Starbucks in Noe V on 24th St. did not kill or hurt any of the local coffee shops", yea, but will 3 or 4 starbucks in Noe kill all the local shops? You bet it will. and yes, Starbuck's biz model is to open multiple shops in close vicinity. like i said, there's no reason to have multiple of the same biz in a 'hood (usually).
y should I go work for Daly? Y don't you? you seem to be as arrogant & accusatory as he is.
Posted by: natomahead at May 30, 2008 4:54 PM
LOL...I'm have lots of fun here..and with you natomahead.
if the evil Starbucks (Deathstarbucks?)could ever succeed in getting 4 stores in Noe Valley, then more power to 'em. Obviously, it would be an extremely long shot that that ever happen.
Perhaps if it did, the planet would indeed stop spinning (for just a second) and Chris Daly would be flung far out into space.
Posted by: noearch at May 30, 2008 5:04 PM
OK, enough bashing Walgreens now. For those interested, may I direct you to this website walgreenssucks.com which seems a more appropriate forum for all of your venting.
Now, back to the development in question...
Posted by: asiagoSF at May 30, 2008 5:11 PM
at anono @4:30: from the bart station at 24th/mission, it's much closer to walk one block to the walgreens at 23rd/mission. Couldn't they keep the walgreens at mission/30th open 24hrs? What about the one at Potrero/24 Furthermore, why would anyone take Bart to go to Walgreens? Isn't there already one at every Bart Station? Now do you understand why I'm(we) whining? I mean, couldn't they have have found a nail salon to rent to? i would have preferred an indoor skate park.
Posted by: walgreen whiner at May 30, 2008 5:30 PM
Shopping, and more importantly buying, at stores that that are pleasant and preferred is a strategy that works for some.
Sunnyvale has no protections for most architecture, trees, or landscape which is one of the reasons why it is so sunny there. There, as in most of the Santa Clara Valley, buildings sometimes become tall and serve multiple uses. However, a building like this in that location would almost certainly have some surface parking and green areas surrounding it. This building comes right up to the sidewalk, the parking is hidden behind the facade, and it has little green on the outside apart from a row of trees. That is a very different and more urban mode of development. This area is largely lower buildings, so the project has a nice balance.
Posted by: Mole Man at May 30, 2008 8:04 PM
too much crapping about walgreens to even notice the link to the article is wrong.
what is the target market for 1 bedroooms on ceasar chavez with 15% of your neighbors paying under market price please?
Posted by: resp at May 31, 2008 7:38 AM
ok..so let me get this right:
it's so sunny in Sunnyvale due to..ah.."no protection for architecture, trees and landscape..."
Posted by: noearch at May 31, 2008 10:06 AM
Another round of this flaccid South Bay shopping-center architecture. With all the good architects looking for jobs, why can't developers produce some good design? They're paying the architect anyway, why produce nothing but mediocrity?
And as far as scaled to the neighborhood -- this is massive. From the street, it will be oppressive and depressing.
Posted by: crabpaws at June 1, 2008 6:35 PM
"And as far as scaled to the neighborhood -- this is massive. From the street, it will be oppressive and depressing."
3400 Cesar Chavez will not be the tallest or largest building on the corner of CC and Mission, the intersection of 2 major streets. If anything, it should be a floor higher.
Posted by: Dan at June 2, 2008 8:47 AM
I wonder if they investigated doing this entire thing underground? Think of all the light and air undergrounding this entire building would bring to the neighborhood!
Posted by: Joe at June 2, 2008 8:57 AM
There is plenty of light and air at that corner. Between the Palace steakhouse parking lot and the paint shops that were across the street, and the way the boulevard itself is so wide, no, that's not a problem.
Posted by: fluj at June 2, 2008 11:42 AM
Walgreens is the Walmart of drug stores. We had a local Walgreens type store that closed when Walgreens oversaturated their neighborhood.
Posted by: mow at June 2, 2008 11:54 AM