July 7, 2010

One Word: Target. Okay, Five: Target At Geary And Masonic?

Geary and Masonic (Image Source: MapJack.com)

While Target has been in negotiations with the Metreon, and eyeing the proposed CityPlace, the retailer is reportedly seeking entitlements to open a 100,000-square-foot store at Geary and Masonic (think Mervyns and Good Guys). From the Business Times:

A lease with Target has not yet been signed, but talks have progressed far enough that both parties are comfortable discussing the deal publicly, according to sources involved in negotiations. The owner of the property at the corner of Geary and Masonic Avenue, KLA Geary LLC, has approached city planners and district supervisors to gauge support for the project. As a formula retail business, Target requires a conditional use permit in order to open. In addition to the empty Mervyns, Target would occupy a portion of the former Good Guys, which was shuttered in late 2005.

Assuming limited opposition (cough) and a relatively smooth approval process (double cough), a Target could be up and retailing at Geary and Masonic by 2012.

One Word: Target. Okay, Four: Target At The Metreon? [SocketSite]
T-Minus Two Days To CityPlace (935-965 Market) Commission Vote [SocketSite]
Target sets bull's-eye on Geary Blvd. site [San Francisco Business Times]

First Published: July 7, 2010 8:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

If anyone could survive in that space, I think Target can. It's the least disliked of the big box retailers, and it'll give Walgreens some competition.

Posted by: joh at July 7, 2010 9:09 AM

Please, please please! We need a Target or Walmart type store in the Richmond. Plus the tax revenue that will come into the city instead of going to Colma and South City.

Posted by: Ian at July 7, 2010 9:13 AM

I got to be a proper boy scout at the Best Buy there a few weeks ago. I helped a little old man shove a 42 inch plasma into the back of his Audi.

This is a formula retail space, it should be filled with formula retail. The USF kids would probably appreciate it.

Posted by: Stu at July 7, 2010 9:17 AM

The USF kids would probably appreciate it.

Hell the tens of thousands of moderate and low income people in the Richmond to the Fillmore will appreciate it.

It will be packed

Posted by: zig at July 7, 2010 9:26 AM

I support this move, but man, between Trader Joes and Target - that stretch of masonic is going to continue to be a parking lot at rush hour.

Posted by: eddy at July 7, 2010 9:26 AM

I can't believe the extent to which my casual wardrobe depends on Target.


Posted by: curmudgeon at July 7, 2010 9:27 AM

Target in this location would be awesome, it's easily accessible by almost all of San Francisco and will be way more convenient than going to Colma or El Cerrito.

Planning Department: fast-track this thing, everybody wants it!

Posted by: lyqwyd at July 7, 2010 9:34 AM

Target have proven to be pretty good corporate citizens. However, there's been talk of a store moving into various city locations for a very long time and nothing has happened. I want to be hopeful...

Posted by: Willow at July 7, 2010 9:47 AM

Glad I don't live in the residential across the street. Even when it was a Sears years and years ago the car related trip generation was no where like its gonna be. Not that the residential across the street is on a country lane or anything...

Of course when I was a kid for every house there was a family of five with maybe one car. Today it is a group of five unrelated adults with five cars!

Posted by: Glad its not me at July 7, 2010 10:01 AM

as badly as i want that Target there, I have to admit that the intersection of Geary and Masonic (which i drive at least three times/day) would be about the hugest clusterf*ck in the world.

Posted by: anon$random at July 7, 2010 10:11 AM

As Target used to own Mervyn's, I find this move rather interesting...

Posted by: sdee at July 7, 2010 10:21 AM

Oh god, yes. Need a white shirt for a last minute interview? Need some coffee mugs because the inlaws are coming in two hours and yours are all chipped? Do the kids have a recital tonight and they need a pair of black slacks they'll never wear again because they're in rapid growth spurt mode? Mervyns used to come to the rescue, but a Target would be even better.

Posted by: kthnxybe at July 7, 2010 10:39 AM

Have no fear! Those who oppose the perfectly sensible use of this space for Target will have loyal allies on the Planning Commission, the usual three Comrades. You can just hear their august leader Comrade Moore intoning against the scourge of "formula retail" about the engulf the unsuspecting citizens of our left-wing paradise.

By the way, people of all classes go to Target. Several years ago they targeted the upper middle with stuff designed by the architect Robert Graves.

Of course socketsiters will remember that the same commissioners hassled Brooks Brothers when it wanted to open a store on Fillmore. Brooks even gave it a different name, Black Fleece, which may or may not have been their original plan.

Posted by: Conifer at July 7, 2010 10:42 AM

Michael Graves

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at July 7, 2010 10:54 AM

The complaining will be led by other retailers seeking to protect their high prices and profit margins, only the backers will be concealed and it will be in the guise of "protecting the character" of the neighborhood and railing against the "scourge of chain stores." SF shoppers currently leave the city to go to Target, so let's hope the decision-makers are not so gullible and make the sensible move to keep the tax dollars here. I can't stand the place but I'm in the minority.

Posted by: A.T. at July 7, 2010 10:55 AM

I live just down the road in Laurel Heights and Trader Joes is a traffic hassle but it is sooooo great to have that store nearby and Target would that much better. I drive down to Colma to go there anyway. Pretty PLLEEEAAAASSSSSE with sugar on top. SF sups - don't screw this one up!

Posted by: Michael at July 7, 2010 11:13 AM

This whole complicated,. treacherous and ugly intersection is a strategic location; shame that city doesn't rezone it with any eye towards mixed use. Muni yards, The TJ corner....Target could live harmoniously with residences. Some day....

Also this intersection would make a logical subway stop. Oh wait we're still doing buses.

LA is creating important infrastructure with its subway to the sea -- which will redefine transit & related development for the next 100 years.

We on the other hand.....

Posted by: Invented at July 7, 2010 11:18 AM

This is great news. And given that the building is there, there is off street parking already and this is a relatively accessible spot, I say bravo. Metreon would be a terrible choice. Frankly, I'd drive to Colma vs schlep downtown for a Target run.

Posted by: shewolfe at July 7, 2010 11:21 AM

Invented, LA is a huge geographical area, I'm not sure we can compare. BART should have gone to the beach, it should have gone to Marin, it didn't and we're still paying the price 40 years later.

The only way we'll get anything at all in our lifetimes to go out on Geary is by doing the bus rapid transit thing, it's not the best we can do but it's better than what we have now.

Posted by: kthnxybe at July 7, 2010 11:23 AM

Existing building, check. Existing parking, check. Additional tax revenue, check. Just build the damn thing.

And also put one in the mid-Market development. Let's hope the Meteon finds some sort of civic/cultural use instead of becoming a big box store. (I thought it should house the new Fisher Collection, instead of constructing another building, but what do I know?)

Posted by: jlasf at July 7, 2010 11:34 AM

I can already hear the NIMBYs and the San Francisco "progressive" community sharpening their pitchforks and lighting their torches for the next meeting to take into account public feedback.

Posted by: Fishchum at July 7, 2010 12:43 PM

I thought it should house the new Fisher Collection, instead of constructing another building, but what do I know?

That the Fisher Collection is moving into an existing building?

[Editor's Note: Nope. See SFMOMA Snags The Fisher Contemporary Art Collection and SFMOMA Expansion: Four Firms (Including A Foster) In The Running.]

Posted by: EH at July 7, 2010 12:54 PM

I hope this gets approved.

There is a lot of parking in the lots there already, so my main concern would be making a few adjustments to prevent the intersections from getting clogged. I think that they should do a bit of work on changing the intersection at O'Farrell & Masonic, give a protected green left turn light for the south bound Masonic traffic to get to the lots off of O'Farrell. Probably need to redo the traffic lanes there to expand the left turn lane so as to prevent it from blocking too much traffic on Masonic and pushing back into the Geary/Masonic intersection.

I'm in the TJ's there about once a week and personally thinks the complaints about that causing a traffic snafu are a bit overblown. Sure there is usually a line of cars waiting to turn off of masonic into the TJ's lot, but it doesn't mess up the Geary/Masonic intersection.

Posted by: Rillion at July 7, 2010 1:16 PM

Oh, I thought they were keeping the fire station.

Posted by: EH at July 7, 2010 2:20 PM

Sure there is usually a line of cars waiting to turn off of masonic into the TJ's lot, but it doesn't mess up the Geary/Masonic intersection.

It's not a problem that TJ's has effectively annexed an entire lane of a public-owned street? Danielle Steele should hire TJ's planning peeps to get her a more convenient place to park her cars.

Posted by: EH at July 7, 2010 2:24 PM

I have been to that shopping center a few times, once for the office max (depot?) that was there and closed, and once to the best buy.

Honestly, given the ridiculously confusing layout of that building and the small number of people that are ever there, I'm surprised any business survives at that location. Every time I go there I end up walking around in circles because the doors to the stores are all on different sides of the stupid place.

That all said, I think this is a good place for a Target wrt. city planning and a much more logical choice than the Metreon, given the composition of the surrounding neighborhood and the accessibility to parking.

Posted by: rr at July 7, 2010 2:44 PM

unless they completely demolish the existing building and start from scratch I think a Target is the best possible use.

Posted by: lyqwyd at July 7, 2010 2:48 PM

Yes please! I hate having to drive to Serramonte for my Tarjay necessities.

Posted by: Oceangoer at July 7, 2010 3:40 PM

I wish they could demo the whole building and start over. It's actually a weirdly good location and it has nice city views. It seems perfect for mixed use. It may be a little dated now, but I could envision this as being sort of a Roppongi Hills type highrise, complete with condos, offices, and shopping (which would have absolutely spectacular ocean to bridge to bridge views). The layout of the existing structure is just awful. Trying to get in is a pain, and trying to get out is worse because you're going to be dumped onto O'Farrell which is one way going east... You can't easily get back on Masonic or Geary...

Posted by: Denis at July 7, 2010 3:47 PM

Yes! Yes! Yes! I would love to see a Target in this location. It would be so nice to not have to drive out of the city and I think this location is PERFECT for Target.

Posted by: inmybackyard at July 7, 2010 5:33 PM

Several months ago there were planning dept posters in the former Mervyn's space announcing a hearing for TJ Maxx to occupy the space. Did the Planning Commission kill that? or the lease deal fall through?

Posted by: formerly%whatever at July 7, 2010 6:28 PM

I am still waiting for the Target at the Metreon. think it will come in my lifetime?

Posted by: dkzody at July 7, 2010 7:07 PM

Several months ago there were planning dept posters in the former Mervyn's space announcing a hearing for TJ Maxx to occupy the space. Did the Planning Commission kill that? or the lease deal fall through?

The lease fell through. The planning department okayed the TJMaxx in two wags of a dog's tail, so I would imagine that Target will be approved quickly as well.

The building really should be demolished and rebuilt though. It's just about the worst design (and ugliest) possible. I'd rather see a regular suburban Target big box than what is there.

Posted by: anon at July 7, 2010 7:20 PM

Isn't it SF policy to encourage tall buildings on hilltops for dramatic elevation changes, and nice views? It's a perfect place for a high rise, that's for sure.

Posted by: Al at July 7, 2010 9:24 PM

"It's not a problem that TJ's has effectively annexed an entire lane of a public-owned street? Danielle Steele should hire TJ's planning peeps to get her a more convenient place to park her cars."

Nope, it isn't a problem that the public uses a lane of traffic. Now if that lane were used exclusively so TJ's could park their trucks there and deny the public the use of the lane then yes. But that lane is being used by the public, so it isn't a problem.

Posted by: Rillion at July 8, 2010 9:38 AM

I fully support a Target at the old Sears location. I think it would be a big win for The City and for San Franciscans.


Posted by: fogfan at July 8, 2010 11:04 AM

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