Mission Bay Borders Closing (www.SocketSite.com)
An anchor tenant at the base of The Beacon, the “Mission Bay Borders” at 200 King Street will be closing its doors on October 16. And no, it’s not so a “South Beach” Borders can open on the 17th.
No word on what role the Beacon’s Residential versus Commercial Association spat might have played. And in terms of what’s in the works to fill the space, rumors of a bowling alley and laundromat have been heard but we can’t confirm.
Might a plugged-in resident reader or tipster care to report?
Mission Bay Borders [borders.com]
The Incredible Shrinking Mission Bay (And Expanding South Beach) [SocketSite]
Association Battle Over Unpaid Bills Brewing At The Beacon? [SocketSite]
Borders Books is Closing… What Next? [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by oscar

    i wonder how this affects the beacon residential hoa. does anyone know if the failure of the commercial tenants will in anyway negatively impact the residential units? this seems like a terrible blow to this area, but not surprising given that book stores have gone (or will go) the way of record stores.

  2. Posted by J

    Hopefully the first floor of the Beacon doesn’t end up like the first floor of the Palms!
    I like the bowling alley idea but the rent might be too much for that.
    Most of their books are now 10% off(still more than Amazon). Their crappy tech selection still seems to be full price.

  3. Posted by stucco-sux

    Anyone who thinks the departure of Borders from that space is good news it beyond stupid. The only upside I can see is if the ever-cramped Safeway might move into this larger space.

  4. Posted by tipster (Not really the manager of the Beacon HOA)

    I’m the manager of the Beacon HOA. Borders was actually doing fine, but we have elected not to renew their lease, so that we can reopen the Beacon Sales Office!
    There are so many foreclosure sales in the building now, that it is more efficient to reopen some model homes in the building and start selling all over again.
    We’re also offering a two-fer special. If you buy one of our foreclosures, when you yourself get foreclosed in a few years, we provide a postage paid envelope to mail your keys back to the bank.
    And, as part of a new breed of sales office (ala ‘Milo’ of the novel, Catch 22, who subcontracted both sides of the firefights), we will, for a fee, rip out the kitchen and bathroom fixtures for the former owners of our foreclosed properties and sell them for you on craigslist on your way out of your once-new homes. It’s just more efficient to use a full time crew who will go around tearing out the copper pipes than any one homeowner can do it on their own.
    We look forward to selling and reselling our homes again and again as owners buy with starry-eyed dreams of getting rich because of foreclosure-sales prices, only to have their dreams crushed by the Japan-like, never-ending decline of prices over the next two decades as they mail their keys back and walk away, each time contributing their downpayments towards the full recapitalization of the banks until 20 years later, the banks have all their money back and you have nothing. Visit often!

  5. Posted by noearch

    Quite frankly, I don’t know what the point of “tipster”s cute little commentary is for..nothing else to do?

  6. Posted by condoshopper

    i find them quite funny! besides, what’s the point of anything.

  7. Posted by pacific

    Maybe Whole Foods can open an “upscale” version of their 4th & Harrison store now that they’ve gone and made that one into a low class funhouse version of a grocery store.

  8. Posted by Delancey

    Whole Foods may have had a bit of difficulty after their CEO John Mackey wished a long otherwise preventable illness, financial ruin, and an untimely death upon the clientele.
    Just saying.

  9. Posted by Delancey

    To clarify the above, that is the difference between American for-profit health care and nationalized systems. Getting significantly sick in America is a financial death sentence.
    I’m not saying the systems the rest of the first world use are perfect, just, you can go into the hospital without the huge stress of “how am I going to pay for this”?

  10. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Thanks tipster, you made me smile.

  11. Posted by lol

    A bookstore closes while Giants fans keep cruising by. Watch or re-watch Idiocracy.

  12. Posted by curmudgeon

    The Borders there NEVER made any sense, really. Mission Bay (excuse me, South Beach) is not a retail shopping destination, and a mega-book store is way out of scale for the needs of a relatively small (though quickly growing) nearby residential population.
    Of course Borders is in trouble everywhere because of Amazon and e-books, but they also made some terrible location decisions.
    Their departure means that the space can be repurposed as neighborhood-serving retail, and/or some recreation/entertainment/food kind of uses that go along with the ballpark. In either case, what comes next should make a lot more sense than Borders ever did.
    I’m amazed they stuck it out so long.

  13. Posted by Poor in Pac Heights

    I’m willing to bet it’ll be a mega Walgreens in the near future. They’ll move from their spot by Caltrain.

  14. Posted by Observer

    This is too bad, it’s been great having this store in the neighborhood, we were customers.
    Echo’ing some other comments though business volume always seemed low and for us it was often a backup solution for Amazon, when you couldn’t wait 2 days for the book or a neat place to hang out and read magazines in the days before iPad’s…
    Hope the store get’s replaced soon, the Beacon retail has been really slow filling, likely a disconnect between what the market wants to pay and what is being asked…

  15. Posted by anon

    I’ve been in that store dozens of times. No one ever seemed to buy anything. People just go to browse and hang out for free, maybe buy a coffee drink. I’m actually surprised it lasted as long as it did….very few people nowadays go to a physical store to buy books, CDs, movies, etc.

  16. Posted by beacon owners

    I hope it’ll not be a laundromat. It doesn’t make sense to have a laundromat in there.
    Hopefully , it’s a type of entertainment business.

  17. Posted by SFLooking

    While I am very sad to see this location go as it really could have helped get Mission Bay better established beyond bank-owned/rented properties it speaks more to the fact that the business model did not belong. I was in there this weekend and noticed a large number of people just camped out reading piles of newspapers and magazines, eating while reading on chairs worn to the bone suggesting that this is just a recurring port or an afternoon distraction for people rather than a business where people purchase a product. Books with tattered edges litter the shelves and homeless people reading US Magazine clearly showed that this location was not appreciated.

  18. Posted by rr

    @PiPH
    The walgreens on 4th has a silly layout with dead-end aisles due to space restrictions, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved from the old space to the new one. It just occured to me that all of the walgreens I’ve been in, though, have almost no windows, and that, in many places, the stores actually block out the windows.
    It would be a shame to do that to that location, with the many very large windows and corner location.
    A chain-style corporate sports bar may be able to do well, there, to try to scoop a section of pre-game visitors.

  19. Posted by abc

    What they need is a great gym / fitness center. Same thing goes for the Clay Theater on Fillmore Street which is shutting down. Crunch fitness did a great job taking over the movie theater on Polk Street and a retail space on Union. Even in a bad economy people need to pay for fitness. It is also a mid week and weekend business. A huge gym on that corner would keep young people in the neighborhood and help get people in that Starbucks and other restaurants morning to night.

  20. Posted by HappyRenter

    Is Crunch out of Bankruptcy yet?

  21. Posted by SOMA Resident

    As a nearby resident, I’m sad to see the bookstore leave. Honestly, I don’t think the area can support another sports bar. It also has no need for a gym and laundromat since most condos in the area has a gym and laundry in-unit. I’m still scratching my head as to what should go into that space…

  22. Posted by mikel

    A bowling alley is a great idea!! Or even better, an indoor driving range.

  23. Posted by hangemhi

    a once a year halloween costume store.
    how about a batting cage and arcade…. 81 days a year it would be busy for a couple of hours and do more business than Borders ever did. give Willy Mays a glass office and let passers by stare at a living legend. or maybe just a ripley’s style version of him that moves mechanically. most giants fans don’t know anything about baseball anyway
    but i could see a serious slant on tipster’s idea… a local real estate firm. where’s Paul H. Hasn’t he gotten rich enough off ruining other’s financial health and credit to open his own firm yet?
    last guess. an Apple store.

  24. Posted by jamie

    Why not turn it into a flexible co-working office space … at least a chunk of it. Maybe the other half could be the San Francisco location of Everett & Jones (Oakland) – a good BBQ place would be appreciated there.

  25. Posted by bryan

    Something like this (upscale bowling) would do really well here, I think.
    http://www.bowlluckystrike.com/about/photos/

  26. Posted by nobowling

    I think most of the businesses here seem to be empty. The hamburger place next to the bookstore is never full. Pedros opened next to Petes and I really don’t see how they make money. Looks empty with the exception of game nights. Momos is always empty also.

  27. Posted by lol

    What they need is a great gym / fitness center.
    A bowling alley is a great idea!! Or even better, an indoor driving range.
    Typical of the fratboy-town-all-beer-no-brains SF is slowly becoming. In 20 years this will be a world class city no more. Just a giant amusement park with beefed-up suckers.
    Just as Idiocracy predicted.

  28. Posted by lol

    I think most of the businesses here seem to be empty. The hamburger place next to the bookstore is never full. Pedros opened next to Petes and I really don’t see how they make money. Looks empty with the exception of game nights. Momos is always empty also.
    What do you expect? All the new residents have wildly overpaid and probably cannot afford eating out as much as they thought they would…
    But I am certain the next generation of buyers will have much more money to spend!

  29. Posted by tipster

    I’ve got it, the ideal business for that space, perfectly suited to the needs of the surrounding residents: a pawn shop!

  30. Posted by A.T.

    Big day care center would be a great use (w/ indoor playground).
    Soup kitchen is a more likely outcome.

  31. Posted by no dice

    Lots of those resto’s seem to be thriving. Trez Agaves, Amici’s, Public House, Paragon to name four. Is there a really good sushi place in the area? Not just an OK one. That was the talk a while ago.

  32. Posted by Happy in SF

    Iron Cactus always seems busy. The sushi place on King, next the Chase bank, is just OK but keeps a steady business (albiet not full). The sushi place at 4th and Berry is better IMHO. I’d agree that the hamburger place and Momo’s are empty other than during ball games. The restaurant scene is not as bad as some purport, but neither is it up to San Francisco standards. Restaurants will migrate, like any business, to wherever money is being spent. My guess is that the typical person in this area doesn’t use the “gourmet” kitchen at home too often, so give it time to develop. Well know we’re there when the Thai and Chinese restaurants open.

  33. Posted by howabout

    Another Yoshi’s would be cool-I’d go there because it’s easier to access from where I live.
    How about a scaled down ferry-building atmostphere (scaled down farmer’s market, coffee joint-like philz, bakery-(tartine), ice cream shop-(birite). It’d be nice!

  34. Posted by burgeon

    So many of the restaurants in that area (i’m looking at you, Momo’s and Paragon) are overpriced and terrible. they stay afloat because of ballpark traffic, and prevent the normal survival of the fittest turn over. Same thing with the Chevy’s by the Moscone center.
    It seems that for now, Mission Bay is quite distinct from South Beach. South Beach does have Thai and Chinese (Koh Samui, Ozone, House of Hunan) and much more stable residents.
    That space really needs to be broken down into smaller spaces. A childcare center or Sur La Table type store seem like a good fit. Maybe one of those Japanese coffee shops where you go to hang out with nice doggies and kitties.

  35. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    Bookstores is getting into oblivion. It happens to small local stores. It happens to large store like Cody’s and Stacey’s. And now it happens to national chain like Borders. I feel sad about this. At the same time I’m making most of my purchases from online stores (not only because it is cheaper, but also because I’m ordering a lot of technical books not available from general store.) Also I’ve just ordered the Kindle read and anxious awaiting for its shipment. It looks like I’ll buy a lot less paper book in the future.

  36. Posted by Your equity will be assimilated.

    From 7X7:
    “Borders Books, RIP. In its stead, Lucky Strike Lanes is slated to open on King Street, bringing SoCal-style bowling (loungey, lowlit, cocktails in hand) to NoCal.”

  37. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “SoCal-style bowling” (I didn’t realize that’s where it originated) has been available in the SF bay area for several years now. Nice to hear that it is coming to the city as well.
    The Dude abides.

  38. Posted by J

    Does Does “SoCal style bowling” rule out sports coats and $50 lanes then???
    Wonder when it will be ready.

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