February 25, 2013

No Valentine's Day Love For Orchard Supply Hardware In SF

As we first reported two weeks ago with respect to the proposal to convert the Pacific Sales building at 975 Bryant into a 33,000 square foot Orchard Supply Hardware store:

While it took over a decade to get a new home improvement store out on Bayshore Boulevard, with the backing of the Planning Department, Orchard Supply Hardware is hoping to get a quick approval to convert the Pacific Sales building at 975 Bryant into a 33,000 square foot OSH with a plant nursery on the roof.
Other proposed changes to the building at 975 Bryant include landscaping, a new Bryant Street entrance, and a change of windows along Bryant Street to increase transparency.

Despite's San Francisco's Planning Department noting that the proposed project "is desirable for, and compatible with the surrounding neighborhood," would "[improve] the pedestrian experience along Bryant Street" and "meets all applicable requirements of the Planning Code," following public testimony on February 14, San Francisco’s Planning Commission adopted a motion of Intent to Disapprove the project by a vote of 5 to 2 with Commissioners Fong and Antonini dissenting.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to revisit the proposed project and the NIMBYs' objections, and act on their intent, with a vote this week.

Orchard Supply Hardware Coming To SoMa If Approved [SocketSite]
T-Minus Two Days (And A Decade In The Making) For Lowe’s In SF [SocketSite]

First Published: February 25, 2013 10:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

And what was the dissent about?

Posted by: curmudgeon at February 25, 2013 10:02 AM

Much better to have an unofficial homeless shelter than an operating business... well done NIMBYs!

But seriously, I too would like to hear what the complaints were.

Posted by: lyqwyd at February 25, 2013 10:30 AM

WTF? God forbid there be a store selling anything other than artisan cupcakes in the central part of the City. This is ridiculous.

Posted by: rabbits at February 25, 2013 11:42 AM

when did discount builder supply switch to cupcakes?

Posted by: EH at February 25, 2013 12:23 PM

OSH would be perfect for the neighborhood. I could walk there from my condo. And what about the jobs generated, taxes collected and the building improvements proposed. It would be open 7 days a week and probably 15 hours a day--a deterrent to the vagrants that collect in the area.
What's the downside?

Posted by: james at February 25, 2013 1:25 PM

Inexplicable. Was it lobbying from Home Depot and Lowe's? Who else would oppose it?

Posted by: jlasf at February 25, 2013 9:06 PM

"Who else would oppose it?"

A civic procedural hobbyist?

But seriously if you have been to enough public hearings you will encounter people lining up to the podium who have the gift of being able to cast any issue open to public comment into their own pet issue, no matter how removed from reality.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at February 25, 2013 9:46 PM

The commissioners mostly talked about their anecdotal experiences with hardware stores. They talked about which kinds of formula retail they liked and which kinds they didn't. Ultimately, they said that the NIMBYs were too loud and similar uses existed nearby.

Posted by: Joel at February 25, 2013 11:26 PM

The majority of comments were from various business owners (Cole Hardware, Builder Supply, Center Hardware, etc.) who expressed their usual concerns about how formula retail will put them out of business and change the face of San Francisco forever. The owner of Cole Hardware claimed his business went down 25% after Lowes opened on Bayshore -- (in the middle of the recession). The owner of Center claims his Saturday business is still down 20%. Of course there's no way to check their numbers and Center has so little weekend business they don't even open on Sunday. The best comment from a commissioner: "We're trying to save ourselves from ourselves" referring to people who say they want to support locally owned businesses but drive to Home Depot anyway.

Posted by: jw2200 at February 26, 2013 12:53 AM

Funny that a homegrown retailer like OSH is now considered to be formula retail. It is the price of success. Cole HW might be in that position one day.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at February 26, 2013 9:29 AM

I think they'd have better luck building a chain hardware store in the Sunset or Parkside. Fewer NIMBYs and more homeowners who already drive to Home Depot in Daly City. Those illegal inlaws have to get built somehow.

Posted by: Joel at February 26, 2013 10:29 AM

I live in this neighborhood and would love to have Orchard Supply in the area rather than get in my car and drive to Lowes. There is a need for smaller hardware stores like this in the city. Not everything should be Lowes or Coles. But this city loves to tell people what we need and can and can't buy. Why is western SOMA being protected from growth! I guess the cities homeless need empty lots to sleep in. Thanks for nothing!

Posted by: Jaime at February 27, 2013 6:21 PM

What? Why? Looking at that building, the immediate neighborhood is hardly a model of pristine urban elegance - it's just another blase concrete wasteland next to a freeway. It's not like putting in an OSH is going to destroy some high quality of quiet suburban life or anything. Sheesh.

Plus, putting the garden center on the roof is a great idea. Look at the Google Maps satellite view of the neighborhood - concrete, concrete, everywhere, and hardly a shrub to see.

I'd shop here instead of driving to Home Depot in Daly City, and isn't that the point of having a business in a city? To serve the citizens of the city, and not take their sales tax dollars to another county?

Build it. Or remodel it. Whatever. Just let it happen already.

Posted by: Gregg at March 20, 2013 12:08 PM

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