Starbucks’ proposal to take over the existing 2,500 square foot Industrialists retail space at 2201 Market Street has received 59 letters of support (including one from the Merchants of Upper Market & Castro) and a petition with 453 signatures in favor of their plan.
At the same time, the Planning Department has received 4 letters in opposition to the project (including one from the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District) and a petition with 4,200 signatures opposed to Starbucks’ proposal.
Tomorrow, San Francisco’s Planning Commission will decide whether or not to allow Starbucks to take over the 2201 Market Street space, a proposal that San Francisco’s Planning Department recommends the Commission disapprove.
The basis for the Department’s recommendation:
There are currently five formula retail uses within 300 feet of the Subject Property that include Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Community – A Walgreen’s Pharmacy, Chase Bank and Verizon Wireless. The proposed Starbucks would bring the concentration of formula retail to 21% within 300 feet of the Property.
The Upper Market NCT is well served by existing similar eating and drinking establishments that are considered coffee houses, including Church Street Café, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Sweet Inspiration and Café Flore.
The Project would be detrimental to the neighborhood by occupying a prominent corner lot with a formula retail use that uses standardized color schemes, decor and signage that will detract from the distinctive character of the Upper Market Neighborhood which includes primarily local, independent retail businesses.
The Project would displace an existing business that is independent and locally owned.
And a counter argument from the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association (BVNA):
BVNA believes that the current, temporary retail use at 2201 Market Street is an under-use and not beneficial to the neighborhood.
The building’s current structure and appearance have a negative effect on its neighborhood. By contract, Starbucks plans to substantially renovate the site for its new operation. This will bring substantial aesthetic improvement to a corner which needs that badly. Further, it is a proven retail maxim that “magnet” businesses (such as the proposed Starbucks at this location) bring additional positive customer traffic to their area, another deficiency of the current operation. In fact, even so-called “competitive, independent” businesses nearby can benefit from the proposed new Starbucks, provided that they are smart merchandisers and afford themselves of the opportunity to distinguish themselves.
In summary, the proposed new Starbucks at 2201 Market can be a win for all involved, not the negative painted by some shortsighted current local opinions.
The 2201 Market Street store would be Starbucks’ 72nd in San Francisco.