Back in 2009, Pet Food Express was blocked from renovating and occupying the former Blockbuster Video store on Lombard at Divisadero due to “public opposition based on the competitive advantage of Formula Retail” and the Lombard Street site has sat vacant ever since.
As we wrote last month with respect to a renewed bid by Pet Food Express to occupy the space:
With a new study in hand concluding that Pet Food Express’ proposed store “will not cause other pet specialty retail stores in San Francisco, as a group, to lose sales revenue,” San Francisco’s Planning Department now supports Pet Food Express’ proposed move. We’ll note the aforementioned study was funded by Pet Food Express.
From the Planning Department’s recommendation of approval for Pet Food Express’ new application to occupy the Lombard Street site: “Through analysis of the current mix of Formula Retail and independently owned retail outlets on Chestnut and Union Streets, it appears that the two types of ownership formats can co-exist as both those streets enjoy robust commercial activity, are considered destination neighborhoods, and neighborhood investment and pride is apparent. In comparison, Lombard Street has a much lower concentration of Formula Retail outlets and does not enjoy the level of commercial activity or investment similar to Chestnut and Union Streets do.”
And atop the Department’s basis for their approval: “The project promotes a viable retail outlet on Lombard Street which could act as a catalyst for additional commercial investment along Lombard Street.”
Despite the Planning Department’s support, the Planning Commission has once again voted to deny Pet Food Express’ request to occupy the Lombard Street site.
The stated basis for the Commission’s disapproval which is slated to be formalized this week: the project is “not necessary or desirable” as it represents “an over-concentration of pet food/supply outlets” in the area; does not promote economic diversity; and represents “a duplication of services” as Pet Food Express operates a store at 3150 California Street, a little over one mile from the Lombard Street site.