It’s true, Whole Foods has inked a lease for the recently shuttered Best Buy location in the City Center mall at Geary and Masonic.

But a formal application to allow the move has yet to be filed with Planning. And as referenced in a report by Reuters yesterday, Target, which revitalized the City Center mall in 2013, isn’t too keen on allowing the Amazon owned grocery to invade its space and has flexed its muscles and terms of its lease to keep the Whole Foods’ move from being consummated.

Talks are reportedly “ongoing,” however, with the hope that certain concessions – such as an agreement to preclude on-site lockers for Whole Foods’ customers to pick up goods ordered from Amazon and other potentially competitive Amazon initiatives – will pave the way for Whole Foods’ to fill the new vacancy in the mall.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by pal

    Planning, please allow this, YES.

  2. Posted by Calvin

    Any word if it’s going to be a 365?

  3. Posted by Invented

    Given the parking constraints at other WFs, should be a better site for Amazon to explore some of its new retail concepts Go, Fresh, etc. Would like to see the Mall add a few hundred units of housing in its wasted east side lots.

  4. Posted by Philip

    Good Grief, who could object to this? Perhaps an endangered Norway rat, fearful of micro-aggressions is a matter of concern for our learned Solons in City Hall and the Planning Department.

    Central location,retail zoning, lots of parking as well as transit, and the Target is a dump.

    • Posted by DrElefun

      Who could object? I thought the column stated that Target has objected.

      Target has plenty of clout because it’s a large corporation and because it is a current resident of the building with a lease which makes for it to carry a lot of weight in it’s objection. And Target has legitimate, valid reasons to object.

      It’s unclear how that Target store qualifies to be designated as a “dump.” It’s a large, clean, well run, busy place that serves hundreds of customers every day and, as the anchor store in that shopping complex draws customers to the other stores in the building. A Trader Joe’s is a stones throw from 2675 Geary Blvd, and TJ’s stock, in some ways, duplicates that of Whole Foods, so the Target is needed much more that a Whole Foods.

      I don’t shop there but it’s evident that it fills a need for San Francisco residents on that side of town. If a large, much needed department store located on a major public transit route is a “dump”, we need more “dumps.”

      I would love for Whole Foods to be able to move into 2675 Geary Blvd, but I would not like to see the Target store condemned and shuttered because it is a dump.

    • Posted by SamanthaStevens

      City Center Target is absolutely NOT a dump, you insufferable plebe.

  5. Posted by Mark

    They’re moving into the Best Buy site in the current complex. In terms of impact on Target, the same could have been said for Target’s impact on Trader Joe’s across the street. Seems to me the long line of cars to TJs is testament that it’s doing just fine. Given the demographics, I’m surprised WF didn’t snatch up the former Andronico’s space on Irving before Safeway took it over.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Except the Trader Joe’s is on a different parcel. The Target is in the same complex as the proposed Whole Foods; most major retailers negotiate exclusivity clauses into their leases, to prevent competition on their core business. (And this makes sense – you don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fitting out a Target, and then have a competing business move in right next door.)

      • Posted by Patrick

        So much for the free market.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          Um, what?! It’s private property, and private companies, negotiating a private agreement. If a commercial landlord doesn’t want to be subject to an exclusivity clause by Tenant A, then the landlord doesn’t have to sign the lease. But the incentive for the landlord is that Tenant A is a great, high-quality tenant that will attract customers to the center.

          Not sure how *any* of that is not free market.

          • Posted by Rillion

            Well, if the property owner were to violate his lease with Target, Target would be able to sue the property owner in court, which is run by the government. In a truly free market, the contract would be meaningless and the property owner could lease to WF and WF could do anything they wanted in regards to allowing Amazon to use the site to compete with Target. Then Target and WF could hire private goon squads to terrorize each other and the customers until one store burned down the others store since holding either side responsible for breaking laws would be yet more government intervention in the free market. Free the Market! Anarchy Now!

        • Posted by SamanthaStevens

          Free market, lol. It’s a private development and Target has veto power based on being an anchor tenant.

          They’re paying a premium rent, why shouldn’t they have a say in who is adjoining them in their complex?

    • Posted by anon

      Safeway didn’t “snatch up” or “take over” the Andronico’s space. Safeway acquired Andronico’s – the whole company. All Andronico’s stores thus switched over to the Safeway brand name.

      • Posted by Notcom

        But didn’t Safeway acquire the site before they actually acquired the company? Andronico’s closed a number of sites while they were still independent…wasn’t that one of them?

        • Posted by anon

          No – that site operated as Andronico’s up to the day they switched the sign to Safeway after the acquisition.

  6. Posted by frozentoast

    Yes this would be wonderful! I’m thinking Target doesn’t have the brightest people. The Whole Foods crowd wouldn’t buy groceries at Target, however, they might stop by for detergent, tissue boxes, lightbulbs, etc while they’re right there. The stores compliment each other.

    • Posted by Rillion

      I think Target’s fear is that people would order items off of Amazon and then pick them up at a locker in the Whole Foods store when they went to do their grocery shopping instead of running into Target to buy those items.

      • Posted by Amewsed

        Give it a few more years and Target may not be around.

    • Posted by Inigo Montoya

      Unless the stores are praising each other, you mean “complement,” not “compliment.”

  7. Posted by goodmaab50

    Amazon paying for the BRT and Subway out geary?
    Any donations to the public transit system?
    or are they getting another “twitter-tax-break” for opening whole foods stores and new campuses?

    • Posted by GuyFox

      Did you even read the article? The city has ZERO to do with this. It’s purely a negotiation between private companies.

  8. Posted by goodmaab50

    sure could use some vertical housing on that site… nice views back out to the GG and downtown… if only they could think taller and not just stick with the big boxes on these sites….

  9. Posted by Rachel

    I support this.
    This shopping center has been underutilized for years, a Whole Foods or 365 would be a great addition.

  10. Posted by phongpei

    If prices are comparable to TJs, I’d go to WF. Parking is a nightmare at TJs.

    • Posted by stevenj

      Prices are not comparable to TJ’s unless you stick with the WF 365 brand or sale items.

  11. Posted by Stop Driving

    Don’t shop at Whole Foods! Support your local grocery stores! Bryan’s and Bi-Rite are nearby and local. They also treat their employees very well.

  12. Posted by Mikey

    The traffic in and out of a WF at that location would be horrendous. There are regularly a dozen cars waiting to pull into TJ’s on Masonic on a typical day. Now imagine that same queue on the two-land one-way O’Farrell entrance to the parking lot.

    That many cars would block Target’s lot entrance. Anyone wanting to head west following a visit would need to navigate the narrow residential streets surrounding the site or head to Divis and go from there whichever direction. If we have learned anything over the years, grocery stores with single lot entrances are nightmares to be discouraged.

  13. Posted by Amewsed

    Sure, why not?

    I’ve been to the Best Buy in this location and it was a ghost town when I could actually find the entrance through the weird maze like layout. Ate at the Panera also before discovering I parked in the wrong mini parking lot. The Target here is mediocre but probably serves the neighborhood just fine.

    I remember coming to this former Sears store as a child in the late 70’s. Fresh popcorn and then slushies on the second floor and I learned about each and every appliance available while my mom shopped for clothes downstairs. Amazing how department stores pretty much disappeared within the time span of a few decades but none of the developers of the site cared to reconfigure the multi-store concept into something more user friendly. Lack of funds?

  14. Posted by jimbo

    does anyone know what is going in at the office max location at geary and arguello? half of the store has been shut down and now empty. It would be a perfect place for a whole foods. no other grocery store walkable from there. im at 2nd and clement and besides a crappy smart and final, always ahve to get in the car to grocery shop

  15. Posted by jane

    Does anyone have an update on this? I would love to see a WholeFoods go in there!

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