UPDATE (5:49PM): We spoke with Andrea Aiello, the Executive Director of the Castro/ Upper Market Community Benefit District about the recent exodus of Diesel from their Market and Castro location so we could put this rumor mill to rest.
Apparently, the reason why Diesel left was because of poor sales and a new location they were opening in the East Bay. The rent was not hiked by 50%, in fact, the property owner tried to work with Diesel to sweeten the deal to keep them there. Unfortunately for Diesel lovers, but fortunate for some new business, Diesel would not renew their lease.
As for the rumors regarding Apple filling the space, Aiello noted that a contact at Colliers Real Estate, whose client is Apple, said Apple was not interested in the space, as it was too small. As for the Pottery Barn across the street, that's a no go for Apple as well.
So, unfortunately, we have a building sitting empty again in the Castro. On the bright side, the rainbow colored lights in the windows will be staying as they were installed and maintained by the property owner; there's a feather in our cap!
As many of our readers tipped us off yesterday, the Diesel clothing store at the old Bank of America building adjacent to Harvey Milk Plaza has closed. Socket Site reported that the landlords apparently increased the rent of the location by 50%, an amount Diesel was not willing to pay to stay at the historic location.
One of our readers tipped us off that Apple may be eyeing the space for it's fourth San Francisco location. Apple has a penchant for placing their retail stores in iconic locations and the Castro/Market space would fit that pattern nicely, not to mention its proximity to major transit hubs like the MUNI underground and the F-Line.
We've put an email into Apple headquarters for comment. If we hear confirmation either way we'll let you know.