A notice of public hearing went up in the window of the Industrialists space (2201 Market Street) where Starbucks has its eyes on a 4th coffee location for the Castro. The public hearing will be May 9th and will be a pivotal moment in the decision to allow the chain to setup shop. There are many people for and against Starbucks or other "formula retail" chains moving into the Castro, so we expect local neighborhood associations, local businesses, and many Castro residents to show up en masse to voice their opinions. The Merchants of Upper Market and Castro has already given its stamp of approval for the coffee chain to move in, but the Castro / Upper Market Community Benefit District and the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association have officially voiced their opposition in solidarity with Wendy Mogg, owner of Sweet Inspiration Bakery, and other retailers that have circled a petition against the chain's new location.
Two weeks ago, the Planning Commission adopted new rules to establishing formula retail in the Castro neighborhood wherein any project that brings the concentration of chain stores within a 300-foot radius to 20 percent or greater would not be recommended for approval. According to the Bay Area Reporter, planning staff recommended to the commission that the larger Starbucks location is not necessary nor desirable for the neighborhood.
Any way you slice it, it seems Starbucks is facing an uphill battle in securing the new space, but concerned Castro businesses and residents shouldn't be complacent if they want to keep the new location out of the Castro.
The meeting will be held May 9th, at 12PM at City Hall, room 400.