Umpqua Bank Planned For Magnet Space On 18th Street

Umpqua Bank Planned For Magnet Space On 18th Street
Photo: torbakhopper/flickr
By Roy - Published on November 06, 2014.
Magnet, the STD testing and mens health services clinic located at 4122 18th St., is moving to the new SF AIDS Foundation space currently under construction at 474 Castro Street.
The space on 18th Street between Castro and Collingwood may not stay empty long, however. There's already a new tenant jockeying for the new space, as Umpqua Bank representatives made a pitch to move into the space at the Castro Merchants meeting this morning.

At the meeting, Umpqua Bank representatives stated that they wanted to operate the location differently from other banks in the Castro, and provided sketches of a planned layout which would include a community space located inside the proposed bank.

Ideas for the community space include a 12-foot "local spotlight" retail table to show off local merchants' goods (we'd love to see dildos from Does Your Mother Know suctioned to the table), community meeting spaces on the second floor, and community bulletin boards and a public "computer café" on the first floor.

Members raised a few concerns about the proposed bank location and the plans for the community space. One merchant mentioned that Bank of the West at Noe Street and Market created a similar community space that was open to the general public, but that free coffee had been pulled due to "undesirable" people entering the bank. The bank now has a security guard out in front of the building.

Umpqua Bank reps said that they are open to discussing ideas about how to activate their community space properly, saying they would like to model the space in a manner similar to Magnet, which hosted art shows and community events like the recent LitQuake event.

The bank's proposed arrival is by no means set in stone: it still has to go through the community planning process and acquire a conditional use permit, as it is considered a formula retail business operating more than 11 locations in the United States.

We'll follow the story and keep you updated as the bank moves through the planning process.