San Francisco

5 Market Street businesses likely to close as new development gets underway

At least two businesses will close, and three more are likely to be affected, as plans for a nine-story residential building at Market and Brady streets (between 12th and Gough) get underway. 

17-year-old antique store Antiquario (1645 Market St.) plans to shutter at the end of the month. A few doors down at 1633 Market St., appointment-only Scandinavian furniture and lighting showroom Koncept 22 will close on March 24, with plans to move to 51 Rodgers St. (at Eighth) in SoMa.

Three other neighboring businesses — leather goods store Dermitzakis Leather Company (1641 Market St.), boutique Alorna (1633 Market St.) and party equipment rental service Table + Teaspoon (1639 Market St.) — are also likely to be affected.

It's unclear if and when those businesses will close. Alorna and Table + Teaspoon did not reply to a request for comment, while Dermitizakis Leather Company's phone is disconnected.

Rendering: SF Planning

Hoodline tipster Richard O. alerted us to Antiquario's closure, with a sign in the window noting its going-out-of-business sale. 

Owner Christopher Albanese confirmed that the store would close on March 31. He said it's no surprise — he knew the building would be demolished at some point when he signed the lease 17 years ago.

Although Albanese still likes the area, he says he won't be looking for a new retail space in San Francisco, citing increased issues with break-ins and theft, as well as people taking drugs near his back door. Four weeks ago, someone broke in through the back.

"I enjoyed being here," he said, "but the last few months have gotten bad."

Albanese said the glass in the store's front door is regularly smashed, requiring him to repeatedly pay $370 to replace it. To enter the store, customers now have to ring a bell Albanese installed, because of recurring theft. 

"I'm fixing [the door] myself — otherwise it would cost double that price," he said, noting that it's broken again at the moment.

Antiquario owner Christopher Albanese.

Albanese says a lot of his customers are on the East Coast, and up to 75% of his sales are now online, through the online antique marketplace 1stdibs. He plans to move his stock to a warehouse on Treasure Island and a collective in Petaluma. 

"The rents are too high" to make another storefront make sense, he said, noting that customers are welcome to email him to view specific items.

Changing tastes are another factor. Albanese believes that a lot of young people in San Francisco lack the awareness for the stories antique furniture has to tell.

"[They] don’t look at things from a perspective of craftsmanship," he said, gesturing to a two-century-old armoire in the store.

According to city documents, the new building at 1629 Market St. will maintain its historic Market Street facade on the ground level, with space for retailers. A parking garage with 212 spaces will be housed beneath.

The upper levels will contain 185 market-rate units — 69 studios, 62 one-bedrooms, and 54 two-bedrooms. Instead of on-site below-market-rate units, the developer will donate in-lieu funds to preserve 101 affordable housing units at the South Beach Marina apartments (2 Townsend St.)

The new building is part of a planned total overhaul of Market between 12th and Brady streets, which will build hundreds of units (including affordable supportive housing units) and a new union hall for the Local 38 plumbers and pipefitters, who are sacrificing their current building to the project. A small, park-like plaza is also planned. 

Update 3/6: Hoodline has learned that Alorna will also be moving out at the end of March. The boutique just launched a sale online and there will also be a sale at the store on March 15. Clothes, shoes, art, ceramics and furniture will be for sale at up to 80% off.

See something interesting while you’re out and about? Text Hoodline and we’ll try to find out what's going on: (415) 200-3233.

1645 Market Street

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