City_Place_street_view.jpg

CityPlace mall, the five floor mid-Market retail structure that Mayor Gavin Newsom says will “activate one of the most blighted blocks of Market Street,” appears to be well on the road to reality, following Tuesday’s thumbs-up from the Board of Supervisors.


However, in the words of one Appeal reader, “who wants to rent retail space there? Or go there, for that matter, when Westfield is a block away?”

The answers to those questions, if the SF Biz Times and Chronicle are to be believed: discount stores and people who want to buy stuff sold at discount stores.

Ahem! Or should I say “value-based” retailers, as that’s the term used by both publications to describe the stores the city is wooing to fill the space?

While neither publication could name names of companies that are in talks or have signed agreements to rent in the 265,000-square-foot building planned for the sketchy stretch of Market between 5th and 6th, the Biz Times speculates that stores renting space in the mall could include TJ Maxx, JCPenney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and Bed Bath & Beyond, and that stores already nearby like the Container Store and Ross might move from their current locations to the new space.

“We’re also looking at bringing in new names and larger-format retailers who have had a hard time positioning themselves in San Francisco,” the president of the retail development consultant handling the lease negotiations told the Chron.

“It’s going to give the off price guys a safe haven in a hostile city.” Retail West president Matt Holmes told the Biz Times.

I can’t really speak on shopping — not unsurprisingly, this Internet Cybernews Business does not lead to the kind of dough that one can blow on shopping sprees. And since my work in the Internet Cybernews Business means I rarely leave the house, I suppose that is no big!

So, readers, I must rely you to comment or vote in this here poll (sorry, RSS users, you can’t see it!) to help give perspective on if this is a great or terrible plan for ths space.

Will discount stores like those speculated on by the Biz Times enough to inspire you to brave 6th and Market? Or will they be a welcome oasis just past high end retail playground of Union Square? Let’s hear it.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Greg Dewar

    It’s amazing that in a city with such expensive real estate and whatnot that the mid market area is such a toilet (literally).

    The only way you’ll see this area revive at all is if the City and the devleoper and the people do a blitz on this place and do everything all at once: Put in lots market rate RENTAL HOUSING for people who work for a living, push out the drug dealers and the chronic inebriants and move them to jail or treatment, clean up the streets with pedestrian improvements and a heavy police presence to ensure safety, and most of all, have one process to accomplish it all, and that’s it, no endless flippin’ EIRs to use to obstruct the plans.

    So long as it takes 1000 years to get a food truck on the road or improve a building because of the endless chattering of the do nothings around town, mid market will always suck. This little discount mall is a lovely idea, but it’ll be another Metreon or Galaxy theater if they’re not careful.

  • Greg Dewar

    It’s amazing that in a city with such expensive real estate and whatnot that the mid market area is such a toilet (literally).

    The only way you’ll see this area revive at all is if the City and the devleoper and the people do a blitz on this place and do everything all at once: Put in lots market rate RENTAL HOUSING for people who work for a living, push out the drug dealers and the chronic inebriants and move them to jail or treatment, clean up the streets with pedestrian improvements and a heavy police presence to ensure safety, and most of all, have one process to accomplish it all, and that’s it, no endless flippin’ EIRs to use to obstruct the plans.

    So long as it takes 1000 years to get a food truck on the road or improve a building because of the endless chattering of the do nothings around town, mid market will always suck. This little discount mall is a lovely idea, but it’ll be another Metreon or Galaxy theater if they’re not careful.

  • KWillets

    The Container Store doesn’t seem like a discount retailer. There’s a reason they don’t sell any money containers.

  • KWillets

    The Container Store doesn’t seem like a discount retailer. There’s a reason they don’t sell any money containers.

  • Suz

    Oookay.

    I have nothing against the project, but “safe haven in a hostile city”? Guys; there is a Marshall’s on 5th and Burlington Coat Factory a block up, a Ross on 4th, a TJ Maxx on Harrison @ 5th.

    And that’s not even counting stuff like the Payless, DSW, and Loehmans. Or the not-quite discount but pretty cheap and huge Forever 21 and Old Navy both within spitting distance.

    Build the mall by all means, but don’t pretend you’re fighting the man or empowering the people or whatever.

  • Suz

    Oookay.

    I have nothing against the project, but “safe haven in a hostile city”? Guys; there is a Marshall’s on 5th and Burlington Coat Factory a block up, a Ross on 4th, a TJ Maxx on Harrison @ 5th.

    And that’s not even counting stuff like the Payless, DSW, and Loehmans. Or the not-quite discount but pretty cheap and huge Forever 21 and Old Navy both within spitting distance.

    Build the mall by all means, but don’t pretend you’re fighting the man or empowering the people or whatever.

  • DT

    Penney’s in San Francisco? I doubt it. They left decades ago. Sears lasted a bit longer.

    Local 1100 drove them out. Their HQ was the last place in SF to have a plug switchboard.

  • DT

    Penney’s in San Francisco? I doubt it. They left decades ago. Sears lasted a bit longer.

    Local 1100 drove them out. Their HQ was the last place in SF to have a plug switchboard.