Activists score big victory as Jack Spade gives up on the Mission

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Jack Spade was trying to open in the spot that housed the beloved Adobe Book Store until earlier this year.

Score one for people power. Anti-gentrification activists in the Mission scored a major victory last night in their months-long battle to keep Jack Spade, an upscale men’s clothing chain, from opening a store on 16th Street — first by winning over the Board of Appeals, then by convincing the company to just give up.

So Jack Spade won’t be opening in the site of the old Adobe Book Store location near Valencia Street, an outcome engineered by the grassroots activism of the Stop Jack Spade Coalition, Valencia Corridor Merchants Association, and progressive politicians who supported the cause.

At issue at last night’s packed hearing was an appeal of the Planning Department’s ruling that Jack Spade didn’t fall under formula retail rules because it had one short of the 11 stores needed to meet the definition, even though it’s an expanding part of 5th and Pacific Co. and a brother brand to Kate Spade, which has dozens of stores around the country.

Activists considered it a long shot given the supermajority needed to overrule the decision and force a conditional use permit hearing before the store could open, particularly after falling short with the board in August. But this time, the activists won, with the board voting 4-1 to set a full rehearing for Dec. 11.

As representatives of the corporation left the hearing, they told a few activists and business owners that they “were done.” And when the Guardian reached 5th and Pacific CEO Bill McComb by email today, he confirmed that the company is giving up on this controversial location, where activists were concerned its deep-pocketed presence would accelerate gentrification of the neighborhood.

"[We're] not going to war with the neighbors. We like those people and their neighborhood and we are not fighting the issue. There are many a fine location for Jack Spade. Peace to the city!" McComb wrote to us.

It was a thrilling surprise for the activists that have been organizing against the project for months, and it was reminiscent of the successful 2009 effort to stop American Apparel from opening up shop on Valencia, involving some of the same activists and organizing tactics.

"We're very pleased about last night," said Andy Blue, an activist working with local merchants. "We saw a significant shift in momentum and a tremendous community showing. It was clearly a victory for the neighborhood."

It was a big turnaround from just a few weeks ago, when it looked like Jack Spade had won, and a sign of the rising importance of gentrification issues to San Franciscans who face rising residential and commercial rents fueled by the latest dot-com boom and Mayor Ed Lee’s corporate welfare policies.

"Six months ago, a lot of people in San Francisco felt powerless with the rapid displacement of residents," said Blue. "It was like, 'What can we do, you know?'"
But then, as Blue said, "the resistance started boiling up."

The local merchants decided to appeal the Planning Department decision that would have allowed Jack Spade to simply open its doors with no public hearing. "So many people who were being affected by it started sharing their stories, and things started happening. People had had enough," said Blue. "The San Francisco that we love is this diverse, unique place and we were watching  it transform into something totally different."

Simply getting to yesterday’s hearing was a huge step for the activist population standing up against the retailer, Blue said. But after the rehearing request was granted, the local merchants still needed to prove that "manifest injustice" had taken place during Jack Spade's permit acquisition process if the merchants wanted the actual rehearing. 

This presented a problem to the VCMA and others. To prove "manifest injustice" had taken place during the permit application process, the merchants needed to prove that Jack Spade not only applied for their permits under a dubious guise, but that they were well aware of just how dubious it was. To be manifestly unjust, the unfairness must be "direct, obvious and observable," a list that isn't always easy to satisfy. 

While the two sides can't seem to come to a consensus on how much the rent will actually increase in the surrounding area due to Jack Spade's arrival, this controversy arose at a time when neighborhoods throughout the city have been rising up against gentrification.

And this may not be the last time that this company is in the crosshairs of that concern. Asked whether its decision applies to the whole city or just this one location, McComb told us, “Just that spot. We have many brand fans in SF.” 

Comments

Posted by barrier on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 5:25 pm
Posted by barrier on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 5:19 pm
Posted by barrier on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 5:28 pm
Posted by barrier on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 5:21 pm
Posted by barrier on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 5:28 pm
Posted by barrier on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 5:22 pm
Posted by barrier on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

Smash the state!
I sincerely hope art Agnos and Matt Gonzalez can open a third hand used suit store that only takes coins and communicates by party line telephones.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

But historically, it's a footnote.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

Sounds like another one of your drunk, incoherent ravings.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

A successful, cosmopolitan guy like you?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 6:51 am

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by barrier on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 8:52 am

Troll barrier / racer x / glen park daddy / cop penis obsessed loser, is always imping people including me, who cares? Greg's love of self gets all worked up over these sorts of things.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

"It was like, 'What can we do, you know?'" But then, as Blue said, "the resistance started boiling up."

"It was like?"

Like, like, like, like, like? I appreciate what Andy Blue has done but please get rid of this "like" shit. It sounds so stupid. I hear "like" every other word in people's speech. They're like, he's like, she's like, I'm whatever like, it was like, it's like, like, like. "Like" is the main word I hear when people speak and it's as if they cannot speak complete sentences any longer without "like" sprinkled throughout. Sometimes I hear three likes in a row. People sound braindead with "like."

Rewriting what Andy said without "like":

1. "They thought, What can we do?"

2. "They asked, What can we do?"

It's even shorter either way. LIKE.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

He like only used it once, man.
Your obsessed ass had to come on and screech it 22 times.
Please seek professional help. Take lots of meds.
Consider trying to personally accomplish something, as Andy Blue and these other activists have, rather than critiquing those who do achieve something in the world that lies beyond your keyboard.
Try to relax, and perhaps you will discover that you are able to LIKE yourself!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by barrier on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

I wasn't commenting on his grammar. This has nothing to do with grammar. It has to do with word usage. I take it you don't know the difference. Thick.

But your troll post is so predictable and cookie-cutter. You need new material. I've read this "Please seek professional help. Take lots of meds" thousands of times in troll posts on the internet and I suspect you copied it from one of those places. It's so old now. If I were you, I'd be embarrassed to have used it. Another way of putting it, it's tacky.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by barrier on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

"Consider trying to personally accomplish something,..."

You have accomplished what? Is trolling your idea of personally accomplishing something?" Shouldn't you set higher standards for yourself?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

Kettle

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 3:21 pm
Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

Looking forward to your continued pissing and moaning, now that your nose has been rubbed in the fact that money doesn't always make right.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 5:05 pm
Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 6:52 am

Wow. You are so cool. Your comment is filled with sarcasim, sure, but none the less, all too telling. To think that you can even joke about a sad reality for many people tells the universe what a scum you are inside. Sleep tight, may all your internal demons keep you warm and miserable for the rest of your life.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 9:41 am
Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 10:22 am

Right. A law that a landlord has the option to enforce--option! We aren't talking about a speed limit, or wearing your seatbelt. Do you think people are idiots?
Get a life. If you are really trying to argue that the Ellis Act is somehow just, you are scum. Great, you have tons of money, and you enjoy ruining the livelihood of hard working families to better your own fortune. Whoa, how Capitalistic of you! What do you do in this world to actually make it better? Do you donate money to charity for the tax write-off? oh, how cool of you! Do you actually contribute anything to this world without expecting something back? I doubt it. Go ahead, quote 'laws', and fight to change the standards of what most endear about this city. I have you pegged--you capitalistic narcissist. (i bet you feel pride in that statement) If you actually do have friends, they only like you for your money. There is obviously nothing else to you.
*And just for the record (because I know how shallow the minds are of people like you), I'm not arguing this point because I am in danger of the Ellis Act. I am arguing this point because I have empathy, and a soul. Something you should look to achieve.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

long tenure at any home you elect to rent. Renting by it's very nature is designed to provide temporary housing until you become an adult and buy a home.

The problem is that there are people like you think you deserve to live in a city you cannot afford for no reason other than you think you would like to live here. Tough. Life doesn't work that way.

Ellis is the law but, more importantly, it represents the constitutional imperative that a property owner cannot be forced to subsidize your lifestyle indefinitely.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 1:20 pm
Lol

" It represents the constitutional imperative! "
Whatever you say, Captain Alzheimers.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

Nash versus the City of Santa Monica, if you want to look it up.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 2:00 pm

Oh just because it is a constitutional ruling, we should say ok? Right, because some ruling have never been obsurd. Think about the rulings we are fighting to overturn. Stupid comment.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

But changing the constitution is not a trivial thing.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

The constitution used to permit and manage slavery, prohibit alcohol consumption, and pointedly to our conversation, once only allowed property owners to vote.

Seems like a pretty flawed, porous and fungible document to me.

And the next aspect to amend is the nut ball idea that property owners should be able to decide whether someone gets to continue living in their -home- or not.

Housing must be made a guaranteed right.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

instead do whatever he tells us is right and good?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

It must be wearying to constantly maintain such a idiotic level of delusion while trying to spread it to others like a virus. I honestly pity you.

The California Supreme Court actually decided against the guy who was challenging the provisions of a local law limiting a property owner's ability to evict people from rental housing.
Nash lost:
"California Supreme Court later opined that the burdens imposed on Nash’s liberty interests were minimal and that the city’s permit requirement was reasonably related to the city’s goal of protecting its scarce rental housing supply"
-Ellis Act Legislation Defeated—For Now
by Monica Williamson

"The Ellis Act "was adopted by the California Legislature in 1985 after the California Supreme Court ruled that landlords do not have the right to evict tenants to go out of the business of being a landlord"
-Ellis Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You may now return to your hysterical bleatings about "Constitutional Imperatives!!!"

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

As explained to Steven below, the Nash case concerned applications to demolish units after a landlord had a vacancy and decided not to re-rent because of a punitive system of rent control.

The court opined that the rent control was legal BUT that the owner could not be compelled to rent out that unit, and that he may apply to change the use, or of course leave it vacant, take it out of service, or apply for a license to demolish it.

Essentially that is what Ellis confirms - rent control is legal as long as it does not go too far, e.g. vacancy control, allows a reasonable ROI etc., but that the property owner has an absolute unfettered right to exit the rental business thru an Ellis eviction and subsequent change of use.

I have been only involved in one Ellis eviction but have taken 10 rental units out of the market in the last 20 years. Not a lot, but the economics made that change of use compelling.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 5:07 pm

Once again, you trolls are confused about the Ellis Act, claiming it somehow grew from a "constitutional imperative," when it's just the opposite. In the Santa Monica case, the landlords who made the argument that rent control is unconstitutional lost, and that's why they got the Legislature to pass the Ellis Act. With the Ellis Act, the landlords yet to have their cake and eat it too: buying buildings at bargain prices because they fall under rent control, and then using Ellis Act to evict tenants and profit from their heartlessness. Gee, aren't capitalism and the greed motive grand? 

Posted by steven on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

courts upheld rent control as passing constitutional muster, they rejected the city's right to restrict certain uses of a property where the landlord refuses to rent it out. At the time Santa Monica had vacancy control, so landlords were not re-renting units and applying to demolish them or change their use.

So while the court ruling was mixed, the majority Democrat Assembly decided to pass Ellis to ratify the absolute, unfettered right of a property owner to not be forced to be in the rental business against his will. And in provided for moving expenses and notice periods, and of course restrictions on subsequent rentals, to keep things fair.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

I have rental properties and I would never treat my tenants this way. Who are you to say that renting should mean a short tenure? Oh, we know who you are, you are the greedy sort of human. Go away. Do you tell all your friends and family (because I bet some of them rent) that they should "become an adult and buy a home"? I doubt it. You are a pathetic little human. So sad for you.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

I can tell from your attitude.

but just to clarify, if you are a tenant you are endlessly paying for the honor to temporarily rent a place, one month at a time.

If you want a long-term home, you BUY.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

Don't try to rope all property owners into your greedy attitude. I have empathy, and I make it a point to work with those less fortunate because it can happen to anyone. I enjoy giving back...instead of taking away. Don't get to comfortable on that Tower of Babble; someday it will crash, and where will you be left? I feel so fortunate for all that I have, and I would guarantee it is more than you. Sorry, just sayin'. My attitude is awesome, and I couldn't be more happy! I don't fear what lurks in the dark corners but it sounds like you should.
I feel sorry for you.
P.S. Just because a person rents does not make them impoverished. Look at the numbers--about 64 percent of San Francisco residents rent. That must disgust you.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

A portion of my rentals profits goes to charity.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

"When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full."

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

and people need to recognize all my smarts.
Let's face it. You're old. That's why your here, trying to wage a valiant battle against the terrible terrible progressives and that's why you're so darn angry. Your butt's probably all plugged up, too.
Seeing as how you're old and you don't manage your stress all that well with your heated internet fighting, you'll probably be dead in what- 10 years? 15?
Will your piddly ass imaginary loan on your crappy property even be paid off then? Or will the bank just quietly suck it back into their inventory while no one weeps for your passing.
If you're so fucking smart tell me this: how many things are you going to own when you are dead?
What will any of it have mattered, smart guy?
What difference will it make to anyone that you were ever here? Do you imagine people gathering on the SFBG comments section to comment respectfully about how you owned things?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

I took risks early in my life and it has paid off.

But FYI, I abbreviated "properties" to "props" simply to complete the sentence within the title line. That said, I have heard people in the RE community referring to "props" so, while I do not like sloppy abbreviations, I also really don't give a damn either.

As for the rest, yes, you're right, one day I'll be dead and any wealth I have will no longer do me any good. But that is hardly an argument to be poor, ya know?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

and it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of an needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

Why don't you move to Cuba where your twisted unrealistic fantasy is slowly dying, but still has a couple of breaths left. Quick, before it expires!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 15, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

or was it the actual people in the neighbourhood.

Interestingly written essay. I'm very interested in language as a sledge hammer of propaganda.

As soon as I read about the store I was not a fan. That said...

If the people and businesses in the neighbourhood are opposed then this is fine, a win. I would think that the city is more concerned about the people who live and work in the area, then the general so called progressive "activist."

Is the Guardian cheering the the usual screaming unemployable idiots from across the city on this, thinking that it was them who pulled this off?

Or

Does the Steve and flunky conflate concerned neighbourhood citizen with activist?

If I went down there and complained I would prefer to be called neighbourhood resident as opposed "activist," because of the connotation of unemployable mental illness associated with Bay Guardian progressive "activist" types.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 5:09 pm

It must suck to still be possessed by "progressives."
Can't afford an exorcism?

For your search engine: exorcisms, sliding scale, san francisco

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

A white liberal in the 16th and Mission area that gets worked up over Jake Spade is an "activist," while a more varied group of the population that gets worked up over the parking meters is a "mob."

Interesting how your mind works.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 7:16 am

Micro-management by "he who shouts the loudest" isn't democracy - it is mob rule.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 7:40 am

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