Non-Profit Center to Replace Furniture Center

Beauty Bar’s getting a new neighbor! Mission Loc@l reports that Furniture Center will close within the week, to be replaced as soon as possible by a community-oriented non-profit citadel of sorts. Reader Mitch hipped us to the story, saying:

i met with Luis Granados, who is Director of MEDA, who are the “anchor occupant” and driving this real estate deal….he’s a really cool guy and MEDA are focused on economic AND asset development, which is awesome. they’re a very interesting, long standing group in the hood. i don’t know that much about the other groups…but from the websites they seem like exactly the kind of services folks in the hood could use…and have more accessible.

Granados said there are plans not only to move all these groups in, but to improve the property, put murals on the side, plant trees, etc.

All in all a great thing for everyone.

Link.

29 thoughts on “Non-Profit Center to Replace Furniture Center”

  1. Man, we got a nice couch from there, but boy did that salesguy really strongarm us into buying it with cash (maybe that was for the best, but i am a consistent buyer’s remorse shopper)! I am looking forward to the change when I can stop lusting after matching nightstands.

  2. No it isn’t good news, MEDA is totally an anti development organization. They would rather keep the status quo gang, drug, and violence infested state of the mission than work for positive change. For laughs look at how their valiant efforts to keep the armory from redevelopment resulted in Kink moving in. To bad they didn’t invest in Madoff, the mission would be a better place with out them.

  3. MEDA is the force behind the pending legislation banning all formula retail (with no exceptions for grocery stores, banks or non-profits like the Salvation Army) on all of the shopping streets in the Mission and Bernal (all of Valencia, all of Mission Street between I-280 and Division, 16th Street, 24th Street, Cortland) – the largest formula retail ban in the world. The New Mission Theatre had as many seats as Symphony Hall has…mom and pop businesses don’t have the means to use that kind of space – and the New Mission is only 1 of 6 empty theater buildings in the Mission. Just ask the founders of Farmacias Remedios (a Latino-owned pharmacy) how supportive MEDA is of economic development in the Mission. Luis Granados has done everything he possibly could to keep good jobs with a future out of the Mission.

  4. Don’t get me started on MAC which is even worse then MEDA. They both support each other on a lot of things, but there is no confusion here.

  5. so…MAC we know qre a little off the deep end when it comes to…well…everything. good intent, but pretty dogmatic and living in lala land, my opinion.

    but is MEDA in fact “behind” the formula retail thing?

    and did they do something wrong to the Farmacia (who are really nice people)?

    i do think MEDA are certainly on the left leaning end of things, but i’m not aware that they are quite so activist.

    would love to know.

  6. MAC, MEDA and Mission Housing Development Corp. are all tied together at the hip. Their objective is to keep property values down as low as possible so that they can continue to grow their non-profit empire. Luis Granados purports to represent mission residents which is far from the truth. In my opinion he would love nothing more than to incite a race war.

  7. The founders of Farmacia Remedios began renovating the space under MEDA, immediately thinking that they would partner with MEDA in activating that corner, upgrading the streetscape, eyes on the street, etc. MEDA did not support Farmacia, told them that they were gentrifying the corner, putting pressure on local businesses to pay higher rents, and undermining local businesses. In November, 2006, MEDA asked Tom Ammiano to introduce the formula retail ban – which will preclude any other Farmacias Remedios from opening on Mission (inner or outer), Valencia, 16th, 24th, etc. Farmacia Remedios has 11-some locations nationwide, with a business model of serving the medically under and uninsured with first-rate basic medical services, by licensed physicians, for flat fees, in Spanish. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2dSbVKRZbk

  8. Not to mention that MEDA took the money (to move into this new office space) from Wachovia, the king of the predatory lenders. MEDA is a xenophobic racist radical group that has no place in the Mission. They are universally reviled except by a radical fringe.

  9. I was wondering who was behind the “no formula retail in the Mission” ban, because it clearly was not any residents of the Mission. Anybody who looks at Mission or Valencia St. would realize that there is lots of underutilized retail space there and very little “formula” retail. In any case, it has always seemed to me that if the residents don’t like formula retail, they won’t shop there and it will fail. But if a formula retail flourishes it must be because the residents actually like shopping there — so why do MEDA, MAC and Ammiano claim to be representing the neighborhood when they try to ban it?
    (on a side note, it would be nice to have a decent gym in the area so I wouldn’t have to drive across town to one).

  10. so my understanding is that these groups make a lot of headway by bombing the supe office & the BoS meting with crowds of “activists”. it’s the reason, for example, that we can’t get more street cleaning. every time they try to bump the # of days, there’s a horde of folks storming ammiano’s office (now campos’ i guess) saying how horrible it would be that they need to move their cars one more day of the week, what a hardship on working people.

    garbage & used condoms in the street, apparently, that’s cool.

    how they rally 50 people in the middle of the day is beyond me, but there you go.

    or, let’s say we were talking about the gym going into the old abandoned theater. and they had their usual 50 screaming zealots at the hearing at 11am or 2pm or whenever it is.

    what if someone else, and i’m not naming names, came in with a petition signed by 1500 people who were in favor of the development. people from the neighborhood. people from across the socio-demographic array.

    would one trump the other? which would trump?

  11. Well, in the case of 3400 Cesar Chavez, the “1,500 people” (and their kids) from the Mission who live near the building prevailed to make sure that 60 entry-level homeownership units (minus 9 moderate-income units) were permitted – it’s being built now. MEDA sent its community organizers around to local businesses to say that the 24-hour Walgreen’s proposed as one of the commercial tenants for that building would threaten local businesses by selling beer and wine for less (Walgreen’s doesn’t sell beer or wine), forcing up adjacent commercial rents, and so on. But it’s difficult to organize such a public outcry, as most “public hearings” are during working hours when the average resident, and their families, are at work and/or school. MEDA/MAC/PODER/BHNC can tilt the existing processes in their favor by having plentiful staff who can attend hearings by getting paid to. Ironically, these non-profiteers receive the bulk of their funding from the City! Petitions don’t mean anything; it’s bodies at hearings, personal e-mails to Supervisors and Planning Commissioners, individual letters. MEDA is a core organizational member of MAC – see: http://mac-sf.org/index.html

  12. great info. why don’t petitions mean anything? too easy to get? what about an email campaign? or a website where people can comment?

    what’s a strategy for overcoming the fact that everyone who would come out IN FAVOR of this stuff is at work when the meetings hearings happen??

    there’s got to be a way, no? what did those folks that fought for 3400 do? take time off?

    sorry for all the questions.

    as SFdoggy says, and as i’ve written 1000000 times ad nauseum on here, there’s a lot of people in the hood that are simply not represented or given a voice in local politics because they’re not clearly on a particular list of underserved groups upon which a cottage NGO industry is built (homeless, latino, low income, etc).

    i’m NOT saying those folks dont deserve a voice…they do. and they deserve services and assistance and all that to boot. i am in favor.

    but so does everyone else deserve a voice. fact is, the hood is changing, and has changed…and it makes militant activist groups like MAC (and MEDA based on what i learned here) seem arcane and out of touch. grasping at straws, even.

    and damn if i dont think a 20000 sft gym on mission would be super cool, and well received by the whole hood, at a human, non political level. if for no other reason that it turns a blight into a business.

  13. @WRD: I definitely agree that the timing of these hearings can have a big impact; few people with jobs (whether they be minimum wage jobs or $100K/year) want to take an afternoon off to wait for hours to be able to say a few words to the the BOS. E-mail campaigns, letters to the editros etc. are probably the best way of exerting influence.

    As ZinZin says, providing social services etc. for the less well off is great and I fully support it. But trying to prevent any change in the Mission is unfair to the rest of the residents and, ultimately, just limits opportunities for those who need them most.

  14. seems to me everyone’s saying the same thing.

    so…

    what to do? while i think MEDA & MAC have a big headstart…i also think some like minded individuals could find a way… to make some headway.

    to date – with specific exceptions as cited by WRED re: 3400 Chavez – it’s pretty much grassroots “activists” vs. money-focused developers. the downtrodden vs. the trodders.

    seriously, MEDA has 20 people working there. MAC i think is bigger, but even so. there’s A LOT of people in the mission who i think would be interested in fostering some responsible, non-imperialistic, good-for-the-hood, lets-get-rid-of -the-blight-and-use-some unused-real-estate type development.

    i can’t believe that with a little organization, this type of thing couldn’t happen.

    anyone with me?

  15. Hell hath no fury like the MMC (Mission Mission Commentistas) scorned. I’m in.

    zinzin, this will be good experience for your run for D9 sup in 2012.

  16. Wow! This is some very interesting info. I’ve always had a feeling the “real” Mission residents weren’t the ones we’re portrayed as. Go ZINZIN!

  17. Zinzin,

    We have had the opportunity to interact with our city govenment twice, the first time was to get permit parking for 19th and 20th st from S. VanNess – Mission converted from meter to permit parking. We tried canvasing to get signatures, but people didn’t want to sign, and it was difficult to get any traction. Then, after the shootings in front of Cha Cha Cha, we talked to our neighbors, and formed an informal neighborhood watch group. Representing that group it was a world of difference. All of a sudden, via Tom Ammiano’s office who reached out to us, we were able to meet with the Mission Police station captain, meet the different officers working in the mission, and find out what the heck was going on with all of the violence.

    What it came down to in Supervisor Ammiano’s case is that he responds to organized groups. If you are an individual they don’t care all that much because there are other larger groups pressuring them. What the prior comment says is completely the case, because MAC, MEDA, Tenants Union, can send people to meetings, and represent themselves as a group they can get traction to skew the political process to favor themselves.
    I am all for a gym and some sensible and rationa plans for the mission, I gotta work, but would be happy to be part of a group that could meet 7:30 – 8:00ish, and the weekends.

  18. THANKS for the info.

    yah. i gotta work too. i hear ya.

    i’m going to do something about this though. i think it’s too big an opportunity to pass up. plus, i love meeting my neighbors. and i’d love to meet my fellow MMCs.

    i’ve threatened to offer up a little organization before. i’ll do it before early Feb. gotta find a spot to invite everyone to. i feel it may be more peeps than my living room can hold.

    if i need to start an organization, that’s cool with me. if i can piggyback onto someone else’s, that’s cool too. or a merge. or whatever.

    will ask Allan to post the invite when the time is right.

    thanks for the encouragement. think of the possibilities….

  19. There are a few established groups you might reach out to: Lower 24th Street Merchants and Residents Association, South Mission Neighborhood Coalition (SMNC), Northeast Mission Residents Association (NEMRA), San Jose/Guerrero Coalition to Save Our Streets, Rolph Park Neighborhood Association, Shotwell Neighbors, Fix 26, CC Puede, Southwest Mission Neighborhood Association (SWMNA), South of Cesar Chavez Neighborhood Association (SoCeCha), Treat Street Neighbors, Mission Merchants Association, Friends of Franklin Square Park, JuriCommoners, Friends of Dolores Park Playground, Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association. Captain Tacchini of Mission Station, the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development or the Small Business Assistance Center might be able to put you in touch with these groups if google doesn’t work.

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