27 thoughts on “American Apparel Space For Rent”

  1. let’s count the days, shall we?

    and the number of bums sleeping in the doorway,
    the number of tags on the walls & windows,
    and the cubic feet of trash accumulated…

    before this baby rents.

    i hope it’s soon.

  2. Way to go, blinkered NIMBY assholes. Another graffitied, litter-strewn empty storefront will certainly help preserve the rich, unique character of south Valencia! That’ll teach those damn successful local businesses to try to relocate here!

    Why yes, I’m still angry. Why do you ask?

  3. Now it’s time for all those people who spoke at the zoning board hearing about how they had tried for years to rent a storefront on Valencia but couldn’t to step up. Otherwise, someone is likely to call “bullshit” on you.

  4. unfortunately, there’s likely a kernel of truth in chicken’s assertion that landlords are “warehousing” storefronts on valencia, holding out for higher rents than the current economic climate will bear…or that folks think is “fair”…

    that’s the free market at work. democracy, pursuit of happiness, etc. one can’t force a landlord to rent at the price one wants.

    just because a location is “perfect” for a given business (antique sex toys, beekeeper rigs, expensive denim, boutique electroshock therapy, or what have you) doesn’t mean your business plan will allow you to afford the rent at that location.

    you can thank paxton gate, ritual, et al for that.

    ah well…only a matter of time. economic pendulum will swing.

    i hope it’s soon.

  5. There is an amazing outdoor patio out back. When the Mark Sanchez campaign was there, the joke was that if he decided to quit the race (we didn’t talk about losing… hmmm. Awkward.)– we could just open a brunch spot.

  6. If they put another taqueria in this spot, I’m going to protest. After all, there are already taquerias in the neighborhood. Can’t people just walk to one of those? Do we want all these taquerias taking up retail space, driving up the cost of rent for Paxton Gates and Ritual? If we stopped letting taquerias into the neighborhood, and even got rid of a few others, the rent for our local artists will decline. Please zoning board, put an end to the homogenization of our neighborhood. Another taqueria will just create undue competition for those that already exist.

  7. Speaking of warehousing, or just-not-using, what’s going on with Valencia between 25th and 26th?

    – Suriya Thai — closed, or sleeping? First a liquor license notice, now seems locked up — sheriff’s eviction notice on the door.
    – The Window Shop, big dumpster out front full of wood, guys cleaning it out
    – Groger’s Western Store. I’m dying of curiosity to know what the story is on this place.

    All would make good restaurants.

    To discourage warehousing, how about the city hikes up the property tax on things commercially zoned that are left empty for longer than a year?

  8. Johnny0: I happened to walk past Suriya Thai on sunday afternoon, and some of the owners were in the process of emptying it out and setting up most of their furniture for people to haul away. They were somewhat reticent to talk about the specifics of what happened (and fair enough, I was just a random dude wandering by): really all they would say was that they lost their lease. In any case, I’m really sorry to see them go: I loved having a really good thai place within a block of my apartment.

    If people are concerned about warehousing, I suggest an honest and potentially agonizing re-appraisal of San Francisco’s rent laws: nothing is going to make a landlord more wary of renting a property in a down market than the suspicion that he or she will be stuck with a sub-market lease in perpetuity should a neighborhood ever bounce back.

  9. Does anyone seriously think “warehousing” occurs? By warehousing, I’m assuming you mean foregoing reasonable offers by prospective tenants willing to pay market rents. The theory seems to be that an owner would do this in hopes that someone will come along willing to pay a supramarket rent on the unit. This scenario is unlikely given: 1) Why would anyone agree to pay a supramarket price?; 2) A landlord could not demand a supramarket price because there is competition in the real estate market, even on uber-desirable Valencia street. High demand does not mean lack of competition.; and 3) Keeping a unit vacant for months on end means foregoing serious rental income.

    The whole theory is implausible. I’d be interested in hearing from owners of these buildings that are supposedly being “warehoused.”

  10. @piratesnack – i dont think ACTUAL “warehousing” occurs…i dont think the landlords are proactively conspiring, purposefully keeping places shuttered and / or unavailable, waiting for abercrombie to go in there, or waiting for some sap to ACTUALLY pay 4x market rate (which was the scuttlebutt re: AA’s rent).

    i do think that many potential entrepreneurs, particularly first-timers that that think valencia would be “perfect” for their business, have no idea how much it costs to i) be a landlord and ii) rent space / run a store on the hottest retail lane in the city.

    thus, the perception of “warehousing” occurs…in many cases the prospective LL won’t even talk to them because they are too green, have no biz credit history, obviously can’t afford the lease, or the retail idea is too seemingly unstable (vintage sex toys?) to take the risk.

    so why WOULDN’T a LL sit on a property (for as long as they can) till they get a prospective tenant that they think is a good risk? they would. and they do. and i would too, if i was a commercial LL.

    and btw…”market rate” goes up EVERY YEAR along with LL costs, taxes, etc (maybe 2009 will be an exception). very rarely does it deflate. most likely, even ritual & paxton gate have a sweeter deal compared to what the Bee Store is likely paying….and whatever will go into the empty spot here, too.

  11. zinzin: If all that is meant by “warehousing” is that landlords reasonably opt not to tenants that are poor risks, have bad credit, or otherwise appear unlikely to fulfill their lease obligations, then I agree that this definitely happens. But then my question is, “So what?” Would it make sense to have it any other way? Would we coercively compel landlords to take on such risks?

    I’m not sure what your point is about market rates increasing every year. Leases are for a term, and are renegotiated when the term expires. I understand there is rent control for residential units in S.F., which actually does encourage “warehousing” of residential units. Is there a similar law for commercial space? If there is, it is surely an ill-advised policy.

  12. @pirate – we are aligned.

    my point was, actual “warehousing” doesn’t / can’t really happen on any scale (for all the reasons you cite), but LL’s will wait for the right tenant…which are few & far between. so potential renters might see that as “warehousing”, mostly because they don’t get what they want.

    and i agree…the appropriate response is “so what?” (actually, i would say “fuck you” if put in that situation, but that’s me.)

    commercial leases do have a term (and no control, far as i know). “market rate” for a new lease generally increases over time. again…”so what?” that’s the cost of doing business.

    as i said, we are aligned.

  13. zinzin. I see what you are saying now. I think you make a good point about how a person seeking to open a store might see this as “warehousing.” I recall at the AA hearing, at least one person spoke up about how AA should not be allowed in because landlords had been unwilling to rent space to her for her business. I think there is a good chance that what was really happening was what you describe — the person did not seem like a good risk for the landlord and not some conspiracy by landlords to only rent to chain stores, as was implied.

  14. These landlords want to charge rent! Can you believe it? My parents always gave me everything I wanted — why won’t the f’ing landlords do the same!?!

  15. I think one of the issues here is that many of these vacant storefronts (including 988) need extensive work in order to make the usable as a retail space. This can be very expensive, particularly if ADA compliance or seismic retrofitting are required. A landlord may not want to do that for a tennant that has a high chance of going out of business in a year and undercapitalized purveyors of obscure products (which is apparently the only thing allowed on Valencia St.) can’t afford to do it. So store fronts sit empty.

    I also think that some landlords have plans to do something themselves some day so they aren’t eager to rent (that may be why La Rondalla location is still closed and hasn’t been rented to someone else.)

  16. How about a check cashing place? It could serve the community that all of the protestors were trying to protect from the gentrification of american apparel.

  17. Too bad we can’t get something useful and locally-owned in that space, such as a clothing business based in our state for example. One that manufactures goods in the US, and contributes to our nation’s and state’s economy and all that.

  18. zinzin, thanks again for bringing sense to the table regarding these issues. Just to change the subject sort of. I think many people would be surprised how many empty flats there are standing in the Mission. Many homeowners just do not want to deal with a renter,(with SF rental laws and advocacy groups) they may never be able to get rid of. I’m sure everyone here has had the roommate from hell. Imagine having a tenant from hell living downstairs or upstairs in your flat and being helpless to get them out and/or when they do leave, discover that they have trashed the place. My family experimented with renting our upstairs flat and my mother was in tears for nearly six months. Seven “family members”of the man who signed the lease moved in, each putting padlocks on all their doors. They also brought cockroaches that were living in their stereo equipment, that quickly spread to the rest of the house. Finally it was discovered the person who signed the lease was actually living in Los Angeles. It was a good thing as it gave my parents a way to get the so called “family members” out. My family knows so many people with similar stories. I think many of the renter groups are only causing less rentals to be available as some home owners rather opt to let flats stay empty.

  19. So, where’s the super-organized letter-writing campaign and community action to fill this space, and all the other empty spaces? Or is that level of commitment only reserved for keeping businesses out?

  20. Clap clap hipsters, way to stop a business from coming in and offering jobs to the community. Where do you guys work exactly??

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