Valencia merchants look to prevent Jack Spade from opening in Adobe’s former spot

While Adobe Books has fortunately managed to find a new home on 24th Street, the question of Liz Clairborne-backed Jack Spade moving into their former location still remains.  Among those opposed to the technicality-skirting men’s boutique is the Valencia Corridor Merchants Association (VCMA), who went to the Department of Building Inspection yesterday to log a complaint against the plans of Jack Spade to open up a 10th store on the Valencia Corridor.  Jefferson, Vice President of the VCMA, explains their case:

They had 7 stores when they applied for a LOD (Letter of Determination) from the Planning Department. Planning confirmed that they were not formula retail at the time but cautioned that if they opened up 3 more stores their status would change.

Next week the VCMA will finalize and submit a letter to the planning department to express the business communities’ opposition to their presence on the Valencia corridor.

Rumor also has it that Jack Spade craftily attempted to partner with Dave Eggers’ 826 Valencia in an effort to establish some neighborhood clout, but that the non-profit writing center turned them down.  It’s still too early to say how the city will respond, but could this situation unfold the same way as the Valencia American Apparel that never was?

[Photo via UA]

53 Responses to “Valencia merchants look to prevent Jack Spade from opening in Adobe’s former spot”

  1. timbo says:

    Someone needs to tell Jack and Liz that they’re not fooling anyone.

  2. bellpeppernostrils says:

    who gives a shit?

    we are all too poor and powerless to stop the change.

    go with it, join ye white and polo shirt wearing brethren and sing high from the mountain.

    • MrEricSir says:


      If there’s one thing all San Franciscans are empowered to do, it’s preventing change.

      • bellpeppernostrils says:

        you keep believing that sir.

        I appreciate the words you are saying but it would be wonderful if you could also grab your ankles……mkay, thanks.

    • Greg says:

      Sucks to be you

      • bellpeppernostrils says:


        it SUCKED to be me

        but then I learned how to make cocktails made of white tears.

        fuck, I’m drunk.

  3. confused says:


  4. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    Good luck. I hope that they can block the chainstores from coming in, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  5. PlayerH8R says:

    Yes, because a corporation opening a new store in this spot will have a major effect on your life. Let’s let some “noun-and-noun” eatery open there instead, and then we can have a dick-measuring contest over who takes the best instagram of their pork belly this and that.

    • MrEricSir says:

      Do you really want to see the rents go up even more?

      • aj says:

        rents are going up in either scenario. although, personally, i’d prefer the non-chain store high end chic to the chain store high end chic.

      • PlayerJ8R says:

        I really don’t care, I can afford my lifestyle, and then some! If you can’t, afford this city, GTFO~!


        • anadromy says:

          The city of Jack London, Mark Twain, Alan Ginsburg has now officially become … this.

          GTFO, indeed.

          What starts as tragedy ends in PlayerJ8R.


          • Mobity Mosely says:

            That’s true, somewhere along the way the 19th century turned into the 21st century. And what did you do to prevent it? Nothing! I hope you’re satisfied.

    • marcos says:

      “Noun-and-noun” eateries for color-noun dot.comers, oops that was the last bubble.

  6. Ken Cleaveland says:

    Do you really want the space to stay vacant for many more months waiting on a “mom and pop” retailer? A mix of big bad formula retail (since when is a company with 11 or more outlets world wide REALLY a chain store?)and local stores will probably help build customer traffic for everyone along the corridor. Let’s not be so xenophobic!

    • timbo says:

      Maybe there are only 10 Jack Spade stores, but you also need to consider the Kate Spade and Juicy Couture and Lucky Jeans stores, which expand the empire significantly, and they are all part of the same empire. And even this calculation excludes the innumerable department stores where one can also purchase these brands. In an admittedly extreme example, if McDonald’s branched out and created a gourmet artisanal hamburger brand, would we want to see the 10th of such stands on Valencia?

      • Ken Cleaveland says:

        Frankly, yes. It really boils down to what is being sold. Is it unique, interesting, high quality, and appealing to San Francisco customers? It’s not the ownership of a company that matters to most customers, it’s the product or service they buy. If it’s a pleasant, inviting shopping experience, and they’re happy with the purchase, I don’t think the vast majority of them care who or what company owns the store.

        • timbo says:

          Even assuming arguendo that it’s that so simple, Jack Spade’s offerings can hardly be said to be unique when they are readily available in countless department stores, including several in San Francisco. Further, it’s not a simple matter of San Francisco customers. No one is saying that Jack Spade shouldn’t be allowed to open a store in San Francisco. They’re saying Jack Spade shouldn’t be allowed to open a store on Valencia.

        • timbo says:

          Also, and I don’t mean this as a personal attack in any way, if you’re the Ken Cleaveland who is VP – Public Policy for SFBOMA, I’m fairly certain I’m not going to be able to make a believer out of you.

          • Ken Cleaveland says:


          • two beers says:

            Good catch, timbo. I’m sure Mr Cleaveland is a regular reader of this blog, and is very active in maintaining affordable living conditions for the long-time Mission residents.

            But I jest.

          • beer belly says:

            Amazing! How did you figure out who he was?

        • marcos says:

          Ken opposed the formula retail legislation that the voters passed by a decent margin. Residents want neighborhood character, Ken views our neighborhoods and we residents as problems, political and social, to be solved with a tsunami of private capital.

      • bellpeppernostrils says:

        hey you, shut the fuck up. the haight got a american apparel and its still going strong.

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      Yes, absolutely. Better empty than filled with chainstore crap.

  7. cranky young mission guy says:

    This is exactly what Jane Jacobs predicted:

    1) Fairly normal neighborhood starts to attract business that can push the envelope thanks to more-or-less affordable rents
    2) People visit neighborhood to see said envelope-pushing businesses
    3) People move to neighborhood, as it contains mix awesome businesses and boring everyday stores that make everyday life livable
    4) Rents rise.
    5) Only whatever businesses can most profitably use the neighborhood can afford rent
    6) Neighborhood becomes uniform, everyone leaves

    She argues that if landlords want to maintain the value of their investments, they should endeavor to keep a healthy mix of tenants. Otherwise, they’ll kill their own neighborhood. This happens again and again. It’s the same grim story, and it’s kind of frustrating to watch it unfold, knowing just what the end game is. It happened in NYC with bank branches when I lived there.

    • TJ says:

      6) Neighborhood becomes uniform, everyone leaves

      I can’t think of any instances in which this is actually true. And there are a ton of reasons rents are rising in this area that have nothing to do with the “mix awesome businesses” in the area. The reason rents are rising is because of a more general urban influx (certain demos that have traditionally gravitated to a suburban paradigm are moving back to an urban one) and a strong job market in SF/BA.

  8. scum says:

    I wish a Hooters would open there.

  9. Juanpablo says:

    I think the VCMA should fight any business that endeavors to occupy the space and make sure it stays empty forever. The space is far more valuable to them as a symbol of “don’t fuck with us” to merchants’ landlords. Think about it, a landlord threatens to raise rent and the business says, “hey do you want to be empty for the next year?” K, so let’s do that guys.

    • jp says:

      Unfortunately, it’s more likely that the most noisy members will get their rent tripled when their lease is up.

  10. two beers says:

    How long til it’s Diori, Chanel, Versace?

    A Jack Spade will suck, but the horse has left the barn. How many VCMA members were gleeful with the influx of techyuppies and the advent of the food bubble? The greedbomb has turned the Mission into a shitshow. The monster will now feed on local business. Adobe was just one of the first victims. Jack Spade will fit right in with the New Marina Tacoshitless vibe.

    Fuck the Mission, and fuck all y’alls who turned it to shit.

  11. bereal says:


    • The First Jack Spade says:

      Of course I have! Where else could I get ONE pair of jeans and ONE flannel shirt for only $700?

      • bellpeppernostrils says:

        yeah. true.

        i remember hating that place when it first came

        some years later its still there and I dont give shits abou tit

        • Jim Richards says:

          At least Self Edge, although ridiculously over priced, was started by a local SF couple who were actually into selvage jeans and wanted to open a retail space to sell them to the public. I’ve never been a fan of high end “couture” sh*t but I think it’s cool that they had this idea and were able to make it happen. If all the spaces where over run by chains people would not be able to start new small businesses and Valencia would be like a mall in San Jose.

  12. Milk Steak says:


  13. Schlub says:

    Not to sound overly dramatic, but let us not forget that a building in China collapsed this past week, killing hundreds of poor folks who were toiling away making cheap garments for these corporations.

    If there’s one really great thing about SF, it’s that the people here really do challenge these sorts of entities from establishing themselves so readily here.

  14. S.G. says:

    The VCMA has been bitching and moaning about the influx of restaurants and bars on Valencia and 24th, saying more they need more merchant shops. Now they’re whining about this store isn’t the “right” kind of store. What a bunch of NIMBYs.

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