RIP Giant Value

In case you haven’t heard, the Mission’s iconic Giant Value building is closing and being converted into “market-value” condos. Here’s what they will look like, next to the forthcoming renovation of the New Mission Theater:

[via Kwan Henmi Architecture]

Otto Venta recently snapped some shots from the current interior:

Over the past couple of weeks they have been liquidating their stock at 50% off, including the following near-luxury fragrances:

[photo via Chirp]

Even though I’ve only set foot in the building a handful of times, I’ve always admired the huge block letters on their facade and intimidating selection of 1970s deadstock goods at reasonable prices. What’s it going to be like in a post-Giant Value world? Will our children’s values not be as giant? Will the boxy condos stay true to the spirit of their ancestors and offer affordable housing? (Not-fucking-likely)

Check below for some of Mission Mission’s Giant Value posts over the years. And what the hell, if Giant Value meant anything to you, please share your fondest or worst memories in the comments. Maybe you picked up a bottle of BOOS cologne and it sealed the deal on a first date you were nervous about. Perhaps you remember how devastated the community was when they switched the words from “VALUE GIANT” to “GIANT VALUE”. Or how about that time Apple maps took you there when you were really trying to find the SF Giants ballpark?

Selected comments will be printed on a commemorative plaque to be installed in the sidewalk in front of the building. (Not-fucking-likely)

Sea lions overtake Giant Value building

I guess they were running out of barge space at Fisherman’s Wharf.

[Photo by fredsharples]


Looks like Medjool’s Gus Murard has been falling behind on payments for the dilapidated New Mission Theater and GIANT VALUE building and is possibly facing foreclosure from the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees.

According to the article, Murard planned to eventually convert the site to “affordable housing”. If this is true, he’ll totally save money on signage by just slapping “APARTMENTS” under “GIANT VALUE”.

Get the full scoop at the über-1337 M!$$!0n L0c@l.

GIANT VALUE Displaced Letters

Browsing the SF Historical Photo Collection, I saw this cerca 1975 picture of the Giant Value building on 22nd and Mission.

First, I noticed the cool pinstripe paint job on the façade. Then something else occurred to me: the word “GIANT” is actually in a different place than it is today. At some point, whoever took over the building moved it over to the left and added the word “VALUE” after it.

Here is a picture of the building as it stands today:

So the question remains, what was it before it was “GIANT VALUE”? ”VALUE GIANT”? “MOVIE GIANT”? “THE GIANT”? Surely, someone who was here before 1975 can provide the answer. Ha! Yeah right… most of you weren’t even BORN in 1975.

In any case, it will probably be CONDO GIANT in a couple of years.

Update: Burrito Justice Johnny0 to the rescue again (there’s a shocker):

It had changed to its current incantation by 1982 when it was “Giant Value Pharmacy”.

A bit more judicious googling shows us that PayLess bought out the “Value Giant” store chain in 1976. I bet that PayLess didn’t take keep our Mission store, and in order to keep lawyers happy, that particular pharmacy flipped the sign around to read “Giant Value” — pretty damn clever.

One Dollar Store To Rule Them All

If there’s one mama bear to all not-really-a-dollar-stores, it’s gotta be Giant Value on 22nd and Mission. I always find myself staring at it while waiting for the 49 bus and I snapped this sweet pic of it’s glorious façade over the weekend.

I honestly don’t understand how these businesses are sustainable. First of all, you got ten more shops on the same two block radius selling the same stuff. Secondly, that’s got to be one of the biggest buildings in the mission and rent can’t be cheap. With prices hovering somewhere near a dollar the profit margins can’t be that high.

It’s got to be a front for something. Maybe they are smuggling carne asada to the east coast.

Oh, and the Yelp reviews about the place are pretty hilarious. Not wolf T-shirt reviews hilarious, but still a good read:

“…here you can find home pregnancy tests that actually work for $1.49!!!  Because sometimes you need more than one test.”

“Granted there’s something a little off about their brands of breakfast cereals (does Tony The Tiger have pinkeye?)”

“…shop there before the hipsters infiltrate and buy all the jesus belt buckles and cans of pabst lite!”

“…it’s fun to buy something completely written in another language and just hope it does what you think it does.”

BTW, still no takers on that mission theater. Can’t one of you dot-com cash-outs buy it and open a theater full of couches that serves the People’s Beer and  plays awesome movies like Back to the Future and Ghostbusters?