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

I'm sure world capitalism feels a little less safe today.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

You are correct on both accounts. Business is used to local governments that finance their construction give them the zoning they want, and residents that don't care. A few people in Sf saying, "I don't think so," and making it stick?

That's like an occupy movement of 250 million people.

Posted by John Panzer on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 10:08 pm
Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 6:47 am

And which put the concepts of the 99% and the 1% in every household.

Posted by Hortencia on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 9:47 am
Posted by anon on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

Nope, we mean the movement that fizzled when cops wouldn't stop arresting, harassing, beating, lying about, and stealing property from peaceful protestors.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

Don't forget about undercover police infiltrating, all while the entire sleazy law enforcement reaction was coordinated by the Federal Government.
In spite of all that money and energy expended by the Republicans and the Democrats, Occupy changed the entire course of the american dialogue on power, wealth and banking.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

Seriously, that is the funniest thing I have read here in a long time. Thanks for making my day.

So not showering has forever changed this country? The banks didn't get bailed out? Home prices and stock prices didn't return to their all-time high? Bankers' bonuses on Wall Street aren't back up to the stratosphere? Foreclosures didn't happen by the million?

Really? Is that on a different planet to the one I inhabit?

Posted by anon on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 4:17 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. 11, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

Occupy was in dozens of cities and they all went home as soon as winter arrives.

Well maybe they stuck around a little longer in the southern hemisphere.

Posted by anon on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 4:18 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. 11, 2013 @ 5:06 pm

Another "informed" citizen with an opinion who stopped watching TV every time another SWAT team violently attacked an Occupy encampment in the middle of the night...o right that wasn't on TV which is why this reader thinks Occupy activists got bored...

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 11:24 am
Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

Yeah...maybe next time somebody should just take a picture of the swat team violently attacking the occupy camp.

Just sayin.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

then it would still be around today, rather than running away when the rains came.

Posted by anon on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

apparently you've never heard of Occupy Sandy

see

http://tinyurl.com/jwgn4su

Posted by racer x on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 1:23 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. 12, 2013 @ 1:32 pm
Posted by racer x on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 1:20 pm
Posted by racer x on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 1:34 pm
Posted by barrier on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

But there were dozens of Occupy camps and very few were closed down by the cops.

Most closed down out if declining interest and bad weather.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

camps making it nearly impossible to keep them going

eventually most of the occupiers gave up trying to symbolically hold on to the encampments, and instead chose other more productive and useful routes for the movement

and these other tactical directions are underway all over the country, actively making the world a better place

Posted by racer x on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 4:26 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. 12, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

The SF Occupy camp was offered property by the city but they decided that they'd rather go home to mom.

Occupy was disbanded in many other cities without any police action.

What kind of person intent on changing society goes home as soon as the cops show up? Where was the commitment?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

complete bullshit

repeating manufactured fairy stories doesn't actually make them true Joseph G....

Posted by racer x on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

would still be having influence and an effect now, rather than being just an amusing historical footnote.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 5:38 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. 12, 2013 @ 6:07 pm
yes

that is exactly correct

there was a carefully planned nation offensive coordinated by FBI/Homeland Security, corporations, and city mayors from all over the country

which involved massive repeated violent police attacks on protesters; and other tactics like repeatedly removing food, shelter, and sanitation facilities

and none of this was ever reported in the mainstream media

it was however reported in the UK Guardian

see:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/nov/25/shocking...

and

http://markcrispinmiller.com/2011/11/raids-on-ows-coordinated-with-obama...

Posted by racer x on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 1:07 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. 12, 2013 @ 1:25 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. 12, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

But mostly Occupy fizzled out on it's own due to apathy and disinterest.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2013 @ 3:50 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. 12, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

residents"? That's a total non sequitur.

But then I guess activists will say anything to try and impose their non-democratic views on the majority.

Posted by anon on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

Jake Spade was the source of all rising rents and evictions in the neighborhood. Their defeat signals a return to the San Francisco of 25 years ago. It's all very exciting!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

Was a cesspool of drugs , gangs and murders. We should be happy we are going back to that?

Posted by Whackamole on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 10:44 am

Scratch back the thin veneer of those great eateries and bars that we love, and there is a lot of crime, based partly out of the SRO's that are still allowed to operate there, and partly from the hispanic gangs.

The SRO's, in particular, are full of people out of prison, rehab, mental institutions and others who know very little but begging, drug use and petty crime.

The gentrification of the Mission has made the place a lot better. It is again safe for white people to go there in the evening. But it also has a long way to go. It will improve thru more and better business, and not because of a few noisy activists - in fact, they stand in the way of progress.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 10:57 am

Is this post a joke? Is it supposed to be ironic? Or was it really written by a white supremacist robber baron with sweepingly simplistic and heartless views of SRO tenants?

It's amazing, regardless. You go, Whitey, keeping it real since 1776.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

It merely painted a socio-economic canvas of a particular neighborhood, chronicling both how far it has progressed and how far it still has to go.

But if you have a problem with 1776, maybe it is you that it the white supremicist.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

Fuck 1776; that bullshit's been going on since Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 6:32 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. 11, 2013 @ 6:42 pm
Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2013 @ 6:42 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. 11, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

Well as long as you are "KEEPING IT REAL" if San Francisco had been kept as part of Mexico, YOU WOULD HAVE TO ESCAPE TO OREGON to have a decent life. Yes white people are the problem, NOT!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 14, 2013 @ 8:57 am

Yeah, I wouldn't want to open a store either if all the people in the neighborhood threatened to jack off on it.

http://sfist.com/2013/10/10/jack_spade_protest_jack_off.php

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

Slow The Man Down

(To the tune, of course, of "Blow The Man Down")

As I took a walk on Valencia Street,
Slow down, slow the Man down!
Some big, gleaming chain stores my poor eyes did greet -
Give us some time to slow the Man down!

There was Jack Spade and Kate Spade and Starbucks as well,
Slow down, slow the Man down!
a big Cinnabon and a new Taco Bell,
Give us some time to slow the Man down!

But gone was the bookstore where I used to shop,
Slow down, slow the Man down!
And gone the small market run by Mom and Pop,
Give us some time to slow the Man down!

Our Lieutenant Governor Newsom was there,
Slow down, slow the Man down!
And Mayor Lee, grinning, the limelight to share,
Give us some time to slow the Man down!

They had just cut a ribbon to open the place,
Slow down, slow the Man down!
But something about it seemed slightly off base,
Give us some time to slow the Man down!

The customers there were all strangers to me,
Slow down, slow the Man down!
And the prices they showed were high as could be,
Give us some time to slow the Man down!

Where there were once apartments those chain stores replaced,
Slow down, slow the Man down!
There were pricey boutiques far too rich for my taste,
Give us some time to slow the Man down!

"Our very next site," Mayor Lee told the press,
Slow down, slow the Man down!
"will be at this spot - - - - " and he named my address!
Give us some time to slow the Man down!

Said Lee, "Money talks here, and Real Estate rules!"
Slow down, slow the Man down!
"And don't mind protestors, they're nothing but fools!"
Give us some time to slow the Man down!

But what can we do, with our City betrayed?
Slow down, slow the Man down!
And who sold our rights to the likes of Jack Spade?
Give us some time to slow the Man down!

So don't make it easy - - stand up and be heard,
Slow down, slow the Man down!
And don't let them sell you a gold-plated turd!
Give us some time to slow the Man down!!!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 13, 2013 @ 7:10 am

this is simply a troll barricade

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. 13, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

I agree "this is simply a troll barricade

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 Military Combat on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

Barrier is dead. Or rather, Lilli got neutralized.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

Apparently no one noticed that a Blu Dot furniture store just opened around the corner on Valencia. Gentrification happened long ago, people!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

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