Archive for the ‘bidness’ Category

The Danger of Offering a “No Tax Sale” is What the Board of Equalization Will Think About It

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Cause this kind of ad, as seen on Geary, might suggest that nobody is going to pay the sales tax for the purchase of your overpriced* mattress.

And I’ll tell you, our BoE doesn’t really care who pays them the money as long as it gets paid. So something like “We Pay Your Sales Tax” is preferred.

Just saying.

*I need a commissioned salesperson to buy a bed? I didn’t have one when I bought my car, so why should I have one for a simple mattress purchase? Anyway, something like this will work for you.

 

Build It And They Will Come: New City Target Store at Geary and Masonic is a Huge Success – And It’s So Big

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Well, you know, the rich, home-owning, millionaire NIMBY ladies of NOPNA (the number one homeowner’s association in the Western Addition) had steam coming out of their ears a few years back when they realized how hopeless their plan of keeping Tar-ghey from infecting their “NoPA” neighborhood was becoming.

Good times.

Oh well.

Mervyn’s Heights is now Target Tor and NoPA (North of the Panhandle) is now SoTA (South of Target). See?

Lots of produce here – a surprising amount.

And the amount of traffic is up, way up. Just like people said would happen. We’ll have to see how things shake out. I myself saw a fender bender on Masonic that prolly wouldn’t have occurred but for the Target Grand Opening yesterday.

Oh, and the traffic lights have been jiggered with, for better or worse. These days, peds at Masonic and Anza need to wait for a looong red light and then after that they need to wait for southbound traffic to turn left. In effect, the peds are going “last.” This kind of thing was considered unacceptable by the SFBC down at Masonic and Fell not too long ago. Mmmm…

Anyway, I can’t figure why some chain stores in SF are good and others are bad – I can’t find consistency in Planning is what Im saying,

But here it is.

Enjoy.

Expect more, pay less.

Hey, are Ridesharing Companies Allowed to Chalk Advertisements onto the Sidewalks of Market Street? Check Out UberX

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Uh oh

“NO WALL ON THE WATERFRONT” – Catching Up with the Fate of that Horrible 8 Washington Project – Vote Coming

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Well, here’s the word on the street:

Click to expand

But I guess if you’re unregistered political lobbyist Rose Pak or one of her stencil voters, you prolly want to vote yes on waiving a five-decade-old waterfront height limitation.

In that case, you’re going to want to go here, at the laughable and brand-new Open Up The Waterfront website.

(If Goebbels could have made up websites, he’d have had Open Up Alsace-Lorraine and Open Up The Sudetenland, you know, talking about how pedestrians would benefit after the Third Reich took over.)

Uh, Rose Pak, didn’t we already help pay for your taxpayer-subsidized condo in District 6? Isn’t that enough?

This has been your ”NO WALL ON THE WATERFRONT” 8 Washington update.

Oh, and look at all the SPUR losers what actually want this thing built:

Executive Director
Gabriel Metcalf
Urban Center Director
Diane Filippi
Vice Chairs
Lee Blitch
Mary McCue
Bill Rosetti
Jim Salinas, Sr.
Lydia Tan
V. Fei Tsen
Treasurer
Bob Gamble
Secretary
Tomiquia Moss
Immediate Past Chair
Tom Hart
Advisory Counci l
Co-Chai rs
Michael Alexander
Paul Sedway
Board Members
Carl Anthony
David Baker
Fred Blackwell
Chris Block
Margo Bradish
Larry Burnett
Michaela Cassidy
Charmaine Curtis
Gia Daniller
Oscar De La Torre
Kelly Dearman
Shelley Doran
Oz Erickson
Norman Fong
David Friedman
Gillian Gillett
Chris Gruwell
Anne Halsted
Dave Hartley
Mary Huss
Chris Iglesias
Laurie Johnson
Ken Kirkey
Travis Kiyota
Patricia Klitgaard
Florence Kong
Rik Kunnath
Ellen Lou
Janis MacKenzie
John Madden
Jacinta McCann
John McNulty
Chris Meany
Ezra Mersey
Mary Murphy
Paul Okamoto
Brad Paul
Chris Poland
Teresa Rea
Byron Rhett
Wade Rose
Victor Seeto
Elizabeth (Libby) Seifel
Chi-Hsin Shao
Raphael Sperry
Bill Stotler
Stuart Sunshine
Michael Teitz
Will Travis
Jeff Tumlin
Steve Vettel
Debra Walker
Brooks Walker, III
Cynthia Wilusz-Lovell

Instead of Paying Its Taxes, Twitter Offers Up a “Safer 6th Street” Focus Group This Saturday at Noon

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Here’s what 6th and Stevenson is like today

Auweia – click to expand

…and here’s the vision for its future, below.

So, just as the horrible SFMTA recently conducted focus groups on the future of Polk, 6th Street is getting its turn.

I’ll tell you, if I were in charge of making 6th street safer, I don’t think I’d put  “Slower Cars” at the top of the list.

How about “Less Untreated Mental Illness” instead?

Anyway, our blessed SFMTA will be  hosting ”an interactive activation project on 6th Street (between Market and Stevenson)” on May 18th, 2013.

And Twitter will be there too, sort of.

In a better world, Twitter would participate because it wants to, not because it’s contractually obligated to do so.

(And Twitter would pay its fair share of taxes under the rules signed into law by that wild job-killing radical, Gavin Newsom, all the way back in 2004.  Twitter, just give me your tax returns and I’ll figure how much more you should have paid and then you can write a check for the difference and send it in to the General Fund.)

NEWSFLASH: The people from the residential hotels you don’t like on 6th Street aren’t going anywhere.

By law.

Oh, and lots of people working at Twitter would still prefer to labor in northern San Mateo County, just saying.

Anyway, on with the show:

Slower Cars. More sidewalk space. More mid-block crossings. Brighter lighting. Cleaner streets. These are among the ideas and desires recently expressed by the local community for a safer 6th Street.

Safer 6th Street is a collaboration between SFMTA, District 6 Supervisor’s Office, Twitter, Neighborland, SPUR, URBAN SPACEship and other community organizations to address the issue of safety in the 6th Street corridor, and gather further input from the local community as to what can be done to create a safer area for residents, workers and passersby alike.

There is an on-going community process to implement safety measures in the 6th Street corridor, including:

Sixth Street Improvement Project led by SFMTA, for permanent traffic calming and pedestrian improvements in the corridor

Supervisor Jane Kim’s District 6 Pedestrian Safety Workgroup, which has been advocating for traffic calming on Sixth Street for the past several years

- Activation projects led by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Workforce and Development

- The recent establishment of The Sixth Street Safety Hub, an SFPD sub-station

In alignment with this process, we ask – how can we, as a community, create a safer 6th Street?

On Saturday, May 18th, between 12-6pm we will be hosting an interactive activation project on 6th Street (between Market and Stevenson), to engage the community and gather ideas and feedback towards this question, with the aim of envisioning a vibrant area and helping to prioritize treatments to the 6th Street design.

Pick your medium – we’ll have a Neighborland board for you to freely write on, a Twitter photo booth, and a collaborative mural installed by ArtIsMobilus.

Until then, share your ideas and comment on others here or on Twitter using the hashtag #safer6th. Through a new integrated platform between Neighborland and Twitter, your tweets will display on the Question page. Any tweets that start with “I want …” and contain the hashtag will auto-magically become ideas on the Question page.

Come join and take part in creating action on the ground!”

“City Target” Store Opening October 13th at “City Center 3.0″ – Geary & Masonic – Mervyn’s Heights is Now Target Tor

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Brand-new giant signs like this one never lie:

Click to expand

I’ll tell you, area NIMBYs got steamrolled on this one. It’s not that certain millionaire, property-owning ladies residing west of the Western Addition and south of North of NoPA are happy about this situation, but they didn’t get any traction due to massive community support, particularly from younger, non-millionaire mom-types, right?

And, I mean if you purchase your Great Estate next to a shuttered Mervyns with hundreds and hundreds of empty parking spaces, well, you gotta figure something’s going to replace it sooner or later.

So that’s it - Mervyn’s Heights is now Target Tor.

And NoPA (which actually isn’t north of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle, take a look at a map sometime) should now be called SoTA, South of Target.

All hail the second coming of City Target to the 415.

The Truth About Elizabeth Stampe and Walk to Work Day: A Front for Real Estate Development – “Paramount Group, Inc?”

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Here’s the bus ad:

Click to expand

And here’s the punchline:

Paramount Group is going on the offensive on the waterfront, trying to build early community support for a planned 350-foot-tall condominium tower at 75 Howard St. in San Francisco.”

Wow, a war metaphor plus the word “offensive” in the same sentence as the “350-foot-tall condominium” that’s to be on the waterfront. Let’s call that a two-fer.

Oh, and who’s the spokesmodel for 75 Howard? Well, if Hitler came back from the dead and wanted to make money erecting tall buildings right near The Embarcadero, he’d dump Goebbels and hire … former Willie Brown spokesmodel PJ Johnston:

“On Jan. 10, Paramount held a community meeting to gather comments from neighbors. ‘This is a voluntary step on our part,”’ said project spokesman P.J. Johnston. ‘It’s not required, but it seems like the right thing to do.”*

So it all comes together.

Enjoy your new building, SoMA!

And people, if you have the luxury of walking to work every day, then sure, why not do it?

Specialties: Policy advocacy, strategic communications, campaign planning, nonprofit management, communications coaching and spokesperson training, media outreach, writing, editing, research, and yoga teaching too”

* On Jan. 10, 1939, the Third Reich held a community meeting to gather comments from non-German speaking neighbors of the Sudetenland. ’This is a voluntary step on our part,’ said project spokesman Joseph “PJ” Goebbels. ’It’s not required by the Munich Agreement, but it seemed like the right thing to do.’

The World’s Largest Gun Safe is On Display Now at the SoMA Costco – $3000, 48-Gun Capacity – “KEEP YOUR ADVENTURE SAFE”

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The world’s first urban Costco gets some unusual items sometimes, huh?

Click to expand

But it only holds 48 guns? Is that enough?

I’ll hold out for the 64-gun model, you know, to keep my “adventure” safe.

That’s It! The City Target Store at Geary and Masonic is a Done Deal – Work Has Begun – It Won’t Be Long Now!

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

See?

Aslan is on the move at Mervyn’s Heights:

Click to expand

And if that’s not enough for you, somebody hung a sign what says City Target (although it’s all bunched up so I couldn’t see it clearly.

So that’s it.

Did you know that Target likes opening new stores in October (in addition to, for some reason, April and July, I think)? It’s true.

All right, let’s travel down memory lane all the way to 2010, below.

CONGRATULATIONS. TARGET. WELCOME!

Enjoy:

[Oh, and BTW, those NOPNA NIMBIES were all crestfallen when they saw the reaction to Target's community meeting three years ago. Consider this Target a crushing defeat for the millionaire homeowners of the Western Addition NOPA.]

“Boy oh boy, at least a couple certified San Francisco NIMBYs had steam coming out of their ears after seeing the warm reception the Target Team got last night. Oh well.

SFist has the reaction, and Alan Wang of KGO-TV / ABC7 has the story, and, oh, here are bits from SF.StreetsBlog‘s hardworking Matt Baumethe Face Book, Dain Fitzgerald, Beth “target! target! target!” SpotswoodBike NOPA, Zach Perkins, and Katie Worth. (Interestingly, SFGate, San Francisco’s Internet Newspaper, has nothing about Our Empty Mervyn’s today, just a bit on Target’s new Harlem joint in New Yawk.)

The upshot on yesterday’s event from the Twitter:

Not a single NIMBY hysteric. Just very understandable concerns and questions. Wow SF, sometimes your reasonability surprises me!”

Well, the NIMBYs will just have to bide their time. They’ll have to put their thinking caps on to combat the likes of lovely Target-fanatic Charlize Theron and her loyal pet, Bullseye. Too bad C.T. wasn’t in town, maybe she could have dropped by and warmed up the nabe (51 F. and windy windy) yesterday evening. Or Heidi Klum, whomever.

And oh, here’s a bit from a rich yuppie* who lives in the the Western Addition (but doesn’t know it). Apparently, he was too busy taking photos with his expensive camera with its expensive image stabilized lens (to later process on his expensive Apple computer) to address the crowd. Oh well.

Now, on with the show:

Step right in for the Community Meeting:

Click to expand

Roam the halls, if you want:

Big, in’nt? About 100,000 square feet big:

But what’s this, “I Heart Target?” What kind of NIMBY meeting is this?

It’s not a NIMBY meeting at all, it’s a YIMBY affair, it’s like when can you move in, Target?

Mercy! Moving on…

Regional Development Manager John Dewes introduced himself to the crowd to kick things off. He said he was here in town “to talk and listen.”

Of course the 130 assembled San Franciscans (mas o menos, that was my nose count) had notes for Target’s straight-outta-Minneapolis Away Team, don’t you know. We had some ideas to express while noshing on straight-outta-the-SoMA-Costco biscotti and Brownie Bites.

But before all that, let’s look at some renderporn du Tar-GHEY:

That was the Geary frontage, here’s the Masonic si-iiiide:

What an improvement:

And what’s this, wind turbines on top? Yes:

The whole shebang will be in the Heart of the City, near the Masonic Trader Joes:

Here’s the close-up:

And just look at all the bus stops:

And here’s the pitch, from straight-out-of-Central-Casting architect Thom Lasley.

Target could open by early 2012, if all things go well. Generally, they open stores during the months of April, July and September, so there you go. This store would have less than 100,000 square feet of selling space, so it will be considerably smaller than a typical suburban Target, which offers you about 135,000 sq.ft. to peruse. Still, a Target is a Target so the product mix wouldn’t be too far off from what you’d expect.

Now comes Question and Answer Time.

1. Howard Epstein, Chair of San Francisco Republican(!) Party, asked about the number of employees at the store. The Masonic outlet would have about 250 employees, as would the proposed Target store down at Metreon in SoMA. Nobody could hazard a guess as to how much these stores would add to the tax base.

2. The Target Team will look into trip generation, the amount of increased activity in the area. They are well aware that they won’t be getting “traditional suburban guests.” Their customers will be younger and be more likely to bike or walk to and fro.

3. District 2 resident and political candidate and mom Kat Anderson asked about the hiring of seniors and students, the availability of a delivery service and whether T would participate in a bike share program. This garnered the replies you’d expect from fashionable Target Communications Manager Sarah Bakken. (Currently, Target does not deliver from stores anywhere in America.)

4. A University Terrace resident said her neighbors supported the proposal. Her daughter inquired about the availability of mac and cheese.

5. A resident from just across the street “loves” T but worries over parking.

6. Another local pushed for the use of renewable energy and local contractors when building time begins.

7. A pushy woman voiced concern over gender and age discrimination when hiring-time starts. Still, she thinks T would be “wonderful for the neighborhood.”

8. A Ewing Terrace resident worried about delivery times and hoped that they wouldn’t come at night. John Dewes said that there would be three to four truck deliveries per week. Then he responded to a question about a development timeline. We’re still way at the beginning now, a conditional use permit and approval from the Planning Department are a ways down the road. However, since the proposal would be just an “interior remodel,”  no CEQA-style environmental impact report should be required. Anyway, project approval could come by the end of 2010.

9. A woman fretted about the line of cars on Masonic due to the nearby Trader Joes and wondered if Target would consider the use of parking attendants to direct drivers. John Dewes “doesn’t see that kind of congestion” on the horizon for Target.

10 A Duboce Park resident polled the neighbors in his building – these are people he knows shop at Target owing to all the shopping bags he sees getting recycled. He said 19 out of 20 people he surveyed supported the Target store on Masonic. He feels sales tax revenue should go to San Francisco instead of Colma. He was surprised to see the crowd’s support of the project given that ”all you hear in the media” is that San Francisco is “anti-chain.”

11. A woman reminded us all that San Francisco is a “transit first city,” so she asked whether toilet paper come in something less than a 36 pack. The answer is that 12-packs would be available in light of special circumstances of San Francisco shoppers.

12. A younger fellow asked T to post hearing dates on a website so that pro-Target residents could “pack the hearings.” (Two known area NIMBYs reacted in disgust, kind of smirking at each other.)

13.  Another person worried about the increase in traffic exiting on O’Farrell and also about the closeness of Trader Joes. Thom Lasley assured all that the food sold at the two stores would complement each other. TJ’s would continue to have higher end stuff while T would focus on “staples.”

You get the idea. It went on and on.

Now, let’s hear from the pols. Hardworking Richmond District Supervisor Eric Mar et filia Jade took a bunch of notes but then had to leave for another appointment:

District 5 Supe Ross Mirkarimi came to express his concerns over traffic on Masonic, local hiring, and the Geary B.R.T.

He’s seen here with property-owning KLA Geary L.L.C. representative Adam Miller, Target Communcations Manager Sarah Bakken, and Tar-chitect Thom Lasley:

Speaking of pols, aforementioned District 2 candidate Kat Anderson was a fireball of energy, typing up a mess of notes on her MacBook and graciously forwarding them to me:

Here’s just part of her shorthand:

“Target started in 1962 but grew out of Dayton Hudson (1946 policy instituted to give 5% back to the communities of our stores, which is $3 million per week).  Within the Bay Area last year, community giving was almost $ 1 mill in SF and $3 mill in the Bay Area.   (ie, last week:  Arts and Wonder.  Nonprofits going back to 1991 inc. SF Aids Foundation, Asian Art, de Young, Take Charge of Education, support to 85 schools in SF; even tho’ we don’t have a store in SF, we know that many of our guests live in SF.”

Kat typified the crowd, supporting the proposal but also expressing concern about specific issues.

Now, who else was there - how about Bill Barnes, aide to District 2 Supervisor Michela Alioto Pier, and Alex Tourk, Founder of Ground Floor Public Affairs?

The whole thing went on and on until after 8:00 PM.

(People, obviously Target’s going to do traffic studies, right? So why not give them a chance to do that, right? Obviously, there will be some sort of local-hiring program imposed by the City, the same way that was done with our Costco in the SoMA. I mean, that’s baked into the cake already, right? And people, Target won’t need to have Trader Joe’s-style parking attendants because Target will have ample parking, capiche? And if you Fix Masonic people want to take out a bunch of parking spaces on Masonic to put in proper bike lanes, well, be my guest and go for it. But it’s not Target’s job to take an expensive ride on your hobby horse, right? In the meantime, just pilot your bikes onto the needlessly-wide sidewalks of the hilly parts of Masonic, as I do, depending on conditions.)

So let’s see here, as Santa Barbara goes, so goes San Francisco? Probably not.

We’ll get our Targets, finally, eventually.

Expect More, Pay Less(TM), baby. Leave Us Begin living in the red.

Bon courage, Target. Excelsior.

*Ah, a response from a The Square person, who draws attention to this “news story” link. Fair enough. Be sure to let them know if you think their bit is biased - they’re looking for feedback. And they want to know from me if I think they’re “disconnected” from the community. I don’t know, based on their editorial (linked to above), sure, they’re disconnected from the people that showed up to the meeting, anyway.

All right let’s see here, I tell you I don’t know what “parts of the Western Addition” means, actually, the whole shebang betwixt Larkin in the Tenderloin and Divisidero out west is the Western Addition, right? Check your real estate papers filed with the City and County – they’ll say “WESTERN ADDITION,” srsly.

All right, what else, apparently, I’m going to need to ”research thoroughly” any comments I make online about The Square. All right, I’ll have to show my work then, uh, Canon 7D “premium” camera ownership + Canon 24-105mm IS + Apple PC + elitist attitude + strong NIMBY tendencies + poorly argued editorial + lives in the Western Addition but doesn’t know it + strongly attached to real estate industry microneighborhood marketing names = rich yuppie, somewhat disconnected from the regular people of the Western A. Is that a personal attack? I don’t know. A lot of people the world over would love to trade places, I’m sure.

Explaining to the Employees of Yammer Microsoft How They’re Not Really “Giving Back” to the Mid-Market Area

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

I don’t know, you can look right here for one version of the story about why Yammer Microsoft is doing so, so, soooooo many great things for San Francisco.

Or you can ask Microsoft Yammer why it doesn’t want to pay its fair share of taxes.

Leave us begin.

In 2004, the Mayor of San Francisco signed a law that closed a tax loophole.

Later on, that very same Mayor took a lot of money from the owner owner of a building with which you Microsoft Yammerers should be familiar, the Twitter Building:

Prospective Twitter Landlord Gave Newsom Rent Deal

That kicked off the whole tax boondoggle that Microsoft Yammer is taking advantage of now.

Oh, here it is:

“THIS COMMUNITY BENEFIT AGREEMENT 2013 MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING is made as of January 1, 2013 in the City and County of San Francisco, State of California, by and between YAMMER, A SUBSIDIARY OF MICROSOFT(“Microsoft”) and the CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, a municipal corporation (“City”) acting by and through the City Administrator”

And it goes on and on talking about all the things that Microsoft is obligated to do for non-profit organizations that just happened to have endorsed Appointed Mayor Ed Lee.

So, well meaning white people who appear to be so, so, soooooo very proud of giving monitors worth (let’s hope) at least the contractually obligated $10,000 agreed to by MS….

….my question to you is this:

WHY DON’T YOU SIMPLY PAY YOUR FUCKING TAXES INSTEAD OF DOING ALL THIS POLITICALLY-CONNECTED, PAT-YOURSELF-ON-THE-BACK RIGMAROLE?

I’ll do all the legwork if you’ll give me some basic tax and income information. So maybe some years that could end up being a lot of money. I’d say, ooh, IPO! That’s going to cost Microsoft SF a few million bucks. And then you’d cut a check for the general fund.

There’d be no Ron Conway-type exception for you.

What’s that? You can’t afford to pay the oppressive taxes and loophole closures signed into law by the San Francisco Mayors of Yesteryear?

You know, I don’t believe that, Yammer Micro$oft.

What’s that, you’d rather move to Brisbane or someplace in San Mateo County?

Well, then be my guest. (You know, most people pricing apartment rentals in town lately would welcome your departure. You think I’m joking? No, I’m srlsy.)

What’s that, you like “giving back” to the corrupt Twitterloin, ’cause you think it’s a kewl thing to do and whatnot?

Fine, do that AND pay your fair share of taxes to the General Fund, why not?

That would be groovy.

But what you’re doing now is getting involved with SFGov corruption in the most corrupt big American city west of Chicago.

Just saying.

Oh, here’s some reading material to explain what you’re involved with, Microsoft. It’s from a time long before Yammer.

Enjoy your private-public neo-corporatism.

All the deets, in searchable form, after the jump.

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