The world’s first urban Costco gets some unusual items sometimes, huh?
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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.
Aslan is on the move at Mervyn’s Heights:
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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!
[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 Baume, the Face Book, Dain Fitzgerald, Beth “target! target! target!” Spotswood, Bike 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:
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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.
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:
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.
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.
What’s this? Tiffany and Company is suing Costco for selling diamonds using the term “Tiffany setting” or something?
“We now know that there are at least hundreds, if not thousands, of Costco members who think they bought a Tiffany engagement ring at Costco, which they didn’t. Costco knew what it was doing when it used the Tiffany trademark to sell rings that had nothing to do with Tiffany. This is not the kind of behavior people expect from a company like Costco and this case will shed a much-needed light on this outrageous behavior,” says Jeffrey Mitchell, a lawyer with Dickstein Shapiro who is representing Tiffany in the case. “The Tiffany brand has been damaged, Costco members have been damaged and Costco has profited from the sale of engagement rings by misrepresenting what they were. We will get to the bottom of what Costco was up to and why, and right a terrible wrong.”
I cry foul.
You see, Tiffany, the phrase Tiffany mount and similar, well, that’s a genericized term these days, you know, like champagne.
Oh, and Tiffany, Costco marks up the price of its worthless rocks a lot less than you do, right? That’s why Costco will take back any diamonds people bought if they were stupid enough to be confused over this issue.
It’s not like they were selling the rings in little blue boxes, right?
OK, Tiffany, keep on keeping on.
Now I’ve got a little shopping to do:
Here it is, the beloved Hayes Street Laundry.
This is all of it:
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There I was working OT in the 94111 and what did I see but the T-Mobile street team.
Here it is – the flier what tells you to take your unlocked AT&T phone to TMO to save a ton of money:
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Answer: It doesn’t.
I smell trouble.
Let’s be careful out there, Street Team, as you hand out your fliers to one and all tonight.
Now that Amazon.com is charging sales tax (or “use tax” IRL, same smell), there’s no reason that it can’t set up local warehouses and then offer same-day delivery service,right?
So you go to work in the Financh, decide you want a replacement battery for your car keys and order online. Then that evening on your way home you’ll pick it up at an Amazon Locker at 300 California. Or wherever.
That’s called Same Day Delivery. I don’t know if we have that yet but what we do have some new lockers installed all over town these days.
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The locker names are kind of goofy.
All the deets:
1. Search for a Locker location near you.
2. “Select” a Locker to add it to your Address Book. Next time you add an item to your cart, click “Ship to this address” to ship it to your favorite Locker location.
3. Once your package is delivered to the Amazon Locker, you’ll receive an e-mail or text message with instructions and a unique pick-up code. Enter your pickup code and the Locker slot with your package will open. Your package will be available for pick-up for three business days after you receive your pickup code.ow Amazon Locker Works - To ship your order at an Amazon Locker:
Petroleum powers cars and ships – I suppose that’s The Message from the Builders of 225 Bush.
Contrast that with the message from the current owners of 225 Bush found on this Wiki entry, which reads like an advertisement for potential tenants.
Or in other words, “This article’s tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia.”
Hey, remember that whole sit / lie deal in Haight Ashbury? Well, the people behind the sit lie initiative are the same people behind the “San Francisco Skateboarding Association” and this new press release.
“Skateboard Group Condemns Supervisor for Criticism of Free Civic Center Event
The San Francisco Skateboarding Association had strong words for a San Francisco Supervisor critical of the skateboard and BMX contest held in the Civic Center Plaza this weekend. The event is free and open to the public.
“By publicly condemning the Mountain Dew Tour in their inaugural year in SF, Supervisor John Avalos continued a practice perfected by our parents’ generation of elected leaders: bash skateboarders and deny us access to public spaces in San Francisco,” said Bryan Hornbeck, President of the SF Skateboard Association.
In the mid-80’s San Francisco became the birthplace of a worldwide phenomenon known as “streetstyle” skateboarding, where skaters utilize man made structures to express themselves* in ways no architect ever imagined. The Dew Tour brings professional athletes from around the world to compete in a world-class skatepark. Local riders also get to participate. On Sunday, the skatepark will be open to the public for a community skate session.
San Francisco is also home to Thrasher Magazine, an internationally recognized skateboard publication and several high profile skateboard companies and retail establishments. The Dew Tour at Civic Center is seen as an economic boon to the San Francisco skateboard industry that employs hundreds of people, mostly under the age of 30.
“To us, this is the Super Bowl of skateboarding. Our store has seen a huge amount of traffic for the past two weeks because of the Dew Tour. This helps our business, which in turn helps our employees. Maybe Supervisor Avalos is upset that they took away his parking space in front of City Hall, but it’s a small price to pay for promoting our industry to the world,” said Kent Uyehara, owner of FTC Skateboard Shop on Haight St.
Organizers of the event say that thousands of hotel rooms have been booked for the participants and their families and that the event is being streamed and broadcast on network television to millions worldwide.
The S.F.S.A. seeks to advocate for skateboarders of San Francisco through organized representation and community action. The S.F.S.A. wants to improve the public’s perception of skateboarders through education, information distribution and community outreach with a focus on the creation of public skateboard parks for the youth of our great city. http://sfskateboarding.wordpress.com/”
Oh, what’t this, Central Freeway skate park? Rly? Hey, what about a Central Subway skate park – I’d like to see that.
*Now I’ll tell you, I don’t know if the BOMA people would approve of this…
So basically Yelp is now announcing a new shame campaign against businesses what break the rules to get an inflated Yelp rating.
(I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen footnotes in a press release before, but that’s how area Yelp flack Stephanie Ichinose rolls, I guess)
“Yelp Rolls Out Consumer Alerts to Educate and Inform Consumers
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, 2012 – Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, announced today that it will be taking additional steps to protect consumers from biased reviews. The company will place a consumer alert message on a business’s profile page when it determines that there have been significant efforts to purchase fake reviews to mislead consumers.
“Yelp has become so influential in the consumer decision making process that some businesses will go to extreme lengths to bolster their reviews,” said Eric Singley, vice president of consumer products and mobile, Yelp. “While our filter already does a great job of highlighting the most useful content, we think consumers have a right to know when someone is going to great lengths to mislead them.”
The consumer alert will call attention to attempts to purchase reviews for a business profiled on Yelp. When consumers click on the alert, we will show them screenshots exposing the effort to mislead our users.
The alert will be removed from the business’s Yelp page after 90 days, unless evidence of ongoing efforts is discovered, which may renew the warning period. Initially, nine businesses will have the consumer alert message posted on their profile page, but the company will be posting alerts like these on an ongoing basis as warranted.
Beyond alerting consumers to attempts to purchase reviews, the next step in Yelp’s Consumer Alert program will be to let consumers know if a business has had a large number of reviews submitted from the same Internet Protocol (IP) address, which can be a helpful indicator that they lack authenticity. While the review filter already takes this type of information into account, we believe that consumers also have a right to know if this activity is going on.
Consumer trust is essential to the utility of a user-generated review service. Since early 2005, Yelp has taken an aggressive stance to protect the quality of the content on its site, namely in the form of its review filter which aims to highlight reviews that are helpful and reliable. This automated program is applied continually and equally to all reviews submitted to Yelp. Reviews that have been flagged by the filter can be viewed by users if desired. Yelp has become a trusted source for more than 78 million monthly visitors in large part because of this focused quality-over-quantity approach.
An independent Businessweek(i) report confirmed the success of Yelp’s efforts to protect consumers. The article details the efforts of a Texan business owner who purchased 200 online reviews in an attempt to artificially bolster his business’s online reputation. The report found that Yelp’s review filter returned “impressive results” catching every purchased review, while the shill reviews remained up on seven other review sites.
Academic studies from Harvard Business School(ii )and UC Berkeley(iii), have demonstrated the impact a business’s Yelp reviews can have on its success. These findings indicate a strong incentive for some businesses to try to game the system, and explain why Yelp must continue to innovate in the steps it takes to protect consumers.
Yelp exists to help consumers find and support local businesses. In its ongoing efforts to help local business owners make the most of their presence on Yelp, the company has built a robust online resource (biz.yelp.com) and offers regular workshops for business owners, both via webinars and locally in more than a dozen cities across the US.
Yelp Inc. connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Sweden Denmark, Norway, Finland, Singapore and Poland. Yelp had a monthly average of approximately 78 million unique visitors in Q2 2012(iv). By the end of the same quarter, Yelpers had written more than 30 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. Yelp’s mobile applications were used on approximately 7.2 million unique mobile devices on a monthly average basis during Q2 2012. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(i) Source: BusinessWeek “A Lie Detector Test for Online Reviewers”, Karen Weise (September 29, 2011)
(ii) Source: Harvard Business School, Michael Luca (October 2011)
(iii) Source: The Economic Journal, Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magruder (March 2012)
(iv) Source: Google Analytics”
I’ll tell you, shame works. Just look what my local bodega did to me after I passed a whole bunch of bad checks, you know, to get delicious Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and the occasional Cheetos Natural Puffs White Cheddar. They posted them for tout le monde to see:
All the shame is making me consider not defrauding area business, you know, someday.
Anyway, Yelp is disciplining a total of nine bidnesses in all of Yelp-land, for sdtarters anyway.