[This is a post within a post within a post, Inception-style - you'll be able to follow along, I'm sure. And since we're talking about the aughts, leave us remember nobody ever had 5500 signatures opposing the Starbucks proposal back around 2004-2005. I guess it's always O.K. to lie if you know you're on the correct side of an argument, or something.]
The rising tide that is the Starbucks Effect, that would have lifted all boats in Japantown, didn’t roll in a half-decade back, so this large space at Post and Webster has been unused since then.
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Here’s how things looked five months ago:
Well, new evidence closes the books on this one – the former Japantown Bowl location will soon host a dental office on its first floor.
So, the somnolent Land of Wind and Ghosts that is San Francisco Japantown will remain the somnolent Land of Wind and Ghosts at least for a little while longer. [Cue tumbleweeds.] Maybe things will change in J-Town when potential condo buyers get in the mood to spend $100,000 extra on neighborhood impact fees the way they were before the real estate crash.
And then we’ll be able to afford to undue the mistakes of Redevelopment. Maybe in a year or two or five or ten…
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All the deets:
Now I’ll tell you, Japantown would have been better off over the years if the Japantown Bowl had stayed the Japantown Bowl. (‘Cause bowling’s back, baby! Or something.) Anyway, what we got instead at 1600 Webster at Post was a bunch of condos up top with shuttered retail space below.
Back about six years ago, Starbucks was willing to come in and boy, man, that would have been great for Japantown. But the preservationists weren’t having it, oh no. Not at all. So what we got was about a decade of zero (0) tenants at the ground level on the northeast corner of Post and Webster. Oh well.
(I don’t drink the Starbucks myself, but S’Bucks isn’t about coffee, so the location of nearby cafes hidden up in the malls (concrete and clay and general decay and oh yes, not earthquake safe) don’t matter. You missed the point, people. It’s not Starbucks, it’s the Starbucks Effect – that’s what you needed and it’s what you still need.)
But now, the times they are a changing. Take a peek at the construction going on now and you’ll say, “Gee, it looks like it’s going to be a dentist office.”
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Well guess what. It very well could be a dental office. This is from a couple years back but it’s the best I can do:
“22-Dec Tenant improvements for New Dental San Francisco 1600 Webster Street #C 916-772-4192 Dr. Nataly Viderman, DDS 0685-055 San Francisco 1600 Webster Street #C Office…$240,000″
No matter, whatever goes in isn’t going to make J-Town look less like a ghost town on those cold, windblown Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights.
How to make a Concrete Ghost Town: Redevelopment + Mindless, Doctrinaire Preservationism.
(And the funny thing is that Japanese people looooooove Starbucks – they just can’t get enough)
Is that what you want, a dentist’s office? O.K. fine.