1901 Cesar Chavez

Four years ago, following a decade long battle to develop, Home Depot walked away from the former Goodman Lumber site on Bayshore Boulevard.

With Lowe’s having since successfully developed the site on Bayshore Boulevard, Home Depot has just filed an application to build a 120,000 square foot store at 1901 Cesar Chavez, formerly the site of a printing facility for the Fang family Chronicle and currently employed as a staging facility for construction at the San Francisco General Hosptial.

13 thoughts on “Home Depot Applies Again: Can They Do It In San Francisco?”
  1. Interesting news — I have to say, I was shocked when they abandoned the Bayshore site. That location is a goldmine. I’ve been a builder in SF for over 20 years now, and I end up in that neighborhood a couple times a week because of all the related businesses in the neighborhood. (Beronio lumber, etc etc) And, now I stop into Lowes 1-2 times per week for all kinds of things, for my business as well as personal needs for my own home and garden.
    I used to go to one of the three Home Depots just south of SF all the time. Since Lowe’s opened, I may have been to Home Depot once or twice — that is it. They lost pretty much all my business — many thousands of dollars a year has gone to Lowes.
    I assume I’m not the only one — so when you do the math HD figured out it is worth being in SF.
    I imagine the original decision to abandon the SF site was made by someone far away who didn’t understand that Bayshore location.

  2. Hard to imagine that they would have gone through all that head banging to get entitled at Bayshore, only to walk away and let Lowes waltz in. It shows how bad decision making can be when everything is centralized. As I recall, Home Depot made a company-wide move to drop expansion and close underperforming stores during the Recession.
    All they had to do is make a decision to hold the bayshore site for a few more years. Now they have to go through the whole exercise all over again. Jeesh.

  3. “I imagine the original decision to abandon the SF site was made by someone far away who didn’t understand that Bayshore location.”
    Very likely. Somewhere in their HQ business development group is a spreadsheet template that is used as a pro forma for determining whether to break ground at a new site. That spreadsheet probably doesn’t recognize “contractor supply store density” as a factor to access high value contractor customers.

  4. Well — bad decision making is everywhere, myself included sometimes. One of the best examples I remember had to do with the original Gumps store at 250 Post Street. This was in the mid 1990s, and at that point the store and the underlying real estate were owned by two different entities. (Previously, of course, it had all been one family business.) The retail store spent many millions on improvements BEFORE they renegotiated a long-term lease for that location. The owners of the real estate and the owners of the store could not come to agreement on the lease, and the result was that Gumps had to close and move. They were essentially closed down for over a year in the mid-1990s, and are now in a lesser location. (Eddie Bauer took over the original Gumps space, and I think it is now Zara?)
    So — that was one of my early lessons in this business of how monumental bad decisions can be. Gumps just assumed they would be there indefinitely – never assume, yes?

  5. You folks are overlooking the fact that this was highly policitcized last time around. Since then BHNC, the chief Home Depot on Bayshore opponent, has undergone a shakeup, letting talent walk due to typical SF lefty agenda-based hiring. Now it looks like they’ll lose. Good.

  6. I remember how highly politicized it was. But Home Depot, after much effort, finally got through that ridiculous battle. Then they walked.
    As I recall, BHNC was saying (or having their surrogates say) that the Goodmans site should be used for housing. And also that the traffic impacts on Cortland would be disastrous. Both ridiculous assertions.

  7. The Bayshore store is quite a coup for Lowes. Home Depot gone through all the tough fights. Only to walkaway and have Lowes took over without any fuss.
    The Cortland traffic concern is ridiculous. I wish people will actually do a before/after traffic study (funded by Lowes of course). Just so next time when there is a debate it raise the bar for making any arguments. Rather than having NIMBY asserting there will be disastrous impact you have to backup with at least some data.
    From what I can see, there is scantly any traffic impact on Bayshore, let alone on Cortland.

  8. Whenever Rick Karp shows up at a Planning hearing, the majority of the commissioners bow their heads to the floor as a gesture of their unworthiness in the presence of the great oracle of small businessdom – he carries at least 3 current PC votes (4 when a commission chair is not trying to get a promotion to supervisor) regardless of the issue. Don’t expect Home Depot to get much of a welcome from those wastes-of-space on the PC: as before, it will take expensive politicking at a higher level (Mayor, State etc.) for HD to get the majorities needed at PC and BoS.

  9. Rick Karp = Cole Hardware. SF Poster child for small local business. (me, I like Cliff’s Hardware better…they don’t complain, they just adapt….)

  10. The landscape has changed drastically, in more ways than one, since Lowes took over the Goodman spot. There is a ton of new construction/ redevelopment in the pipeline for eastern neighborhoods and mission bay etc.
    I think home depot will actually have an easier time of it at their proposed location this time around.
    Plus Tom Ammiano isn’t around to muck things up.

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