CFAH

400 Castro Street

The investment group which had grand plans to open a “Randy Rooster” burlesque club in the Castro has withdrawn their $7.7 million offer for the old Bank of America building at 400 Castro Street and the group appears to have abandoned their plans to open a club.

According to the Bay Area Reporter, the investment group’s chief operating officer’s cell phone has been disconnected, an email to the group’s spokeswoman resulted in a message that she was out of the office until next week, and the spokeswoman’s associate did not respond to their inquiry.

A sales associate for Colliers International did respond, however, noting that the 400 Castro Street building is back on the market or available for lease, the rent for which is negotiable.

While The Rumor Mill Was Grinding Away, No Strip Club On Castro [SocketSite]
SF gay burlesque club drops plans to buy Castro building [ebar.com]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by wc1

    I thought they had already purchased the building, guess not.
    No surprise really, the pushback on this would have been enormous and not worth the risk.

  2. Posted by sjg

    @wc1
    It also required a special zoning variance to operate a strip club in the Castro. I have a feeling this hurdle alone would have been a huge hurdle.

  3. Posted by jlasf

    Good riddance! It would have been a total embarrassment in that location. Whatever happened to the Apple store? Tim Cook is gay, so I thought that would help to make it a slam dunk.

  4. Posted by JoeSF

    Does anyone else think $7.7 million for a 4000 s.f. building is a bit much? Granted it’s a great location and the building is in pretty good shape.

  5. Posted by SFLooking

    Good. This is a very happy outcome knowing that this business model clearly does not work (Trigger, and others) It is not attractive nor sustainable. We need to put people to work and make the Castro a desirable and not laughable desitantion.

  6. Posted by anonandon

    I’m not convinced the average Castro visitor is a big spender. Unlike West Hollywood which has some of the most expensive restaurants and retail stores in Los Angeles, the Castro still seems stuck in a gay version of Fishermen’s Wharf.
    West Hollywood gets Paul Smith, Fred Segal, Miu Miu, etc. and restaurants like Lucques, Drago and Comme Ca and of course The Abbey.
    Removing parking and adding bike lanes will not fix this neighborhood. The Castro needs a serious retail makeover.

  7. Posted by Invented

    Demolish the one story behind this (on Castro), extend the building, and build a neighborhood Apple store

  8. Posted by Futurist

    Excellent. What a completely stupid, lame idea in the first place.

  9. Posted by SF Citizen

    An Apple store would be considered formula retail which would require a CU permit. I’m not sure the neighborhood would approve a chain store even an Apple store.

  10. Posted by wc1

    A bar/food/event space/cabaret/flexible stage space would be ideal for something this size. I don’t mind taking MUNI 4 stops to the Apple in Union Square.

  11. Posted by Dan

    Alternate headline: “Randy Rooster Cock Blocked.”

  12. Posted by frshmn

    bets nothing moves in within the next years?

  13. Posted by egg_cream_of_OCD

    Does anyone — ANYONE — really think this was ever for realz? Does anyone here play chess, or golf, where nothing happens in the 1st move except positioning for the next move?
    The only question I can muster here is whether the motive was just tom-foolery… or deadly serious Chris-Daly-blood-pressure-raising-gangman-style-ninja-planning-move-on-the-dance-floor. Stuff.

  14. Posted by jlasf

    @ SF Citizen: Don’t the same codes cover the Marina? There is an Apple store on Chestnut. Why would this be different?

  15. Posted by wc1

    @jlasf
    It only applies to certain zoning districts.
    http://www.sf-planning.org/index.aspx?page=2839

  16. Posted by BTinSF

    First of all, all those fancy designer stores may themselves be “formula retail”. Second, whether “formula”or not, they are “destination” retail and Castro really isn’t a shopping destination. It’s a residential neighborhood. Just as someone said they don’t mind taking the subway 4 stops to an Apple Store, they can take them to designer clothing stores.
    In reality, a bank may have been the best use for this space all along. Baring that, the graying of the Castro may warrant a money manager like Schwab or Fidelity. Or possibly a local high end clothier like Wilkes Bashford.
    I think the cost of the property or rent makes food service very unlikely–they would have to charge prices way outside the neighborhood norm which would mean their only chance for success would be to serve food so extraordinary it would attract gay and straight from all over the area–possible but improbable.

  17. Posted by Eddy

    Gotta love Dan’s headline. Lol.
    This location is. Pearly screaming for a pet food express and a cell tower.

  18. Posted by Marinadweller

    I am surprised so many think a “high end” retailer could survive in the Castro, whether it be Wilkes Bashford, Apple, Ralph Lauren or whatever. Do you really think they would select the Castro over Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow or the Marina?
    When I walk around the Castro district I do not see the affluent shoppers at all, but instead tourists and a lot of sketchy people. I see uncreative food establishments, tired bars and a lot of trash and homeless. In my own neighborhood, Chestnut street patrons SPEND money, both on food, clothing including at stores like Apple (which we already have). The Castro is not Chestnut or Union Street and I predict ANOTHER pharmacy chain store in this location.

  19. Posted by brid

    Agree with Marinadweller. The Castro just isn’t a real retail neighborhood – there’s no longer a there there, if there ever was.
    I’ve lived within seven blocks of 18th & Castro last twenty years and it hasn’t really changed, with the exception of the now huge number of increasingly hostile street bums. Tired bars, awful food, awful kitsch retail. The only jewel in the tired queen’s crown is the theater, long may it reign over us…
    With all the new residences going up along the Market St corridor the ‘hood is going to change anyway, and that’s a good thing.

  20. Posted by wc1

    It’s no Hayes Valley or Filmore St but I don’t think it’s as bad as all that.
    Off the top of my head:
    Union Made
    Citizen
    Sui Generis
    Veo
    Levi
    Cliffs
    Pottery Barn
    Best in Show
    Jeffery’s
    Rolo
    A&G Merch
    Hortica
    Fable
    Frances
    Starbelly

  21. Posted by Mike

    For something to work in the Castro it has to pander to its insecure, vapid, intellectually void residents.

  22. Posted by SFLooking

    Mike
    You are absolutely correct. But you forgot “struggling financially”. These residents live three to an apartment and can barely make rent.

  23. Posted by Sanfrantim

    “Vapid” AND “intellectually void” — well that sure is some pretty big talking at us dumb Castro folks. Gosh, if only we were smarter we might could insist on a bit more intellectual content from our restaurants, bars, and hardware stores. What we all might not give to live in Mikes enlightened neighborhood ….

  24. Posted by Dan

    The statement that Castro residents live 3 to an apartment and are struggling financially is false. Median household income in 2010 for the Castro district is $104,928, slightly higher than the $104,659 median for the Marina. Both income figures are about 50% higher than SF median household income. Average household size in Castro is 1.9, slightly higher than the 1.7 in the Marina, but below the SF average of 2.3.

  25. Posted by Joel V

    Haha, put a Trader Joes there. It’s not the ideal spot, but it’s something the neighborhood actually needs.

  26. Posted by wc1

    @Mike
    Show us on the doll where the scary Castro resident touched you.

  27. Posted by Rillion

    I love how we get comments that Castro isn’t as great as West Hollywood with its high end retailers and expensive resteraunts, and then later in the thread we get comments that the Castro is “vapid” and “intellectually void”. Cause you know, spending money on over priced clothes, drinks, and food is not vapid or intellectually void at all…

  28. Posted by Dan

    The building is not big enough for a Trader Joe’s.

  29. Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

    “Show us on the doll where the scary Castro resident touched you.”
    Haha, spot on. And after he stops sobbing, he should come out of that closet.

  30. Posted by sjg

    Trader Joe’s was already denied a permit for the old Tower Records location, it’s not going to happen in that location. Apple has already stated they are not interested in a location in the Castro. Aside from the space and parking restrictions, formula retail restrictions are now in effect. A retail chain would have some significant hurdles to open there, not impossible but still a hurdle.
    It seems at this point it would be a great space for a restaurant, cabaret or bar.

  31. Posted by duxman

    The reason has no real great retail is the onerous formula retail restrictions that are getting even more onerous. The duboce neighborhood group strong arms any national retailers looking to get into the market. Supervisor WIener just introduced further legislation to restrict it to no more than 20% in a 300 foot radius. Chipotle was turned down, starbucks was turned down, not that they are great retail but they are better than blighted buildings. retailers would come if the NIMBYS werent such a pain in the ass and wiener stopped pandering the neighborhood groups that represent a minority note the majority, who of course, wants a good time and has no idea of the decisions on where they shop being made for them by old people who want no change in the neighborhood.

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