As we first reported a few months ago:

“The former Real Food building at 3939 24th Street, in the heart of Noe Valley, has been vacant since 2003 when the grocery was suddenly shuttered.

Two months ago it was reported that HGGC, the private equity group co-founded by former 49ers quarterback Steve Young which now controls the vacant building, was putting the property on the market with “plans to sell it to a housing developer.”

And the property is now officially for sale.

But according to the confidential offering memorandum for the property now making the rounds, while it is envisioned that “some prospective buyers may wish to develop a more substantial building on the site,” others may simply wish to “renovate and re-open the building.”

And with no set price, the property is expected to be sold to the highest bidder, regardless of their plans for the site which is zoned for development up to 40 feet in height. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.”

While the property hasn’t yet changed hands, a permit to pour a new concrete floor, versus start demolishing the building, has since been approved. And in addition, the paperwork to secure a Type 20 liquor license, which would allow for the retail sale of beer and wine, has been received by the City. We’ll continue to keep you posted and plugged-in.

17 thoughts on “Long-Shuttered Real Food Location Positioning to Reopen”
  1. Why would they possibly due this??? Whole Foods/Amazon is right across the street, I don’t see that being an opponent that any other grocer/alcohol outlet (there is also a liquor store across the street on the same block) would want to take on. This truly doesn’t make sense to me – can anyone provide some insight on why they would do this as opposed to just selling to the highest bidding developer and move on??

    1. Real Foods and Bell Market coexisted for years before Nutraceuticals bought RF and WF replaced Bell. There is a cheese shop half a block from WF that is still open and seems to do a good business despite the extensive cheese offerings at WF. A florist that charges 2X/3X what you’d pay at WF is just 100 ft away across the street and a 2nd florist is on the next block to the west. There are 3 liquor stores between Church and Castro. That being said the building has been vacant for 15 years. If someone wants to “renovate” – and it’s going to take a lot of renovation – just to open a store again there (could be a restaurant?) that will be a gamble they will be responsible for.

  2. Have to think Amazon Go is a strong candidate for that space.

    With AMZN-owned Whole Foods right across the street, AMZN already has parking for customers. And the RF location could not be more prime in terms of high foot traffic, high tech early adopters, price insensitive shoppers, high density of existing AMZN customers, etc. And great way for AMZN to experiment with customer adoption (WF vs AMZN Go) in a virtually identical geographic area in order to compare basket types, shopping patterns, etc before rolling out AMZN Go on a national/global basis. Not sure I like the idea of another supermarket right there, but versus title companies and nail salons, I’ll take it.

    1. That would be a great use for this location – use it as a Amazon Go pop up/test site while at the same time getting approval for proper redevelopment plans that include several stories of housing. I would be 100% in favor of that plan.

    2. This location most certainly does not have adequate parking. The Whole Foods parking lot regularly overflows into the street from both entrances, blocking traffic in both directions.

      1. And….the spillover takes parking on all the side streets. The parking lot there is woefully inadequate especially on weekends.

      2. While it is possible there are some peak times when parking is problematic, I have never had to wait for a spot at that Whole Foods for more than half a minute. The lot seems perfectly sized for the amount of car traffic the site generates.

  3. Is there much demand for commercial space in Noe Valley? My casual inspection of 24th Street shows a high vacancy rate. This space may fare better because it is the center of the commercial strip, but I have a hard time thinking of a use that will generate much cash flow for the business.

    Could they build this as residential with a garage? Several years ago a developer, on a site down the street on 24th near Church, built three condos-over-commercial without any off-street parking. The commercial space is still vacant, two years on, and from the outside only appears that one unit is occupied. Of course any unit will sell if the price is right, If the City was unwilling to grant them a curb cut, will the sellers be willing to reduce the sales price to make the development viable?

    1. A curb cut in that location would be more than it already is. Sometimes MUNI and Google buses are stacked up two deep in both directions waiting for cars trying to get in and out of the Whole Foods parking lot.

  4. I believe that all 3 units sold, correct? But you only see lights consistently on in one of them? Admittedly I haven’t looked to see how occupied they all look but now I’m going to start. They were not cheap units, surprising (but not shocking) that someone would buy it not as a primary residence, especially given the close proximity to Muni, 280 & BART.

    Also, I think that some sort of health care business is going into the ground level retail space, although I will say that I feel like I first saw the signs on the window announcing that at least a year ago and it still remains empty…

    Overall 24th St in NV is definitely suffering from a ton of empty storefronts. Just a few others that I can name off the top of my head: Pasta Gina (technically on Diamond, in the process of closing), the cycle store (about to close), Cliche Noe (recently closed), PanotiQ, the former Bliss Bar, the former Radio Shack, the former See Jane Run…I may be forgetting some but it is safe to say that there is no shortage of available retail space on that corridor. Granted, I think this space is the biggest and best located, but that would obv be reflected in the price and right now I don’t see how retail landlords could make the argument that space on 24th St is a hot commodity.

    1. Given the large number of empty storefronts, retail seems like a poor use of space; maybe the best use is a new all-residential, or perhaps a new, small private school? Or a non-conforming use like a boutique hotel?

      As for 3820 24th Street, from the street two units appear unoccupied. No lights, un-decorated Christmas trees still in the windows. Maybe the new owners are too busy working to pay the mortgage enjoy their new home!

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