Having already been redesigned to look less upscale and eliminate its garage, the proposed redevelopment of the “One $ Store” parcel on the southwest corner of Mission and 17th Streets, which has been in the works since 2009, has now been formally challenged by the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA).
From MEDA with respect to the 2100 Mission Street project, which would yield 29 new residential units over 3,500 square feet of new ground floor retail space and storage room for 29 bikes, as currently proposed:
Mission St. is the backbone of the Mission District, and supports the cultural and commercial needs of the neighborhood’s Latino families and low-income residents. This corridor is under extreme gentrification and displacement pressure from dozens of luxury housing projects and high-end commercial space conversions. Neighborhood retail is flipping from low-price-point community-serving retail shops to upscale destination shops, restaurants; coffee shops, and bars that serve principally tourists and wealthy newer inhabitants of the city.
This trend is gravely threatening the ability of our low-income residents to remain in the neighborhood. This influx of high-income residents and pricey destination sites is a self-reinforcing loop that in turn accelerates the residential and commercial price pressure on the remaining residents and spaces that support them.
This 2100 Mission St. project represents extraordinary and exceptional circumstances that require the Planning Commission to exercises its discretion because low-price-point retail stores such as this important, sizable One Dollar Store are critical to maintaining the stability of the surrounding families that rely on them to meet their daily needs as they fight to stay in their neighborhood. This store is a major cultural asset to the community and if it is not retained in a permanent fashion this would negatively impact the stability of our law-income families and add to the price pressure on the surrounding shops.
The proposed principally luxury housing units will speed up the process of bringing in more high-income earners averaging many times the income of our existing families. Their buying power and differing shopping preferences will only further increase the gentrification and displacement pressures on the surrounding businesses resulting in more small business losses, and further low-income family displacement. A 2016 survey from Mission Promise Neighborhood revealed that existing Mission families in the program earned significantly less than San Francisco’s median household income, with 77% of families surveyed earning less than $35,000 annually, and 30% of these families falling below the federal poverty threshold of $24,250.
The permanent loss of this dollar store or comparable replacement would contribute to this destabilizing trend – in violation of numerous elements of the City Code, and most notably Planning Code Priority Policy 1, “that existing neighborhood-serving uses be preserved,” Planning Code Priority 2, “neighborhood character be conserved and protected in order to preserve the cultural and economic diversity of our neighborhoods,” and ‘Mission Area Plan Objective 7.3, “Reinforce the importance of the Mission as the center of Latino life in San Francisco.”
As such, MEDA is requesting that Planning’s approval of any redevelopment of the site be conditioned upon the retention of the existing Dollar Store, “or if not feasible, to retain a comparable establishment that will be granted [long-term] space at a price at which they can continue serving the neighborhood by offering family-serving daily goods at low price points,” arguing that “maintaining this community asset is crucial to the future stability of this Latino neighborhood and Mission Street Corridor.”
In addition, MEDA is pushing the project team to include additional affordable housing on the site, “above the minimum code requirements” of 12 percent as proposed. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.