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Are Retail Landlords in San Francisco Holding Out for Chains?

Will the new tenant at 631 Haight be a chain? Photo via <a href="http://hoodline.com/2014/07/checking-in-on-our-sexiest-vacant-storefronts">Hoodline</a>
Will the new tenant at 631 Haight be a chain? Photo via Hoodline

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The San Francisco Planning Commission will vote on proposed changes to San Franciso's formula retail rules this Thursday, July 17. Many have criticized the new regulations for increasing the number of stores for chain classification and for creating a loophole for larger corporations, others applaud the changes making it more difficult for chains to open in more SF neighborhoods. If the amendments pass this round, they must go to the Board of Supervisors for approval before being enacted into the city's laws.

Meanwhile, another retail ordinance that's under consideration with the Board of Supervisors is one that would fine building owners for vacant retail spaces, to prevent landlords from holding out for chain stores to sign expensive leases. Hoodline surveyed the Lower Haight for retail vacancies and found that properties didn't stay on the market for very long.

The ground floor storefront at 631 Haight Street (which was once Haight Street Work Clothes) already appears to have a new tenant—judging by the renovations and the fresh layer of paint. It's still too early to tell if there's a correlation between the city's vacancies and landlords waiting for chains to rent their spaces. But the two laws regulating retail in the city could work toward maintaining a diverse shopping landscape—or at least, that appears to be the plan.
· Anti-chain-store vote coming this week in San Francisco [San Francisco Business Times]
· Checking in on the Lower Haight's Sexiest Vacant Storefronts [Hoodline]
· Should We Protect SF Businesses Against Predatory Corporations? [Racked SF]