Trader Joe’s heads to Castro

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Finding Two-Buck Chuck or that special snack is about to become a little easier.

Trader Joe’s inked a deal to move into the former Tower Records shop along Market Street in the heart of the Castro district, according to the property owner.

Pending approval of traffic studies and other permits, residents can expect the grocery store known for its specialty items and low prices to open its doors by next year. This will be the fifth Trader Joe’s in San Francisco.

The store will have a small parking lot behind it. However, city leaders said this Trader Joe’s, unlike the one on Ninth Street, is meant to draw pedestrian shoppers in the neighborhood.

Trader Joe’s attempted to move into the Castro district at Market and 15th streets several years ago, but residents fought the project, citing traffic and other quality-of-life concerns. Now, residents are welcoming the neighborhood store, saying the vacant lot needs an anchor shop like Trader Joe’s. The two-story building at 2280 Market St. has been vacant since Tower Records closed nearly three years ago.

“It’s encouraging,” said Dennis Richards, president of the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association. “We have had vacant retail space that’s created a hole in the landscape, and a Trader Joe’s-type retail would be an appropriate use for that space.”

More importantly, it will create as many as 125 new jobs in a neighborhood that has been dragged down by the economy, said Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who represents that district. Store owners are working with the LGBT Center’s workforce program to hire locally, Dufty said.

“Unquestionably, there is overwhelming support for Trader Joe’s in the Castro at this location,” Dufty said.

Three stores that share the building — Radio Shack, Kard Zone and Sonia’s Dry Cleaners — are still deciding on where they will relocate.

Northern California’s first Trader Joe’s opened in 1988 in San Rafael. Today, there are 46 stores in the Bay Area.

 

Expansion

The Castro district Trader Joe’s will be The City’s fifth in the franchise’s lineup.

•555 Ninth St.
•3 Masonic Ave.
•401 Bay St.
•265 Winston St.

Source: Trade Joe’s

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

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