Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Better Masonic: Target Wants Site at Geary & Masonic; Mirkarimi's Office Alerts District 5 Neighbors to Community Meeting

Vallie Brown, aide to Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, addressed NOPNA neighbors

Masonic Avenue side of proposed Target "urban store"

Target is definitely interested in the former Mervyn's department store site at Geary and Masonic streets, and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi wants to be sure District Five neighbors have a say in whether the proposal moves forward. Vallie Brown, aide to Mirkarimi, told NOPA neighbors Thursday evening that Target intends to seek both the Mervyn's site and a location in the Metreon at 4th and Mission streets. Brown said the supervisor's office contacted Target representatives and gave them a long list of neighborhood associations and merchants groups to invite to a community meeting scheduled for July 21st.

The Geary site is located in District Two, represented by Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier. Before Mirkarimi's initiative, Target had not reached out to groups like the North Panhandle and Alamo Square Neighborhood Associations or FixMasonic, the three-year-old grassroots group working to transform the Masonic corridor to better serve all users. The District Five groups may be less enthusiastic about the Target proposal that their counterparts in District Two. In a San Francisco Chronicle report last week about Target's intentions, Alioto-Pier is quoted as saying her constituents "seem pretty excited to see the vacant space filled with a Target."

At the Thursday evening NOPNA meeting, Vallie Brown said she emphasized to Target that many District Five residents were already concerned with the impact of Masonic traffic on the neighborhoods. "I told them the groups will want to review how the expected increase of traffic to a Target store will affect efforts to calm the street." Brown added that Target intends to install an"urban store" rather than a superstore. The distinction between the two seems pretty slim so far. "They said they wouldn't be selling lawn furniture or tires at their urban store."

The Target representatives told Brown of a positive aspect of their project in addition to new jobs and a commercial outlet in a now-empty storefront. Target provides community benefits to nearby neighborhoods, including grants for local improvement projects.

Target Community Meeting
Wednesday, July 21, 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
City Center Plaza, 2675 Geary at Masonic
Site of former Mervyn's Department Store

For other articles in the A Better Masonic series, check here.

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