Jack Spade has canceled plans to open in the Mission District.
Wednesday’s 4-1 decision by the Board of Appeals to rehear the question of whether Jack Spade could be defined as formula retail — a finding that would make the approval process more involved — was clearly enough for the retailer to decide to look elsewhere.
In its official statement, the company wrote, “We at JACK SPADE are disappointed with Wednesday’s Board of Appeals ruling. In our minds and in accordance with the district’s code, JACK SPADE is not ‘formula retail’ and we have been completely transparent regarding our relationship to our parent company.”
The opponents felt otherwise. They argued that although Jack Spade might escape being defined as a formula retail under the guidelines of the legislation, it was clearly the sort of store that the architects of the legislation meant to include. Jack Spade is associated with Kate Spade, which is under the umbrella of the company Fifth and Pacific.
On hearing the news of Jack Spake’s retreat, the opponents were exuberant and credited the community.
“People from all walks of life were motivated to rise up and speak out against Jack Spade, not just because the luxury menswear retailer displaced a community-serving bookstore, but because its presence, and insistence on avoiding the public approval process, symbolized the growing inequalities affecting this neighborhood,” said Kyle Smeallie, an organizer of the opposition.
In Wednesday’s vote, the board members considered letters from former Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez, who drafted the original 2006 legislation Section 703.3 of the Planning Code and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, the author of Prop G, the voter-approved ballot measure that called for stricter chain store regulation.
Both indicated that Jack Spade was the kind of store the legislation intended to cover.
The press release from Jack Spade disagreed, but said, “We respect the Board and the community’s passion and will not pursue plans to open in the Mission District. We have nothing but admiration for the Mission District and remain fans of the neighborhood and its unique character.”