The New Year will bring new business to Valencia Street. Though the lease is tentative, the cooperative Arizmendi Bakery has plans to open at 1270 Valencia St. near the corner of 24th Street by July 2010.
“It’s where our staff likes to hang out,” said Tim Huet, a member of Arizmendi’s development team, when asked why the bakery decided to move into the Mission.
Arizmendi and the property’s owner, Ron Mallia, are still negotiating space and technical issues. Both parties are optimistic that a firm agreement will be reached in weeks.
Gypsy Honey Moon, a longtime Mission District antique store at the corner of 24th and Guerrero streets, has also signed a lease at the spot, according to the owner. The third tenant will be a wine bar owned by Jeff Segal, according to the property owner Ron Mallia. Segal could not be reached for comment. The applicant’s name on the public notice for a liquor license application, which was posted on the window of the address, is Heart Beverages.
For the last four years, the address, formerly McAlindon’s Auto Repair, has been vacant.
“The building was vacant for four years, so there was no displacement,” said Mallia. “The neighbors concern was that it was empty for so long. It was a blight on the street.”
Mallia has had issues with Mission properties in the past. His plans to build eight mixed-income apartments next to another of his auto shops were met with protests by the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition. The coalition is a group of community organizers and housing advocates. Despite opposition, the project broke ground over the summer.
Arizmendi’s future neighbor said she would be moving in December or January.
“I’m relieved that it’s just a block away,” said Gabrielle Ekedel, owner of Gypsy Honey Moon.
Ekedel, who worked at the shop before buying it from its previous owners 14 months ago, can move in December 1. She would like to spend Christmas at her current location, so she is unsure when the move-in date will be.
She was pleased that Arizmendi would also be at the site.
The first Arizmendi bakery was opened in Oakland in 1997, with the assistance of the longtime Berkeley cooperative, The Cheeseboard Collective. All of its employees are shareholders of the company.
“You like to see business that is going to bring jobs into the community,” said Mallia enthusiastically. “Arizmendi fits the bill to the Mission like you wouldn’t believe.”
Arizmendi is in the process of opening another bakery in San Rafael, which is slowing down the process in the Mission. They hope to get final bank approval on January 8.
“Then we will begin recruiting and training a group of people to own their own bakery,” said Huet.