From Left to right Gymboree employees Amanda Fletcher Devon Bogdan and Erin Espinosa. Photo by Lydia Chávez

Mission Local Wins

The California Teachers Association awarded Mission Local with the John Swett Award for Media Excellence for Joe Eskenazi’s story, “Charter school advocates get down and, some say, dirty” in the category of Journals-Magazine-Special Publications and Websites.

Eskenazi’s story takes a close look at the guerrilla tactics that Innovate Public Schools, a charter-school system, uses to garner support for itself in the community.

Is the One Dollar Store a cultural asset? 

The Mission Economic Development Agency has filed a discretionary review for a project at 2100 Mission and 17th streets., now the site of the One Dollar Store. The project, proposed in 2009, would have 29 units over 3,500 square feet of retail space.

“This store is a major cultural asset to the community, and if it is not retained in a permanent fashion, this would negatively impact the stability of our low-income families and add to the price pressure on the surrounding shops,” the non-profit wrote in the letter on May 5. 

They are requesting that the new development be contingent upon letting One Dollar Store have space on the ground floor of the project, or that it be replaced by a comparable, affordable and neighborhood-serving business. 

The Albion on 16th

Superior Auto, the site of a potential restaurant and events space called the Albion on 16th, is up for rent and being marketed as, a “Trophy property located on a great corner of the vibrant Valencia Corridor in San Francisco’s Mission District.”

In actuality, the approvals for the site are taking so long that the developer, MX3 Ventures, needs to fill the building in the meantime. “It’s unfathomable for how long it takes,” said Phil Lesser, a permitting expert who is helping the developer navigate the labyrinthine city planning process.

Plans for the site have been troubled from the beginning. MX3 – owned by Manouch Moshayedi, a former tech executive – bought the building for an eye-opening $8.7 million in 2013, with plans to develop the site into housing.

After being notified that the garage was considered a historic resource, those plans were quickly nixed. And with few options and no buyers on whom to off-load the property for $11 million, Moshayedi opted to turn the site into a restaurant and events space.

Moshayedi told Mission Local he is still open to selling the historic garage.

“If a customer comes up and sees it as viable and wants to take it over, then we’ll sell it,” he said, as the garage, an events space, or otherwise.

Fundraiser for Horizons

Horizons San Francisco Friends School, a Quaker school located in the Mission, will hold a fundraiser Wednesday, May 17, for its upcoming summer camp program for low-income students who attend Marshall Elementary, Buena Vista Elementary and the Mission Preparatory School .

This is its fifth year putting on a six-week summer program that provides swim lessons, field trips, healthy meals and academic instruction in math and reading.

It will be held at Standard Deviant Brewing (280 14th St.) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m..

Is the Mission getting cleaner?

I ran into Erin Espinosa, Devon Bogdan and Amanda Fletcher at the corner of 17th and Valencia streets on Friday morning and, given the newness of their orange vests, I asked who they were.

Turns out, today is public service day at Gymboree, the San Francisco-based company that makes kids’ clothes. Espinosa and Fletcher said it was their second annual service day working in the Mission, and they had some good news: the Mission has gotten cleaner. LC

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. Actually, yes the class of stores represented by the Dollar store are a cultural asset that is facing extinction. There used to be the dollar store where the Gray Theater is, now its turned an exclusive high end non-profit. There used to be the 99 cent store at 19th and Mission, now the home of a second expensive high end restaurant.

    The stores that selling things cheap are disappearing. Consider all Thrifttown, the used store at 17th Street, that has closed. Consider the Goodwill near the corner of 19th, again closed and guessing from the construction happening there it willl be replaced by another exclusivish store. Many of the other stores that sold inexpensive items – often from Asia, that stretched along Mission Street have also either been closed or burned out.

    The cultural shift is more than evictions from apartments, its also the disappearance of the stores that sell cheap.

    The class of stores like the Dollar Store is a cultural asset facing extinction, but the particular Dollar Store pictured, isn’t a better example.

    1. And the long empty building 18th and Mission was also a dollar and up store, but sold things cheap.

  2. Please check 17th and South Van Ness instead of Valencia to see if the Mission is getting cleaner.

  3. MEDA has figured it out. Just call everything “Historic” and you can try to stop any development or progress. They are so dumb; there are enough moderates like me who live in the Mission and tell Ronen to stop just representing the displaced and represent everyone.