Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Chain Stores Invade New York, Not San Francisco

<p>Chain stores have invaded Manhattan and now look to open in other New York City neighborhoods. Meanwhile, San Francisco's planning commission has the power to reject chain retail and restaurants. And they have been using that power.</p>
January 18, 2007, 8am PST | maryereynolds
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"At a glance, the junction of Broadway and Steinway Street could be mistaken for any intersection in Midtown. There are bank branches - Commerce, Chase and Bank of America - on three of the corners, and the fourth is home to a Rite Aid drugstore. Nearby are stores usually found in suburban shopping malls." New York City urban planner Jeanne Giordano, explains: 'The tipping point is that it's happening beyond the obvious places. The boroughs are all going down like bowling pins.' She continues that some New Yorkers are worried that 'it's getting boring around here.'"

"In contrast, the anti-chain sentiment in San Francisco remains strong. A ballot proposition to require planning review of proposed chain stores or restaurant outlets received about 60 percent of the votes, said Gerardo Sandoval, the city supervisor who sponsored the proposition. He says, 'Our position is: We're San Francisco; you can do what you want in other cities, but here we are going to protect local neighborhood character.'"

"Lawrence B. Badiner, assistant director of San Francisco's planning commission, explains that a few proposed Starbucks cafes had been rejected by the commission. He says: 'The predominant view in most parts of the city is, ‘We've got enough; if we want to go to Starbucks we know where to find one.'"

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, January 14, 2007 in The New York Times
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email