Impact: Cole Street Merchants & Seismic Retrofits

THIS ARTICLE WILL BE CONTINUALLY UPDATED. The Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Program (MSSP) was created in 2013 to ensure the safety and resilience of San Francisco's housing stock through the retrofit of older (before 1978), wood-framed, multi-family buildings (5 or more residential dwelling units) with a soft-story condition. A "soft story" is either a garage or an open-space storefront on the first floor of a building, which leads to greater potential for damage to the building as a whole in the event of an earthquake, unless seismic reinforcements have been made.

Here’s what we know about the businesses affected in Cole Valley – we’ll continue post information as we get updates:

Update March 12, 2016:

  • Tantrum has closed due to the construction. Visit them in their temporary (we hope!) space at 248 Clement Street beginning April 1st.
  • Padrecito's, Lavande, and Mane Attraction will stay open during construction, thanks to the owner of the building looking for alternative ways to do the work and keep the businesses open. Work is estimated to begin in January 2017.

Information as of March 1, 2016:

  • Tantrum, the shop curated with “whimsy filled with kid-centric well-designed gifts for kid’s and grown-ups alike” needs to vacate their space in March  for 5-6 months. There’s more than seismic work that needs to be done there.
  • Urban Mercantile, a “unique purveyors of sublime and refined goods and gifts” is scheduled to close in April for 3 months. Their annual January sale will run longer this year to reduce inventory to pack up.
  • Vierra & Friends, a popular hair salon, may have a pop-up space outside the neighborhood, thanks to their landlord.
  • A permit has been filed for the building La Boulagerie is in, but we don’t have information about when the work will be done.
  • Padracito’s, Mane Attraction, and Lavande are in one building together and will hear soon what their fate is.
  • Peet’s and MadKat’s building is on the list but we have no other information.
  • Crepes on Cole is not affected because there are fewer than five residential units in their building.

Imagine what closing a small business means! Packing up the inventory; finding an alternative location and unpacking or storing the inventory; laying off employees for a short time with the hopes they’ll return – or paying them; losing money; losing customers… Yikes! Let’s hope we don’t lose our favorite Cole Valley business.

What can we do as a community to show our merchants? Support these businesses before they close and when they reopen.