For years Home Depot has tried to break into the City by the Bay, but political resistance to big box stores had previously nailed them out. This week, however, the Atlanta-based retailer edged its way towards approval on a 6-5 vote from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Sophie Maxwell led the effort on behalf of Home Depot, promising the retailer would mean jobs for the Bayview District. Her support appeared more like a political move than an economic one. “It’s important that we deliver at this time, that we don’t have any more empty promises,” Maxwell told the San Francisco Examiner. Instead, she may get empty stores. Tom Ammiano, the supervisor who represents the Bernal Heights neighborhood, and has opposed the plan since day one, called the project “a scam and a sham.” To gain support, Home Depot made a deal with the North West Bernal Alliance to trim the store’s proposed size from 140,000 s.f to 107,000 s.f . The sixth vote that put Home Depot over the top was that of Supervisor Board President Aaron Peskin, who told the Examiner he usually takes a dim view of chain stores because of their impact on small businesses but said he voted for the project to protect “self-determination” by area residents. Ammiano was not resigned to the vote, and said that there might still be more challenges facing Home Depot. “It’s not over yet,” Ammiano was quoted as saying.
For earlier stories about Home Depot’s multi-year battle to get into San Francisco, search Newsflash by “San Francisco.”