The latest victim of rising rents and opportunistic landlords is a heritage retailer of the Union Square area, Shreve & Co., a Bay Area jewelry business that dates back to the Gold Rush Era (opened in 1852) and which has occupied its flagship space at the base of what's called the Shreve Building at Post and Grant since 1906. As the Chronicle reports, Shreve has been unable to renew their lease after high-end, NY-based jeweler Harry Winston swooped in and negotiated a better offer with the landlord for the 4,300-square-foot space.
The rent for the space is likely somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 per square foot and with vacancy so low and the economy booming, luxury brands that don't have a foothold in Union Square, like Harry Winston, have been coming in and offering existing tenants buyouts in order to snag their spaces before their leases expire.
Shreve actually moved into the twelve-story building that bears their name in March, 1906, just a month before the Great Earthquake, and as you can see from this historic photo the frame of the building survived the quake and fire, and it's one of the last remaining buildings in the area that's nearly that old.
Since 1992, Shreve & Co. which also has locations in Portland and Palo Alto has been owned by Schiffman’s, a jewelry company based in Greensboro, N.C.
Real estate brokers are famously unsentimental unless it suits their next sale, and one tells the Chron that there's nothing to wring your hands over here, and it's a situation that's "just like Gump’s" which was forced out of its nearly 100-year-old location in 1994 and had to move a block away.
Shreve plans to do the same, leaving behind the Shreve building in search of a new home nearby, but they haven't identified where that will be. They'll remain at the corner of Post and Grant until at least mid-2016.