Though the company still hasn't publicly announced its plans, it appears Trader Joe's has its heart set on a central SF location, namely the 21,000-square-foot basement space below Old Navy — which we first heard they were eyeing back in February. The underground space at 4th and Market was once an extension of the Old Navy store, with a cafe and an "edgier" clothing line, but as Hoodline reports, following some talks with Planning, TJ's has filed a liquor license application for the address so it looks like things are moving forward.

Groceries are of course a much needed commodity in this part of town, with options for residents and tourists alike limited to Walgreen's, CVS, and the pricy Bristol Farms at the Westfield Centre. But as one retail expert told the Business Times, this below-ground location for Trader Joe's is not exactly ideal. "It’s in the basement, no parking — I wish them all the luck in the world," says Matt Holmes of Retail West Inc.

But the idea is clearly to get a foothold that's easily reachable on transit, in a central location near a lot of new development, and in an area that isn't subject to SF's stringent formula retail bans. Locations that fit that bill and that are large enough for grocery aren't easy to come by, and thus TJ's is looking at the basement for its sixth SF location.

And, as Hoodline points out, TJ's bargain prices are likely to appeal to lower income residents of the Tenderloin and SoMa as well.

Stay tuned as this project becomes a done deal.

Previously: Trader Joe's Might Be Coming To 4th And Market