A papered-over storefront that has sat dark on 24th Street in Noe Valley for the last 14 years is finally on the market and could potentially be redeveloped as housing. The Chronicle reported on this "hole in the heart of Noe Valley," the long shuttered Real Food at 3861 24th Street, potentially getting filled just as this retail strip in the neighborhood has about 15 vacancies currently. And they explain that the sale is happening just as the company that owned the property, Nutraceutical International, is getting acquired by private equity company HGGC which was co-founded by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young.
The store was opened as Real Food by local resident Kimball Allen back in 1970, and sold along with two other Real Food locations in 2002 to Neutraceutical. After 30 employees there attempted to unionize, Neutraceutical shuttered the location, setting off a years-long legal battle that ended with a $371,219 settlement for the workers in 2009.
Former supervisors in charge of District 8, Bevan Dufty and Scott Wiener, each attempted multiple times to persuade Park City-based Neutraceutical to develop or sell the property, which became a blight in the neighborhood. In 2015, the company hired an architect to draw up some preliminary plans for the property's development, as Curbed reported at the time, but that went nowhere.
Current Supervisor Jeff Sheehy said of the central location to the Chronicle, "It’s great we finally have some movement on this."
Neighborhood merchants are pushing for a food-hall concept like the soon-to-close The Hall on Market Street, to bring mom-and-pop vendors immediately into the vacant space while the sale and development process take place, which could take upwards of two years before construction even begins.
The Hall, which was announced as a temporary space-filler to activate a long blighted strip of Market Street in advance of a planned development on the site, has now been open for three years, and construction is set to begin there this fall. It is set to close in September, and some of those vendors are probably looking for a new home.