The gigantic vintage modern collective Stuff has been at Valencia Street near Duboce Avenue for 12 years, but has announced a January 31 closure over what the owners say is an untenable rent increase.
When the 17,000-square-foot collectible and antique mall Stuff opened on Valencia Street in 2011, it turned the idea of a vintage store on its head. Store manager Marty Scibilia told the Chronicle last year that the funky, eclectic shop sold “everything from $5 records to a $50,000 vase.” But Scibilia gave the Chronicle that description in a report that Stuff was was going to have to close over a reportedly massive rent increase, and the vintage destination frequented by stars like Jennifer Coolidge, Metallica, and Chris Isaak would be shuttering once its lease expired in 2024.
Fast forward a year from that report, and the problem is not resolved. Late Wednesday, the Chronicle reported that Stuff has announced it’s definitely closing. Store management told the Chron that the landlord demanded Stuff either buy the building, or face a staggering rent increase from $25,000 a month to $75,000 a month.
“Basically, the landlord wants to triple the rent,” Scibilia told the Chronicle Wednesday. “The owners have been looking for a year for a new location anywhere in San Francisco, but the rents are just too high. It’s the same old story.”
The landlord Aralon Properties has a different version of events. A representative for them says they had a deal in place last month for Stuff to buy the building, get a three-year extension on the lease, and have $10,000 monthly rent increases go toward their purchase of the building.
“We had a lease that was ready to be signed,” Aralon representative David Noravian of Beckett Capital told the Chronicle. “The tenant said he would send comments from his attorney and he never did. This deal would have allowed Stuff to stay in the building and purchase it at a fixed price, but we never heard back.”
Either way, the store has put up “Lost Our Lease” banners announcing the closure, and has started a GoFundMe campaign for the staff losing their jobs. Those jobs aren't the only loss, as Stuff is structured as a cooperative where 60 independent dealers lease space to sell items in the store.
Stuff’s liquidation sale is currently underway, and runs until their lease expires on January 31, 2024.
Image: Bruno R. via Yelp