The Ingleside Light is a reader-funded community news outlet. If you find the journalism here useful, please consider subscribing. You can do so here.
One of Ingleside’s anchor storefronts may soon have a new tenant.
Representatives of the delivery startup Gopuff announced this month the company’s intention to open a BevMo with an accompanying Gopuff distribution center in the former Target Express location on the 1800 block of Ocean Avenue.
“We’re a new type of retailer that brings essential goods to you in under 30 minutes,” Gopuff Government Affairs Analyst Bilegt Baatar said at the Ocean Avenue Association’s monthly meeting. “A big success factor in our business is providing that quick and convenient experience for our customers.”
Headquartered in Philadelphia, GoPuff was founded in 2013. It’s had explosive growth and tremendous success acquiring investment. In July, it secured $1 billion in new funding, giving the company a $15 billion post-money valuation.
Gopuff purchased BevMo for $350 million in late 2020.
“We’ve integrated Gopuff into the retail and delivery experience of BevMos in dozens of locations across the state,” Baatar said. “It’s also a combination that really is exciting and makes a lot of sense, since BevMo has always really been about offering beverages and more. We really see ourselves as adding on to that ‘more’ element.”
The Ingleside location will have the features of a BevMo, including food, the same hours of operation and a BevMo sign on the facade, according to Gopuff Real Estate Manager Michael Dagit.
Dagit said drawings of the space in two to four weeks and that an agreement will be struck with Target in four to six weeks.
Gopuff is early in the process of obtaining formula retail and conditional use permits from the Planning Department.
“We are actually engaging with the Planning Department currently on another location on Geary [Boulevard],” Bataar said. “We are well versed in what we need to do for that whole process. But really, it’s kind of hard to say at this time what the end timeline looks like.”
Gopuff is participating in the first-source hiring program, which extends employment opportunities to disadvantaged communities, Baatar said.
“On top of that, we’re continuing to have partnerships and build partnerships with other community organizations in San Francisco, such as the Richmond Neighborhood Center, Code Tenderloin and Latino Taskforce,” Baatar said. “So we really are committed to that local element.”
Peter Tham, a principal with Loc Tham Real Estate Group and member of the Ingleside Merchants Association, supports BevMo-Gopuff’s plan. [Disclosure: the Ingleside Light is a member of IMA.]
“I’m definitely in support of a new business opening on Ocean Avenue,” Tham said. “It will help increase economic vitality, and the neighborhood could surely use a new business.”
Ingleside’s retail district was battered by the pandemic.
A review of storefronts conducted by the Ingleside Light in April found some 25% inactive.
Target, despite record profits during the pandemic, vacated the Ocean Avenue location in late June. Storefronts of its size often go years before a tenant signs a lease.
Across the way from the former Target lies a space vacated by CVS Pharmacy in 2017. Coincidentally, BevMo, under its previous ownership, sought to rent the space that same year. It’s unclear why a leasing agreement could not be struck.
A dialysis center abandoned controversial plans to occupy the former CVS space earlier this year.