Home Depot hopes third time’s a charm

Home Depot is hoping ‘3’ is the magic number for their latest application to build a new store in The City’s Bayview District.

The company is attempting to build a new store on a 7.9-acre piece of industrial land at Cesar Chavez and Evans Streets.

The multi-use site is currently used as a staging area for construction of the San Francisco General Hospital. Up until 2009, the 50,000-square-foot building on the property housed the San Francisco Chronicle’s printing facility.

Home Depot is eyeing a 120,000-square-foot store and garden center on the site. The chain has attempted and failed with at least two other attempts to open a store in The City.

Four years ago, after years of jumping through hoops with the Board of Supervisors, Home Depot had to abandon plans to build a new store at Bayshore Boulevard due to the tanking economy.

To add pain to failure, not long afterward the site was bought by Home Depot’s fierce competitor, Lowe’s, who wasted little time in building a 107,000-square-foot store. Kathryn Gallagher, a Home Depot spokeswoman, told SFGate:

“It was disappointing for us, having invested close to a decade in trying to open a location in San Francisco. However, we have never given up hope, and we’ve been looking for the right location and opportunity to build a store. We feel this is it.”

During their first attempt in 2001, Home Depot had attempted to build a store on the former Schlage Lock factory in Visitacion Valley. At that time the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure that barred Home Depot, or any other big-box store, from opening a business at that location.

Gallagher knows that The City is an important market for Home Depot and said the company’s new center would employ 175 people. She told SFGate:

“We have wanted to open a store in the city for decades. San Francisco loses more than $600 million in home improvement sales revenue to retailers outside The City. Our analysis indicates that there is more than enough demand for multiple home-improvement retailers in The City.”