Below is an open letter written by Sean Quigley, owner of the Valencia Street business Paxton Gate, to Pilar LaValley of the planning commission. Want to write your own letter? Click here to learn more.
Dear Ms. LaValley,
I am writing regarding the proposed opening of American Apparel on Valencia Street. I moved my business to Valencia Street in 1999 knowing that the area was not yet a shopping destination. Many of my neighbors – Dema, Therapy, Ruby and others – had already started to create the unique feel that Valencia Street has become. My businesses and others have added to that flavor and together we have created a collection of creative and unique companies that are independently and locally owned. When I moved my business here I canvassed many neighborhoods and selected this one because I wanted to help create a neighborhood rather than move into an already established one. I would hate to see that work go to waste.
By allowing American Apparel to open on Valencia Street we will set a precedent that will be hard to argue against in future hearings making it likely that other chain stores like The Gap, Starbucks, and Banana Republic will follow. The hard work that we have accomplished in creating a unique shopping experience will be lost and this shopping district will be like others. Customers and tourists will have no reason to venture to the Mission District when they can do all of their shopping at the same stores downtown, on Union Street or Fillmore.
This is not about American Apparel; I have nothing personally against them. This is about chain stores and changing the flavor of a unique neighborhood. I strongly oppose this proposal and I hope that my thoughts and those of my neighbors will be respected.
Paxton Gate, Inc.
Paxton Gate’s Curiosities for Kids
One Inch to the Left, Inc. — Landscape Design-Build
(all located on Valencia Street)