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SF legacy business Joe's Ice Cream is in danger of being demolished

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Joe’s Ice Cream has been a staple in San Francisco for the past 63 years, but the owners of this historic store aren’t sure about its future after discovering the building could be developed for housing. Hmm.

Owners Sean and Alice Kim told SFGATE they were unaware of the development plans until late August, when a property investigator spent hours measuring the Geary Blvd 5420 building. The Kims found the property inspector’s visit strange and decided to Google the company’s address later in the day.

They found a June post by nonprofit housing advocacy group SF YIMBY. Under the acronym “Jesus in my backyard,” SF YIMBY details preliminary plans for a mixed-use building submitted to the city. The most impressive thing for Mr. and Mrs. Kim was the final sentence, “The existing one-story commercial facility will need to be demolished.”

“I was very shocked and frustrated because there is no future for us if we have to demolish the building,” Alice said. “It was very difficult to manage all the stress.” .”

A planning application for the demolition of 5420-5424 Geary Blvd was filed in April. We need to make way for a structure of 9-18 units. The plan he submitted less than a month later. If plans go forward, in addition to Joe’s Ice Cream, the adjacent Business Cards and Comics Central could be affected. SFGATE reached out to the retailer for comment, but did not hear back prior to publication.

The Kims told the Richmond Review earlier this month that they knew the property was put up for sale in February, but did not believe the sale would result in new development plans.

“Nobody told me about this submitted developer application,” Sean said. “They did extensive research [of the property], I mean, they’re really serious and they have intentions…that’s why we’re really scared. ”

Another major concern for the couple is that they are unsure if they will be allowed to complete the lease term, which ends in 2029, as they worry about possible evictions.Joe’s Ice, which first opened in 1959 Cream became a legacy business in San Francisco in 2017. Legacy programs can provide legal assistance and rent stability subsidies, but it is difficult to support small businesses in situations where demolition is at risk.

The San Francisco Small Business Administration, which operates the Legacy Program, confirmed that it is working with Joe’s Ice Cream to provide guidance and has contacted them with the nonprofit Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights to provide legal advice. connected. Joe’s Ice Cream and Cards and Comics Central also applied for an SBA loan in hopes of convincing the landlord to sell the building, according to the Kims.

“Hopefully I can get a pre-qualification letter from the lender and tell the landlord that the building is ready to buy,” Sean said. We hope that will sell it to us.”

SFGATE reached out to Gaetani Real Estate, the property management group that owns the building, but did not hear back before going public.