After a run as a Mission mainstay spanning more than three decades, motorcycle and scooter dealer Scuderia West is revving off to a new location.
Owner Greg McCord told The Standard on Thursday that the staff loves the Mission but issues with parking and an alleyway behind the store previously used for customer test-driving becoming an on-and-off homeless encampment means it's time to move. The business will relocate to Pier 70 in the Dogpatch, dubbed the 36th coolest neighborhood in the world by TimeOut last year.
While public safety issues were not the direct driver for McCord’s decision to move, he says a nearby navigation center didn’t help. Tents have filled the alley behind the business on and off over the last five years since the center opened, he said.
“That was where we let customers test drive scooters and motorcycles,” McCord said. “Now there's garbage strewn about, and people are sleeping back there, so that hasn't been great.”
McCord wanted to make it clear that although things have been chaotic because of drugs and crime in the area, parking was a bigger driver in the decision to move from the shop's home since 1998 at 69 Duboce Ave. on the edge of the SoMa neighborhood. Scuderia has been in business in the Mission since 1991.
“We've come to live with the situation in SoMa," he said. "It isn't prompting our move.”
Although there’s no grand-opening date set, the new space is expected to debut in about five months, with anticipated neighboring businesses including second locations for Standard Deviant Brewing and a Breadbelly bakery.
With that opening comes not just a chance to better meet customers’ needs, but also a chance to draw from the new location’s depth of San Francisco history, McCord said.
The announcement comes as building permits from the city and the Port of San Francisco recently arrived, following negotiations that lasted just over a year, McCord said.
The business will likely be a pioneer at its new location, Building 12, developed by Brookfield Properties, near the current end of 22nd Street off Potrero Hill.
“The same building that once was home to the production and fabrication of steel plates for ships’ hulls will now be an inclusive home to a new generation of making and industry,” said Tim Bacon, Brookfield’s senior director of development.
“We're going to be the first tenant in that building. Acres are opening up; the city streets don’t even go out there yet,” McCord said. “It’s several old shipbuilding sites out there that they are rehabbing. They kept all of the core structures, these massive pillars and steel beams all integrated in the architecture.”
The new space is a spectacular building by McCord’s standards, complete with underground and street parking for customers, something his current location had been severely lacking.
“I just think it'll be a better experience,” said McCord. “It's heartbreaking for us to leave the Mission. We've been there for three decades. The biggest thing is we're the first tenant out there. It's going to take a little bit of time for people to come out to the water in Dogpatch where we're at.
“If you’ve been to a rave out there in the last 30 years, that's kind of what it was, for at least several decades, used for events. Now that Brookfield got ahold of it, it's a lot more sophisticated.”
McCord added that “once the word gets out and people see the buildings that they have out there, it's going to have a lot of attention. ... San Francisco hasn't had that kind of acreage open up in 40 years, my whole life.”
George Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org