Trader Joe's could be bringing its buckets of snacks to the center of the downtown universe at 4th and Market Streets. The subterranean retail space beneath Old Navy is their potential destination, according to Hoodline, who unearthed some Planning Department records indicating that the grocery chain was interested in beginning the approvals process for opening its sixth SF location there.
So while no one over at TJ's HQ has confirmed that the plans are in place, it's still a wild and possibly wonderful concept for those nearby. The downtown area, which is only increasing in density, has few options for fresh groceries, except for the sad options at the nearby Walgreens or the expensive/not great Bristol Farms in the basement of the Westfield Centre. There is a Whole Foods on 4th and Harrison, but that's not exactly apples to apples, given Trader Joe's propensity for cheap packaged foods versus Whole Food's pricey organic goods. (Incidentally, Whole Foods still has plans to bring its "cheaper" 365 market to Polk St.)
It's an interesting move, SFist points out, considering that the grocery chain pulled out of plans for a Castro location based on their car-reliant business model. There's certainly no parking in the basement of Old Navy, and scarcely anywhere else in that high traffic area, so perhaps we're looking at some kind of abbreviated version of the grocery's offerings. Or, maybe it just doesn't matter because of the amount of foot traffic in the area.
Either way, all of this is still up in the air. Stay tuned for more details on whether you'll be able to obtain $19 jeans from Old Navy and $3 bottles of Charles Shaw from TJ's in one fell swoop.