Modern Times Bookstore Evicted From Valencia, Moving to 24th

After 20 years on Valencia and 20th, Modern Times was booted from their current location by their landlord, who opted to not allow the bookstore renew their lease.  According to the shop, the landlord-forced move was not all that bad, as moving gave the shop an opportunity to downsize and refocus their energy on community events, helping them stay nimble in the internet age.  The only problem was they hadn't secured a new space ahead of their April 30th eviction.

Well, the shop just secured new digs at 2919 24th, the muralized building vacated by Live Fit Gym adjacent to Wonderland:

Terrific news for Modern Times, no doubt.  But what does it say about Valencia Street that a 40-year-old Mission business with two decades of history on Valencia has to pack up and head to 24th for refuge?  Probably that 24th will be facing similar problems in 10-20 years, but whatever.

Comments (13)

But what does it say about Valencia Street that a 40-year-old Mission business with two decades of history on Valencia has to pack up and head to 24th for refuge?

The real question is how did they stay in business for so long, with such shabby customer service.

i’ve always had great service at modern times. but yeah they’ve had the occasional surly lazy cashier.


The new Valencia Street is great, but there is something sad about Modern Times closing here. I always had good service at Modern Times, even that I now realize that I haven’t bought a book there for a while. So it may not only be a Valencia thing, but an Borders, Amazon thing.

If you haven’t noticed, we recently went from five Borders locations in SF down to one. Borders at Union Square, the two locations at the Westfield SF Center, and the Mission Bay location all closed.

The last Borders is at Stonestown, and I doubt any self-respecting Missionite is going to be caught dead at Stonestown.

People don’t buy books anymore. They read blogs and look at YouTube. There is only so much time for reading in the day, and people aren’t reading many books these days. That’s why their business hasn’t kept pace with increased costs.

A landlord opting to not renew a lease is not the same as an eviction. But I suppose you have to present it as such to maintain your “Mission Authenticity”.

Hmm. How do you figure? They cannot stay in the location without a lease. Therefore they are legally being forced to leave the location. Just because they are leaving under their own power, as opposed to drawing it out until the bailiffs arrive doesn’t make it any less of an eviction.

They’ve been running on a month to month because they (not the landlord) elected not to renew their lease a while back. They must not have wanted the liability of having a multi-year lease for whatever reason.

Does anyone know if the landlord has a new tenant lined up, or is it going to join the ranks of the empty storefronts on Valencia while the landlords hold out and wait for someone willing to pay outrageous rent?

I hope the Supervisors follow up on the City economist’s suggestion to create a tax on vacant commercial properties to encourage landlords to lower the rents to where businesses that don’t sell $100 meals or $500 jeans can afford to pay them.

That’s a great idea, I hadn’t heard about it, but it is brilliant!

I read that there is another tenant lined up, hence their move out date. They had been operating on a month to month for a while now.

I know this is a very old conversation, but for whatever it’s worth, the lease that expired was a 5 year one - we were never month to month, “mission tipster.” dunno where you get your info…