Castro Gets Pop-up Goodwill

An "only in San Francisco" store opens for business.

It's been years since the former Tower on Market Street has had a permanent tenant, but the latest guest in the Castro storefront is a welcome sight for many in the neighborhood.

Starting this weekend, the former record store will open as a "pop-up" Goodwill.

Organizers hope it'll remain at least until the spring, if not longer. It's the first Goodwill location in the country to offer employment services specifically targeted to transgender individuals. Space for the store has been donated by building owner Kent Jeffrey.

Goodwill is teaming up with the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative to provide just shy of a dozen jobs. It's a far cry from the approach taken by the Salvation Army, which has sought special permission to withhold medical benefits from gays and lesbians.

Longer-term plans for the space have included talk about a Trader Joe's. But those conversations have been held up by a variety of obstacles. Other tenants in the building are reluctant to make room for a grocery store, including a card store, a dry cleaner's, and a Radio Shack. Yes, that's right, Radio Shack still exists.

A year ago, the ETA for the Trader Joe's was "around a year." Looks like it might be time to revise that estimate.

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