Back to the Future
Last week, SF Weekly warned that you might want to take pause before plunging your savings into the stock offering of Wired Ventures Inc. -- the parent company of Wired magazine (see "System Crashing," July 10). In a nutshell, Wired wanted investors to shell out $12 per share for stock in a company that admitted it wouldn't be profitable anytime soon. Well, blaming the "broad stock-market correction," Wired Ventures President Jane Metcalfe has now told employees that company executives "have decided to temporarily halt the countdown to our IPO, and wait until this storm has passed." Just a hunch, but look for the Wired stock price to be a lot cheaper when the weather finally clears.
Politics, shmolitics. All the overcoverage of Willie Brown's wardrobe has finally helped the mayor make an international name for himself in the fashion world. The May/June issue of New York Italia, "The American Magazine of Italian Lifestyle," quotes none other than Hizzoner on the subject of Pierce Brosnan's Brioni suits in the James Bond film GoldenEye.
"The highest compliment [to the Italian fashion company] was paid by American politician Willie Brown," the magazine reports, quoting Brown as saying, "They're perhaps the only clothes that allow you to carry a Beretta under your jacket without anyone noticing."
Well, that's important if you're James Bond anyway. The ever impeccably dressed Brown also apparently shares the same taste in suits (average price: $2,500) with such famous names as Nelson Mandela, Donald Trump, and Al Pacino.
Filling the Gap
If you thought Gap Inc.'s presence in San Francisco couldn't get any bigger, think again. No, the khaki pushers aren't planning a new line of "Super Relaxed" chinos for wide-bottomed customers. Instead, the Gap is likely to acquire more land in downtown San Francisco, according to officials at the city Redevelopment Agency. The Gap paid roughly $10 million in May for 61,000 square feet at Steuart and Folsom, where the retail giant plans to build its world headquarters. Now it appears the Gap will snap up an additional 40,000 square feet of land immediately north of the site. That means the original plans for a 450,000-square-foot high-rise will probably be revised, enlarged, and resubmitted for city approval. Going up a waist size this time may draw decidedly less publicity than the first time around, giving the Gap a shot at a larger building without the potential public outcry. The Gap has until August to exercise an option on the additional land, but the Redevelopment Agency is so sure it will happen that it's already updating the environmental impact report, according to Senior Project Manager Michael Kaplan. No comment from the Gap.
In the lead story of the Ex's business section last Sunday, Wendy Tanaka claimed that "an ongoing retailing boom" in downtown S.F. is "creat[ing] what some say may be the most concentrated urban retail and entertainment center in the world." Like us, you probably snickered: Who are these provincials, so unfamiliar with the topography of New York, Paris, or Hong Kong? Turns out that they were apparently imaginary. Tanaka not only never bothered to marshal facts to buttress this prominent thesis, she never quoted anyone making the far-fetched claim or, indeed, referred to it again in the story.