Candy retailer It’Sugar signs 20,000 square-foot lease in Union Square

The retail space, which has 227 feet fronting Market and Stockton streets, had been vacant since late 2019.

2 Stockton St. (Google Maps, iStock, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)
2 Stockton St. (Google Maps, iStock, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)

Candy retailer It’Sugar is delivering a vote of confidence in Union Square, the San Francisco retail area that has struggled through the pandemic.

It’Sugar, pronounced “It’s Sugar,” signed a short-term lease for 20,000 square feet of empty retail space at 2 Stockton St., taking over the spot formerly occupied by Forever 21, the San Francisco Business Times reported. It has 227 feet fronting Market and Stockton Streets and has been vacant since late 2019.

“It’s one of the most visible corner locations in all of downtown San Francisco, really the entrance to Union Square,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Kazuko Morgan, who represented the landlord along with Courtney Griffin. “It was very important to me and the ownership to have it activated even if it’s short-term.”

Retailers are starting to turn to Union Square as other neighborhoods such as the Design District draw engineering and biotech companies. Saatva, a luxury mattress company, signed a 6,000 square-foot showroom earlier this month at 128 Post Street. It’s Sugar, founded in 2006, says it has more than 100 locations across the nation, including six in the Bay Area and a 11,400 square-foot store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile that was formerly occupied by the Disney Store.

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The Union Square lease will probably last through late next year, before construction begins on two floors of office space above the retail area, where owner Stockton Street Properties is seeking to add 50,000 square feet. The building has a 21,890-square-foot and 2,331- square-foot space available, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s listings.

Union Square still has significant vacant space. Crate and Barrel is slated to close its 36,000-square foot store at 55 Stockton St. Other vacant buildings include H&M’s former43,000-square-foot location at 150 Powell St., Gump’s previous 33,000-square-foot home at 135 Post St., and the 22,600-square-foot Barney’s New York occupied at 48 Stockton St.

Last month, Sterling Group bought Disney’s former store, the 12,281-square-foot building at 39 Stockton Street, in Union Square from the Vanbarton Group for $11 million, less than half of the $27.5 million the seller had paid for it.

[San Francisco Business Journal] — Gabriel Poblete