Venerable Navarro’s Martial Arts Academy Faces Eviction on Mission Street


The beloved Navarro’s Marital Arts Academy on Mission near Cortland is being evicted, thanks to the gentrifying effects of… Christian book stores???

San Francisco Magazine reports:

For 43 years, Carlos Navarro has run a small martial arts gym in Bernal Heights whose community involvement and affordable classes have kept local lower-income youths from the temptations of drugs and guns. But decades of community goodwill have earned Navarro little credit with his new landlord, who asked him to vacate the gym by September 20 after he refused a rent hike from $1,800 to $6,500.

As the latest addition to a long line of small businesses being displaced in San Francisco, Navarro’s Martial Arts Academy had its lease terminated, despite pleas from the Navarro family and supervisor David Campos. Their request to at least extend the gym’s tenancy for a few more months was denied by the owner, Alice Tse of Innovistech Realty. Once the gym is gone, Steve’s Bookstore—a Christian bookstore based in North Carolina and owned by Olivet University, a SoMa-based for-profit university—is in line to take its place at the Mission Street storefront, near 30th Street.

IMAGE: via Google Maps

24 thoughts on “Venerable Navarro’s Martial Arts Academy Faces Eviction on Mission Street

  1. wow, seriously? the greed of Alice Tse seems to know no bounds. So after this bookstore craters, what will move in there? I guess artisanal food item of the week will be the lesser of two lamenesses.

  2. Well, if you were a landlord and could get $6500 a month in rent versus $1800 a month in rent, what would you do?

      • You did not answer the question, would you rent for $6500 if you owned the place and the current rent was $1800? It is easy to SAY not everyone is motivated by moneyy when you are not talking about YOUR money

  3. Wonderful fellow, Carlos Navarro. Very involved in early days of Mission Coalition. Let’s block this eviction. Si, se puede! Sent from my iPhone


    • one big problem with Carlos Navarro’s case of martyrdom…he’s a multi-millionaire. it’s true, know it for a fact. for him to be playing the poor hapless immigrant small businessman is complete BS

  4. Once again, I am surprised at which long-term businesses don’t own their buildings! Very sorry for the Navarros, I hope they can find a place to relocate. And Alice Tse sounds like a very unpleasant person to do business with. Can’t imagine an evangelical Christian bookstore (at least an English language one) doing well there, but then I’m not signing the lease.

  5. Just an idea, perhaps Rec and Parks would be willing to rent space to them for some of their activities at the Bernal gym, or perhaps they could hire or contract with some of their instructors to offer programs?

  6. Well I guess we know where to pee when we are done drinking at the Old Devil Moon once it is open next door.
    Ok not really, but a Google search of Alice Tse and the Yelp! reviews of Innovistech Realty (1-star) sure paint a picture of a not very nice lady. Best of luck to the Navarros

  7. Main reason you’d put a Xtian bookstore in SF is as a tax write-off. The churches are consummate tax professionals. The high rent helps rather than hinders.

    I’m not particularly pining for seediness.

    • If churches don’t pay taxes, there is nothing to “write off”. No, what’s happening is that ministries get donations from their members by saying, “We’ve just opened a Christian bookstore in heathen San Francisco. We need money to do God’s work.” Chances are that the Christian bookstore will be there for many years, as long as the donations hold up.

  8. There are still empty storefronts on Mission, why doesn’t the bookstore open someplace else? (esp of they have $6500/month to spend)

    • Perhaps the Navarros can find another location in the Mission. Anyone know any landlords willing to rent below market rate? I bet some of the big developers would be willing to rent to this business BMR just for the positive press it would get their proposed developments. The BEAST ON BRYANT is reconfiguring just for that very reason. Maybe the Navarros should contact them

  9. The storefront will be shuttered between the time Navarro’s closes and the bookstore opens. I bet the bookstore will last only a short time before it closes. All of these closed periods create a degree of blight. All of this landlord-driven churn has created lots of shuttered places (even if its temporary) and a lot of blight – blocks feel less alive.

  10. Who knows…maybe the LL was locked into a low rate lease for years, and finally was able to collect market rent. Can you blame her?

    What’s next? Rent control for the “correct” type of businesses? They’re looking into that right now on “Calle 24th” in the mish. I think it sets a bad precedence, one of intolerance.

    Cities change peeps. I say- out with the old and in with the new!

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