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Church Street bookstore’s building not up for sale after all

Four months later, $2.85 million listing disappears

The facade of Aardvark Books on Church Street. Photo courtesy of Jordan Geller

Fans of Aardvark Books, the old-school Castro bookstore near Church and Market, can rest a little easier Monday morning, as fate and the San Francisco real estate market have given the nearly 40-year-old neighborhood mainstay a happy ending, or at least another chapter.

Back in September the building that has housed the store since 1978 went up for sale, asking $2.85 million and seemingly signaling Aardvark’s pending extinction.

The looming closure was particularly frustrating since, unlike other longtime area small businesses the market has whittled away in recent years, it wasn’t the rent doing Aardvark in; store owner John Hadreas also owned the building.

The ad for the building noted the location’s “highly accommodative NCT zoning with no density restrictions or parking requirements” and called it “a prime candidate for mixed-use development.”

But despite this, the building didn’t sell. In November, the ad for 227 Church noted a “major price cut” down to $2.45 million. This, it seems, didn’t move the needle much either.

Four months is not an unusually long time for a property to remain on the market, but interest must not have been compellingly robust, as the listing has since disappeared altogether.

It’s risky to assume this is a true stay of execution, as another listing could appear any day or the building might change hands privately. But Aardvark manager David Lugn told Hoodline that the store “will remain open indefinitely.”