The landowner, who wished not to be named, is one of several family members that now own roughly half the property proposed for redevelopment at the corner. The property, from 1032 to 1062 Castro Street, includes the buildings that house the Rose Market, Peets Coffee, Le's Alterations, Sushi Tei and Tanya's Hair Design.
Their father, longtime landlord John Nicholas, died in 2011.
The landowner said it was important to the family to see the corner developed well as a "gateway" to downtown at one of the most important intersections in the city. "We are suggesting and hoping the (existing) tenants are very much considered," the landlord added. "We have asked for that."
Rose Market's owner, Javad Mehran, told the Voice he is concerned about the future of his business.
The popular Persian grocery store has leased its building for over 20 years. A dozen other nearby businesses face eviction, mostly by another owner of parcels in the proposal from 801 to 819 El Camino Real.
Mehran said he holds a lease until 2016, and has an option to extend the lease until 2021, an option Mehran said he thought was "guaranteed." He added, "I don't know what options they have to break the lease."
The landowner would not confirm or deny the length of the lease.
Mehran said he first heard about the development proposal by reading about it in the Voice in April. "We still have a lease, we'd like to know what's going on," he said at the time.
Mehran has since met with representatives of the developer, Greystar, who told him about the project but did not promise to pay relocation expenses or make space for the market in the new development. Early plans include 6,000 square feet of of ground-floor retail. Mehran said his store now uses 4,000 square feet.
"People are asking, 'What's going on? Are you going to be closed?'" Mehran said. "This is very depressing for us and the people working here. We've been in this location for more than 20 years. I spend more time here than my home."
He said nearly 20 employees work at the market, many of them longtime employees.
The market is popular lunch spot, its outdoor tables often full during lunch hour with people enjoying a kebab. The landlord has noticed.
"The Rose Market is really popular with people," the land owner said. "I don't know if you've had the kebabs but they're incredible."
Fueling Mehran's fears was a comment made at the April City Council meeting on the project by Jonathan Hayes, development director for Greystar, who responded to questions about keeping existing businesses. "We've been asked not to approach any of the tenants — except for Peet's — we have been asked to approach them," he said.
Greystar did not respond to a request for comment.
The landlord denied asking Greystar to exclude the existing businesses, saying "It's not in our nature to exclude them."
The developer does not yet own the property, and it appears the developer won't own it unless the family is pleased.
"We want something that everybody, including the neighbors, will say, 'I'm really glad that's there,'" the landowner said. "That's why we picked this developer because we knew he'd do a quality job. It's not good enough to be OK, it has to be incredible for the citizens."
The landowner says the family is in no rush to sell, and have no immediate financial obligations, like estate taxes, that require the land be redeveloped or sold.
"No one has a gun to our heads," the landowner said. "(We) can take the time to do it right. If we were desperately trying to do something, you are not going to get a good quality project. In my opinion, we are obligated to so something very good."