SF approves spending $34.8 million to turn 114-unit hotel into housing for homeless people

San Francisco has agreed to buy a 114-unit residential hotel in the Cathedral Hill area to provide housing and services for homeless people.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of the purchase Tuesday, deciding to spend about $34.8 million, or about $305,000 per unit, to acquire the property at 835 Turk St. just east of Jefferson Square Park. The figure includes $25.7 million in purchase costs and another $9.1 million for immediate repairs needed to the hotel.

Supervisors’ approval of the deal comes after city officials tried and failed to buy another hotel less than a mile away in Japantown for the same purpose. That sale did not proceed after the owner backed out because of intense backlash from local residents and businesses, many of whom were concerned about the prospect of losing one of the neighborhood’s tourist hotels.

The Turk Street acquisition did not encounter such resistance and was approved without discussion by supervisors. It’s part of the city’s push to add more permanently supportive housing units and spread them beyond the Tenderloin, where the local homeless crisis is most apparent.

“This type of acquisition is absolutely essential and we are thrilled to see it come to fruition,” Supervisor Dean Preston, who represents the neighborhood, said in a statement after the successful board vote.

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