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Nob Hill: Fairmont Hotel Still Aiming for Reincarnation

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Regardless of what's happening in the rest of the country, San Francisco has a mayoral election coming up. And even though he's not running, Mayor Lee is juggling powerful constituencies- the owners of the Fairmont, the hotel union, the hotel's immediate neighbors on Nob Hill, and fans of the Tonga Room.The owners want more time to get plans approved for conversion of half the hotel into condos by knocking down the mid-century tower at Mason and Sacramento and replacing it with a new tower. They claim the Fairmont's not generating enough money as a hotel. The unions don't want to give up any jobs. The neighbors don't want two years of demolition and construction, especially since asbestos may play a role. And of course, the Tonga Room has its own legion of fans who like strong fruity drinks with parasols and naked frat boys in its pool. The Tonga remains one of the few bars in America where the coat check has fluffy towels.
· Mayor Wants More Time for Fairmont Hotel Deal [Examiner]
· Tonga Room/Fairmont HotelCoverage [Curbed SF]