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San Francisco to buy Haight McDonald’s, replace with housing

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Order on Stanyan Street burger joint is “to go”

A photo of the golden arches over a McDonald’s restaurant. Photo by Vytautas Kielaitis

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Friday that the city will buy the McDonald’s at the corner of Haight and Stanyan for an as-yet undecided sum, raze it, and replace the burger joint with housing.

The city dates the Haight McDonald’s building to 1975 and records it as a 3,500-square-foot structure sitting on a parcel more than ten times that size, which presently consists of mostly just a parking lot.

“Anytime we can acquire land for affordable housing, we need to do it,” Mayor Ed Lee told the publication.

The deal has been in the works since early August, when Supe. London Breed first suggested it publicly.

The purchase would knock off several birds with one stone, boosting the neighborhood’s housing stock and filling up a currently underdeveloped parcel while potentially solving a local nuisance. The Stanyan Street McDonald’s earned a reputation over the years as a hub for neighborhood crime.

Stanyan Street McDonald’s.
Stanyan Street McDonald’s.
Image via Google Street Views

In fact, a few days before Breed proposed the real estate deal, a man was shot at the fast-food diner.

The city received so many complaints about drug dealing and allegations of related crime there that City Attorney Dennis Herrera even complained directly to the McDonald’s corporation itself in 2015.

Herrera’s complaint letter called the site “a safe haven for drug dealers and users" and said that SFPD responded to calls at this one McDonald’s some 1,100 times in the preceding three years.

The city accused the now former franchise owner of refusing to do enough to curtail the problems and threatened a lawsuit.

In a 2012 New York Times story, that owner told the paper that employees called the police 300 times in just a few months, albeit mostly just to roust people who hung out without buying anything.