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What’s happening with the shuttered McDonald’s on Haight Street?

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The city searches for developer to build housing at deserted fast food joint

A chainlink fence surrounding a McDonald’s restaurant with dark, empty windows.
The closed diner in 2018.
Photo by Adam L. Brinklow

Not much so far. The defunct McDonald’s on the corner of Stanyan and Haight, which the city bought last year, hasn’t slung burgers since March of 2018, but it hasn’t been doing much else since then, either.

The plan, which has caused contention with neighbors, was to transform the site into affordable housing for an estimated $15.5 million.

Last week the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) finally went ahead and issued an invitation (“request for qualifications,” or RFQ) for affordable housing developers to submit proposals to the city.

Now the city will task the selected party with the job of creating housing at the 730 Stanyan site, then award the developer a ground lease for the finished structure.

The RFQ also includes more details on what the new building at this prime location—at the foot of the main Haight-Ashbury drag and across the street from Golden Gate Park—will entail:

  • The final project will feature “a minimum of 120 units with ground-floor commercial use serving the surrounding neighborhood.”
  • Since the city promised affordable housing on this site, maximum rents will be restricted to a maximum average income of “60 percent unadjusted San Francisco area median income” (AMI). In April of this year, AMI for one person was $86,200. For a family of four, that figure came to $123,150.
  • The specs call for one-, two-, and three-bedroom units.
  • Reserve at least 40 units or 25 percent of the total are reserved for homeless families, “subsidized by the City’s Local Operating Subsidy Program.”
  • The commercial space should emphasize “specific programming determined through a comprehensive community outreach process and financial/market analysis,” and the developer should “conduct community outreach to engender support for the project.”
  • “Commence construction on the project as soon as possible.” City Hall recommends invoking laws like SB 35, a 2017 law that demands California cities build more housing, or the local or state Density Bonus Program, which offers incentives to increase affordable housing, to speed up the timeline.

The deadline for submission is October 18. The city will pick a developer on November 29.

In May of 2018, the city floated suggestions for potential temporary uses of the abandoned site. But the RFQ notes “given the potential to accelerate the construction of affordable housing, and shorten the interim period, the RFP process was put on hold.” Demolition of the existing building was rumored for that summer, but the structure still stood one year later.

Once the city settles on a developer, both parties will explore possible interim uses for the shuttered site.