gay_money.jpgLGBT Center emergency loan approved; $157k to be paid back beginning in 2015

San Francisco will float the Castro District’s LGBT Center a $157,000 line of credit — cash needed to satisfy the Center’s lender on an outstanding $3.2 million loan — but no more than that, city officials said Tuesday, and the money must be repaid starting in 2015.

The LGBT Center is in arrears with First Republic Bank, who floated the center the loan to cover costs remaining from its $12.3 million construction ($5.77 million came from city funds, about $3 million from private donors, the rest came from the bank).

Since the Center’s opening in 2002, the Center has paid the bank about $1.5 million but has paid off only $50,000 in principal, according to center officials. The bank has since asked the Center to create a $157,500 reserve account to guarantee some sort of payment. That is money the center says it does not have.

Center officials assuaged doubts from city leaders leery about lending with what they say is a solid revenue-generating plan: they will rent out commercial space at the center, including 5,600 square feet on the fourth floor, to start operating if not at a profit, at least at less of a loss.

The Center hopes to glean as much as $150,000 from renting out the fourth-floor space alone, according to Executive Director Rebecca Rolfe, but must first go through a 3-4 month permitting process.

Space on the first and second floors, including space last rented by a cafe in 2008, can be rented out immediately, Rolfe said. The center does not yet have any suitors for the lower-level space, she said. Rental rates for the center’s community spaces are not expected to change.

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