San Francisco’s LGBT Center in the Castro faces increasing financial troubles and looks to host internal vendors as a bailout. The Planning Commission agreed on a proposal last Thursday to lease out space to restaurants and other commercial venues inside the LGBT Center.
Official announced that the center ran at a loss of over $200,000 a year and is still in heavy debt after its $12.3 million construction in 2002. Even the with the $157,000 loan from the Board of Supervisors in March, the Center still seems to struggle to find new revenue.
The LGBT Center will try to pry itself out of financial foreclosure with these upcoming plans to allocate space for commercial activity. In 2008, the Center housed a short-lived cafe business on the first floor, but the new plan is to open up a full-service restaurant and bar on its top floor.
Rebecca Rolfe, the Center’s executive director, said that bringing in a tenant to operate a restaurant and bar could bring the center as much as $100,000 in revenue the first year. She said income from that “would move toward the building becoming more self-sufficient.”
Supervisor Bevan Dufty is the one spearheading the legislation to officially rezone the Center for new tenants. For this restaurant rental plan to take effect, it would need to be approved by the full Board of Supervisors during their next Land Use & Economic Development Committee hearing.