gay_money.jpgZoning Changes Would Allow Renting-Out of 1/5 of Center To Whomever

In its quest to become fiscally-sound, San Francisco’s LGBT Center wants to rent itself out to a bar, a club, a restaurant, a theater; and no part of the 35,000 square-foot center is off limits to prospective renters, the center’s executive director said Monday.

The Market Street institution has been losing money for years, running $250,000 in the red recently, according to executive director Rebecca Rolfe. That led the city to float the center a $157,000 loan earlier in the year, a cash injection needed to satisfy the $3.15 million the Center still owes to the Nevada bank that financed its construction.

Changes to the city’s zoning laws, introduced by Castro representative Supervisor Bevan Dufty, would allow the center to rent out up to 6,999 square feet of its 35,000 square feet to new prospective tenants.

The tenant(s) could rent the downstairs area once occupied by the Three Dollar Bill Café, and they could also rent out the fourth-floor community room and roof terrace area, Wolfe said.

After Dufty’s legislation clears the full Board of Supervisors over the next few weeks, prospective tenants could begin issuing bids to use the property as early as next month, Wolfe said. Any prospective tenant’s bid to rent out space at the Center will scrutinized – and the use will be “consistent” with the Center’s mission statement, Rolfe said, so a branch location of The Gulch is probably not going to happen – but bids can offer to use any part of the Center, Rolfe said.

“There’s nothing really off-limits,” she said.

Even this won’t completely right the Center’s ship, Wolfe said. After renting to a tenant, the Center hopes “reduce” its annual operating loss by $100,000, she said. That means the Center would still be $150,000 in the hole, but that would be enough to get by and to “ensure we offer the same levels of programs and services,” Rolfe said.

So there it is: 7,000 square feet, on Market Street on Octavia near new planned development, for $100,000 a year. That’s $8333 a month for prime retail! We’d ask our developer buddies if that was a good deal (that is, if we had any), but that sounds fine to us.

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