USF pays $31M for site of blood bank next to main campus

School has been in talks on Inner Richmond site since 2012

250-270 Masonic Avenue, San Francisco (Google Maps)
250-270 Masonic Avenue, San Francisco (Google Maps)

The University of San Francisco has closed its acquisition of the site of a blood bank next to its main campus in Inner Richmond, The Real Deal has learned.

The 1.5-acre property, at 250-270 Masonic Avenue, changed hands in a $31 million deal, records show. An 80,000-square-foot building on the site, at the corner of Masonic Avenue and Turk Boulevard, was previously a blood bank and research facility known as the Blood Centers of the Pacific. The seller is Vitalant Blood Systems, a non-profit that operates 120 blood donation centers across the U.S.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

According to a representative for USF, the acquisition will reduce space constraints on its main hilltop campus. The 55-acre hilltop campus, divided by Turk Street, is home to five schools, according to USF’s website. The university expects occupancy at the Masonic Avenue building by the summer of 2023, depending on the result of a permit application to change the use of the property for educational purposes.

In March, USF President Paul Fitzgerald published a letter announcing that the university was considering steps to acquire the property. In the letter, Fitzgerald said that USF has been in negotiations for the site of the blood bank since 2012. Talks stalled in 2017 with Vitalant unable to secure new space for its operations. The negotiations were revived after Vitalant acquired space near the University of California-San Francisco.

The University of San Francisco is currently expanding. In February, the university announced that it has signed a formal letter of intent to acquire the San Francisco Art institute. Under the terms of the agreement, USF will take ownership of the 150-year-old art school’s buildings and assets at its Chestnut Street campus. The properties include the Anne Bremer Memorial Library, the Diego Rivera gallery and a rooftop amphitheater. If the merger passes a period of due diligence, it would create an integrated program called the San Francisco Art Institute at the University of San Francisco.