Owner of dilapidated 80-room hotel in SF’s Tenderloin seeks $21M

Civic Center Inn, with squatters living inside, lists for $263K per room

Owner of Dilapidated 80-Room Hotel in SF’s Tenderloin Seeks $21M
790 Ellis Street in San Francisco (Google Maps)

The owner of a three-story hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, slathered with graffiti and home to squatters, has put it up for sale for $21 million.

The landlord has listed the shuttered 80-room Civic Center Inn at 790 Ellis Street, in the heart of a city hub for drugs and homelessness, the San Francisco Standard reported. 

The Standard did not identify the landlord, but the owner of the hotel is Vijay Patel of San Francisco-based Vijay Investments, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s landlord locator, which cites government data from 2021.

The listing describes the hotel’s location as a “prime San Francisco corner lot” with plenty of off-street parking. The 22,000-square-foot hotel, built in 1956, is listed at $262,500 per room, according to Loopnet. 

Days after it was listed, Jeff Appenrodt, a broker with Laurel Realty and Investments, said he has fielded calls from brokers interested in buying it.

Appenrodt said he knows of “a handful” of people living inside the dilapidated hotel. What he doesn’t know is if they’re paying rent, or have a rental agreement longer than 30 days, which would give them eviction protections, or if they would have to be evicted for nonpayment of rent.

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“The buyer will have to figure out what to do with them,” Appenrodt told the Standard.

While the hotel has been closed for five months, the half-acre parcel is zoned to allow developers to build up to 130 feet, meaning a buyer could tear down the hotel and turn it into a large housing project, he said. 

“If you’re looking at future development,” Appenrodt said, “it’s already so rough down there that it’s bound to get better as time goes on.”

Appenrodt told the newspaper he would like to see the city buy the building and turn it into a 100-percent affordable housing project. “It’d be a perfect place to house at least 82 people,” he said. 

San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness & Supportive Housing said the hotel’s owners asked the city to buy the hotel, but the city chose not to do so because of the high costs of revamping the hotel and converting it into permanent housing.

— Dana Bartholomew

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