Rockstar hangout Phoenix Hotel in SF could sell as conversion project

Ziegler family pitches 1950s motor lodge as a site to build 450 housing units

Rockstar Hangout Phoenix Hotel in SF Has “For Sale” Sign
Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy Street (Loopnet, Getty)

The site of the Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco — a 1950s motor lodge that has hosted the likes of David Bowie, Kurt Cobain and Neil Young — is up for sale, with the seller pitching a residential conversion for an apartment complex with up to 450 units. 

The 44-key property, located at 601 Eddy Street in the Tenderloin District, has an asking price of $15 million, or $340,909 per room. 

The hotel, which opened as the Caravan Lodge in 1956, has long been a pit stop for touring musicians playing the Fillmore or the Great American Music Hall. Anthony Kiedis, the singer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, once called it ”the most sexually, intellectually and culturally stimulating hotel in San Francisco.” 

Aside from its rockstar ties, the property is also famous for its courtyard pool, which is just one of two landmarked swimming pools in the country. It also has an onsite restaurant called Chambers Eat+Drink. 

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Hotelier Chip Conley took over the property in 1987 and rebranded it as the Phoenix. The hotel underwent a renovation two decades later, with designs from Liz Lambert, the hotelier behind the Austin Motel in Texas. Conley’s lease for the property expires on Sept. 30, 2025, according to a listing from LoopNet.

The seller is the Ziegler Family Trust, which is managed by Charles Ziegler, property records show. It’s unclear when the Zieglers bought the property. However, they are named in records dating back to 2010. 

According to the listing, the site could accommodate an 80-foot-tall building with 377 units, or up to 450 units with California’s Density Bonus.  

A number of hotel-to-residential conversions are already on the docket in the Bay Area. Earlier this month, Oakland Alameda Hotels announced plans to convert a 300-room Radisson Hotel near Oakland airport into an affordable housing complex. In November, New Civic Company filed a permit application to convert a SoMa hotel into a 111-room group housing facility.