The historic facade of the Superior Automotive auto garage at 3140 16th St. Photo by Lola M. Chavez

A five-story apartment building. An events space and restaurant. Now, a school?

Marin Preparatory School, currently located on Diamond Street in the Castro, is in contract to purchase the historically protected auto garage at 16th and Albion, which sold five years ago for $8.7 million to Manouch Moshayedi, the head of the family-owned real estate development firm, MX3 ventures.

“It will be good to finally have a use that the city and neighborhood will like,” Moshayedi told Mission Local, confirming the pending deal with the school.

Moshayedi originally planned to raze the nearly century-old garage for a five-story, 28-unit apartment building. When it became clear the building’s class-A historic status prevented demolition, he pivoted, proposing an event and restaurant space. This was not well-received by neighborhood activists and residents. He subsequently scrapped that idea.

The school’s exact plans are unclear. Marin Preparatory’s head of school, Jeff Escabar, wrote in an email that, “We are currently drafting plans for 3140 16th St. with our architect,” but “are not ready to present at this time.”

The school is in the process of seeking community input, as it will require a conditional use permit to operate an educational facility there. That will be a determining factor of when, and if, the deal will close, said Moshayedi.

Moshayedi would not name specific figures, but he said he would not be losing money on the deal based on what he bought it for and what’s he’s selling it for. He said, however, that he lost money when you factor in the five years he held the property.

The Beaux-Arts-style structure at 3140-3150 16th St. was erected in 1920. Before Moshayedi acquired the building in April 2014, Jesse Henry owned it and operated Superior Automotive there for 32 years.

“It’s a very good school,” Moshayedi said. “They’ll fit very well into the neighborhood.”  

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. Campers,

    Another top school is a great idea.

    I’m a retired Special Ed. teacher and the neighborhood is becoming a ‘School Zone’.

    The Quakers have made a model school in the old Levis Building.

    The protesters who picket Manny’s have a pre-school across the street.

    There’s also lots of Veterans housing which goes under radar.

    An improving hood, big time.

    Go Warriors!


  2. My kid attended Live Oak School at Marin Prep’s current address,117 Diamond St. I think the school property still belongs to the Catholic Archdiocese. I was curious, and did a quick search. It seems Bright Horizons owns Marin Prep. Bright Horizons is a nationwide childcare operator.
    “The company operates globally by providing child care for more than 850 corporate clients around the world. … Bain Capital acquired Bright Horizon Family Solutions in 2008 for $1.3 billion and launched an IPO in January 2013, making it a publicly traded company.”
    Marin Prep website says donations are deductible. How is that possible when the parent company is listed on Nasdaq? I do see that Bright Horizons has a foundation, focused on day care for children in crisis.
    My grandkid attends a Bright Horizons Daycare. It is a lovely facility, & the teachers are great. I feel sure they are not paid enough, especially given cost of living here in SF.
    I am not a fan of global companies privatizing & profit-izing daycare and elementary education.

    1. I wasn’t aware there was a line drawn around the Mission District prohibiting any particular group of people from being excluded based on real or imagined biological or ethnic differences. Would you care to elaborate?

    2. Is there a line drawn around any particular neighborhood in San Francisco prohibiting people from entering, working, studying, residing there? Please elaborate on your comment.

    3. “No white kids allowed.” Very nice. That would go over real well if any other race were inserted in that phrase.

    4. That’s exactly what the Italians in the Mission said about Latinos in the 1960’s. Cities change.

  3. If this happens it’s one more reason to get rid of the street parking on that block and turn the whole length of the curb into loading.

  4. I can’t imagine a pick up and drop off line on an already crowded street and I can’t imagine prep school parents are going to let their kids be on Muni there.

  5. I don’t see why MEDA and Calle 24 (is this even in their purview? ) would be opposed to this. It has been an abandoned garage for years. The city / powers that be would not allow housing, and nobody is being displaced. If MEDA is against a school for children I can’t wait to hear what arguments they concoct to oppose it – though nothing from MEDA—no matter how absurd (shadows, wall color, music type, window size, staff language spoken, tenuous historical ties, among their previous complaints) — surprises me anymore.

    1. It costs close to 30K a year to send a child to this school.
      Yes there is the obligatory financial aid possibilities if you survive the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) process.
      You’ll still have to pay a significant fee.
      There is a Spanish Infusion program.
      Not much propaganda on diversity though.
      Bottom line – it’s a school for rich kids.
      Nothing wrong with that but the location is a little tone deaf relative to the kids struggling in the Mission with SFUSD “institutions”.

      1. And there it starts. “Tone Deaf” is euphemism for racist or mean. You cannot avoid seeing wealth in this city regardless of where you live, but Carlos and others don’t seem to get that.

        Maybe we can look at it the other way. These “rich kids” are obviously privileged and will grow up with more money and influence than the average Missionite. Wouldn’t it be a good thing for these rick kids to grow up in an area that is poor so they can more easily relate to the problems that exist, vs only hearing about them in the news? If we insulate the rich kids, they will never see poverty so when they get to be in power, they won’t really care about fixing poverty.

        We need MORE rich school in poor areas and not less.

        1. A private school in the Mission? Next thing you know Valencia Street will be lined with boutiques and expensive restaurants!

        2. Mr. Thompson – I can see why you might take that angle.

          The beef is not with rich white kids it’s with SFUSD.

          Parents of any means whatsoever make great sacrifices to send their kids to a private or parochial school rather than risk their child ending up in some SFSUD juvenile warehousing facility.

          If we lived in a poor municipality an under-performing school district could be rationalized.

          But SF is drowning in money with more flooding in at an ever faster rate. There are special assessments on property taxes dedicated to schools. The budget for our town with not even 900,000 residents is greater than 13 states and yet we rank at the bottom of the list for well administered cities. But then again – this is what we vote for every election in our soviet style one party system.

          A little off topic but – bottom line – the best of the best public schools need to be in the places like the Mission, Tenderloin and especially Bayview/Hunters point.

          1. The schools you speak of get the most money, smallest class sizes and extra resources. At sone point parents have to take responsibility to value education and teach their kids to be respectful. Without that, no amount of money or additional resources will ever being these schools up to the standard.

  6. If this is actually going to be a school, they would likely lobby for cleaning up the area so that school children don’t have to walk through homeless encampments and piles of dooky. Which means, they will never get to open.