The fire-ravaged former home of the 3300 Club bar and a 28-unit residential hotel is back on the market for $3.15 million, according to Erik Murray, the managing partner of a real estate company that bought the building two years ago with plans to renovate it.
He did not comment on why he was selling.
Oak Funds bought the building in September 2017 for $2.85 million. Its longtime owner, Dipak Patel, placed it on the market following a 2016 fire that gutted the building and displaced scores of residents living in the Graywood Hotel, a single-room-occupancy establishment that occupied the second and third floors.
The 3300 Club bar, which had operated on the ground floor for six decades, vacated in early 2017 after Patel declined to renew its lease.
Oak Funds had been planning to “rehabilitate and restore the previous uses” of the interior, including the 22 residential hotel units, the six tourist hotel rooms, and the ground floor space, according to Planning Department records. It would have had to offer the 22 units back to its previous tenants at the same rent, per the city’s Rent Ordinance.
The real estate company was also planning to install a rooftop deck. “The Project will provide the building’s tenants with 2,354 square feet of open space on a roof deck that was previously un-utilized,” said a February 2018 application.
Amy Beinart, a legislative aide for Supervisor Hillary Ronen, said her office was happy when Oak Funds proposed restoring the existing building with the low-income SRO units — and was enthused to hear that it would happen quickly. “And then it dragged and dragged and dragged,” Beinart said. “It was frustrating.”
Ronen’s office had been meeting with Murray and discussing the community’s priorities, she said. But then communication dropped off just before the summer of 2019. Which is unfortunate, Beinart said, because the office has been “actively working to bring the corner back” and preserve the “precious SRO units.”
“I think they thought there would be community opposition and they didn’t want to move forward,” Beinart said. Murray declined to comment.
Mark Kaplan, a real estate agent with Mission-based Rockwell Properties, said that the building, located at the corner of Mission and 29th Streets, could sell quickly. “My instinct is that the biggest obstacle to any building or development is tenants,” he said. “If you have a building that has no tenants, you remove that whole factor.”
As the building is not protected from demolition due to any historic status, “then it’s someone’s dream,” Kaplan said.
Even if a building is sold and renovated, however, residential tenants in rent-controlled units have, under city law, a “right to return” to buildings they were displaced from by disaster, at their pre-displacement rent.
Yet it’s unclear whether the units would have to be re-offered to tenants if a building is demolished and completely reconstructed from the ground up — a question similar to that of a building that burned down at 22nd and Mission. But Deputy Planning Director Jeff Joslin said that if a building was to be completely demolished and an entirely new building was constructed in its place, nothing in the city’s planning code requires a developer to give “first right of refusal” to tenants of the previous building.
Nevertheless, Michael Nolan, a longtime Bernal Heights resident and neighborhood historian, said the building and the bar have always been an important part of the corridor. “There’s always been a great appreciation for its history and its architecture,” he said, noting that some buildings on the street have mimicked its architecture.
“I hope the historic structure can be restored as much as possible to its grandeur and historical importance,” he said. “And I hope the former residents’ units can be rented and sold at an affordable price.”