Superior Auto, July 2021
July 2021, Photo by Lydia Chávez

For years, Manouch Moshayedi’s plans to lease Superior Automotive, the erstwhile 16th Street auto body shop he purchased for a cool $8.7 million, were in disarray. But, it seems, he’s finally found security. Social Security, to be exact. 

The Social Security Administration will rent the majority of the former garage at 3140-50 16th St., near Albion Street, starting January, 2024, owner Moshayedi confirmed to Mission Local. Moshayedi could not recall the exact terms of the lease, but said the agreement is valid for about 13 to 15 years. 

“Obviously, the best tenant is the federal government of the United States,” he said. “You don’t get better credit than that anywhere.”

Moshayedi’s family real estate firm, MX3 Ventures, bought the auto shop in 2014 with the intention of putting up housing. But those plans were quickly scratched when they discovered the building was historic and could not be demolished.

The winner in that deal was property owner Jesse Henry, a Hunters Point native and ex-Air Force member who, for 32 years, owned and ran Superior Automotive. In 2004, Henry paid $2.5 million to buy the building that housed his business.  

Once Moshayedi realized that he couldn’t do a tear-down and put up housing, he began looking for another buyer or a tenant. 

But finding one, especially one acceptable to the Mission community, proved easier said than done.

Mission Local chronicled the efforts as Moshayedi floated an idea for an event and restaurant space that was subsequently shot down. In 2019, a bilingual preparatory school proposal was knocked down following community disapproval and a stalled planning process. “They had to find a solution faster … they couldn’t,” Moshayedi said. Ultimately, the Spanish Infusion School dropped out of the deal and closed altogether in 2021, according to California Department of Education records

A few years ago, however, the Social Security Administration expressed interest in leasing part of the site. In January, 2022, the Planning Department approved a change of use to a “public facility,” records show, specifically in anticipation of the Social Security Administration’s use. Forming a contract was easy-peasy from there. “The city has no exertion. There is no hearing, no choice,” Moshayedi said, talking like a man with the backing of the U.S. government. “It’s the federal government of the United States. There’s no discussion.”

The Social Security Administration will occupy parts of the first and second floor, according to permits, and contractors have for months started renovating the space from a body shop to offices. Buh-bye, ramp from the Superior Automotive days! 

Yet even with Uncle Sam’s assistance, Moshayedi needs to find two other future businesses to fill up the two-story, 20,400-square-foot space. The second floor of the building has approximately 2,500 square feet available for lease, and a 2,500 square-foot area on the ground floor of the building near Albion and 16th is also up for grabs, Moshayedi said. He will focus on renting those once the federal office moves in. 

It is unclear if the Social Security Administration office on Valencia Street near 22nd Street will move into the former auto shop, or if Superior will be a second location. That building, at 1098 Valencia St., is not owned by the federal government, either, according to property records. The deed is listed under Pet Co Properties I LLC. 

A call to a member of Pet Co Properties I LLC has not been immediately returned. 

“It ended up being a complete win-win, because the neighborhood would appreciate the Social Security Administration being there,” Moshayedi said. “And after years, I finally will get a tenant in there.”

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REPORTER. Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

Follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaHom.

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3 Comments

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  1. I echo Juan Rico’s comment. Why would they spend hundreds of thousands converting a historical building to office when they can get class A or B office space for cents on the dollar? They signed a lease here at $45 per foot annually.

  2. I don’t understand why the Social Security Administration is taking over and converting this building. 25% of the commercial space in the City is vacant and ready for occupancy. They might even be able to get the furniture for pennies on the dollar.

    Also, the owner says that the federal government is a good credit risk. Well, they are, up until the time that Congress can’t pass a budget and they delay payments to all their vendors and even employees.

  3. According to the GSA Inventory of Owned and Leased Properties (IOLP) listing, the federal government’s 15-year lease at 1098 Valencia St expired on 6/19/2022