San Francisco Tennis Membership was speculated to be become a homeless shelter. That by no means occurred.

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San Francisco Tennis Club was supposed to be turned into a homeless shelter. That never happened.


Bay Membership S.F. Tennis, identified to many as San Francisco Tennis Membership, is as soon as once more in limbo.

The now-closed warehouse in SoMa, initially constructed in 1974, has been the topic of intense arguments and debates between builders, tenants, tennis gamers and, currently, the town itself.

Again in late March, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the warehouse was to be transformed into a brief homeless shelter. That info was apparently communicated from Alexandria Actual Property Equities, the developer that owns Bay Membership S.F. Tennis, to a Bay Membership tennis member who handed it alongside to others.

It was a pure alternative. Although it took a public well being disaster, the town was (lastly) making an attempt to supply extra shelter choices for homeless folks. The tennis membership, with its 12 indoor and outside courts, was already closed because of the pandemic and scheduled to be demolished to make approach for 88 Bluxome, an enormous mixed-use undertaking with Pinterest because the anchor tenant. Alexandria Actual Property Equities, a significant developer within the space, would not wish to upset the town, so why not acquiesce and say sure to its reported request? In addition to, since Mayor London Breed had declared a state of emergency, the town had broad authority to show privately owned buildings into homeless shelters.

District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney was quoted in The Chronicle piece as supportive of the transfer, applauding the tennis membership “for stepping up and demonstrating that all of us need to be on this collectively. We are attempting to make use of each potential facility that’s obtainable, whether or not public or non-public, to get folks inside. It’s simply utterly reckless and harmful to depart 1000’s of individuals on our streets proper now.”

However the San Francisco Division of Emergency Administration not too long ago confirmed to SFGATE that the Bay Membership was by no means become a homeless shelter. When requested why, a spokesperson declined to say extra. A spokesperson for the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness requested round and stated they by no means heard something about this plan to start with — together with why it fell aside. Alexandria Actual Property Equities by no means responded to repeated requests for remark. Haney and his workers did not reply SFGATE’s calls, emails or texts.


Senior Govt Vice President of the Bay Membership Annie Appel did name again, although she stated she deferred to Alexandria for an official rationalization. From what she understood, the developer had tried some kind of walk-through of its amenities with the town, and the town opted to as an alternative transfer the unhoused people into resort rooms somewhat than an open area.

That rationalization is easy sufficient, so it is puzzling nobody else will verify it.

Additional complicating issues is the long run standing of the tennis membership. It did not flip right into a homeless facility, although it did briefly reopen in August for restricted outside actions, Appel confirmed. Now it is closed once more, and a brief substitute that was way back negotiated is ready to open Oct. 15 in South San Francisco at 501 Carter Avenue.

As a part of that years-long, tenuous negotiation, Alexandria agreed to pay for the non permanent tennis location, which is meant to remain open till an underground tennis middle is constructed on the web site of the unique, soon-to-be razed courts. Alexandria additionally pledged to donate funds to public recreation amenities within the metropolis. To this point, Alexandria has held up its finish of the cut price — however in late August, anchor tenant Pinterest paid $89.5 million to again out of the deal for its share of the 88 Bluxome growth.

With that in thoughts, will the unique amenities nonetheless be demolished on schedule, which is rumored to be the top of the yr? In the event that they do get torn down, will Alexandria transfer forward and assemble the underground courts sans an anchor tenant in place? Or will this course of drag on indefinitely whereas builders wait and see how firms additional alter to distant working and reject campus-style workplace areas just like the proposed 88 Bluxome undertaking?

It is irritating to finish a narrative on a bunch of unanswered questions, however that is what occurs when nearly nobody responds to your repeated requests for remark. In case you have extra info on why the Bay Membership wasn’t become a homeless facility, or what Alexandria is likely to be planning subsequent, get in contact with me through electronic mail (alex.shultz@sfgate.com) or Twitter DM (@alexshultz).

Within the meantime, in case you occur to walk by the location of the unique San Francisco Tennis Membership, simply know: No person appears to know what to do with it.



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