LGBT-serving church sells former Castro building for $2.3 million

The LGBT-serving Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, which last week said it accepted buyer offers for two of its properties, announced Thursday its church building in the Castro sold for $2.3 million to developers that specialize in small residential projects.

The church is relocating today to the First Congregational Church of San Francisco at 1300 Polk St., where it is renting space.

The sale of the building at 150 Eureka St., which Metropolitan Community Church purchased in 1980 when it was 80 years old, closed escrow on Wednesday. The buyers, a team of developers under the name 150 Eureka St., LLC, had the best price and terms among five offers, said Katharine Holland, associate broker at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

Congregation members voted unanimously in December to put the building, which was considered beyond repair, on the market in early January.

“They kind of loved it to death, it’s so used up,” Holland said. “We had caution tape up as we were showing it. It’s what we call a contractor’s special.”

David Papale, managing principal for 150 Eureka St., LLC, said he plans to develop two separate buildings with two luxury condominiums each, reflecting the early 1900s Edwardian style of the residential neighborhood. He said his team of developers has for a decade taken on small projects to fill residential vacuums, and won an award from The Victorian Alliance of San Francisco last year for restoring a Baptist church on Broderick Street back into a single-family home.

The entitlement process for 150 Eureka St. will take at least six months, Papale said, so demolition won’t occur immediately.

“It’s going to take a while to get up and running, but it’s going to be a fun project,” he said. “We will be talking to other immediate neighbors and the local neighborhood associations for their input.”

A four-unit apartment building at 138-140 Eureka St., also sold by the church to help its finances and operations on Polk Street, will close escrow on Wednesday. The new owner is not a developer and has promised to let tenants at all four residences continue to live there, according to Maureen Bogues, vice moderator for the church’s board of directors.

Metropolitan Community Church’s first service on Polk Street will be held Sunday.

“The most emotional part of our final Sunday services,” Bogues said of 150 Eureka St., “was the ritual of decommissioning the building and declaring that it is not ours anymore.”

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