Oldest S.F. yacht club could see big jump in rent

The City is negotiating with San Francisco’s oldest yacht club to more than double the rent it pays on city-owned waterfront land.

The St. Francis Yacht Club, founded in 1927 by a group of local yachtsmen, has been using its location along the Marina Green since before The City took over jurisdiction of the land. Since 1965, the club has been renting land from the Recreation and Park Department, most recently for $7,000 a month.

“Obviously, as with all of our older leases, we need to bring them up to arrangements that reflect operating costs, need to balance our books and also to be in line with the public benefit,” Recreation and Park Department spokeswoman Rose Marie Dennis said.

A 2000 audit suggested that The City needed to renegotiate its deal with the club. If the Recreation and Park Commission approves new terms on Sept. 21, the club’s rent would jump to $16,678 per month, an increase of $115,956 per year. The club would also be required to implement a public benefits project that would promote water sports to disadvantaged youth in The City and provide water safety education.

“Agreements that we make as property managers on behalf of citizens needs to be in line with what’s appropriate anywhere you go,” Dennis said.

The lease would be for 40 years. The club, which has more than 2,300 members, wants long-term stability and The City wants to receive market value for its services, according to Dennis.

The Yacht Club hosts more than 40 regatta events on San Francisco Bay each year, including the annual Big Boat Series each September. In 2000, it hosted the United States Olympic Sailing Trial. Some of its members have raced for the America’s Cup trophy and won Olympic medals and other prestigious races. The clubhouse features large deep-water guest docks and dining with views of the Bay for its members.

sfarooq@examiner.com

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