Salvation Army plans S.F. center

The Salvation Army announced plans Tuesday to built a new eight-story community center, housing development and gym in the Tenderloin on the site of a residential hotel.

The Golden State division of the Salvation Army has received a total of $54 million in grant money from the estate of Ray and Joan Kroc to build a new Tenderloin housing complex and community center. Salvation Army Maj. Joe Posillico announced the newly secured funds Tuesday outside the Salvation Army’s current Tenderloin housing facility — an empty former residential hotel at 240 Turk St.

The new center will be built on the site of the old facility and an adjacent parking lot.

The development will include a community center, which would include a pool, fitness center, computer lab, classrooms, graphic arts studio and roof-top running track. The development will also include a separately managed housing complex, consisting of 113 new studio apartments that will house “aged-out” foster youth and adults in transition out of substance abuse recovery programs. Demolition is due to start next week, with construction taking about two and a half years.

The grant is part of a larger $1.5 billion gift to the national organization from the Krocs. Ray Kroc made his fortune developing Macdonald’s restaurants into an international mega-chain.

The Salvation Army will augment the grant funding with $8 million in state and federal monies, along with a pending $12 million in low-income housing tax credits. Posillico said the Salvation Army still must raise $8.6 million, mostly from private donors, to fully fund the project.

The community center includes a chapel, which will conduct Protestant services, but Posillico said no public funding would be used to manage the community center. “All the public money goes into the housing project, which is a separate project,” he said.

Erin Grucz, preservation advocate for the San Francisco Heritage Society, said the building at 240 Turk St. is rated C, meaning it has “contextual importance,” but is not particularly significant by itself.

Supervisor Chris Daly’s spokesman John Avalos said Daly had submitted a resolution at the Board of Supervisors earlier in the year to help with the funding process. “We sponsored the legislation because we felt it would be a great project to bring multiunit family housing to the district. That’s the type of housing San Francisco is most in need of, so we’re glad to see it there,” Avalos said.

amartin@examiner.com

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