University of San Francisco expands into downtown

The University of San Francisco is adding a new “hub” to its rolls: 101 Howard St.

The 150-year-old private university announced that it is purchasing the historic Folger Coffee Building for $36 million in hopes of “reaching a broader base of students.”

The building — which is 100,000 square feet, according to USF spokeswoman Anne-Marie Devine — is located near the old Transbay Transit Terminal and closer to BART than the university’s main campus.

Having a presence downtown will “reinforce the university’s existing business and civic ties, and underscores USF’s commitment to engage the city on a deeper, mutually beneficial level,” USF officials said in a statement. The location will allow “USF [to] provide new experiences for a variety of students and tailor educational opportunities to meet the changing needs of the City. This downtown presence will augment the rigorous academic experiences offered on USF’s main campus,” according to the statement.

Which academic programs will be located in the building have yet to be determined, Devine said. USF Provost Jennifer Turpin is working with faculty and staff to determine which offices should relocate to the downtown space.

The building, though, is currently occupied, according to Devine. Tenants will be able to remain in the building until USF determines its long-term use.

The university’s main campus is located in the North of the Panhandle neighborhood. It is a private university with roughly 9,600 undergraduates.

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