Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Real Estate & Development
Published on September 08, 2016
Great Highway Inn, Adjoining 28-Unit Apartment Building Sold For $25.3MImage: Google Maps

In one of the Sunset's largest real estate transactions in years, Ocean Beach's Great Highway Inn and the adjoining 28-unit Pacifica Apartments building were sold last week for $25.3 million. According to The Registry, a private investor purchased the property from an individual "who is 85 years old and has been involved in the ownership of the assets since 1956."

Together, the hotel and apartments comprise 43,529 square feet. The Registry notes that the apartment building, which is partially rent-controlled, is fully leased.

According to city records, some portions of the 58-room hotel located at 1234 Great Highway were built in the 1920s, while others were completed in 1956. Included in the purchase is a shuttered 2,800-square-foot restaurant located at the north end of the parcel, at the corner of La Playa and Lincoln Way.

An overhead view of the Great Highway Inn and Pacifica Apartments. | Image: GOOGLE EARTH

With room prices ranging from $139 to $179, the Great Highway Inn attracts budget travelers, including UCSF Parnassus students and hospital visitors. The hotel runs a free shuttle to the medical campus, and offers a student discount. According to the hotel's website, its owners also manage a sister property in central Arizona.

Yelp reviews cite the Great Highway Inn's convenient location and low prices as assets, but a number of guests also characterized its physical condition as run-down. Although the hotel is often busy during the summer, The Registry reports that it's been "challenged during the rest of the year to attract customers."

We contacted the hotel to find out if renovations were planned, but employees didn't have any additional information.

The apartment building at 1301-1361 La Playa Street was built in 1958, originally as a motel. Developers initially proposed building 34 units, but later cut the number to 28 in face of opposition from residents and the Planning Commission. The apartment complex has three stories, but only the top floors provide ocean views.

Because the properties are adjacent to Ocean Beach, any new construction on the site would first need to be approved by the California Coastal Commission, which oversees development along the state's shoreline. The CCC's coastal zone is usually several hundred feet wide in urban areas, but in rural places, the zone can extend up to five miles inland.