City Offers To Buy Upper Haight McDonald's, Build Affordable Housing

City Offers To Buy Upper Haight McDonald's, Build Affordable HousingPolice activity at 730 Stanyan on February 22, 2017. | Photos: Walter Thompson/Hoodline
Walter Thompson
Published on August 07, 2017

McDonald’s Corporation is considering an offer by the city to purchase its restaurant at Haight and Stanyan streets, a long-time magnet for violent crime and quality of life offenses.

According to Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, the city would replace the McDonald’s with affordable housing. A McDonald’s spokesperson confirmed receiving “a letter of interest” from the city and said the offer is under consideration.

Last Thursday, a man was shot inside the restaurant after an altercation; police closed traffic on Haight Street and redirected Muni lines as they searched for the shooter, who has not been arrested.

The incident was the latest in a long chain of violent crimes reported at the McDonald’s, which was cited as a public nuisance by City Attorney Dennis Herrera in May 2015.

The restaurant received more than 1,000 calls for police service in a 3-year period.

To avoid a lawsuit at that time, the fast-food chain and franchisee agreed to hire private security and "make reasonable efforts to remove people engaged in the use or possession of illegal drugs,” according to the agreement.

By March 2017, the city attorney’s office gave the restaurant a clean bill of health. However, officials also noted that a new franchisee, Peter Ou, had taken over the location and was no longer bound by the 2015 agreement.

District 5 Supervisor London Breed said the city’s offer is “a great opportunity,” adding that Ou and McDonald's have “tried to make the area safer and more comfortable for people, but haven’t been successful.”

Deirdre Hussey, spokesperson for Mayor Ed Lee, said the city is “waiting to hear a response to our proposal.” Breed said no plans are in place, but “whether it’s affordable housing or anything else built, there will be a community process.”

Breed told KCBS 5 that a steady flow of complaints from the restaurant’s neighbors convinced her to push for the city to buy the property, an idea that’s been floated before.

“It’s just elevated to the point that it’s not sustainable,” she said. “This sadly is an attraction for a lot of problems, and a lot of crime.”