09/21/2021

Neighbors Had A Plan To Transform Haight Street Eyesore. Then City Hall Said: ‘Never mind’

It’s ironic that the site of a longtime fast food restaurant — where predictable food was served with predictable haste — has become an emblem of City Hall’s incredible slowness and indecision.

The McDonald’s that stood at Haight and Stanyan streets for five decades attracted violent crime and open-air drug sales, and it had to go. After years of complaints from neighbors, the city bought the property in April 2018 for $15.5 million with plans to build 100% affordable housing on-site.

So 16 months later, the 38,000-square-foot parcel across the street from Golden Gate Park has been put to good use, right? Come on, folks. This is San Francisco.

Demolition of the old restaurant was supposed to occur quickly — as was the temporary activation of the space while the affordable housing plans were crafted. There was even a great proposal: a mix of soccer for low-income youth alongside food trucks, nonprofit space, a garden and more. It was one that neighbors put more than 100 hours of work into crafting, and yet it has been discarded by City Hall.

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