The Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco is selling their 114-year-old place of worship and gathering spot in the Castro and moving in with the First Congregational Church on Polk Street next month.

Described by the church’s senior pastor as “worn out,” “falling down,” and “past its useful life” (per an engineer’s report), but sitting on an over-sized double lot which is zoned for two residential units, the church building at 150 Eureka Street was just listed for $1.995 million.

The adjacent four-unit apartment building at 138-140 Eureka Street, which the church purchased as an investment for $445,500 in 1996, is being sold as well and has just been listed for $1.499 million.  The four one-bedroom units, each of which includes a formal dining room, are all currently occupied at rents ranging from $1,250 to $2,930 per month.

While acknowledging that a buyer might be motivated to evict the tenants from the apartment building, according to a Bay Area Reporter report, the MCC decided that selling both properties at the same time was in the best interests of the church and its congregation.

 

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Pioneer

    Churches suck the life and tax revenue out the community. Hope the developer will be able to build dense residential on this church lot–at least 8 units, please.

    • Posted by John Smith

      This church has been a gift of compassion to the community. It has been not only a place a spiritual inspiration, but a community center, providing support for people with HIV when no one else did. The church fed the hungry through its “Simply Supper” program. Many twelve steps meetings were held and even started there. MCCSF was the first queer church in San Francisco and has performed same-sex weddings since 1971.

  2. Posted by Peter

    Pioneer you are woefully misinformed about the role of THIS church and its community.

    • Posted by pioneer

      I lived a block away from this dump for a decade. Change is good.

    • Posted by Brian M

      Sure, the Church did some great things while cherry picking and ignoring its own religion. it provided a fine home for people so brainwashed that they cannot give up the woefully evil (and homophobic) SemiticCult.

  3. Posted by BobN

    I wonder why they didn’t pursue rezoning before selling.

  4. Posted by iiii

    I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess it’s the same reason First Congo moved to Polk Street themselves – a shrinking, aging congregation that can’t afford to fix the roof.

  5. Posted by brid

    “worn out,” “falling down,” and “past its useful life” – I thought that was referring to organized religion..!

    • Posted by anon

      LOL! Both the church and its congregation. I just found out my priest changed churches — he was at St. Brendan’s but is now with St. Anne. It was a surprise because he didn’t talk about wanting to make a move before. Now I have to check out St. Anne. Maybe the universe is telling me something. Please be clear and concise with what you are saying because I am close to exhaustion and need to use my remaining energies to not misplace my glasses or wonder when I last did laundry or took a shower. And why keep harping on Rand in its many forms, no one cares! Only you.

  6. Posted by Joel

    SF generally doesn’t do spot rezoning unless the project is massive or the owner is good friends with Willie Brown.

  7. Posted by stucco & ayn rand

    Tear it all down! Build it all up! Out with the poors and the gays! In with the absentee owners soon to be imprisoned by their government! Oy vey.

  8. Posted by brid

    posted by s & ar: “…Tear it all down! Build it all up! Out with the poors and the gays! In with the absentee owners soon to be imprisoned by their government! Oy vey…”

    I see Happy Hour is over…

  9. Posted by jjjj

    iii – probably true about the reality. It’s sad First Congo sold that historic property near Union Square to the evil Academy of Art College. They had proposals to let other congregational churches share the space, but they took the money and ran. Now they have a huge new building and only 35 people on Sundays….Maybe this deal with MCC will let them hold on to the new building for a while.

    • Posted by John Smith

      Unfortunately it takes big money to run a large building in San Francisco. The Academy of Art deal was good for First Congo and good for San Francisco. The building was restored — something the congregation or multiple congregations could not do.

  10. Posted by Joseph A

    Having once been an active part of this church I know a little about the site, and the attempt by MCCSF to get into a better building ,,

    1st the location has massive issues because the land under the building would require Millions of investment just to allow a comparable building to be constructed ,

    2nd ,, its not exactly a wealthy congregation , nor is a fiscally conservative one ,
    that means what little money it takes in gets spent with few dollars available for other purposes ,,

    The missed opportunity of MCCSF , they could have been part of the development that went up near the LGBT center along market , BUT , were not forwarding thinking unlike FCC located on Polk

    The selling of the lots makes sense and is should have been done 10 years ago ,

    • Posted by BobN

      On the other hand, ten years ago, they wouldn’t have sold for nearly as much.

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      Agreed, Joseph. MCC has had pretty large congregations at various points, but has never been (for better or worse) interested in building any kind of edifice that could form a stable base and serve them long term. Sha’ar Zahav, on the other hand, had a very similar small old building in the Castro, but devoted their energies to building a new synagogue at 16th and Dolores, right across the street from Mission Dolores Basilica. The congregation is thriving. I think MCC has made a good decision to co-locate with a very similar congregation in a, frankly, much nicer space. But the symbolism of moving pretty far out of the Castro is not going to make it easy for them to thrive. I wish them luck.

      • Posted by Joseph A

        I think the issue was that the leadership of MCCSF wanted to be all things , rather then doing a few things really well.

        It would have taken a focus and commitment that the church lacked, but I agree Sha’ar Zahav , actually had to have the vision and determination to do it right ,

        MCCSF could have made the move 10 years ago, and though the property sales would have resulted in less cash , it would have also had a much lower cost to develop the land that it was offered in partnership along Market near the LGBT center.

  11. Posted by Emo

    I performed in a drag number in that church so I’ve been in the back rooms and stuff, and yeah, it is a dump. Some mixed housing would be great for this site but I just cannot imagine the fuss the doomsday NIMBYs will make. It’s gonna be a long, hard slog for any development.

    • Posted by joey

      Well, when the demo’d, vacant lot starts attracting homeless people, they’ll quit crying and let it get built. but at least 2-3 years of picketing and lawyering.

      • Posted by rabbits

        I cannot fathom why people would protest a nice building being constructed here. Stay within the height limits and build the maximum number of units the zoning allows and the neighbors should be fine. 1/1 parking would be a nod to the neighbors as well.

        This church has frequently had vagrants and such milling about in front on my walks past, and a vacant lot would surely be even more appealing to that constituency. Build something now!

        • Posted by Emanon

          The protest will be centered around the definition of “nice building.”

          • Posted by curmudgeon

            Given that the building is mid-block on a residential street, the obvious solution is build something that is absolutely in scale with what is already there. If they build within the residential zoning envelope, I can’t imagine there will be a serious problem with the neighbors. There can always be a crazy who is against everything, but neighborhood org’s wouldn’t object, and planning staff/commission would have no problem approving.

        • Posted by jack frost

          You cannot fathom? Really? You listed 3 of the top reasons why most neighbors oppose new construction.

          Developers almost NEVER start even close to the high limits, never push for maximum # of units and always cut down on # of parking spaces. Add into that equation they fight tooth and nail to exclude the BMR housing that should be included and you get a pretty good understanding of why people are weary.

        • Posted by John Smith

          There must be no homeless in my neighborhood!

  12. Posted by anon

    There is a LGBT church up by Laguna Honda and Portola, across the street from CVS pharmacy. What is going on there? I’ve never seen anyone going inside.

    • Posted by Mystery Realtor

      I’m pretty sure that Church is “L” -Only Their web address pretty much sums it up.

      • Posted by anon

        It is sitting on prime land there – easy walk to shops and stores, nice area albeit close proximity to Juvenile Court.
        Not sure whether church is highest and best use of land if there isn’t much of a congregation.

      • Posted by anon

        I drove by there today and the shop is only open on weekend afternoons. Wow, what limited hours. I am confused — nothing about it limits to “L” What about Male to Female transexuals? Or gay men who identify themselves as female ie. transvestites? Would Bruce Jenner be welcomed in the Church? What about masculine females who do not see themselves as “L”? What about bisexual men and women?

  13. Posted by Mark F.

    Could this be fixed up and turned into a home?

  14. Posted by Chris

    Now six years later in 2021. Rat infested abandoned dump is still sitting there (now rapidly) decaying. Thank you so much [city planners]! I live 1/2 block away.

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