As part of the purchase agreement for the beleaguered McDonald’s at the corner of Stayan and Haight Streets, the City of San Francisco will have 60 days to demolish, raze and remove the existing building on the site, a task for which $200,000 has been budgeted.

And with the sale slated to close escrow and the restaurant shuttered around the first week of April, the site should be leveled by July.

In addition, while the site had been home to a dry cleaner and gas station prior to the McDonald’s opening in 1978, soil testing has not uncovered any evidence of an underground storage tank which would need to be removed nor any contamination which would need to be remediated, beyond capping the site.

And as such, unlike the potential push-back from neighbors, the remediation costs for the site are expected to be minor ($10,000) and shouldn’t have a material impact on the timing of the proposed redevelopment of the 700-730 Stanyan Street site for affordable housing to rise.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I’m surprised that no soil contamination was discovered. The prior gas station was old enough that it would have used a riveted sheet steel underground tank and that type is notorious for leaking. Plus before the 1970s environmental movement a common way to dispose of motor oil was to just dump it on the ground.

    • Posted by Notcom

      It’s possible – tho I admit not terribly likely – that it was remediated before the McD’s was built. It’s also possible – and I would say far more likely – that the preliminary testing will prove to be just that, and something will turn up…unanticipated costs – known unknowns, if you will – are par for the course for these things.

      • Posted by SF Expat

        TPH contamination is a valid concern, but I would look more to the prior dry cleaner operations and possible chlorinated solvent impacts in soil vapor. Dry Cleaners used to “dispose” of spent PCE by dumping down drain. Sometimes the drains leaked into the ground via cracks in pipes. Not uncommon in earthquake country.

        On another note, RIP Haight McDonalds and its sketchy line and bathroom.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Keep in mind that a lack of “contamination which would need to be remediated, beyond capping the site” isn’t the same as a finding of no contamination overall, but rather that said contamination is below the level which is expected to be excavated/touched, appears to be stable (i.e., no leaking tanks), and capping the site rather than disturbing the soil below is the likely approach to be taken.

  2. Posted by Everest

    Talk about a war on McDonalds.This is the 3rd one down recently as far as I know, joining the one on Golden Gate/ Van Ness and the one near AT&T park.

    I happen to think the McDonalds on Haight served as a hub for the neighborhood in a strange way (at least for the street kids) and the parking lot provided easy parking. Even though I am pro-housing, so I am happy to see development, I think this affordable buidling will be awkward in this spot, since the whole street is fronted by retail.

    I will miss the McDonalds, but at least housing is being built.

    • Posted by Ohlone Californio

      Guess you feel like they deserve a break today at McDonald’s?

    • Posted by Mark

      This isn’t a war as much as it’s indicative of McDonald’s poor/cheap choices and its unlikely staying power in a future not so focused on fat food.

      • Posted by cfb

        It’s not like people werent going to these mcdonalds restaurants, so i don’t think it’s people rejecting the food that led to the closures. More like the giant stacks of money you can make by selling the property.

        • Posted by David S

          Agreed. A comment made at the community meeting about a city purchase of this site reminded everyone that it is one of the few cheap options for food around (healthiness of the food notwithstanding). I hope that is taken into consideration for whatever retail takes up the bottom floor of the new building.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            That meeting comment about McD’s being the few options for cheap food is a bit silly considering that there’s a grocery store right across the street. Even at a high end grocery like WF you can easily assemble a nice picnic for less than the cost of a Value Meal.

          • Posted by anon

            Test it out – a McD value meal is far cheaper than a picnic meal one could put together from WF. McD is really, really cheap. Not saying that’s a good thing, but it is a fact.

          • Posted by Cynthia

            Regardless of cost, the food is garbage and is easily offset via eventual health-related issues, statistically speaking.

            All in all, it’s done. McDs is gone and a giant parking lot will soon be replaced with housing for people who need affordable housing. The massive franchise will do just fine.

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            Poor folks aren’t interested in meta-health care statistics. Come on. That’s not the argument.

      • Posted by anon

        McDonald’s is booming and as popular as ever. Stock was up 43% last year. You may not have noticed, but food is moving toward the McDonald’s fat/sugar/carb model, not away from it. Maybe not as much in SF, but everywhere else. But this windfall for the owners was too good to pass up.

  3. Posted by Serge

    Good riddance. HANC needs to step out of the way and let this project be done.

  4. Posted by SFLandlord

    Now all the derelicts in the area are going to have to resort to plundering the Whole Foods buffet for food.

  5. Posted by Frank

    I suspect that the homeless encampment that will spring up the moment the McDonald’s building is demolished will, for next several years, pose an even greater problem for the neighborhood.

    • Posted by Kraus

      They’ll fence it off and put in an interim use such as a community garden — problem solved.

      • Posted by Frank

        I admire your optimism. Now, if the City could just do something about the open air drug emporium that has flourished for decades on the other side of Stanyan.

        • Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

          You mean, like, enforce the law? Fat chance.

  6. Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

    Oil is a natural product that comes out of the ground and over long periods of time is metabolized by bacteria, broken down and returns to the earth from whence it came. Not at all surprised that after 40 years there is no trace of the gas station and whatever might have been dumped there long ago.

    • Posted by SFwatcher

      crude oil is metabolized by bacteria, but not refined oil, i.e. gasoline. That thing actually kills the oil-eating bacteria

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Uhh, that’s not how it works. At all.

      • Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

        Care to give a more detailed rebuttal of this paper and the large body of scientific literature that shows biodegradation of gasoline (and hydrocarbons in general) occurs in nature?

        • Posted by Big D

          Surely it takes longer than 40 years, my dude. Let’s not ignore rational concerns about potential soil contamination for some “science saves the day” speech.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          I don’t have time, but suffice to say that oil is not the same as gasoline. And if you think that gasoline is the primary pollutant from gas stations, you are deeply mistaken.

  7. Posted by Boher

    Great to see this improvement

  8. Posted by Louis

    What will be on the site for the MANY YEARS that we will wait for housing?

    • Posted by JustLooking

      Could not find my “Sarcasm font,” so here goes. Oh! That is easy – a community garden. And when the developers are finally ready to build, those who built out the garden will protest that all of their hard work is being destroyed by callous and mean spirited contractors. Despite the fact that the community groups that built the gardens were told (hopefully through a signed agreement by all parties) that the gardens were temporary and would be removed once construction began.

      What could be more fun (popcorn anyone?) than seeing the “We need more green space / community gardens” groups fight it out with the “We need more affordable housing” groups.

  9. Posted by Stakes is High

    I’m sure if London Breed wants to be/stay mayor, she’ll work her magics and make it happen quick like.

  10. Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

    I assume the inclusion of ground floor retail on the Haight and Stanyan sides are a given. If the neighborhood turns out to miss its McD’oh! maybe some crafty franchisee would consider the location… Or would it then fall under the formula retail ban?

  11. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: As expected based on the timeline we outlined above, the Stanyan Street McDonald’s has been shuttered.

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