As we outlined in October of 2019:

Built in 1912, the 15,000-square-foot Our Lady of Guadalupe Church at 906 Broadway was designated San Francisco Landmark #204 back in 1993.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco sold the church along with the adjacent 4,700-square-foot residential building, uphill at 908 Broadway, to an investor for $2.3 million in 2013.

And in 2016, Startup Temple Holdings, backed by a Russian tech entrepreneur turned Silicon Valley venture capitalist, purchased the buildings for $7.0 million and opened Hack Temple (“Hackt”), an event venue for “international thought leaders” and a “gospel of innovation” within the existing space.

Plans to formally covert the church into an educational facility, “for international technology startup founders and teams entering US market and aiming to raise capital in Silicon Valley,” were drawn.

The aforementioned Landmark designation was subsequently amended by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors to include a whole host of the church’s interior features and further limit any alterations.

And the church, which is zoned for residential use, is now back on the market with a $7.5 million price tag, a price tag which doesn’t include the residential [rectory] building at 908 Broadway which is also on the market and is being offered together or separately with an additional $5.5 million ask.

Having failed to sell, the Church (which “was booked solid, prior to COVID”) and adjacent Rectory building returned to the market in 2020, listed together for $7 million, combined, with the Rectory having been remodeled and converted into a 12-room co-living space. But once again, a buyer failed to emerge.

Newly positioned as an “auction” that’s slated to be held next month, an offering memorandum for the “Historic Church and Residential (co-living) Building” is now making rounds, with an advertised “Starting Bid” of $1.5 million for the portfolio but no mention of a reserve, or rather no mention of the lack of a reserve. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

9 thoughts on “Historic Hacker Church and Rectory Trying the “Auction” Route”
  1. $7.5M…for a church…heavily restricted ta to development options…and tied to some Russian ??
    They haven’t a prayer of getting that!
    (They might consider converting it into an Orthodox Church…then it could become truly “iconic”)

    1. The third hyperlink above, which presumably previously landed on a page belonging to GVA Capital detailing said Russian tech entrepreneur turned Silicon Valley venture capitalist’s CV, now goes to a domain registrars page, so I assume that GVA Capital is no longer doing business in the U.S (correct me if I am wrong, I am certainly not plugged into the S.F. immigrant VC scene). So here’s a relevant story from the N.Y. Times in 2017 that would supply the necessary background, Russians in Silicon Valley Can’t Shake Hacking’s Shadow:

      Pavel Cherkashin, a Russian investor based in this city, thought he had the perfect name for a Catholic church that he is spending $11.5 million converting into a tech palace…but that was before the nearly daily deluge of news about Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election by hacking computers and using Facebook and Twitter to spread inflammatory messages and sow division.

      “We had so many concerns from our investors saying this would be inappropriate and we should change it,” said Mr. Cherkashin, 44, who planned to officially open Hack Temple this fall. “A bunch of Russian guys opening a hacker temple in the middle of San Francisco at a time when Russian hackers are considered the most evil in the world. They say you can’t.”

      With news of the hacking and influence campaigns escalating all year, the Russian immigrant community of Silicon Valley, which numbers in the tens of thousands, is in a strange new position. Some Russian venture capitalists said start-ups were more wary about taking their funding, while several Russian-born engineers said they were being treated differently socially and in their companies. Lawyers also said some tech firms were installing tighter security measures restricting what data foreign-born coders can see…The tension is new. Russian immigrants helped build the last generation of Silicon Valley behemoths: The Google co-founder Sergey Brin and the early Facebook investor Yuri Milner are both Russian-born.

      The CPI Inflation Calculator on the BLS website produces an inflation adjusted value of just over $9 million for the amount Cherkashin spent in 2016 just to purchase the buildings, and that amount doesn’t include the money he subsequently spent on the conversion.

  2. The San Francisco Catholic Archdiocese sold the property during 2013 for $2,250,000. Absent now being purchased by a wealthy San Francisco-based cult, that earlier price sounds to again be a reasonable value. That is assuming a buyer wants to indirectly fund the war machine against freedom-fighting Ukrainian patriots by wiring money to the Russian property owners?

  3. Does anyone know how to look up how many bedrooms and bathrooms the Rectory next door had before Cherkashin purchased it and “remodeled and converted into a 12-room co-living space” circa 2016?

    The listing just for 908 Broadway leads me to believe that third-party electronic valuation providers are putting a value of between $4.4 and 4.8 million on just that parcel, which I assume was driven by a DCF of the corresponding rental income stream he’s now collecting after hacking up a simple SFH into a warren of 9 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms (according to the listing). I guess that’s an example of what flippers, developers, and other hangers-on who have arrived here from elsewhere to make their fortune in the S.F. real estate “game” would call “unlocking value”.

      1. Any update on whether or not the auction last month happened and the properties at 906-908 Broadway actually changed hands?

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