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San Francisco Close To Buying Troubled Haight Street McDonald's

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX ) – City officials in San Francisco say they are close to finalizing a deal to buy the notorious McDonald's at the end of Haight Street with the plan of eventually building affordable housing on the land.

The McDonald's at the corner of Stanyan and Haight streets is known for its brawls and drug busts.

For those in the neighborhood, it would be a welcome change.

"That is very exciting news. It means it's real. It's possible and it could potentially happen," said SF Supervisor London Breed.

After more than five years of negotiations with the city, the McDonald's franchise in the Upper Haight streets finally is open to selling its land.

"In the past, they've said no," explained Breed with a laugh. "'It's not for sale.' And then they said maybe."

The city placed an offer with the corporation to buy the property and is expected to close the deal soon. It's an area that's been plagued by drug deals and shootings.

Police have been called to the location more than 1,000 times in the past three years. Breed wants to tear it down and build affordable housing units in its place.

"We've got to get creative with solutions and this could potentially be a creative solution that could really change things for the better," said Breed.

However, some locals are less optimistic about the change stopping problems in the area.

Gene Shell used to work at the McDonald's. He thinks the drifters who spend time there will stay and that affordable housing won't impact the crime associated with this area.

"The trouble or problems will just transfer elsewhere, like to the Whole Foods across the street," said Shell.

Joe Goldmark has worked at Amoeba Music next door for 20 years, he thinks removing the McDonald's will have a positive impact.

"It has created a bit of a blight in the neighborhood. A lot of undesirables hang out there," explained Goldmark. "Whole Foods coming in across the street, that's helped a lot. I think affordable housing will help even more."

The land includes a 45-space parking lot. Breed hopes to create community space in the building like a Haight-Ashbury museum.

However, the deal still has yet to be finalized. After the sale is complete, the public will have the opportunity to weigh in on what it thinks should be placed here.

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