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San Francisco Strikes Deal To Buy Troubled Haight-Ashbury McDonald's

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – San Francisco has finalized 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, according to acting Mayor London Breed.

The deal calls comes after more than five years of negotiations between San Francisco and the property owner. The city will pay the owner $15.5 million for the land the McDonald's stands on. Breed called the deal an "incredibly favorable" adding the price was several million dollars below market-rate.

"We are going to build 100 percent affordable housing," said Breed who represents the neighborhood on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

She currently is the city's acting mayor following the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee.

Breed said the purchase was "the last piece of legislation we discussed."

The McDonald's at the corner of Stanyan and Haight streets is known for its brawls and drug busts. It was the scene of a shooting in August and police have been called to the location more than 1,000 times in the past three years.

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

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

Gene Shell used to work at the McDonald's. He told KPIX 5 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 told KPIX 5 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.

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