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San Francisco Too Expensive For McDonald's?

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- McDonald's famous golden arches are vanishing from San Francisco, and real estate prices could be the culprit.

The restaurant on 16th and Mission abruptly closed, and so did the one on Van Ness Avenue. Word is the one near the ballpark at 3rd and Townsend is on its way out too.

We know most Americans can't afford to live in San Francisco, turns out some American institutions can't either.

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"Someone else owns the land. Someone else owns the building, and that person sees a better deal building condos condos condos," Joe Eskenazi of San Francisco Magazine said.

Eskanazi is the Senior editor of San Francisco Magazine and has written about such issues over the years.

"There's almost no example you can come up with now, that isn't too extreme of how expensive it is to live and do business in San Francisco," he said.

San Francisco's super-sized real estate market is doing what city leaders have tried to do but failed: they banned free Happy Meals, they're suing the Haight Street franchise for use of drugs and other crimes there.

McDonald's is having trouble nationwide. Sales are down as people start to eat healthier, but that doesn't seem to be the problem here so much.

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"Though McDonalds is a wonderful villain in this town, it's less a sociological thing than land use and real estate," Eskenazi said.

Problems at the location at Haight and Stanyan Street might force it to shut down as well.

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