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Fillmore Heritage Center up for sale

Friday, February 24, 2017 16:27
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(Before It's News)

by San Francisco African American Chamber of
Commerce President Frederick E. Jordan

The Fillmore Heritage Center, considered to be the last vestige
of Black culture in the Fillmore District, once known as the
“Harlem of the West,” has been put up for sale. The Request for
Proposals (RFP) by the City and County of San Francisco was issued
on Feb. 10, 2017.

The property, located at Fillmore and Eddy Streets, previously
housed Yoshi’s San Francisco restaurant, Yoshi’s Jazz Club, the
1300 Restaurant, a jazz art gallery and a theater. The minimum bid
is $6.5 million, which will be balanced by a competitive business
plan and community benefits. Bids are due April 3, 2017, to a
Selection Board headed by Dr. Amos Brown.

The Fillmore Center Development that includes the portion that
is now for sale was developed by Michael Johnson, an African
American developer, for $80.5 million to include 80 condominiums
above the Heritage Center. The Center includes 50,000 square feet
of commercial space and a 50,000-square-foot garage.

The 28,000-square-foot Yoshi’s Restaurant and Jazz Club declared
bankruptcy and closed its doors in 2014, but the 1300 Restaurant is
still in operation. Upon Yoshi’s closure, a 15-member predominantly
Black investor group led by Johnson took over the newly named
“Addition,” but they couldn’t save the Yoshi’s entertainment

A series of community meetings were conducted with an outraged
African American community in 2015 and 2016 primarily sponsored by
the City and Supervisor London Breed. This development is in
Breed’s supervisorial district.

Most of community meetings, separately organized by the City,
NAACP, San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce, Citizens
Committee to Preserve the African American Heritage Center and the
Black Political Association of California (BAPAC), are demanding
that the Heritage Center remain in Black ownership.

In some of the meetings, proponents are demanding that the City
turn over the property to the Black Community for a dollar and
repay HUD out of the $320 million it gets for free from the hotel
tax annually. So far, the City has ignored these demands.

Extensive teaming in the Black business community is being
conducted in back rooms and local restaurants. Agonafer Shiferaw,
former owner of neighboring Rasseles Jazz Club and Restaurant, is
the most profiled contender. Ayende of Black Star Investments
claims to have some of the top Black developers in the country in
his group. Alan Dones, Oakland’s eminent Black developer, currently
leading the development of the $500 million Seventh Street BART
Station, has also shown interest in the project.

The next tour of the facility is 9:30 a.m. on March 8, 2017, and
is open to bidders anywhere in the world.

Fred Jordan, who heads a world-renowned engineering firm and
is president and chair of the San Francisco African American
Chamber of Commerce, can be SFACC, 1006 Webster St., San
Francisco, CA 94115, 415-749-6400 or
"mailto:[email protected]" target=
"_blank">[email protected]

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