From sweets to luxury suites 

A former candy warehouse near the northern edge of the Financial District is slated to be renovated and reinvented as a decadent private club.

The grand three-story Musto Building was constructed at 717 Battery St., at Pacific Avenue, in 1907 to replace a marble workshop destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire.

The ground floor was originally used for stores and the other two stories served as warehouse space.

Various businesses, including the Euclid Candy Co. and Niels C. Hansens Crating, used the building as a warehouse until 1969, when it was converted into an office building, city documents show.

But the brick-covered, L-shaped building was bought last year by the British founders of social networking Web site Bebo, which was purchased by AOL in 2008 for $850 million. The new owners plan to spend $15 million refurbishing, expanding and seismically reinforcing the building, San Francisco Planning Department records show.

The Musto Building will be used as an independent private club with a small number of hospitality suites available for members, according to project manager Gardner Combs.

“The project sponsors are eager to get the project under way sooner rather than later,” said Tuija Catalano, a land-use attorney representing the property owners.

The expansion includes several new additions to the former candy warehouse.

The building’s basement would be expanded and used for pool and health club areas, and a fourth-story penthouse and roof deck is proposed to be added.

Conference facilities, a gym, a library and a game room also would be incorporated into the building.

The ground floor would be used for a lounge and a restaurant, which might be open to the public.

An outdoor gathering area is in the works, called Musto Plaza, and would be enclosed for socializing and dining while shielded from Pacific Avenue with glazed fencing and a gate.

However, before the luxury additions can begin, the building must be seismically reinforced. The building currently is considered seismically unsafe for occupancy, according to Catalano, and preparation for seismic reinforcement recently started.

Construction schedules will be affected by permit approvals needed from city departments, Catalano said.


Man behind the Musto

William Mooser II was the architect of the Musto Building.

  • Appointed San Francisco’s first city architect in 1900
  • Specialized in fireproof buildings, which became popular after 1906
  • Designed Pioneer Woollen Mill, which is now part of Ghirardelli Square
  • Designed the Maritime Museum

Source: San Francisco Planning Department


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