Remodel paves way for rentals 

A South San Francisco agency is considering loaning a private property owner $2.5 million to turn historic single-room occupancy hotels into “some of the nicest rentals downtown,” according to the agency’s director.

The property, two linked buildings on the north side of Grand Avenue between Cypress and Linden avenues, has been vacant for about 30 years, according to South City Redevelopment manager Norma Fragoso.

The owner hopes to renovate the buildings, constructed in 1908, and convert the second story into 10 apartments. The first floor of the buildings at 226 and 232 Grand Ave.  are occupied by commercial tenants, which will be maintained.

All the apartments will be market rate, Fragoso said.

The Redevelopment Agency was supposed to consider the $2.5 million loan at its last meeting. However, the project was not ready, so the item was pulled at the last minute.

In October, property owner Greg Giffra said the project would be ready to move forward in December and should be completed in nine months.

Giffra did not return calls for an update about the project.

Fragoso did not know why the project had been so delayed, nor would she say when Giffra approached the city for the loan. She also did not say when the project may come before the board again.

“It’s been a long, complicated and difficult project,” she said. “It’s big and expensive.”

She said the Redevelopment Agency has given loans to other projects before, mostly low-income housing projects and hotel renovations.

The project is important to the city because it brings residential units downtown and restores a historic building, she said.

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Katie Worth

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