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The historic Renoir Hotel may get

a stong dose of LA luxury


• Closed, with the first floor windows and doors boarded up, the hotel ended its old life in April, 2013. A new designer promises something "very different from anything else in San Francisco." It will have the first rooftop bar promised by the outsiders coming to Central Market. Hopefully some one will clue them into the winds that come up in the area round about Cocktail Hour. They might consider enclosing the 4,500 sq ft up there.

•  Owners Alex Samek and Brian De Lowe plan to spend $40 million on the renovated and renamed Renoir. The money comes from an unusual immigrant investor program which permits rich immigrants to buy temporary residency status by investing in an American business. These investors are from China. The building was constructed in 1926 with 130 rooms. It has been in the National Register of Historic Places since 1986.


• The Kor Group of Los Angeles has renovated several old landmark office and loft buildings in downtown LA into luxury residential buildings. That area has been known for its large population of homeless men. (Other Southern California cities long had a practice of dropping off their homeless at downtown social service agencies under cover of night.)


•  The Renior partners leased the one story building on the rest of the triangular block (Donut World, seen below), perhaps for restaurants and another rooftop bar.


•  In the Summer of 2014, while under interior demolition, the building caught fire and has been left empty since then.

The historic Grant Building as a hotel

• Interior demolition is underway at the Wilson Building, 1095 Market, at the corner of Seventh St  And heavy duty scafolding stands ready for a rebuild into a 200 room hotel. The rooms would would be about 170 square feet small.


• The building is listed as a Category I (Historically Significant) Building.

The historic Hotel Whitcomb

Outdoor seating set up under a limited city plan to make use of Market Street's wide sidewalks (seen at left) was removed in 2014.


Another limited city program was made use of by The Whitcomb and was more permanent, remaining now - at least until a proposal to "redesign" all of Market St.


In this case, the solid stone wall surounding the stairs down to MUNI and Bart, was replaced by smooth, thin silver railing, giving better view and light and discouraging various "gentlemen of leisure" from blocking the sidewalk by sitting on the wall, leaning against the wall, arranging elaborate displays of stuff to sell along the wall, etc, as still happens at two of the other corners of Market St and Eiighth and Hyde Streets.

Contact us: observesf.com, E-mail: observesf@me.com, Anthony King, editor