Precita Eyes Mural studio on Precita Park, along with 4 residents of the building at 344 Precita Avenue, have prevailed in their effort to purchase the building from the trustees of the late owner. The effort comes at the end of a long and at times acrimonius struggle to prevent the sale of the building to new owners who might have attempted to evict Precita Eyes and other residents.
The funding required to make the $1.35 million purchase possible was secured by the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA):
The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) has been able to purchase 344-348 Precita Avenue in San Francisco, so that all tenants can remain at affordable rents.
The commercial tenant is Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center, which has for decades created colorful murals, especially in the Mission community. Precita Eyes was nominated as the city’s first legacy business, per Prop J passed by San Francisco voters last November.
The apartments house four working-class residents – educators, musicians and therapists – who have long called the neighborhood home. All tenants were at risk of eviction from buyers looking to flip the building.
Tenant Dennis Mackenzie is thankful to remain in his home of over 30 years. He states, “Thanks to the many good people who made this possible, including MEDA, the San Francisco Community Land Trust, our families, friends, neighbors and others. This deal shows that there are ways to assist people so that we can remain in our longtime homes and businesses without being displaced and forced to move out of San Francisco.”
Community support made this deal a reality, with MEDA’s $400,000 downpayment raised by family, friends, neighbors and building residents, the latter raising over $19,500. The rest of the downpayment, more than $380,000, came from MEDA’s newly launched Neighbor-to-Neighbor (N2N) Fund, a community effort that is the brainchild of Mission resident Spike Kahn, who is also the founder of the nonprofit arts center, Pacific Felt Factory.
Neighbors from the Mission and Bernal Heights were very concerned about the potential loss of the Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center, a community arts institution in place for over 40 years on the site. The building’s residents used fundraising efforts, along with the N2N funds, to quickly raise the downpayment within 30 days, and were able to meet the seller’s timeline.
PHOTO: Precita Eyes Mural Center on Precita Park, by Telstar Logistics