NEWS RELEASE, proposed 14-building hotel on Presidio's Main Post
Sept. 17, 2010
For more information, contact
Gary Widman, 415/435-0360, email@example.com
History Association Seeks Public Response to Presidio Hotel Proposal
San Francisco…The watchdog nonprofit Presidio Historical Association (PHA) is asking the public to speak out against plans to build a new 88,000 sq. ft. luxury hotel in the most historic area of the Presidio of San Francisco National Park at next week's Presidio Trust Board's public meeting.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at the Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop in the Presidio of San Francisco. The agenda includes an update on the massive 14-building hotel proposal and time for public comment on the complex.
The Trust, a federal agency charged with managing the Presidio's real estate, has proposed a hotel including 12 new buildings encompassing 70,000 sq. ft., and the conversion of two historic structures measuring 18,000 sq. ft. The hotel complex would total nearly 90,000 sq. ft. located in the heart of the Presidio's historic Main Post, which dates back to 1776."The Presidio National Park needs a Visitors Center and History Museum, neither of which has been built by the Presidio Trust during its 10 years of overseeing the park," said PHA President Gary Widman. "This hotel is an improper and totally unnecessary use of this most important historic national park site."
The Presidio is already financially self-sufficient thanks to the rental income from its homes, offices and land. To date, the Trust has not released any financial analyses that show the proposed hotel would be profitable, and its Executive Director recently admitted that hotel profits would be "marginal."
Federal funds may be used to build some or all of the hotel, which will compete with nearby hotels and inns on Lombard Street and in the Marina, Cow Hollow/Union Street, Pacific Heights, Laurel Village and Fisherman's Wharf.
In addition to attending the Wednesday night meeting, Widman urges concerned citizens to call Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and US Senators Boxer and Feinstein to protest the commercialization of the federal park, and to contact relevant local officials.
"Does a city with 33,000 hotel rooms really need another hotel in the midst of the most historic and open part of its new national park?" Widman asked.
The Presidio Trust spent more than two years and more than $1 million in public funds fighting the public outcry against a controversial art museum proposed by the Donald Fisher family to be built on the Presidio's Main Post. Fisher, who died in September 2009, withdrew his proposal and turned his art collection over to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art one week before his death.
"Many of those who protested the museum also opposed the Main Post hotel, which was first proposed by the Presidio Trust in 2007. But the Trust has chosen to ignore that outcry and is now trying to authorize this large hotel and a multiplex movie theater – creating a new commercial district in the historic heart of the park," said Widman. "The Trust is trying to change the rules that now prohibit such construction by amending the Presidio Trust Management Plan (PTMP) to allow it."
For more information, contact the Presidio Historical Association at (415) 921-8193 or visit www.presidioassociation.org.
Founded in the 1950s, the nonprofit Presidio Historical Association (PHA) has worked in cooperation with the National Park Service and Presidio Trust since 1994 to advocate for preserving the integrity of the Presidio's National Historic Landmark District, located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). PHA created a museum for the Army when it was based at the Presidio. Earlier, PHA helped restore historic Fort Point at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Presidio Historical Association
P.O. Box 29163
San Francisco, CA 94129