San Francisco's Craziest Hotel is Finally Going Away

Friday, Sep 11, 2009  |  Updated 11:15 AM PDT
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San Francisco's Craziest Hotel is Finally Going Away

Hugo Hotel courtesy Whole Wheat Toast

The Hugo Hotel in San Francisco's SOMA District is known for its exterior and not its interior.

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Say bye to the Hugo Hotel, and all the crazy furniture stuck sideways in its walls; say hello to affordable housing.

A jury sided with the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency in its eminent domain suit against the owners, who turns out are a California family that owned the site through an Oregon-based corporation.

The family gets $4.6 million for the property, the very same amount that a developer had offered (and the family had asked) in 2005, though a transaction never happened for lack of motivation on the owners' part.

Perhaps a far cry from the profit that would have come had the property been zoned for a high-rise, but a far cry also from the $400,000 the family purchased the property for back in 1964. Notes the SF Appeal: the owners were paying only a $7,000 tax bill on the hotel, and so could more or less wait forever to sell.

A building owners association guy says: "Finally. No responsible property owner is going to let their building become a blight on the neighborhood, and — I'm sorry to say it — that's exactly what [the Hugo] was."

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