$36 million construction project gets into gear as JFCS relocates

Jewish Family and Children Services in San Francisco is literally on the move.

Social services and administrative offices have relocated to 1710 Scott St. for the next two years, just one block from their former location.

The original red brick building at 1600 Scott St., which the agency began occupying in 1931, is being transformed from a 12,000-square-foot facility into the 205,000-square-foot Rhoda Goldman Plaza, the JFCS senior house and social services complex.

The $36 million project has been under construction for several months, while JFCS services functioned as usual. By Dec. 18, however, all 140 JFCS employees were relocated. The general phone number, (415) 567-8860, remains the same.

The new complex will be bordered by Post, Scott and Sutter streets.

Not all services are moving to the same site. And some have permanent new facilities, such as the two-story JFCS Judah Street Center for Emigre Services and L'Chaim Adult Day Health Center on 2534 Judah St.

"The emigre program needed to be consolidated and we wanted it in the center of San Francisco's Russian Jewish community," said Anita Friedman, JFCS executive director.

L'Chaim, a senior center, had been without a permanent home for the last 20 years, according to Friedman.

Other JFCS services with new, permanent homes include Seniors At Home at 423 Presidio Ave., (415) 567-8860, and Help At Home, at 2245 Post Street, (415) 561-1256.

Dream House, a transitional housing shelter and safe house for homeless and abused women and dependent children, has also relocated to an undisclosed site. It had been adjacent to 1600 Scott St.

Friedman said the construction is on schedule, with "no surprises." Client services were not disrupted by the recent move, she added.

Rhoda Goldman Plaza will feature 155 assisted-living apartments for seniors, comprehensive social services and new offices for JFCS and Mount Zion Health Systems in the JFCS Miriam Schultz Grunfeld Professional Building.

Friedman sees the complex as an "innovative, one-stop shop" for social services.

"It creates a major senior service center for Northern California. It will serve families, children and seniors of all income groups," she said. "Generally, services are very fragmented. We're creating a whole new approach to social services with an integrated system."

The seven-story complex, which will keep the brick facade, will house the Koret Wellness Center for residents and the community. The facility includes a kosher kitchen, dining rooms, courtyards, an art center, music center, computer center and library, plus a bakery-cafe.

The architectural firm for the project is Backen, Arrigoni and Ross. The contractor is Cahill Contractors Inc. and the developer is Holliday Development Corp.