JCF cinches deal for purchase of two adjacent buildings

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As expected, the Jewish Community Federation has closed the deal to purchase two buildings next to its current one at 121 Steuart St., in San Francisco.

The Nov. 2 transaction, at a price of $27.85 million, will allow the JCF to offer space to other non-profit agencies whose leases will expire in the coming years amid a soaring real estate market.

"We believe that the demand for more affordable space for our agencies is much greater than the supply and will continue to be an issue even with the purchase of 131 and 141 Steuart Street," said John Goldman, JCF president. "Yet it is important for the JCF to offer solutions, and this property represents one sure step to ameliorate a growing matter of concern."

The buildings have about 75,000 square feet of space, with most of it currently leased. But those leases will be up for renewal in the years to come.

Elle Hoffnagel, JCF director of building and office services, said she had already received inquiries from non-profits — both Jewish and non-Jewish — that were interested in becoming tenants.

A committee will be formed in the coming days to decide the criteria.

"I'm so proud of the Jewish community for taking this innovative step," said Hoffnagel.

"We're the first organization to have closed a building, not for ourselves, but for other non-profits," said Phyllis Cook, director of the JCF's Jewish Community Endowment Fund.

Besides offering below-market rental rates, another benefit will be the close proximity of these non-profits, allowing "a great possibility of synergy," Cook said. "We'll be able to help organizations with their marketing and other services."

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."