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Rehabilitation of 106 affordable homes in the Filipino Cultural Heritage District moves forward

Exterior Shot of Gate to Gran Oriente
Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development provides key financing to restore historic buildings in SOMA Pilipinas

On May 29, Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) partner Mission Housing Development Corporation (MHDC) closed on the construction financing for syndication and rehabilitation of three Single Room Occupancy buildings on South Park Street in SoMa —Hotel Madrid (22 S. Park), The Park View (102 S. Park) and the Gran Oriente (106 S. Park).

Built in 1907, the Gran Oriente Hotel was acquired by Filipino seamen of the Wor Rizal Lodge #12 of the Gran Oriente Filipino Masonic fraternity in the 1920s. In 2018, the building was at risk of being sold on the open market which would have effectively displaced a number of vulnerable longtime San Francisco residents with deep ties to the surrounding community.

MHDC purchased The Park View and Hotel Madrid in 1982 and have operated the building as primarily housing for formerly homeless individuals, with referrals from the City’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive housing. The three buildings are located within the Filipino Cultural Heritage District and are important cultural assets for the Filipino community located in SoMa.

The acquisition and preservation of Gran Oriente was the result of advocacy by a pair of prominent community groups – Filipino American Development Foundation and SoMa Pilipinas in a partnership facilitated by MOHCD’s SoMa Community Stabilization Fund. The fund was established as a result of the Rincon Hill Planning Area and it ensures that populations most vulnerable to displacement in the South of Market neighborhood are able to live, work and prosper in an area that is culturally and economically diverse.

The planned renovations across the three buildings total $20 million. Completed work will increase habitability, accessibility and safety. Gran Oriente’s interior will be completely reconfigured while all three buildings will undergo crucial seismic strengthening, replacement of the plumbing and HVAC systems, electrical upgrades and fire protection improvements.

“I’m ecstatic that MOHCD was able to invest using SoMa Community Stabilization Funds in the creation of permanently affordable housing at the historic building that housed the Gran Oriente Hotel.” said Claudine del Rosario, MOHCD’s SoMa Fund Director.

The SoMa Community Stabilization Fund is overseen by a seven-member community advisory committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors and is comprised of individuals with direct ties to the neighborhood. The fund provided the original $5 million for the acquisition of the building through the City’s Small Sites Program which preserved Gran Oriente as permanently affordable housing.