Real estate agency

Real estate agency gets green light to take over old Volvo from Castro

A real estate brokerage firm is officially on its way to the Castro, after obtaining unanimous approval from the San Francisco Planning Commission at last week’s meeting.

At the same meeting, the commission also approved the patio expansion for another business in Castro, a membership-based social club. The academy (2166, market street)

With approvals in hand, the real estate company The agency, which currently operates out of Noe Valley, officially takes over the long-vacant old Volvo Centrum repair shop at 3512 16th St., changing the use of space from an auto repair shop to a professional sales department. by retail. (A previous proposal to convert the building into 12 housing units and three commercial spaces was dropped last February.)

Meanwhile, the Academy officially converted the former Klotz Watches & Clocks space, which closed in 2015, from a retail to general entertainment use, opening up the ability to use its back patio for members. .

The Academy will now offer access to the patio to members. | Photo: Steven Bracco / Hoodline

The agency’s new location will accommodate between 75 and 100 employees, according to managing partner Rachel Swann, who is also the president of the Noe Valley Merchants Association.

“I’m looking forward to having a great space where we can all be together,” Swann told Hoodline. “We’re lucky things have moved quickly and I’m happy with the timeline.”

Swann’s goal is to open The Agency by July. Much of the construction work on the old Volvo Centrum space has already been completed by the owner; Swann also plans to paint the exterior and add additional lighting.

Rachel Swann of the Agency speaks at the Planning Commission meeting. | IMAGE: SFGOVTV

“We are already well connected to the community and are thrilled to be a part of the neighborhood,” said Swann, who plans to open the agency’s conference rooms to community groups, including Boy Scout and Girl Troops. .

The agency’s move to Castro was supported by all major neighborhood groups: including Castro Merchants, Castro / Upper Market Community Benefit District (Castro CBD), Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Group (DTNA) and the Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association. .

These groups have also given their approval to the Academy, which was first opened in 2017 by business partners Nate Bourg and Paul Miller. It now has 300 members and offers programs such as art exhibitions, wine tastings, book clubs, discussion groups, game nights and barbering services.

Paul Miller and Nate Bourg of the Academy at the Planning Commission meeting. | Image: SFGovtv

The town planning commissioners have approved the Academy’s outdoor terrace, on condition that it closes every day at 10 p.m. and does not play amplified music. Miller and Bourg said the space will be used primarily for chatting, reading, and co-working.

Commissioners expressed concern that the excessive noise would affect the neighboring Twin Peaks Hotel, which overlooks the patio.

A community liaison will also be available for resident concerns, and in six months the Academy will report to the Planning Commission with any comments on the noise on the patio.

The back terrace of the Academy. | Photo: The Academy

“We are extremely pleased with the unanimous vote of approval we received from the Planning Commission yesterday, and would like to thank Bridget Hicks and the Planning Department for their help in guiding us through this complex process over the past eight months. Bourg told Hoodline. in a report.

“Going forward, we are more than excited to continue to grow the Academy and welcome to our club all those who share a common interest in engaging in the community and valuing meaningful personal relationships.”

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