SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — A historic San Francisco hotel that has hosted the likes of President John F. Kennedy and Prince Charles is up for sale after a plan to convert part of it into luxury condominiums failed.
The owners of the Fairmont San Francisco have abandoned their proposed renovations and hope to find a buyer for the 1906 landmark, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.
The owners include Oakland Athletics managing partner Lew Wolff and a Saudi prince. They wanted to replace the hotel’s 26-story tower with a 23-story condo complex.
“We think it’s time for a single owner to revisit the future of this area,” Wolff said. “Maybe they actually can do better than we did.”
The newspaper reports the rejection of the proposal by the politically influential hotel workers’ union in April doomed the project’s chances at City Hall. The hotel had promised a year’s pay to workers displaced by the proposed construction and pledged to rehire them when the hotel reopened.
Workers had demanded more money over concerns that their jobs would not return after the conversion to condos.
The Fairmont enjoys postcard views of the city and San Francisco Bay from atop Nob Hill, historically the city’s toniest address. But bookings have suffered as business travelers migrate to the tech-centric South of Market neighborhood.
Three other hotels in the neighborhood — the Mark Hopkins, the Huntington Court and Stanford Court — are also for sale.
The Fairmont’s façade is well known from movies and television. In 1945, delegates drafted the United Nations’ charter in a banquet room at the hotel. It’s also home to the Tonga Room, a famed tiki bar complete with indoor rain showers.
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