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Proposal: Hotel California

Rejected names: REACH Farther; CEEALAR SF

Update: Red Victorian not available @April 24, 2022 10:45 AM (PDT)

Called the agent running the site; apparently the Red Victorian is being sold off on May 6th. Efficient market hypothesis strikes again!

There’s some chance the deal falls through (5%? idk), and the agent offered to contact us if that happens.

Summary

  • A historic 21-bed, 14-bath hotel
  • 11.2k sqft, with a 2.3k sqft storefront on the first floor
  • Located in the center of the lively Haight-Ashbury neighborhood
  • Next to Golden Gate Park and the Panhandle
  • Currently listed for $5M

Austin proposes to buy this property and turn it into a living, working, and community space for people trying to change the world.

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Location

  • Right in the center of a quirky/nice neighborhood
  • Easy access to two giant parks
  • Close to the Neighborhood?

Layout

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Inspirations

  • Berkeley REACH: Community hub for people to cowork/crash
  • EA Hotel: Subsidized hotel in Blackpool, UK
    • Overview
      • (note: Greg is an investor in Manifold)
    • Website (now known as CEAALAR)
    • Great idea! But... who wants to live in Blackpool...?

Philosophy

  • People matter
    • Make sure people’s needs are met
      • Shelter (obviously)
      • Physical exercise (jogging groups?, morning workouts?)
      • Mental health, emotional support
      • Sleep/quiet at night
  • Foster serendipity
    • Easy to meet other cool people
    • Easy to enjoy the surrounding food, weather, parks
  • Have a high bar
    • This isn’t a commercial endeavor seeking ROI; you can’t just buy a room
    • Application process for long-term residents
      • But short-term tenants can drop by and try it for a night or two
  • Nomad-friendly
    • People may want to only spend a few months of the year here. Let’s make that possible!

Financing Models

  • Loan
    • Down payment: 20% = 1m? Austin could almost cover this.
    • How do $5m-sized loans work
      • How much free cash flow is needed to service the loan? Is it covered by expected rent?
    • Any tax things we need to sort out?
  • Grant
    • Would someone like FTX FF or OpenPhil or CEA be interested in funding this completely?
      • Or be interested in providing the loan
  • Impact Cert
    • Could we sell an impact certificate on this???

Questions

  • What’s the current state of the Red Victorian?
    • Who’s living there? Is it completely empty?
      • If so: Why? is the housing market in a low state in SF?
    • How much work is needed to renovate it?
  • Are cool people expected to continue coming in to SF?
    • Or are they going to be migrating to east bay/NY?
    • Austin is biased towards thinking SF is really cool, but maybe that’s a temporary COVID measure
  • Have REACH and EA Hotel been worth the resource investment?
    • REACH fell apart
      • Sinclair: Trying to be a lot of things. Hostel, community center
      • Liked playing board games there. Did consider living there.
    • EA Hotel
      • Super cool, but haven’t necessarily seen too much amazing work produced??
  • Is there any legal/bureaucratic red tape around owning and managing a hotel??

Timeline

  • TODO

Next steps

Reach out to owners/agents of Red Victorian to assess interest
Call
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Reach out to Greg and June for advice & buy-in
Figure out potential funding sources
Collect interest on a Google Form

Alternative Locations

Sinclair’s musings

Sinclair: “REACH farther out”

  • People are lacking a nice environment around them
    • Live in houses that are badly furnished, with only soylent
    • Probably isn’t how a project trying to get smart people to do smart things should look like
  • Maybe there’s danger of encompassing a person’s personal life into their job
    • Cult-like dynamics, makes it harder to leave if you have disagreements, easier to abuse people
  • Maybe there’s already enough competition for group-house like living in SF
    • Genesis seemed like a cool idea but they’re falling apart now

Cool people who might want housing

  • Diane Kim/Kyle Tan
  • Sinclair Chen
  • Michelle Chang
  • Ida Mayer
  • Eric Jang
  • Arnav Dugar
  • Carol Chen
  • Jose Luis Ricon
  • ... you? Contact Austin (akrolsmir@gmail.com), or just add your name above!

Organizers/Advisors

  • Austin Chen
  • June Liu?
  • Greg Colbourn?
  • Ruth Grace Wong?
  • Jason Benn?
  • (reach out if you’d like to help!)