USF President Paul Fitzgerald S.J. announced yet another property acquisition on March 3. This time, USF plans to buy and develop the building on the corner of Masonic Avenue and Turk Boulevard, currently home to Blood Centers of the Pacific.
The building is set to be renovated and used to “expand the University’s footprint and access to much-needed academic space, and advance USF’s learning and research in the sciences, in particular, the health sciences,” according to Fitzgerald’s statement.
This purchase has been a decade in the making, beginning in 2012 under then-President Stephen Privett S.J.. However, according to Fitzgerald’s statement, the building’s prior owner was not able to find “appropriate new space for its operations,” so the sale could never be finalized.
The property is an 80,000-square-foot building sitting on 1.5 acres. The “renovation of existing specialized laboratories and other spaces (will) enhance learning and teaching,” Fitzgerald stated.
Should finances and governmental policies go as smoothly as the University would hope, following renovation, the building could be operational for students as soon as summer 2023. For now, the University’s Development team will “explore and leverage donor philanthropy to support the purchase and renovation, thus relieving USF’s budget,” according to University spokesperson Kellie Samson.
Recently, the current owner of the property, “Vitalant, a national nonprofit network of 120 blood donation and research centers, has secured new space closer to its research partners at UCSF,” Fitzgerald stated.
The announcement follows the University’s pending acquisition of the San Francisco Art Institute reported in February. Given the string of property purchases by USF, the University stated that it continuously explores partnerships, improvements, and other opportunities for academic and financial purposes. The University clarified that aside from these announcements, there are no other further acquisitions.
“USF is excited to pursue these new acquisitions,” Samson said. “This initiative has the potential to create new opportunities for USF to engage with communities in the Bay Area, across the nation, and around the world.”
The Foghorn will continue its coverage of this acquisition with news from the Community Town Hall on March 11.
Miguel Arcayena contributed to reporting on this story.
Megan Robertson, a sophomore media studies and performing arts & social justice double major, is the Foghorn’s deputy news editor and general assignment reporter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.