Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation: Franciscan Towers


Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) has owned the Franciscan Towers since 1987. Built in 1917, Franciscan Towers is a six-story, mixed-use building that caught fire and suffered catastrophic damage in April of 2011. The damage forced the evacuation of 127 residents as well as the tenants occupying the ground floor commercial spaces.  Approximately 45% of the housing units were so severely damaged that they could not be preserved. As a result, the residential areas (86% of the building’s square footage) remained uninhabitable until the full rehabilitation was complete.


While the ground floor commercial spaces, the TNDC main office, and the TNDC-managed Tenderloin After-School Program (TASP) spaces were quickly repaired and reoccupied, there was significant fire, water, and smoke damage on the upper residential floors and ground floor lobby area. The fire and water damage rendered the building uninhabitable and all tenants of the 104 units were displaced.  Initially, TNDC placed all these tenants in various locations throughout its portfolio and in sister organizations. Multiple agencies provided a great deal of assistance to the displaced tenants.

Due to the significant amount of damage to the building and the fact that, at the time, there were no Tax Credits on the property, TNDC applied for and received property tax credits from the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (CTCAC). This allowed TNDC to not only work on bringing all the units back but also to focus on new energy conservation standards to make the building more efficient.



The Franciscan Towers project includes the fire damage repairs, major building system upgrades, and a comprehensive green retrofit aimed at extending the life of the building and addressing the long-term needs of the tenants. Noteworthy upgrades included:

  • New HVAC strategies, high-efficiency systems, and commissioning protocols
  • High-efficiency LED and fluorescent lighting
  • Added roof insulation
  • Improved storefront fenestrations and shading strategies
  • ENERGY STAR® appliances
  • A solar hot water system
  • Insulated water main pipes
  • Low flow bathroom and kitchen fixtures

Listed below are additional building improvement measures that are expected to result in a site energy improvement over existing conditions of 34% and a Title 24 time dependent valuation improvement of 26%.

  • First floor office and TASP areas are now better balanced with new two-zone heating system
  • Installation of heating system in front of windows to help reduce energy lost
  • Added insulation in all party walls
  • Insulated glass at new storefronts
  • Added blinds to reflect UV rays
  • Added density for floors through Gypcrete flooring


Operationally, TNDC anticipates a much more efficient building that will result in significant operational savings and the ability to better manage the property. The rehabilitation not only conserves energy but also preserves a historic structure and provides much-needed affordable housing that is ideally located for low-income individuals, while offering immediate access to public transportation, services, employment opportunities, and amenities essential to everyday living.


Annual Energy Use

(Source 25 kBtu/sf/yr)
Baseline (2010)
103 kBtu/sf/yr
Expected (2017)
78 kBtu/sf/yr

Energy Savings:


Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2010)
Expected (2017)

Cost Savings:


Sector Type



San Francisco, California

Project Size

65,000 square feet

Hotel Clark circa 1939

The Franciscan circa 2010 (pre-rehab)