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LGBTQIA+ Clinic Shops For New Digs Amid Eviction Threats

A nonprofit community health center that has served San Francisco's LGBTQIA+ community for over a decade has begun looking for new space in the Castro after receiving “an urgent threat of eviction” from its owner. 

The owner of 2275 Market St. is allegedly threatening to evict one of its tenants

Queer LifeSpace at 2275 Market St. is accusing its landlord and property manager, Regent West Limited LP and Renoir Property Management, of defrauding the small clinic, threatening to evict it and putting the Castro’s LGBTQIA+ community at risk of losing an affordable mental healthcare provider. 

The eviction notice came as local politicians, therapists and community members, including San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí and Board of Supervisors President and mayoral candidate Aaron Peskin, gathered Saturday to recognize the clinic for 13 years of “service and internationally recognized training for queer-affirming therapists,” according to the San Francisco Standard

But instead of celebrating the clinic’s achievements, QLS Executive Director Ryan MacCarrigan turned the event into a rally to protect the clinic’s future and call out what he said were “egregious” actions by building ownership.  

The clinic said it had a secure lease in place at the 43-year-old mall until 2027, but is being “shaken down for dubious fees and penalties supposedly accrued during the pandemic,” according to a press release.

Regent West said that QLS owed it $85K in miscellaneous maintenance fees. When QLS attempted to settle, the clinic claims the landlord doubled its ask. Regent West now says that QLS owes the landlord $176K, MacCarrigan told Bisnow

Bisnow repeatedly reached out to landlord Regent West, Renoir Property Management and an attorney’s office representing both parties, Danfoura Law Group, but received no response.

MacCarrigan said he had not heard from the building owner or manager since Saturday’s celebration-turned-rally. The silence has prompted the organization to prepare for the worst, an eviction.

“We have been proactive in the past few days and are looking online to see what’s available.” MacCarrigan said. “It doesn’t appear that there are any viable spaces in the Castro.”

The space now offers small rooms where therapists can conduct private sessions with patients. QLS has started to look for former dentist or doctor’s offices. During pandemic lockdowns, QLS vacated its offices and went completely virtual, helping the organization remain in business. But now, many of QLS’ clients prefer to meet face-to-face with their clinicians, he said.

“We would have to build out space and it’s really expensive. Plus, we don’t want any disruption to our services,” MacCarrigan said. 

The eviction threat and search for new digs comes as states around the country are enacting anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, MacCarrigan said.

“We are a community organization with brand equity. For us to feel attacked, makes everyone feel nervous,” MacCarrigan said.

“This egregious behavior by the landlords is not only a direct attack on Queer LifeSpace but also on the broader LGBTQIA+ community, which already faces significant challenges in accessing affordable mental healthcare. The timing of this harassment is particularly alarming, given the current climate of increasing hostility towards LGBTQIA+ individuals,” a QLS press release stated. 

Oklahoma, Texas and South Carolina have considered banning care for transgender people up to 26 years of age, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Other states prohibit public funds from being used to provide transgender healthcare for anyone.

The Regent West and Renoir Property team reportedly purchased 2275 Market St. in late 2019 for about $8M.