New UC Law SF campus attempts to lift Tenderloin – The San Francisco Standard

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When San Francisco was mired in “doom loop” talk last year, Mayor London Breed and some business leaders began openly calling for college students to save downtown. Young adults, the thinking goes, would populate struggling areas, reinvigorate the economy and help transform downtown from a 9-to-5 office community to a 24/7 arts and culture destination. 

Just one block away from the worst drug corner in the city, the University of California College of the Law SF is putting that theory to the test. 

In August, the school opened Academe at 198, a 14-story, 650-unit apartment building at 198 McAllister St. in the Tenderloin neighborhood. Units in the complex are available not only to UC Law students but also to enrollees at UCSF, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University, among other schools.

The building is a critical element of the university’s multimillion-dollar plan to reshape the neighborhood that it calls home—and that is the epicenter of the city’s homelessness and drug crises. It’s been nearly four years since the law school, alongside local residents, sued the city, accusing it of abandoning the neighborhood to growing homelessness and criminal activity.

Cameryn Chan was among the first tenants, leasing a 232-square-foot “efficiency” studio for $2,200 a month, despite what concerned family and friends told her about the area.

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