Correction: An earlier report by The San Francisco Business Times in error identified London-based Soho House as the buyer of the Armory. According to an updated story by the San Francisco Chronicle, the property was purchased by an entity called SF Armory LLC, which is affiliated with Chicago-based AJ Capital Partners. A leasing flyer was also distributed showing that Elizabeth Hart and Charlie Withers of Newmark Cornish & Carey in San Francisco were leading the leasing efforts on behalf of the new owner. We apologize for our misreporting and offer an updated version of the story below.
Chicago-based Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners (AJ Capital Partners) bills itself as a group of counter-culture hospitality and real estate investors who acquire, develop and design transformative real estate in multi-dimensional markets and prestigious resort destinations. One of their newest properties is the famed Armory Building, a 200,000 square-foot Moorish revival structure located at 1800 Mission Street in San Francisco, according to its leasing team leader Liz Hart, executive managing director at Newmark Cornish & Carey in San Francisco. AJ Capital paid $65 million, or $325 per square foot, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle.
The building is an iconic structure that was constructed between 1912 and 1914. It was originally built as an armory and arsenal for the United States National Guard, and in the 1920s it also served as a sporting event venue, popular for hosting prizefights during that time. The building closed as an armory in 1975 and was largely unused until the early 2000s.
According to the building’s Wikipedia page, Kink.com, a San Francisco-based internet pornography producer purchased the property for $14.5 million and used the building as a studio for production of content for its websites.
The property is a Class 2 landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Aside from its sultry past, the building also was used as the set for several spaceship interior scenes in The Empire Strikes Back Star Wars saga.
In Northern California, AJ Capital also lists Calistoga Ranch, an Auberge Resort in Napa Valley, as a property in its portfolio. Its affiliation with the Soho House has been the company’s property in Chicago, which the AJ Capital also lists as part of its portfolio.
It is not clear what AJ Capital plans to do with the property at this time. The Newmark Cornish & Carey San Francisco leasing team led by Liz Hart and Charlie Withers is actively pursuing opportunities for the new owner, according to Hart, but no additional information was provided at this time.