CAST – Community Arts Stabilization Trust

San Francisco News

Rec & Parks Approves $3 Million To Transform Geneva Car Barn

Today, the SF Recreation and Parks Commission approved $3 million in funding from a 2012 parks bond to fund design and construction on the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse.

The unanimous vote brings total funding to $11 million for the project to transform the vacant building into an arts and events space.

The Car Barn opened in 1901 for use by San Francisco’s first electric railway system. Since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which damaged the property, the Car Barn—comprised of two buildings, the 3,000-sq.-ft. Powerhouse and the two-story, 13,000-sq.-ft. Office Building—has been vacant.

The Powerhouse was used to generate electrical power for the trains, while the Office Building was for administrative workers.

Ever since it was damaged, residents and history buffs have fought to secure funding to transform the buildings into community meeting and arts spaces for District 11 residents.

Former District 11 supervisor John Avalos secured $3.2 million in general funds for the renovation while current District 11 supervisor Ahsha Safai secured a $3.5 million pledge from the Historic Preservation and New Market Tax Credit Funds and $1 million from the Community Arts Stabilization Trust.

With the renovation funds, Rec and Parks will begin finalizing a conceptual design package approved by the commission in 2014 before putting the Powerhouse segment of the project out for bid for construction. The Office Building will not be updated with the current funding.

“We look forward to design and build a creative space that will become a community hub for healthy recreations for generations to come,” said Rec and Parks general manager Phil Ginsburg.

“This is really moving forward, finally, after many years,” said Daniel Weaver, founder of the Friends of Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse.



The Car Barn’s location next to the Balboa Park BART Station transit hub and the building’s historic nature have attracted fans who have spent years imagining the possibilities of the vacant building and advocating for funding.

A hub of streetcar operation throughout the twentieth century, the Geneva Car Barn was designated as a San Francisco landmark in 1985, four years before it was damaged in the earthquake.

Neighbors rallied against a plan to demolish the building 1998, convincing Mayor Willie Brown to save the building. In 2004, SFMTA sold the buildings to Rec and Park for $1 with plans to transform the space into a arts and events space.



“The Geneva Powerhouse renovation will restore this historic landmark and create one of the premiere performing arts and cultural centers in San Francisco, right here in District 11,”  said District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai, noting that the district is home to the largest number of children under the age of 18 living in San Francisco.

In three other agenda items related to the Car Barn at today’s meeting, the commissioners approved an increase in funding for a designer working on the project and allowed Rec and Park to begin negotiations with the Community Arts Stabilization Trust and Performing Arts Workshop, two groups that will lease, manage and provide arts programming at the Powerhouse.

CounterPulse, one of CAST’s first projects, has won honorable mention in Contract Magazine’s 2017 Inspirations Awards. The award, which recognizes social responsibility in commercial interiors, comes with a $1,000 grant for CounterPulse. Contract will feature the four winning projects in its July/August issue. Thank you to Jensen’s brilliant architectural design and expertise. Sponsorship provided by Contract and Tarkett.

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San Francisco Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative

Stabilizing nonprofits in a 
changing real estate market

The Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative helps San Francisco’s nonprofits secure new, nonprofit-owned space and creates solutions for organizations seeking long-term leases. The initiative includes two new programs — the Nonprofit Space Investment Fund and the Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program. The programs provide technical and financial assistance to support nonprofit sustainability amidst a changing, and volatile, real estate market.

NCCLF is partnering with San Francisco’s Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and the Arts Commission. 


Nonprofit Space Investment Fund

Grant awards for organizations seeking to purchase their facility.

Services Offered: 

Grant Awards
Organizations must have an executed Letter of Intent (LOI) or a Purchase Agreement to apply.
Application Deadline: 5 pm on March 28, 2017 

Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program

Supporting nonprofits to find creative space solutions and mitigate increased expenses.

Services Offered: 

Technical Assistance 
Technical assistance available for shared space cohorts – two or more organizations seeking space together for co-location and shared services.
Application Deadline: 5 pm on March 28, 2017 
Financial Assistance
Financial assistance available to offset rent expenses, moving expenses, and tenant improvements. Grant awards only available to organizations with executed LOIs/Lease Agreements since January 1, 2016. 
Application Deadline: 5 pm on March 28, 2017

Informational Workshops

March 2, 2017 

401 Van Ness Ave, Suite 125
San Francisco, CA
2 pm – 3 pm

March 7, 2017 

Roxie Theatre
3117 16th Street
San Francisco, CA
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

To learn more about the San Francisco Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, please visit
For questions, please contact Owen Serra at