The President

The President
San Francisco County

The President is a 115-unit single room occupancy (SRO) building in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.  This 11-story former hotel suffered from problems often encountered in multifamily buildings: temperature comfort issues (too cold on lower floors, too hot on upper floors), inadequate lighting in common spaces, and excessive utility bills associated with the aging inefficient equipment.  “Our boilers were on their last legs and we needed help,” said Gary Sayed, 49 Square Realty Group property manager.  Markus Hayes, Project Manager, discovered the Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancement program could help solve these “pain points.” The program provided a free energy analysis, project management assistance, and incentives that covered much of the project cost associated with installing the recommended energy efficiency upgrades.

“Qualifying for the program and working with the team has been a totally great experience,” said Sayed.  “We were able to install a better and more efficient boiler than we would have otherwise been able to afford.” “We added value for residents and ownership while reducing our carbon footprint,” adds Hayes.

In addition to helping pay for The President’s heating system upgrade, the Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancement program incentives “enabled us to improve the building envelope and lighting, which we otherwise would not have been able to even consider,” said Sayed.  The initial analysis prepared by San Francisco Department of the Environment’s project managers Ben Cooper and Gail Brownell revealed potential savings of more than 11% on energy bills by installing a combination of energy efficiency measures.  “The menu of options provided allowed use of our building knowledge to determine what best suited our facility, and they guided us through the process,” noted Hayes.

Project Scope:

  • Boiler replacement  
  • Roof coated with spray polyurethane foam (SPF) and an elastomeric sealant that provides R12 insulation to reduce heat loss and keep residents more comfortable.  
  • Common area and in-unit lighting was replaced with new long-lasting energy saving LED lamps to enhance lighting levels and safety.  
  • Pipe insulation was added to all exposed steam and hot water piping to help ensure that heat created by the boiler goes to the apartments.

After the improvements The President’s utility costs dropped more than Sayed had expected. Another added benefit is that tenants feel more comfortable and appreciate the improved lighting.  Sayed considers the Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancement program a great resource for multifamily building owners, property managers and residents throughout San Francisco.  In fact, 49 Square Realty Group signed up two more buildings for energy upgrades.

Our boilers were on their last legs and we needed help.
Property Profile
935 Geary St., San Francisco, CA
49 Square Realty Group
# of Units
# of Buildings
Sq. ft.
Year Built
Upgrade at a Glance
Energy Savings
  • 11.3 % overall energy savings
  • 1,653 Therms saved
  • 23,025 kWh saved
  • 17 metric tons C02 emissions reduced
Rebate Amount

$ 86,250 

Measures Included
  • R-12 foam insulation over roof
  • Upgrade of in-unit and hallway lighting to LED fixtures
  • Steam boiler replacement
  • Insulation of all steam heating pipes to T24
Other Benefits
  • Improved comfort and lower heating costs from roof insulation
  • Increased safety from improved lighting
PDF icon San Francisco Case Study.pdf1.49 MB