The one-story cement structure, once the home of Camera One Cinema, has been occupied by Two Fish Design and Anno Domini art gallery proprietors Cherri Lakey and Brian Eder under the terms of a sweetheart rent deal that bounced between $500 and $2000 a month. That’s less than a quarter of current market rates for a 4,158-square-foot building, according to an appraisal commissioned by Lakey and Eder.
The sale came after a months-long dispute over the building’s value. The publicly-owned property at 366 S. First St., which lies between a parking lot and Café Stritch, never went on the market for open bids because the city granted the gallery operators a first right of refusal to buy the building.
Anno Domini hired an appraiser, who valued the building bought by the city in 2003 for $1.02 million at $750,000. SARA rejected that number and hired another firm to reappraise. The second one came in at $1.05 million. Eder and Lakey attorney Nicholas Petredis argued that the city’s assessment was neither reasonable nor fair. But Tersini went ahead and bought it anyway.
The SARA board then quietly authorized the sale in the middle of January to an entity registered with the California Secretary of State as 366 S. First St., LLC. The buyer, however, was not actually the duo that promotes underground art and street fairs, but a company formed by one of downtown’s biggest developers, the one that built the blue One South Market Apartments at Market and Santa Clara streets and the Axis condos on North Almaden and is now building the Silvery Towers near the San Pedro Market.
Tersini didn’t immediately respond to Fly’s request for comment about his plans for his new acquisition, which was built in 1934. Neither did Eder and Lakey. But another Tersini entity owns a 45 percent stake in the parking lot contiguous with Anno Domini, plus the Valley Title building on the corner of First and San Carlos.
Tersini hopes to build multiple high-rises on the nearly one-block SoFA site, potentially a billion dollar mega-development that would be one of downtown’s largest projects.
“My understanding is that there’s no immediate plans to demolish the building,” SARA Executive Director Richard Keit says of 366 S. First. “My guess is that they eventually may develop the whole Valley Title site, but there’s nothing in the works that I’m aware of at the moment.”