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Homeless Encampment, Potential Fire Mar Church & Market's Long-Vacant Home

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Once a target for Chipotle, the long-empty restaurant continues to spawn new issues.

Thomas Hawk

A group of homeless people apparently took the moniker of long-vacant Church and Market restaurant Home a bit too seriously, as the SF Fire Department had to clear a mini-encampment of homeless residents out of the space yesterday. Hoodline reportsthat three fire engines pulled up to Home around 1:30 pm in response to reports of a fire, and at least two homeless people were found camping inside the vacant building. It's unclear as to whether or not a fire actually took place; one firefighter told Hoodline that they'd discovered and extinguished "a little one," while another said that there was none.

Home has been vacant since 2011, and in 2013, Mexican megachain Chipotle announced its desire to take the space over and turn it into a new location. That proposal was shot down under the city's formula retail law, with local activists saying it would harm the area's existing Mexican restaurants. The current plan is for the building to be demolished and replaced with a seven-story apartment building with ground-floor retail, as has been the case for many of the empty lots on that stretch of Market in recent years; however, there's currently no timeline as to when that will occur, meaning the blighted space could continue to be a beacon for the homeless until it's taken down.

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