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In the Black: Presidio Trust Meets Self-Sufficiency Deadline

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  • February 7, 2013
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After 17 years of relying on annual appropriations from Congress, the nonprofit charged with preserving the Presidio of San Francisco has grown up and shown that it can operate as an independent organization capable of sustaining the natural and cultural resources of the historic Army post that closed in 1994.

The fiscal year that ended last September was the last year the Presidio Trust received a federal allocation as stipulated in the legislation that created it. “This year is a huge and important milestone,” Craig Middleton, executive director of the Trust, told the San Francisco Business Times.

The trust actually has been covering its operating costs since 2004, but the federal money — $12 million in fiscal 2012 — has helped the trust undertake its enormous capital improvement program. So far, the organization has rehabilitated about 80 percent of the site’s 433 historic structures.

The trust is generating almost $90 million in revenue each year, coming from a variety of sources — residential housing, rent from businesses such as Lucasfilm and several schools, the golf course and other event venues, the new Inn at the Presidio, and grants and gifts. The trust has benefitted from its partnership with the National Park Service, which manages the site’s coastal areas, and from the support of the nonprofit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Still, more work remains, with $300 million worth of rehabilitation and preservation projects planned for the next several years.

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