For $2,400 a Year, You Can Be Special, Too

The Battery, a posh members-only establishment, is now a tech hub
In 2008, the Birches bought the Musto Building, a 100-year-old former warehouse, candy factory, and office space, for $13.5 million. They won't say how much renovation cost. Photograph by Amy Harrity for Bloomberg Businessweek

Nestled in the Jackson Square neighborhood near San Francisco’s northeastern waterfront sits the Battery, an extravagant, members-only social club. The ground floor is filled with dark wood tables, leather sofas, and local artwork, all surrounding a glass and steel staircase. On the second floor, past antique phone booths and a piano bar with a Steinway, a passageway hidden behind a bookcase leads to a private card room. Dues are $2,400 a year, not including food, drink, or access to the gym or one of the 14 hotel suites. “I see how it can represent extreme wealth,” says Xochi Birch, who co-founded the club with her husband, Michael, a year ago.

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