Posts Tagged ‘hotel’

Prop F Update: Let’s Look at Both Sides of SF Proposition F (2015), the Airbnb Law – Fixing Frisco’s Broken Short-Term Rental Mess

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

I’ll tell you, I don’t care what you do or where you rest your noggin at night. Now I think it’s noteworthy when I spot Airbnb users in the Western Addition or the Sunset or wherever, ’cause they stand out (without realizing it) like a sore thumb, but I don’t have anything against tourists milling about, you know, per se. They ask me about parking laws. I try to help out. I tell them which way to curb their tires, ’cause a lot of them just don’t get it. And I know people who use Airbnb, and I know people who make some money letting rooms and units via Airbnb and the VRBO.

So that’s where I stand. Now let’s take a look at Prop F via ShareBetterSF:

1. Limits short-term rentals to 75 nights per year, regardless of whether a ‘host’ is present

THIS LOOKS GOOD TO ME. THE WHOLE “HOST PRESENT” THING APPEARS TO BE A GIANT LOOPHOLE COOKED UP BY AIRBNB ITSELF IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OFFICE OF SUPERVISOR DAVID CHIU. THE RULES THAT HE AND AIRBNB CAME UP WITH ARE A HUGE, UNWORKABLE MESS, IMO.

2. Requires quarterly reports to the Planning Department on the number of nights a unit is rented to tourists

IF YOU’RE RENTING OUT A ROOM OR A UNIT, YOU’D NEED A REGISTRATION NUMBER AND YOU’D NEED TO REPORT HOW MANY TIMES YOU DID IT EVERY THREE MONTHS. SOUNDS PRETTY SIMPLE TO ME. SOUNDS A LOT SIMPLER THAN, SAY, THE EXTRA WORK YOU’LL HAVE TO DO WHEN ANNUAL TAX TIME COMES. IF THIS IS TOO MUCH OF A BURDEN ON YOU, THE PERSON RENTING OUT ROOMS, PERHAPS YOU SHOULDN’T BE IN THIS BIDNESS?

3. Fines ‘hosting platforms’ (like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway) for listing unregistered units

BAM. IF YOU HAVE A REG. NUMBER, YOU CAN LIST. IF YOU DON’T, YOU CAN’T.

4. Provides other building tenants, neighbors and neighborhood associations with notice when a unit is registered as a short-term rental

SO SFGOV WOULD SEND OUT A BRACE OF LETTERS EVERY TIME A UNIT GETS REGISTERED – THIS IS A ONE-TIME DEAL, RIGHT? AGAIN, DOES THIS SEEM SO UNREASONABLE?

5. Allows other building tenants & neighbors to go to court to protect their rights to the quiet enjoyment of their homes when the City fails to enforce the law

SO THERE ARE YOUR TEETH. THIS IS WHY AIRBNBER’S WILL ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO SF PROP F 2015.

[INTERMISSION]

NOW LET’S HEAR FROM AIRBNB::

CaptureFSFFHH

1. WELL, YEAH, I GUESS, AIRBNB – YOU COULD CHARACTERIZE THINGS THAT WAY. BUT LET’S SAY AN AIRBNBER FROM WALNUT CREEK BUYS A BUILDING IN SF AND THEN AIRBNBS ALL THE UNITS 365/366 DAYS A YEAR – THIS IS WHAT THE PROP F PEOPLE WOULD CALL “RUNNING A HOTEL.” IF I WERE SAID BUILDING OWNER LIVING IN WALNUT CREEK, I’D BE VERY AFRAID OF PROP F, SO I’D FOLLOW THE NEW RULES, RIGHT? IS THAT SO BAD?

2. WELL, I LIVE IN SF, AIRBNB. SO I DON’T THINK YOU’RE TALKING TO ME. BUT i’LL SAY THAT I THINK THE “DATA” WE’RE TALKING ABOUT IS HOW MANY TIMES A QUARTER AIRBNBERS ARE IN BUSINESS, SO NO BIG DEAL, RIGHT? SO FAR, YOU’RE NOT REALLY SCARING ME AWAY FROM PROP F HERE, AIRBNB. LET’S SOLDIER ON…

3. SFGOV AND AIRBNB HAVE MADE A HASH OF THIS PROCESS SO FAR. THE CURRENT SYSTEM ISN’T WORKING, SORRY. THIS IS WHY PROP F QUALIFIED FOR THE BALLOT, RIGHT?

4. HEY, AREN’T MOST IN-LAW UNITS IN TOWN ALREADY “BANNED?” I THINK SO. I THINK IT’S BECAUSE THEY AREN’T CODE COMPLIANT. WHY SHOULDN’T WE LEGALIZE THESE UNITS FIRST, IF THAT’S WHAT WE WANT TO DO, AFORE WE START WORRYING ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY WE CAN MAKE OFF OF THEM? AND IF THIS IN-LAW ISSUE IS SUCH A BIG CONCERN A FEW YEARS DOWN THE ROAD AFTER THE POSSIBLE LEGALIZATION OF THESE UNITS, WELL, THEN WE CAN VOTE AGAIN, RIGHT? PERHAPS THIS WILL BE A BIT CUMBERSOME, BUT THAT’S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU HAVE A REGULATORY CAPTURE SUCH AS THE ONE WE’RE IN.  

So, IDK, am I missing something here? What am I missing? Any beef anybody has against Prop F is displaced anger – the people who created the current situation are the ones responsible. Oh what’s that, Airbnb, you say the rules from Prop F are “too extreme?” Well, that’s because, unlike the current regs,  you didn’t write them. See how that works, Airbnb? Perhaps you should have cooked up a fairer set of rules for yourself, and then Prop F never would never have gone on the ballot, right?

So tell me, Gentle Reader, what am I missing here?

Otherwise, I’m a-voting YES ON PROP F.

Historic Yelp Typo for Expensive SoMA Flophouse: “We Had Bats In Our Room” – Should Be Gnats? Cats? Rats?

Monday, August 17th, 2015

I’ll tell you, this blows me away:

“…Best Western Plus Americania recently posted rates of $460 a night.”

Isn’t that a tad pricy, you know, considering?

Anywho, Andrea M says:

We had bats in our room…

Capturefsfff

This can’t be right, right?

It’s gotta be gnats, right?

Are bats attracted to humidity? One assumes not. But are gnats attracted to humidity? One assumes so.

Otherwise, bats, rats OR cats would be somewhat disturbing.

Almost as disturbing as the idea of paying $460 to stay a night (plus hotel tax, like 15%) (plus $30, for parking!) (plus hotel tax, like 15% on the parking fee) at a Best Western motel at 7th and Market…

Trouble for “SOMA SUITES HOTEL” – Rent Controlled Units Leased to Tourists? – City Attorney Dennis Herrera v. Angelo Sangiacomo

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Just released by the City Attorney’s Office

“Herrera demands answers from Trinity Place on tourist uses of rent-controlled dwellings – Investigation finds evidence that nearly two-dozen residential apartments—including 16 rent-controlled units—were apparently leased to tourists as ‘SOMA Suites Hotel’

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 6, 2015)—A major residential development project, hailed as “the Miracle of Mission Street” for overcoming years of opposition with promised benefits including 360 new apartments designated as rent-controlled, is facing scrutiny over apparently unlawful uses of residential dwellings for short-term tourist accommodations. City Attorney Dennis Herrera publicly acknowledged his office’s investigation into the potentially unlawful and unauthorized uses at 1188 and 1190 Mission Street in a letter delivered yesterday to Trinity Place developer Angelo Sangiacomo and counsel.

According to the letter, Herrera’s investigation found that at least 16 rent-controlled apartments, all intended as replacement units for residents at 1188 Mission Street, were instead leased to a single individual for the apparent purpose of marketing them as short-term tourist rentals. Another seven apartments in neighboring 1190 Mission Street were similarly leased to the same person for concurrent and overlapping periods, with evidence indicating those units were also then rented to tourists for short-term stays. Although apartments at 1190 Mission Street are not subject to rent-control, the required use of dwellings in both buildings is residential housing, under terms of the 2007 development agreement between Sangiacomo and the City and related City approvals.

The findings corroborate other evidence Herrera identified in his office’s investigation that Trinity Place dwellings have been marketed for transient occupancy as “The SOMA Suites Hotel,” an unincorporated and apparently unregistered entity that identifies its location to prospective hotel guests as 1188 Mission Street in San Francisco.

“For those of us who worked on the agreement, the full promise of Trinity Place wasn’t solely about 1,900 units of badly needed housing,” Herrera said. “It was also about proving that developers, city officials and the community could resolve differences creatively, and rise to the challenge of our housing shortage. What makes this apparent misuse so disappointing is that it betrays that promise on both counts. The conduct, if it is what it appears to be, reduces the number of apartments that should rightfully be available to San Francisco renters, and they undermine the trust necessary to make similar progress in the future. It’s my hope that Mr. Sangiacomo will appreciate the seriousness of this apparent wrongdoing. I hope, too, that he will cooperate with our investigation, and fully remedy all violations that may have occurred to restore the good faith and trust that made this project possible.”

Herrera’s letter requests the full cooperation of Sangiacomo and his agents in his office’s investigation, to thoroughly account for the uses of the rent controlled units and other residential units authorized under the Trinity Place development agreement since its execution. The letter specifically requests documents, contracts, leases and other information detailing financial relationships among Sangiacomo’s business interests and individuals and companies identified in Herrera’s investigation that appear to be involved in the short term rental violations.”

Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria Still Refuses to Deliver to the Bad Parts of Northern SF, But Their Delivery Maps are Improving

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

A little history here first. This was the Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria delivery map from a decade ago:

As you can see, the project-y parts of the Western Addition and Potrero Hill were no-go areas 24-7, while the Uptown Tenderloin / Twitterloin / 6th Street Corridor areas were no-go areas after dark.

Back then and even now, this kind of map is nice and legal, believe it or not. So, in Frisco, if a cabbie refuses to take you to The Projects (or even to The Avenues), s/he is guilty of a misdemeanor called Failure to Convey, but if a pizza deliverer refuses to bring food to the projects, well, that’s A-OK. Moving on….

To this, the map that’s been used for most of the past decade – it’s pretty much the same thing:

And now here are the current maps – first for the Mission Bay location on King Street:

Capturetu copy

Wow, this is much improved. The 6th Street part of the Twitterloin is back on the map as well as Potrero Terrace and Potrero Annex (those are per Jay Barmann – I am not familiar with these terms as I’ve never really been to the Potrero PJ’s area, the place where former Mayor Art Agnos got shot).

Of course it could be that Amici’s never delivers to these places – maybe it’s up to the individual drivers who are working at the time, IDK. Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with this map, you know, per se.

And now we come to the current map for the Marina District Amici’s:

Capture6464 copy

Realize that there are smaller federal housing projects included in this map, but the areas carved out still include a broad swath of the Western Addition and, of course, the SRO-laden Northern Twitterloin containment zone.

So there you have it – redlining in San Francisco circa 2015.

Cable Car Tokens from a Time When You Could Ride for Just 25 Cents, Before the 2300% Increase

Monday, December 29th, 2014

So back about 35 years ago, you’d blow into Frisco and corporations would just hand you tokens for a free cable car ride.

Why not, it made you happy and it was free advertising for the sponsoring organizations, like United Airlines, the St. Francis Hotel, Ghirardelli Square, TWA (RIP) and CP Airlines (also RIP).

Check it:

P1170844 copy

Fares are 2300% higher these days, oh well.

The View You Get From the Cavallo Point Lodge Looking Towards San Francisco – It Includes a Lot of Dead Grass, As It Should

Friday, November 14th, 2014

I’ve never stayed at the Lodge myself, but it looks pretty sweet.

A slower pace of life:

7J7C9292 copy

These days, the Great Lawn is full of brown grass:

7J7C9284 copy

When oh when will our drought end?

What It’s Like to Stay at a Mid-Market Hotel for $60-Something per Night: “Budget Inn,” 1139 Market Street

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Well, here’s an upbeat take:

Hotel Tour : Budget Inn San Francisco CA by DieselDucy:

Compare that with Yelp – a very low one-star rating:

“I want to leave, but it’s already 1am and we are both too afraid to leave our locked room. We get 4 hrs or interrupted sleep (the walls are paper thin and the doors have cracks in them), pray that we didn’t get exposed to tuberculosis, hepatitis and/or herpes and book it out of there. Trust me folks, this place isn’t worth the $60. I’ve stayed in $15 hostels while traveling though Europe that were both cleaner and safer than this place.”

And there’s this:

” If you have less than $150 night for a decent place to stay, youre actually safer just camping at golden gate park than any of these SROs…”

And there’s the bedbug allegations, natch.

Choose wisely…

OMG, MasterChef is Casting in San Francisco on Sept 13th, 2014 – All the Deets

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Right here.

MC6 San Francisco Individual Flyer - FINAL_8-5-14 copy

 

Bon appetit, bon courage…

The Most Airbnb People You Could Possibly Imagine, Alamo Square Area, Western Addition, USA

Monday, August 11th, 2014

(Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That.)

This has been a remarkable change, over the past half-decade.

You see them, all over the place, every day, coming and going, taking photos of buildings, looking at maps, asking where “the Seven Ladies” are, asking where the “Full House house” is, and rolling luggage up and down the street, you know, that kind of thing.

Sometimes I don’t know if they’re Airbnb people, but other times, like this time, it’s easy to tell: 

Click to expand

I don’t have a generalized beef against tourists – that makes me different from the typical Western Addition NIMBY.

In any event, this is what Airbnb looks like IRL on the street.

What Mayor Ed Lee Is Doing Tomorrow: The “HSBC Made for Trade” Tour – Hey, Is Trade Good or Should We “Buy Local?”

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The “HSBC Made for Trade Tour” is blowing through town tomorrow – sked below.

Observations:

- So “trade” is good? I thought we were supposed to “buy local?” I don’t have a beef against international trade myself, but I’m a little surprised to see SFGov participating in this trade love-fest.

- Isn’t the Bay Area Council Economic Institute now discredited owing to the recent America’s Cup fiasco? I think so. And yet here there are popping up as if nothing at all is wrong. Here you go, this BACEI report was a laugh riot: The America’s Cup: Economic Impacts of a Match on San Francisco Bay. Check it, potential “economic benefits” of “$9.9 billion,” whatever that meant. And a “fleet of super yachts” was supposed to motor through the Panama Canal and then shower riches upon us in some sort of Build It And They Will Come aquatic cargo cult. Hey! Perhaps the BACEI could gin up a report for how great the 2024 Olympics would be for us – wouldn’t that be a nice encore?

- And isn’t our Chinese Consulate the Locus of Espionage for Northern California? I think so. Or name me a better one, gentle reader? Anyway, here they come, as if nothing’s a matter.

Here you go, here’s the pitch:

HSBC Made for Trade is a national conversation with leaders in business, government, industry and academia about the role of global trade in today’s economy. This national tour looks at the contribution of the international flow of goods, services and capital to the U.S. economy, and the opportunities for American businesses brought about by global trade.”

And here’s tomorrow’s agenda:

Program Agenda

Financing The Future
The Palace Hotel
San Francisco, CA
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

11:00 a.m.
Welcome 
Steve Bottomley
Head of Commercial Banking, North America, HSBC

11:05 a.m.
Innovative Policy Approaches To Support Globalization
Deputy Assistant Secretary Ted Dean
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration

11:15 a.m.
Trade In The Bay Area: Investment And Global Financial Flows
Introduction by Steve Bottomley
Head of Commercial Banking, North America, HSBC
Moderated by Andrew S. Ross
Business Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle
Dr. Sean Randolph
President & CEO, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
Additional commentary from:
Deputy Assistant Secretary Ted Dean
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
Debra J. Lodge
Head of RMB FX Business Development, North America, HSBC Global Markets
Xia Xiang
Economic and Commercial Counselor, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, San Francisco

12:00 p.m.
Keynote Remarks
Introduction by Steve Bottomley
Head of Commercial Banking, North America, HSBC
The Honorable Edwin M. Lee
Mayor, City of San Francisco

12:20 p.m.
Lunch Served
Marlon Young
Chief Executive Officer, Americas, HSBC Private Bank

12:40 p.m.
Panel Discussion: How Bay Area Businesses Are Fueling The 
Future Of America
Introduction by Marlon Young
Chief Executive Officer, Americas, HSBC Private Bank
Moderated by Jim Wunderman
President and CEO, Bay Area Council
Benedict J. Bowler
Treasurer, Matson, Inc.
Lisa Peschcke-Koedt
Vice President, Global Tax and Customs, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Johan Nystedt
Vice President and Global Treasurer, Levi Strauss & Co.
Dan Shapero
Vice President, Talent Solutions, LinkedIn

1:25 p.m.
California And The Business Of Trade
Introduction by Marlon Young
Chief Executive Officer, Americas, HSBC Private Bank
Kish Rajan
Director, California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

1:35 p.m.
Closing Remarks