Posts Tagged ‘landlords’

Newly Combative District Four Supervisor Katy Tang Takes Aim at Pro-Tenant Legislation in the Pages of the SF Examiner

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

I say “pages” as I assume that this was printed in yesterday’s SF ‘Xam.

The most interesting observation: We weren’t hanging in the Mission. We were in the Outer Sunset, that foggy Siberia mostly known for extended Asian families living in rows of attached homes built on barren sand dunes.

THERE’S A REASON WHY REAL ESTATE VALUES ARE LOWER IN THE OUTSET, RIGHT? DO YOU WANT TO GET INTO THAT?

Yet the trend behind the toast tweeted around the world started at Trouble Coffee on Judah Street.

NOPE

If trendy cafes are copying Trouble Coffee’s fancy toast, how did the Outer Sunset become a trendsetter? “My office can’t take credit for it,” said Tang, who recently turned 30 and is the youngest member of the Board of Supervisors. “What you see just sprang up and has a life of its own.”

WHETHER THE SUPERVISOR OF THIS AREA IS KATY TANG OR ED JEW, THAT HAS ZERO EFFECT ON WHAT THE OUTER SUNSET IS LIKE, RIGHT. KATY TANG, YOU DON’T “CREATE” ANYTHING, CAPISCHE? SIMILARLY, YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR THE MANY ISSUES THIS AREA HAS – SEE HOW THAT WORKS?

I love that it’s so organic. People have a more independent attitude out here. They don’t like bureaucracy and government intervention. They are free spirits. It might be something about being by the beach.”

KATY TANG IS AGAINST “BUREAUCRACY” AND “GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION,” REALLY?

Westside residents have historically been against growth, but Tang said she’s “hearing a tone of change.” She will discuss her ideas for “responsible development” at the Sunset Recreation Center at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

(LOTS OF LUCK WITH THIS ONE, KATY. IT COULD BE A BUMPY RIDE.)

“For so long we made it difficult to grow neighborhoods. Now we just keep going in circles with sensational eviction stories and legislation against property owners,” Tang said. “I feel bad about evictions, but we need balance because more burdens on property owners will only create a backlash. They’ll just throw their hands up and refuse to rent anymore. That’s why we have to create more supply.”

WOW, SOMEBODY FEELS SECURE IN HER JOB!

Tang said she is troubled by City Hall’s volume of reactionary legislation, like last year’s creation of a decadelong ban on converting rentals into condominiums. It was touted as a way to keep tenants in rent-controlled units but had the reverse effect.

SCORECARD PLEASE: “PROGRESSIVE LEGISLATION” = “REACTIONARY LEGISLATION?” REALLY?

There used to be an economic incentive to not evict tenants because a building with a clean eviction history was eligible for the lucrative condo lottery. With that hope now gone, petitions for Ellis Act evictions increased substantially (32 affecting 130 units were filed in the six months leading up to the condo ban compared to 50 for 211 units during the six months after). Predictably, with nothing to lose by an Ellis eviction, property owners are now cashing out to buyers willing to sell units as tenancies-in-common.

I DON’T KNOW WHOSE WORDS THESE ARE – I DON’T THINK THEY’RE OPERATIONAL, IRL. LANDLORDS NOW HAVE “NOTHING TO LOSE BY AN ELLIS ACT EVICTION?” REALLY? I DON’T THINK SO.

“I worry that we’re ignoring the unintended consequences of all the legislation in the pipeline,” Tang said. “Instead of solving our housing problem, we may end up hurting more tenants in the long run.”

CERTAINLY, RENT CONTROL CREATES WINNERS AND LOSERS. KATY TANG, ARE YOU IN FAVOR OF RENT CONTROL? YES? SORT OF? MMMM…

“I never expected to be in elective office,” said Tang, who was appointed to complete her predecessor Carmen Chu’s term and can serve two terms of her own.

KATY TANG WAS APPOINTED TO DO WHATEVER SHE’S TOLD TO DO BY THE PEOPLE WHO GOT TOGETHER TO APPOINT HER, OBVIOUSLY.

“I don’t need to introduce quick-fix legislation five times a week.”

THIS IS A LITTLE, HOW DO YOU SAY, COMBATIVE, HUH?

Oh, It’s On! “Renters’ Day of Action” Hits Sacramento Feb 18th, 2014 – “Reform the Ellis Act!”

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Well, here you go:

Renters’ Day of Action

March & Rally

Sacramento, CA
February 18, 2014 at 9:30am

Across the state, renters face unfair evictions by real estate speculators, rising rents, and slumlords that won’t make repairs. Now more than ever, renters need relief.

On February 18, 2014, renters and allies will unite in Sacramento for a march on the Capitol to demand a fair shake for California renters.

Our Demands:

End Evictions by Speculators – Reform the Ellis Act!
Thousands of tenants are being displaced by real estate speculators. Give cities the tools they need to protect residents from eviction.

Create Affordable Housing – Homes & Jobs!
Build safe and affordable rental homes for Californians in need.

Relief for Renters – Reinstate the renters’ rebate!
Five years ago, Schwarzenegger vetoed funds for the renters’ rebate. The funds must be restored.

Take action!

1) Register to join us!

2) Find or reserve transportation!

3) Spread the word! Download a flyer here (bilingual English/Spanish).

OMG, It’s the Great 2014 Haight Ashbury / Richmond District TENANT CONVENTION – January 18th – Eric Mar

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Supervisor Eric Mar is pissed off these days – just look:

“Upcoming Tenant Convention

Please join me and tenant leaders from the Richmond and Haight-Ashbury for a Tenant Convention to be held on Saturday, January 18th at 1:00 p.m., at the Park Branch library (1893 Page St. between Cole and Shrader).

It will build on the momentum that was generated by the Our Richmond/No Eviction event that I convened on December 4, which drew over 70 participants from the Richmond eager to talk about what can be done to stop the eviction crisis that is tearing apart communities in District 1 and throughout the City.  

Come and learn about what you can do if you or your neighbors are being faced with eviction and help us to plan for legislation to fight back.

This gathering is sponsored by the San Francisco Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee, Causa Justa/Just Cause, Senior and Disability Action and ACCE.”

OMG OMG! The Sainted Wall Street Journal is Covering the America’s Cup Already! Read and Learn from Sarah Tilton

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

LEAVE US BEGIN, LET’S HEAR FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE!

“SAN FRANCISCO—As this city gears up for the 34th America’s Cup next year, a race of a different kind has already begun: one to snag the best views of the sailing regatta.”

UH, REALLY? NO, I DON’T THINK SO. ISN’T THE “RACE OF A DIFFERENT KIND” INVOLVING THE AMERICA’S CUP ACTUALLY THE RACE FOR TEAMS, YOU KNOW, FROM SPAIN AND ITALY AND FRANCE, TO GET OUT OF COMMITMENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE AMERICA’S CUP? YES. TEAMS BE REFUSING TO ENTER EVEN AT THE HIGHLY REDUCED 80-SOMETHING PERCENT OFF ENTRY FEE. HAVEN’T YOU HEARD YET, SARAH? THE NEWFANGLED BOATS ARE TOO BIG. AND DO YOU KNOW WHO SAYS THAT? LARRY FUCKING ELLISON HISSELF, RECENTLY, IN THE ONLINE PAGES OF, WAIT FOR IT, THE WSJ ITSELF.* DON’T YOU READ YOUR OWN PUBLICATION? DON’T YOU KNOW THAT AC34 IS SHAPING UP TO BE A KIND OF SLOW-MOTION DISASTER?

Peter Jacobsen, a semiretired dentist from Yountville, Calif., isn’t taking any chances when it comes to ensuring a view of the America’s Cup racecourse on San Francisco Bay. Dr. Jacobsen and his wife, Gwendolyn, last year paid $158,000 for a fractional interest in a one-bedroom unit at a ritzy condo development right by San Francisco’s waterfront.

IRL, NOBODY CARES ABOUT RETIRED NORTH BAY DENTISTS ET UXESES EXCEPT NORTH BAY DENTISTS. AND WHAT’S A FRACTIONAL INTEREST IRL? ISN’T THAT JUST A TIME-SHARE?

The deal guarantees just 35 nights a year at the property—but importantly, a Bay-view unit for two weeks during the America’s Cup finals scheduled for September 2013.

FASCINATING! OH, BUT NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE AMERICA’S CUP, RIGHT? THEY JUST HAD A WARM-UP RACE DOWN IN FUN DIEGO – IT WAS A BIG DISASTER BECAUSE NOBODY CARED. AC PEOPLE GOT FIRED OVER THAT ONE. AND LAID-OFF TOO. MOST OF THEM, ACTUALLY. HAVEN’T YOU HEARD? OH, AND SARAH, “A BAY-VIEW UNIT” MEANS SOMETHING DIFFERENT IN THE 415, YOU KNOW, COMPARED WITH WHAT IT MEANS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD.

The Jacobsens shelled out the six-figure sum even though they already own another fractional interest at the property that they bought for $182,000 in 2009. But that unit doesn’t have a guaranteed view, and with the regatta approaching, “we needed more time and it was an opportunity to lock in the perfect view,” says Dr. Jacobsen, 67 years old.

YEAH, “YOU GOT TO LOCK THAT DOWN!” SO, OLD WHITE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SIT IN THEIR APARTMENTS AND WATCH THE BOAT RACE FROM MILES AWAY? REALLY? IS THAT WORTH SPENDING YOUR KIDS’ INHERITANCES?

More than a year before the event, sailing fans are scouting out prime vistas for the America’s Cup. The chase for best perch has inspired a real-estate scramble, with some agents setting up shop specifically to locate rooms with a view for elite clients.

WELL, CERTAIN REAL ESTATE AGENTS WOULD LIKE US TO BELIEVE THAT THERE’S A “CHASE” AND A “SCRAMBLE.” THESE HOUSING PARASITES LIE TO REPORTERS LIKE YOU TO TRY TO MAKE MORE MONEY ON DEALS. DON’T YOU KNOW THAT?  AND YOU SAY REAL ESTATE AGENTS HAVE OPENED UP OFFICES JUST FOR THE AC? I DON’T BELIEVE THAT BUT WHATEVER. AND OH, RETIRED NORTH BAY DENTISTS ET UXES AREN’T “ELITE” ANYTHING.

Rental prices for the America’s Cup are already soaring.

OMG OMG OMG! ALREADY? ALMOST AS IF THE AC ISN’T A BIG DISASTER. ALREADY.

Landlords are dangling options such as a $60,000-a-month rent for a home in the posh Pacific Heights neighborhood during the race. Although results remain to be seen, agents say prices could go as high as $100,000 a week during the finals.

RESULTS REMAIN TO BE SEEN? REALLY? MORE THAN A YEAR OUT? WOW, THANKS FOR THAT TIDBIT, SARAH TILTON! WHAT DO YOU WITH YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU’RE NOT SHILLING FOR REAL ESTATE INTERESTS?

“It will be a real land-grab for the good stuff,” says Rick Teed of Sotheby’s International Realty.

RICK TEED? YOU MEAN THIS UBER-CHEESY ASSHOLE RECENTLY SEEN ON THE BACKS OF MUNI BUSES?

Click to expand

I THINK YOU DO!

The anticipated demand for a race view stems partly from the relative rarity of the America’s Cup taking place in America. The race hasn’t been held in the U.S. since 1995, and in recent years has taken place off the coast of New Zealand and Spain. (The race was named by the New York Yacht Club after the schooner America, which beat the British in a race in 1851.)

WOW THANKS FOR THE HISTORY LESSON, SARAH. BUT MOST OF THAT HERITAGE RECENTLY GOT FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET BY ONE LARRY ELLISON. HEY SARAH, WHY DON’T YOU READ THE COMMENTS PEOPLE HAVE POSTED ‘NEATH YOUR ROSY ARTICLE? WHY DO THEY HAVE A MORE REALISTIC PERSPECTIVE THAN YOU?

The Cup has never been held in San Francisco Bay, which race officials describe as a “natural amphitheater”—as opposed to the open ocean where the regatta usually takes place. That means some prime views of the event can be had from land this time rather than from the decks of spectator boats.

BUT, NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE AMERICA’S CUP ANYMORE. SEE? THAT’S THE PROBLEM.

The race is coming to San Francisco through the efforts of Oracle Corp. ORCL +0.24% founder and chief executive Larry Ellison, whose yacht and sailing team won the 2010 America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain. The winner of the race, which is typically held every three to four years, decides where the next competition will take place. The billionaire also owns a home in San Francisco with first-class views of the Bay.

BUT, NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE AMERICA’S CUP ANYMORE. SEE? THAT’S THE PROBLEM.

But Mr. Ellison may have an even better seat than that for the regatta. An America’s Cup spokeswoman says Mr. Ellison will be on board Oracle Racing’s boat during the races. Through a representative, Mr. Ellison, 67, declined to comment.

BUT, NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE AMERICA’S CUP ANYMORE. SEE? THAT’S THE PROBLEM.

The Cup itself, a sterling silver trophy that gets its own seat on airplanes, comes in a custom Louis Vuitton case and always travels with a companion, the Cup spokeswoman says. It is kept in a secret location when not on tour, she says, but will be displayed during the race in San Francisco.

BUT, NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE AMERICA’S CUP ANYMORE. SEE? THAT’S THE PROBLEM.

The heady rental numbers are spurring some homeowners to try renting their home for the first time. Marjorie and Larry Schlenoff listed their 3,162-square-foot four-bedroom San Francisco home, which they have lived in since 1999, for $35,000 a month for a long-term lease encompassing the Cup period. For shorter stays around the time of the Cup, the price is higher: $15,000 a week, says Mrs. Schlenoff.

MORE DETAILS! WE DEMAND MORE DETAILS. IS SHE GOING TO SAY, “ASK ME ABOUT MY GRANDCHILDREN” NEXT?

“We’ve never rented our house,” says Mrs. Schlenoff, a psychoanalyst and nonprofit founder. But with the home’s vistas and location near San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club, she says she and her husband see the regatta as a unique opportunity and the house as a “business asset.”

HOLD ON, I’M GETTING SO EXCITED FROM THIS NEWS NUGGET THAT I’M HAVING A MILD HEART ATTACK. HOLD ON WHILE I GO TO THE ER.

She listed her home through rental agency ReLISTO, which has multiple homes available for the Cup, including a $3,500-a-month studio with no views to $60,000 a month for a 5,000-square-foot Pacific Heights house with panoramic Bay views.

WHEW, THAT WAS A CLOSE ONE. I’M MEDICATED NOW AND MY DOCTOR SAYS THAT I SHOULD STOP READING THE FUCKING ONLINE WSJ BECAUSE I GET TOO EXCITED. BUT I GOTS TO HAVE MORE DETAILS!

Charlie Martin, a real-estate agent in Sausalito, Calif., launched a group called RezLux in February specializing in Cup rentals. In addition to real-estate needs, he says he will also provide personal chefs and concierge services for the race. So far, he has handled calls from potential clients in England, Japan and New Zealand. “We’re starting to book,” he says.

OMG, MORE WHITE PEOPLE! THE AMERICAS CUP IS FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH WHITE PEOPLE! HURRAY! HURRAY FOR WHITE PEOPLE!

Some homeowners say there is no way they will rent their home during the Cup because they want the panoramas for themselves. Venture capitalist and America’s Cup Organizing Committee member Tom Perkins, who owns a 60th-floor penthouse in San Francisco, will be watching the Cup from there.

HE’S WHITE TOO, RIGHT? WHITE PEOPLE, WHITE PEOPLE, WHITE PEOPLE, WHITE PEOPLE! BUT AT LEAST HE’S NOT OLD, RIGHT?

“It’ll be just about the best place to watch,” says Mr. Perkins, 80, adding that he plans to have “lots and lots of people over.” Mr. Perkins, who once owned one of the world’s most expensive yachts, dubbed the Maltese Falcon, says he has several pairs of binoculars and a World War II telescope ready for the festivities.

OH, HE IS OLD AFTER ALL. ACTUALLY OLDER THAN HIS “World War II telescope,” WHATEVER THE HELL THAT IS.

Others are plotting a cheaper course to view the regatta. Sean Randolph, president of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, says he plans to watch the Cup from a kayak in a buffer zone that will be created on San Francisco Bay for nonmotorized boats. While Mr. Randolph’s home in Marin County, north of San Francisco, has a view of the Bay, it doesn’t overlook the Cup’s racecourse, and he doesn’t want to shell out thousands of dollars to rent a property.

OH, DUDE’S FROM THE BAY AREA COUNCIL ECONOMIC INSTITUTE? THAT’S THE SO-CALLED “INDEPENDENT AUTHORITY” WHAT SAID HOW GREAT THE AMERICA’S CUP WAS GOING TO BE. BUT THAT TURNED OUT TO BE A LIE, RIGHT? BUT THAT’S NO REASON TO QUESTION THE ENTIRE PROCESS, IS IT, SARAH?

“In a kayak, you’re sort of participating because you’re on the water and you’re a little closer” to the action than on land, he says.

YES, BEING IN A KAYAK IS SORT OF LIKE PARTICIPATING IN THE AMERICA’S CUP. OF COURSE. SORT OF.

For John Kostecki, a sailor on the Oracle sailing team, the best views of the race are free. In particular, he recommends a stretch of waterfront near the Marina Green, where spectators can get close enough to hear sailors’ conversations. “It’s quite deep and the boats can come quite close,” he says.

OH, ARE WE DONE? IS THAT IT? WE SORT OF TRAILED OFF THERE. WELL, ANYWAY, LET’S PUT THIS ON PAGE A1.

I DON’T KNOW, MAN. IF THE AMERICA’S CUP IS MAKING SO MUCH MONEY FOR SO MANY PEOPLE, WHY ARE THE CITIZENS OF SAN FRANCISCO BEING FORCED TO SUBSIDIZE IT? WHY ARE THE POWERS THAT BE TAKING MONEY FROM NON-MILLIONAIRE NON-WHITE PEOPLE AND USING IT TO PAY FOR THE “FUN” AND “EXCITEMENT” OF MILLIONAIRE WHITE PEOPLE? THE CROWD AND REVENUE ESTIMATES ARE STILL WAY, WAY, WAY OPTIMISTIC AND THEY’RE BASED ON HAVING A BUNCH OF TEAMS SPENDING A BUNCH OF MONEY IN TOWN ONE TO TWO YEARS OUT. IN ACTUALITY, THE BOATS ARE WAY TOO BIG FOR THE BAY AND WAY TOO BIG FOR POTENTIAL TEAMS.

THIS THING IS GOING TO END UP BEING LIKE A FLEET WEEK, EXCEPT THE US NAVY DOESN’T THINK IT’S REASONABLE TO DEMAND NINE-FIGURES TO PROMOTE ITSELF.

BUT IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR DEADBEAT LARRY ELLISON TO STEP UP AND SIMPLY PAY US FOR THE RIGHT TO RUN HIS BOAT RACE HERE.

IT’S NOT TOO LATE, LARRY! AND THEN YOU CAN TURN YOUR BUMMER OF A RACE INTO AN ACTUAL REBUILDING YEAR AND THEN YOU CAN LOOK FORWARD TO 2016 AND, THEREBY, HAVE SOME MORE FUN BEFORE YOU DIE (OF THAT DISEASE WHAT YOU HAVE WHAT’S A SECRET). OTHERWISE, THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO’LL BENEFIT FROM YOUR FALSE GENEROSITY WILL BE REAL ESTATE TYPES AND LAZY, SIMPLE-MINDED, CHEERLEADING, WSJ-ONLINE REPORTER TYPES…

*“I think it’s a really good idea to get the cost of fielding a team way down so you can have a lot more countries [and athletes] participating,” Ellison said.

Jesse Jackson Fondly Recalls the Time When Mayor Ed Lee Stood With Tenants and Opposed Wage Theft

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

My, how things have changed in three decades.

Let’s hear from Jesse Jackson today, talking about 1982, you know, back before you were born:

“Ed Lee stood with immigrants, seniors and tenants to protect them from deportation, wage theft and eviction.”

All right. Now, I don’t know, some people deserve to get deported and/or evicted, it all depends.

But nobody deserves wage theft, right?

And yet, what do you call this? (So we should have HSCO / Healthy San Francisco money go back to companies and restaurants and whathaveyou because that’s what the companies and restaurants want? Apparently.)

And Ed Lee “stood with tenants,” back in the day? All right, Jessie, but what about now? What about this? Is Ed Lee now, as the article suggests, the “preferred candidate for landlords” and those who “run tenants out” of San Francisco apartments? Well, yes, obviously. Who else, among the major candidates, could fit this description?

I mean, is there any conservative group / institution / political party / whatever in San Francisco what doesn’t support Ed Lee for Mayor?

And yet, there’s Jessie in there, chanting the mantra: ED LEE Gets It Done: 

So, say it, Jessie:

I, Jesse Jackson, join with the San Francisco Republican Party* to offer my support for the election of Ed Lee as Mayor of San Francisco.

Say it.

Say it!

*Check it from the SFGOP.Org in the “OUR ENDORSEMENTS” section: “Supported for Mayor – Ed Lee mayoredlee.com.“ Now, do the San Francisco Democrats support or endorse Ed Lee? No, not at all. 

Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ: More Money Laundering Found in Ed Lee Campaign – Meet CitiApartments’ “Eviction Goon”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

[UPDATE: Senator Leland Yee is on the case this AM - he's doing a presser involving this latest allegation. (I guess it's too late to call this an October Surprise, and frankly, it's not all that surprising neither. Let's call it a November Expectation. Brace yourself for more.) Oh, and Leland is onto some Chinatown voting sting operation as well.

And there's this: "Statement from Chiu Campaign on Money Laundering Allegations - SAN FRANCISCO (November 2, 2011): Addisu Demissie, spokesman for the David Chiu for Mayor campaign, released the following statement about a San Francisco Chronicle report of potential money laundering by supporters of Mayor Ed Lee:

"This is now the fourth allegation of illegal conduct by Mayor Lee's supporters, and it should be investigated fully by the District Attorney and appropriate authorities,” Demissie said. “With six days to go before Election Day, it will be up to the voters to decide whether this kind of bullying, pay-to-play politics is what they want to see at City Hall for the next 4 years. David is going to spend the last 6 days of this race talking about why he represents a new generation of leadership for San Francisco that will stand tough against the special interests and shake things up at City Hall."

Paid for by David Chiu for Mayor 2011, P.O. Box 641541, San Francisco, CA 94164, FPPC##1337108]

Well, it looks like early-rising City Attorney Dennis Jose Herrera is the first one out of the gates to follow up on today’s piece from San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writers John Coté and Heather Knight.

Testify, DJH:

“Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more – and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it.

Amen.

Earlier this year, Ed Lee was picked unanimously to be an Interim Mayor. He wasn’t picked to be a Reformer. He’ll never be a Reformer.

In Ed Lee’s world, the notorious Willie Brown Administration deserves an A+, Rose Pak is not a cancer on Chinatown, and corner-cutting PG&E (“KABOOM!“) is simply “a great local corporation” and a “great company that gets it.”

Oh well.

Is Ed Lee Breaking Bad? Has the City Family corrupted him? Or has he corrupted the City Family? A little of both?

Click to expand

All the deets:

“Herrera calls on FPPC to join D.A. in investigating new Ed Lee campaign money laundering charge - CitiApartments’ former eviction goon led reimbursement-for-donation scheme, suggesting political payback for City Attorney’s 2006 tenant-protection lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 2, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera this morning called on the state Fair Political Practices Commission to join District Attorney George Gascón in reviewing new allegations reported in today’s San Francisco Chronicle that Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign received donations that appear to have been illegally laundered to skirt San Francisco $500 per donor contribution maximum.[1] Andrew Hawkins, a property services manager whose harrowing tenant intimidation tactics were central to Herrera’s lawsuit five years ago against the Lembi Group landlords’ once high-rolling CitiApartments empire, promised reimbursements to at least sixteen employees in exchange for maximum contributions to Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign at an Oct. 18, 2011 fundraiser, according to the Chronicle.

It is the second major allegation of campaign money laundering to benefit Ed Lee’s campaign. The first, involving GO Lorrie’s airport shuttle, is the subject of separate investigations by Gascón’s office and the FPPC, the state commission responsible to investigate and impose penalties for violations of the California Political Reform Act. Such schemes have been prosecuted as felonies in California for conspiring to evade campaign contribution limits, and for making campaign contributions under false names.

I think San Franciscans have now seen enough,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more — and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it. If this is how they behave before an election, just imagine how they’ll behave after the election, if Ed Lee wins. This scheme is clearly a bid for political payback by CitiApartments henchmen for my litigation to protect tenants five years ago. It is patently illegal, and I call on the FPPC to join the District Attorney in investigating.”

Hawkins is listed in Ed Lee’s campaign disclosures as the owner of Archway Property Services. As the one-time head of CitiApartments’ “tenant relocation program,” the gun-carrying Hawkins is reported to have coerced more than 2,500 tenants out of their rent-controlled units, and once boasted in civil court testimony, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.

Several recipients of Hawkins’ email invitation to an Oct. 18 event on Russian Hill made contributions to Ed Lee’s campaign on the same date. All contributed the maximum $500.

Herrera sued the CitiApartments residential rental property behemoth in Aug. 2006 for an array of unlawful business and tenant harassment practices, which sought to dispossess long-term residents of their rent-controlled apartments. The coerced vacancies freed the company to make often-unpermitted renovations to units, and then re-rent them to new tenants at dramatically increased market rates. The illegal business model enabled CitiApartments, Skyline Realty and other entities under the sway of real estate family patriarch Frank Lembi to aggressively outbid competitors for residential properties throughout San Francisco for several years — before lawsuits and a sharp economic downturn forced the aspiring empire into bankruptcies, foreclosures and receiverships.

A 2009 San Francisco Magazine feature story on the Lembi real estate empire[2] described Andrew Hawkins as “a burly former nightclub bouncer who headed up CitiApartments’ relocation program.” Hawkins reportedly led teams as large as 14 full-time employees, according to the report, and the company estimated that “Hawkins relocated more than 2,500 tenants.” An earlier exposé in 2006 by the San Francisco Bay Guardian[3] cited civil court testimony in which Hawkins boasted to one tenant’s family member, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.”

# # #

SOURCES:
[1] Source: “Ed Lee donors face money-laundering allegations” by John Coté and Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 2, 2011, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/02/MNKJ1LOMB7.DTL
[2] Source: “War of values” by Danelle Morton, San Francisco Magazine, Nov. 19, 2009, http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/war-of-values
[3] Source: “The Scumlords: Part One of a Three-Part Series” by G.W. Schulz, San Francisco Bay Guardian, March 8, 2006, http://www.sfbg.com/40/23/news_skyline.html

The 850 Geary Building – Dennis Herrera vs. Tenderloin Landlords Patricia D. and James P. Quinn

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Our three-term San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis J. Herrera, can’t abide landlords who exhibit “an egregious pattern of housing, building, health and safety code violations.” As proof of that, let’s take a look at today’s news regarding the owners of the building at 850 Geary in the Tenderloin / Trenderloin / TenderNob / Lower Nob Hill / Theatre District:

City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed suit against the property owners of 850 Geary Street, an apartment building whose tenants have been forced to endure an egregious pattern of housing, building, health and safety code violations for nearly five years. According to the complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court, more than a dozen Notices of Violation and Orders of Abatement have been filed against the building owners by the San Francisco Building Inspection and Health Departments since 2005 — and all have gone virtually unheeded.

Said Herrera: “These landlords have been given every opportunity to address their code violations, but have instead chosen to flout the law, to ignore city enforcement agencies, and to allow substandard housing conditions to persist. Their continued defiance has left the City with no choice but to seek a court order to force the owners to fix the problems, to protect tenants and neighbors.”

 The City Attorney’s complaint details numerous housing code violations that establish the property as public nuisance, including:

1) lack of certification for boiler room repairs;

2) unmaintained fire escapes;

3) severe cockroach infestation;

4) lack of hot water;

5) unilluminated exit passage ways;

6) lacking heat;

7) a malfunctioning passenger elevator;

8) water intrusion damage in several apartments;

9) a broken window frame;

10) a damaged main entry door;

11) leaking radiator

12) a fire damaged electrical outlet in one of the unit’s bedrooms. 

 Health Department inspectors additionally issued Notice of Violations for bed bugs, cockroaches, and mice.

 

SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 21, 2010) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against the property owners of 850 Geary Street, an apartment building whose tenants have been forced to endure an egregious pattern of housing, building, health and safety code violations for nearly five years.  According to the complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning, more than a dozen Notices of Violation and Orders of Abatement have been filed against the building owners by the San Francisco Building Inspection and Health Departments since 2005 — and all have gone virtually unheeded.

“The owners of 850 Geary Street are engaged in unlawful business practices that threaten the health and safety of their tenants and their surrounding neighbors,” said Herrera.  “These landlords have been given every opportunity to address their code violations, but have instead chosen to flout the law, to ignore city enforcement agencies, and to allow substandard housing conditions to persist.  Their continued defiance has left the City with no choice but to seek a court order to force the owners to fix the problems, to protect tenants and neighbors.”

Named as defendant in Herrera’s lawsuit are James P. Quinn and Patricia D. Quinn, who also the own and manage the building.  The City Attorney’s complaint details numerous housing code violations that establish the property as public nuisance, including: 1) lack of certification for boiler room repairs; 2) unmaintained fire escapes; 3) severe cockroach infestation; 4) lack of hot water; 5) unilluminated exit passage ways; 6) lacking heat; 7) a malfunctioning passenger elevator; 8) water intrusion damage in several apartments; 9) a broken window frame; 10) a damaged main entry door; 11) leaking radiator 12) a fire damaged electrical outlet in one of the unit’s bedrooms.  Health Department inspectors additionally issued Notice of Violations for bed bugs, cockroaches, and mice.
The case is City and County of San Francisco and the People of California v.  James P.  Quinn, Patricia D.  Quinn et al., San Francisco Superior Court, Filed Jan. 20, 2010.  A copy of the complaint is available for download as a PDF on the City Attorney’s Web site at http://www.sfcityattorney.org/ .

Desperate Union Street Landlords Open to Any Offers – Rise of the “Pop Up Stores”

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Oh, Union Street, will you ever win? You’re chock-a-block full of meddlesome NIMBYs, hard-partying post-collegiates and empty storefronts. Oh well.

But there’s hope for the commercial landlords - it’s called the pop up shop. Why not allow a tenant to open up for a month or two for a few bucks? That’s better than the no bucks you’ve been making recently during the Great Recession. It’s POP UP RETAIL, BABY!

So, from this, right next to the Crepes a Go Go

union copy

to this:

popupshop copy

OMG, it’s the Sikara & Co. Jewelry Pop-Up Store! It just opened, but don’t fall in love with it – it’s closing next month.

(And for you non pop-up retailers, it’s super easy to renegotiate your rent these days. Those landlords are taking any offer, any offer at all.)

Anyway, here are the deets:

Sikara & Co. Jewelry Pop-Up Store Opens on Union Street

Sikara & Co., an internationally inspired modern fusion jewelry company makes Union Street in San Francisco its new home as a “pop-up” shop.

The pop-up style store front is one of the newest trends to emerge in retail.  “This style of store front allows us to open a temporary store in San Francisco and market test our collections as we roll them out nationally; we are very excited to be one of the first pop-up stores in the city,” said Mousumi Shaw, Founder and Creative Director.

They go on and on - see you after the jump!

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