Posts Tagged ‘mission’

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.”

Uh Oh: “New Violations Escalate Mel Murphy Case” – “Yet Another Illegal Conversion” – More Trouble in the Troubled Mission District

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Oh, this guy is still a Port Commissioner?

(Oh fuck, Man.)

Hey, I’ll give you just one guess as to who wrote this mini-hagiography:

“Mel Murphy, Commissioner 

Commissioner Mel Murphy is a licensed California Real Estate Broker, Licensed California General Contractor and successful real estate developer in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona. Commissioner Murphy manages Pattani Construction, a development property management firm. He is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Murphy & O’Brien Real Estate Investments.

Commissioner Murphy was appointed to the Port Commission by Mayor Edwin Lee in March 2013. He previously served on the San Francisco Building Inspection Commission from 2006 to 2012. Appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, Commissioner Murphy served two terms as President and two terms as Vice President of the Commission. Commissioner Murphy is a founding member of the San Francisco Coalition for Responsible Growth, a group that has a mission to promote public policies which will provide responsible growth and rational community development in San Francisco.

Commissioner Murphy was born in Westmeath and educated with the Christian Brothers and St. Mel’s College of Technology in Longford, Ireland, where he developed a lifelong interest in construction engineering and management.

In the early 1970’s he moved to San Francisco where he was headhunted by Bechtel Corporation who appointed him to manage large construction projects in Saudi Arabia. Commissioner Murphy’s technical and managerial competencies were further recognized and he was selected for other projects including the Alaskan pipeline and oil rigs in the North Sea and Chile. Commissioner Murphy returned to San Francisco in 1976.

News from Dennis Herrera’s City Attorney’s Office:

“New violations escalate Mel Murphy case. – Yet another illegal conversion of a residential development by city commissioner demonstrates ‘a pattern that is well-devised, carefully-executed and, above all, willful’

“SAN FRANCISCO (July 28, 2015) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera has amended his civil suit against city commissioner Mel Murphy to include another residential property that the veteran developer converted in violation of state and local laws, and then deliberately concealed for years from his annual disclosures to the San Francisco Ethics Commission.

(more…)

When an MSM Reporter “Stalks” You at Your Favorite Corporate Bus Stop, Feel Free to Photograph Him Right Back

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Here you go, it’s a photo from area reporter/producer Sam Harnett, as he was laboring for KQED en la Mision:

Wary Employers, Stigma Have Some Tech Workers Keeping Low Profile

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A techie is recording right back, to even the odds, one supposes.

Now, which corporate PR team is behind this?

One company pressured an employee to recant an interview we had already done. The PR team told me that story could be “weaponized” against the company, which was “under a microscope.” 

I can guess.

Can you?

UC Berkeley Prof Lydia Chavez Threatens to Shut Down Mission Local by June 1st Unless Shes Gets Money from Readers, Bidnesses?

Friday, March 27th, 2015

[UPDATE: The graphic you can see below has been replaced, with this:

“Like Mission Local? So do we. But we can’t keep producing it for free. Unless we get 500 new members by June 1, we will have to close. That means you will no longer get original, amazing and timely articles, photographs and videos about your community. So act now!”
So, all that offensive stuff got deleted? Good.]

This here is pretty much all I know about Mission Local which has gotten a lot of funding from UC Berkeley over the years.

And here’s the current threat to shut down, from Founder and Managing Editor Lydia Chavez – it’s called 31 Days of Mission Local:

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So let’s see here, try a Norelco shaver or a delightful bed from Costco.com (save $100 now!) for just a month and it will, how do we say, transform your life? OK fine! So is Prof Chavez hectoring me here? I need to “care more?” I need to become a “better neighbor?” Whoo boy.

Now the first graf here, who and what is university-degree’d-up LC taking aim at here? I’m thinking it’s directed at SFist and people like college degree-less Eve Batey, who also tried to make a go of things, back in the aughts. What a contrast. (If Lydia could link to examples of what she’s talking about, that could help her readers. Perhaps she could take the time to do that the next time she comes down to visit us from the penthouse in her ivory tower.)

And what’s this, Lydia Chavez thinks I’m naive to not pay money for news? I think she does.

And then this earnest, earnest, ever-so-earnest journalistic crusader is going to talk about her “sense of humor?” What?

And then comes the punchline of her ransom note – it’s give me money or else.

Mmmm…

And she offers “business memberships?” IDK, seems that kind of thing might come with a bit of baggage, huh?

And IDK, until I saw all this hectoring, I never had an unfavorable impression of the ML.

An alternative would be to simply announce that you all are shutting down and then wait for the reaction? You’d get attention from the MSM and some thought pieces about you and The Bay Citizen (and the like) and whathaveyou and, through that process, maybe you’d end up with some monetary support as well.

The Simple Joy of Playing Your First Round of Street Tetherball in the Western Addition Northeast of the Panhandle

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Look for San Francisco Chronicle writer and long-time east bay resident CW Get Off My Lawn Nevius* to decry this type of vandalism, you know, after getting contacted, once again, by Yet Another SFGov Department Head.

Oh, our youth, won’t somebody please decry our youth, won’t somebody please harp against the externalizes they generate while consistently ignoring the externalizes generated by older people, such as our Favorite Writer From The East Bay. Oh well, more street clean-up work for DPW:

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Ah, memories:

“[Appointed Mayor Ed] Lee has placed Nuru in charge of a city department with a $129 million city budget and 1,200 employees, despite Nuru’s proven history of directing his subordinates to illegally campaign for his mayoral benefactors. You couldn’t even make this stuff up, and even Examiner columnist Melissa Griffin flatly calls the move “stupid.”

Moving on…

Oh, here’s a graphic for Chuck:

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Perhaps CWNevius is overcompensating for his and his generation’s crimes of the past?

Mmmm…

*And that’s just the past month!

SFPD Announces Opiate Overdose Prevention Program: Officers from Central, Southern, Mission, Northern & Tenderloin Stations to Carry Naloxone

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Narcan is popular these days, that’s for sure.

I wonder if Park Station will get some at some point…

SFPD Announces Opiate Overdose Prevention Program

The San Francisco Police Department, in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), will distribute naloxone (trade name: Narcan) to Metro Division police officers (Central, Southern, Mission, Northern and Tenderloin Police Stations) as part of a pilot program to combat drug overdose. Naloxone is an emergency antidote that reverses the effects of opioid-type drugs, including heroin and prescription painkillers. Drug overdose is the most common cause of accidental death nationwide. In San Francisco, prescription opioid painkiller deaths have outpaced heroin-related deaths and continue to be a major threat to public health. The San Francisco Police Department joins hundreds of police departments and community groups nationwide in this worthy effort to prevent drug overdose deaths.

Over the past few months, the San Francisco Police Department teamed with the Harm Reduction Coalition’s Drug Overdose Prevention and Education (DOPE) project, funded by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the San Francisco Fire Department to train police officers in how to recognize life-threatening opioid overdose, and administer the intranasal naloxone as an antidote.

We are in the business of saving lives. Naloxone will help us accomplish our mission.”

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:

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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:

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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.

SFMTA Bus Stop Ad in the Mission Goes Off-Message: Depicts Chester Cheetah as Jesus Christ – Art Students Likely Culprits

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Via fasheezy at Reddit SF:

“HE DIED FOR OUR SNACKS!”

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The San Francisco Chronicle’s CW Nevius Pushes Advocacy Journalism Beyond Its Limits: Rent Control en la Mision

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Is this bit here from CW Nevius at all persuasive to you? It’s not to me. And probably it’s not to most people.

And you know, there’s not a whole bunch of “tenant activists” in the bay area either. Yet CW seems to think the world is divided into two sections:

1. Right-thinking, right-side-of-the-aisle activist people such as himself; and

2. Tenant activists

But IRL, most people aren’t activists.

And the reason why it seems that CW Nevius works hand-in-hand with local pols who despise rent control is that CW Nevius actually is working hand-in-hand with local pols who despise rent control. Except CW doesn’t have to worry about losing future elections, so he’s free to speak out on behalf those pols who are terrified of being depicted as anti-rent control. So that’s your symbiotic relationship. I’m unaware of anybody else at the SF Chronicle who has this kind of relationship with local pols. I’m saying, from an outsider’s perspective, the writings of CW Nevius really stand out. He’s an outlier.

Leave us begin:

Through no fault of their own, the married couple has been displaced from their Mission District home by tenants who refuse to move unless they receive a payment of well over $100,000.

UH, NO THEY WEREN’T “DISPLACED.” WHAT HAPPENED WAS THEY MOVED OVERSEAS AND THEN RENTED OUT THEIR PART OF A TIC TO A COUPLE OF TENANTS IN A RENT-CONTROLLED CITY. THE OBVIOUS SOLUTION IS AN OMI PROCEEDING. SO, IN FACT, THEY CAN MOVE BACK “HOME.”

…an eviction would violate the terms of a TIC-to-condo conversion ordinance and they — and the other two co-owners of their building — would never be able to convert their tenancy-in-common unit to a condominium.

TICs AREN’T FOR EVERYBODY, RIGHT? LOTS OF THINGS CAN GO WRONG WITH A TIC, RIGHT?

“We may lose control of our home for the rest of our lives,” Rumpler said. “They must have been instructed that they are sitting on a gold mine. They’re dug in, and we’re stuck.”

AGAIN, YOU DO AN OMI OR YOU DON’T DO AN OMI – CALLING UP CW NEVIUS ISN’T GOING TO HELP WITH THIS SITUATION.

When the condo conversion ordinance was passed in June 2013, it seemed like relief for thousands of San Franciscans.

THOUSANDS OF WEALTHY SAN FRANCISCANS WHO WERE TAKING A CHANCE ON AN INHERENTLY RISKY TIC INVESTMENT, RIGHT?

They were buyers who purchased tenancy-in-common units and then spent years on a waiting list, hoping to be one of 200 chosen in the conversion lottery each year.

HOW IS THIS NOT LIKE ROULETTE?

“In this case the tenants were able to take advantage of the rules that were probably not designed to work this way,” Meirson said.

THIS IS RENT CONTROL IN ACTION. THE RULES WERE EXACTLY DESIGNED TO WORK THIS WAY. EXACTLY.

“It is a very real possibility that these tenants will remain with a lifetime lease and the owners may never be able to move back home. Is this what the law was meant to do?”

THIS IS RENT CONTROL IN ACTION. THE RULES WERE EXACTLY DESIGNED TO WORK THIS WAY. EXACTLY.

The irony, of course, is that if the roles were reversed and an older, married gay couple — one of whom has ALS — were being asked to leave a rental unit…

WHOA NELLIE! THE NEVIUSNESS OF THIS SENTENCE IS QUITE HIGH ALREADY, SO LET’S SLOW THINGS DOWN HERE. ALL RIGHT, IS IT REALLY A SMART IDEA TO “ASK” A TENANT TO LEAVE A RENT CONTROLLED UNIT? I SURE AS HECK DON’T THINK SO. THERE ARE POTENTIAL LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF DOING THAT, RIGHT? WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT WALNUT CREEK HERE, RIGHT? WE’RE TALKING SAN FRANCISCO, HOME OF SOME OF THE MOST EXTREME PRO-TENANT LAWS IN AMERICA, RIGHT? SO, IF YOU’RE NOT CUT OUT TO BE A SAN FRANCISCO LANDLORD, WHY WOULD YOU PICK THIS PLACE, OF ALL PLACES, TO BECOME A LANDLORD? AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T TAKE LANDLORD-TENANT ADVICE FROM CW NEVIUS, THE SAN FRANCISCO NEWCOMER STRAIGHT OUTTA THE 925.

…by a young, financially well-off couple in their 20s, there would be an uproar from tenant advocates.

WELL, NUMBER ONE, THERE WOULDN’T BE AN UPROAR. AND NUMBER TWO, WHERE DOES THE “OF COURSE” COME FROM, WHERE’S THE “IRONY?” THIS IS RENT CONTROL IN ACTION. IT SOUNDS LIKE CW NEVIUS DOESN’T LIKE SF RENT CONTROL.

Instead, this turns the whole scenario on its head.

I’M STRUGGLING TO UNDERSTAND HERE. IT WOULD BE NICE IF CW NEVIUS COULD FIND HIS WAY DOWN TO THE RENT BOARD TO SEE HOW THE RULES WORK IN HIS NEW-FOUND HOME. I DON’T THINK HE UNDERSTANDS.

The tenants, who declined to be interviewed, are in their early 20s and hardly impoverished. Rumpler says both of them work in the tech industry.

HERE’S A NEWS FLASH FOR CW NEVIUS: RENT CONTROL ISN’T MEANS-TESTED IN SF. IMPOVERISHMENT ISN’T A FACTOR. WHAT INDUSTRY THE TENANTS WORK IN IS NOT A FACTOR.

“My understanding is that they work in a high-income profession,” said Meirson. “They probably make more than the landlords in this case.”

OH “PROBABLY.” AND THEY PROBABLY HAVE LESS WEALTH TOO, RIGHT? I’M FAILING TO SEE HOW THIS ISN’T A RUN-OF THE-MILL RENT CONTROL SITUATION, SIMILAR TO OVER 100,000 OTHERS IN SF.

“We would be very happy to settle with them for a reasonable amount of money. We said, ‘We can give you $25,000 and they said, ‘Not even close.’”

ALL RIGHT, $25K. LET’S REMEMBER THIS FIGURE.

The quirky part of this story is that Rumpler and Scovern are victims of bad timing.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING IN REAL ESTATE, RIGHT? BUYING A TIC HOPING TO “WIN” A “LOTTERY” WHEN THE RULES ARE NOT AT ALL STABLE IS EXPOSING YOURSELF TO POLITICAL RISK, RIGHT?

When Scovern got a short-term job offer in Melbourne, Australia, in September 2012, Rumpler says they “pretty naively entered into the rental market.”

“NAIVELY?” DING DING DING DING DING DING! AND HEY, SPEAKING OF SCOVERN, GUESS WHO HAS AN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING DEGREE? SO NEVIUS RELIES ON A SECOND-HAND SOURCE FOR THE OCCUPATIONS OF THE TENANTS, BUT IGNORES THE “TECHIE” LANDLORD IN THIS CASE. THAT’S SO RAVEN NEVIUS!

They used a rental agent to find tenants, with the idea that they’d be back in two years.

IN A RENT-CONTROLLED UNIT. SOUNDS LIKE A BAD IDEA.

Because they are less expensive than an outright condo purchase, they have been a gateway to ownership in a city where housing is incredibly expensive.

TICS HAVE A LOT OF BAD ASPECTS. IS OWNERSHIP SUCH A GOOD IDEA IN SF? IT WORKS OUT FOR MOST PEOPLE, BUT THERE ARE RISKS. ALTERNATIVES INCLUDE DALY CITY AND … WALNUT CREEK. SRSLY.

At this point the two sides are at stalemate.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS. IF THIS LL/TENANT COMBO IS AT STALEMATE, THEN SO ARE MOST LL/TENANT COMBOS IN SF. WHAT MAKES THIS UNIT SPECIAL?

Rumpler says the first suggestion by the tenants for a payout to move was based on the idea that they would have to pay an additional $1,500 a month for 10 years. That’s $18,000 a year for a total of $180,000. “It might as well have been a million,” Rumpler said. “We’re not paying the ransom.”

SO YOU’RE WILLING TO PAY $25K IN RANSOM BUT NOT $180K IN RANSOM BUT THE $25K ISN’T RANSOM? MMMM…

WHAT NEVIUS DOESN’T SHARE WITH HIS READERS IS THE DOLLAR AMOUNT SPENT FOR THE TIC AND THE VALUE OF IT NOW AND ALSO THE VALUE OF IT AFTER CONDO CONVERSION. THESE NUMBERS ARE PRETTY KNOWABLE BUT THEY MIGHT TURN OFF SOME OF THE READERS THAT NEVIUS IS TRYING, FOR SOME REASON, TO PERSUADE.

AND YOU KNOW, SOME PEOPLE BOUGHT REAL ESTATE IN 2006, AND, “THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN,” ENDED UP UNDERWATER. WHERE’S THEIR NEVIUS COLUMN?

IF I WERE THE NEVIUS, I WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP ON THIS STORY.

SOME FISH YOU SHOULD JUST THROW BACK.

Here It Is: The Infamous Line of Double-Parked Cars in Front of Rainbow Grocery – How Do We Solve This Longstanding Problem?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

I don’t know, but SFGov is powerless, it appears.

Here’s some history on the issue.

And here’s how things look in 2014 – nothing’s changed:

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Oh well…