Posts Tagged ‘soma’

It Takes A Village (of SFPD Officers) to Make San Francisco’s Mayor Brave Enough to Walk About the Twitterloin

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Hidden away around the corner on Market, ready to pounce on whatever needs pouncing upon, and beating upon, you know, if necessary. Otherwise, Mr. Mayor is free to wander about, footloose and fancy-free. As seen a couple years back, during one of the Twitterloin’s many, many recent renaissances

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Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Cracking Down on Developer Angelo Sangiacomo – TRINITY APTS / “SOMA SUITES HOTEL”

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Here’s a new update on this sitch.

“Herrera subpoenas Trinity over rent-controlled apartments used as ‘SOMA Suites Hotel’

“After request for cooperation is met ‘with obfuscation and deflection of responsibility,’ City Attorney moves to compel production of evidence in housing investigation

“SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 8, 2015) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today formally subpoenaed documents and information relating to the apparently illegal use of Trinity Place residential units — including at least 16 rent-controlled apartments — for tourist accommodations as “The SOMA Suites Hotel.” The administrative subpoenas served on Trinity’s ownership and a single lessee of some 23 dwellings comes after a month of “repeated, unsuccessful attempts” by Herrera’s office to gain voluntary cooperation in a City Attorney investigation of potentially unlawful and unauthorized uses of the properties at 1188 and 1190 Mission Street.

Herrera initially requested cooperation from developer Angelo Sangiacomo and his legal counsel in an Aug. 5, 2015 letter that sought a full account of the uses of residential units authorized under the city’s 2007 agreement for the Trinity Plaza Development Project (since renamed Trinity Place). But the request was instead met “with obfuscation and deflection of responsibility,” according to a letter from Herrera that accompanied his subpoena to compel Trinity’s production of requested evidence.

“I find your responses on behalf of your clients particularly difficult to accept given the nature and history of the properties,” Herrera wrote to Trinity’s attorney, Andrew Wiegel. “The Trinity Plaza Development Project permitted your client to build high-density, largely residential buildings that, among other things, would preserve 360 units of rent-controlled housing. The benefits of those units that your client committed to provide in the Development Agreement continue to be critically important to the City, especially at a time where the paucity of affordable housing is driving out long-term residents, disrupting communities, and altering the very fabric of our City. Leasing a number of those units to the same individual, under the facts and circumstances we believe to have been the case, violates the letter and spirit of the Development Agreement, and the conditions of approval for the Project.”

A primary focus of the investigation Herrera identified in his letter is the developer’s business relationship with Catherine Zhang and her company, LUMI Worldwide. According to evidence so far established in the City Attorney investigation, Trinity Management Services entered into leases with Zhang for 16 apartments, each subject to rent-control, and each exclusively intended for residential occupancy. Apart from recognizing the obvious — that a single individual can’t simultaneously reside in 16 apartments — Trinity’s management knew that Zhang was subleasing the rent-controlled units, according to Herrera, in apparent violation of its own lease provisions expressly forbidding subletting, and its development agreement with the city. The arrangement may also violate state and local law.

“Leasing a number of those units to the same individual, under the facts and circumstances we believe to have been the case, violates the letter and spirit of the Development Agreement, and the conditions of approval for the Project,” Herrera wrote. “For these reasons, you have left me no choice but to formally subpoena this information.”

Apart from the 16 rent-controlled apartments at 1188 Mission Street (where “The SOMA Suites Hotel” is located, according to its marketing content), another seven Trinity Place apartments at neighboring 1190 Mission Street were also leased to Zhang for concurrent and overlapping periods. Evidence indicates that Zhang similarly subleased those apartments to tourists for short-term stays. Although none of the apartments at 1190 Mission Street is subject to rent-control, the use of dwellings in both buildings is restricted to residential housing under terms of the 2007 development agreement and related City approvals. Herrera today served a similar administrative subpoena on Zhang and LUMI Worldwide.

Additional documentation from the City Attorney’s Office’s investigation is available at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/.

Design Study: Frisco’s Classic Coca-Cola Billboard in SoMA

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Go ahead and click – it gets big.

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This ad has stood the test of time, certainly.

No sugar disclaimer yet, that I can see…

Synergy, Frisco-Style: MotoJava, the Cafe that Sells Coffee and Buys Motorcycles

Friday, August 21st, 2015

As seen in SoMA:

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All the deets.

Mile Rock and a Freighter Full of Japanese Cars – Roll On, Roll Off

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Somehow, it still makes sense to get our cars from high-cost Japan.

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Cars roll on this ugly Chronus Leader ship in Japan and roll off in the east bay or the north bay.

T’was ever thus.

The New, Reuseable Costco Shopping Bags are Here! – Huge! – $1.50 Each – International Orange – Puts Frisco On the Map

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

A four-pack costs $5.99.

These replace the famous green ones. Two sets of handles, Golden Gate Bridge motif, NORTHERN CALIFORNIA on the side.

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Oh what a day. 

What a lovely day!

Wow, the NeMA Building People are Back with “Jasper” – But is Frisco REALLY “Starved for Highrise, Luxury Rental Housing?”

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Well, here it is – the people behind the bizarre New Market Building campaign are back:

“When Miami-based real estate developer Crescent Heights started to market the two Mid-Market apartment towers next to Twitter’s headquarters two years ago, the complex’s splashy website featured psychedelic signage for hippies and hipsters.

Crescent Heights’ follow-up act to Nema is the 400-foot, 320-unit Rincon Hill tower known as Jasper, at 45 Lansing. Its branding took on a different flavor. This time, potential Jasper renters got to see a black-and-white video of a bespectacled little girl talking up the building’s refined tastes.

“It’s for people who know good things when they see them,” she says in a high-pitched voice. “It’s like when you saw Star Wars for the first time — it changed everything.”

It’s a different kind of pitch because 20-somethings probably won’t be knocking down the leasing office doors to rent in Rincon Hill — a neighborhood that’s full of condo towers, not rentals. But that’s OK.

The neighborhood, on a hilltop near the Financial District, is set to lure in a professional class that Crescent Heights knows is starved for highrise, luxury rental housing.”

All right, here’s the pitch:

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.”

But What’s The Rent? – A 65 Square-Foot Studio Trailer Gets Parked on Market, to “Activate” the “Street Scene”

Friday, July 10th, 2015

This is what it looks like:

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Sam Whiting explains here in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Art studio on wheels moves down Market Street

Mmmm, no comments? Perhaps this attempt at a paywall is working too well.

But all right, here’s the SFGate version – surely the rabble will chirp up with comments like, “Well, what’s the rent?” Or maybe, “Smallest Studio in the Twitterloin, 0 bdrms, o bths, reclaimed wood?” 

Art studio on wheels moves down Market Street

Nope. Just one comment. This is the least amount of NEMA-mocking I’ve ever seen, when the topic of the NEMA is raised:

“So, if Studio One were to break down, would it be NEMA-towed?”

Get it? Nematode – cause like “worms,” right? (Oh, I don’t get it, oh well.)

Hey, speaking of NeMA, there’s still no rent control there, so giant rent hikes are coming your way. It will happen like this:

“We looked at what we’re charging for new rents and what the rent trends are in the market. We came up with the following renewal offer by lease terms…”

And then BAM! You get hit with a 24% (or whatever) rent increase (on top of an already high rent) after just one year. Speaking of which, here’s what one Yelper recently had to say about the NEMA. So many details!

I’ll tell you, lots of SF newcomers move into buildings without knowing that rent control won’t apply to them. And they don’t know the first thing about rental deposit refunds until they hit for charges that they don’t have to pay and that they shouldn’t pay. IMO.

And I’ll tell you, I don’t work for SFGov, so it’s not my job to “activate” the “New Market” “Streetscape” with umpty-up art displays. IMO. SFGov should focus on the basics.

JMO

If Your Bicycle Enters San Francisco’s Stolen Bike Ecosystem, You’re NEVER Getting It Back – Here’s Why – As Seen on 13th Street

Monday, June 1st, 2015

[UPDATE: Commenter Kyle says a couple of these factories have gotten hauled away by the SFPD – see Comments.]

 

So your horse has been stolen off of the mean Streets of San Francisco?  Well, you’re never ever getting it back because it’s already been chopped up into pieces and rendered at the makeshift open-air glue factory known as 13th Street:

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Oh, what’s that, somebody stole your ride one time and you got it back the next day? Well, sure, cause your bike got stolen, but it hadn’t yet entered The System. Here’s your sausage factory, bursting at the seams:

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Oh look, new chain link fence and barbed wire – that will stop the processing in this one particular place under the I-80

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And look, camouflage!

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It’s almost as if there aren’t any stolen bike parts on the sidewalk at all!

It amazes me when some say that these bikes were simply given away or abandoned. ‘Cause like just as Tsukiji has its fish market, in Tsukiji, SF has its stolen bike market / processing center, on the few short blocks under the freeway called 13th Street