Archive for April, 2006

Major Eviction Defense Legislation Hits Board Tomorrow

From today’s BeyondChron,

The next front in the battle against evictions will open up tomorrow, as Supervisor Aaron Peskin’s legislation to limit the use of the Ellis Act and other no-fault evictions comes before the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee. Currently, all buildings where a no-fault eviction occurred remain eligible for conversion into condominiums. Peskin’s legislation aims to change that by prohibiting any sites where multiple evictions or the eviction of a senior, disabled or catastrophically ill person occurred from ever entering the city’s lottery for condo conversion. With victory a strong likelihood at the Board, the real question remains whether or not Mayor Gavin Newsom will veto it – and, if he does, how its probable appearance on this November’s ballot would affect his public image.

Uhhhh…. Of course he’ll veto it! This is ass-backwards legislation at its FINEST!

What Mr. Mills from BeyondChron decides not to mention is that this legislation will be retroactive to 1999. Yes, that’s right. All of the TIC owners who bought their units when all of this was above-board and fair will now be retroactively slapped with this little bit of news.

Never mind that Peskin just MIGHT have gotten this one through if it was effective, for example, on the day prior to the vote (to prevent a huge spate of Ellis filings). Never mind that this one won’t possibly make it through the courts (just like every other piece of crap that Daly and Peskin have come up with during their terms in the funhouse).

This one is just plain nonsense.

The goal is clear, but the method is flawed and without legal grounds. We’re talking about THOUSANDS of units that were bought and occupied legally and following all applicable laws, including many laws passed by these very supervisors that are now going to be dramatically affected.

Create viable legislation to stop future evictions? Perhaps. Screw homeowners when there’s nothing they can do about it? Not a chance in hell.

YOU’RE PUNISHING THE WRONG PEOPLE, MR. PESKIN!

For anyone who owns a TIC, who might potentially buy a home in San Francisco in the future, or anyone who just plain cares about common sense, there’s a rally tomorrow (Wednesday) at City Hall prior to this vote at 1pm. As ridiculous as this legislation might appear, there’s no guarantee that it won’t pass with the court jesters/supervisors, and that will require Mayor Newsom to veto yet another tenant/homeowner bill.

That’s just not right. Is this really looking out for tenants, or just another attempt to discredit the mayor?

Rally for Homeownership – Wednesday, April 26th [SFSOS]
Land Use Committee meeting, Wednesday, Apr. 26, at City Hall, 1:00 pm [SPOSF]

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San Francisco To Offer Podcasts Of Supes Meeting

From NBC11.com,

As part of its ongoing initiative to make San Francisco’s government more accessible, SFGTV is now offering podcasts and MP3 audio downloads of specific city meetings and conferences.

The station will offer podcasts and MP3 audio downloads of all mayoral press conferences, San Francisco Board of Supervisors meetings and city commission meetings, city officials reported.

“San Francisco is a model for other cities in using key emerging technologies like podcasts,” San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “Podcasting will provide our city government with an innovative way to keep constituents informed — allowing for a vital democratic exchange of ideas between city government and the community.”

SFGTV, which is managed by the Department of Telecommunications and Information Services, is on cable channel 26.

More information regarding SFGTV can be found on the Web site, http://www.sfgov.org/sfgtv.

Now you can listen to Chris Daly’s outbursts while you’re stuck waiting for MUNI!

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Developers eye Van Ness auto showroom for condo tower

From today’s SF Business Times,

Developers will be flocking to the San Francisco Honda at 10 South Van Ness Ave. in the coming weeks, but they won’t be car shopping.

The property is about to go on the block and is expected to fetch north of $50 million, according to brokers. Colliers International’s Tony Crossley has the listing.

The Boas family has hired Brand + Allen architects to study the parcel, which has an interesting place in San Francisco history. It was the site of the old Fillmore West where The Band’s last concert was played and captured by director Martin Scorcese in the classic film “The Last Waltz.”

The site could accommodate a 400-foot tower and up to 600 housing units, according to architect Koonshing Wong.

Now if we can only get a project like this past the Guardian and other developers, there could be 60 affordable units built, and likely even more on this site.

This location is just down the street from the 140 South Van Ness project which is a mostly-market-rate tower made up of 212 units, completed in 2003. This project has completely sold but units are regularly available as resales.

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Developer drops plans for condo tower

From today’s SF Business Times,

Citing an “overheated” residential construction environment, developer Monahan Pacific has scrapped plans to build a condominium tower at 535 Mission St. and has unloaded the prime south financial district land to Beacon Capital Partners for $30 million.

While the property is approved for a residential complex, a spokesman for Beacon Capital confirmed the company plans to build an office tower on the site, the latest example of what is shaping up to be a revival of new Class A office construction in San Francisco. In addition to the 535 Mission St. site, Tishman Speyer is expected to break ground this year on an office building at 555 Mission St., and Shorenstein Properties is actively seeking tenants for a 350 Bush St. highrise.

Jeff Hutchinson, Monahan Pacific’s director of acquisition and finance, said the company had hoped to develop the land as a 34-story housing complex but a “super-heated environment” put construction costs 40 percent above what they were in 2004 when the company finished its 166-unit building at 199 New Montgomery St. Monahan Pacific bought 535 Mission two years ago for $19.2 million.

“It seems like the labor and construction issues were going to get worse before they get better,” he said. “The cost environment gave us some pause along the way.”

Hutchinson said the project would have been competing for labor and materials with a spate of skyscrapers under construction, including 301 Spear St., One Rincon Hill and Millennium Partners’ towers at 301 and 333 Mission St.

The rise in construction costs over the past few years has been staggering. A study by Webcor showed the price of roofing, glass, aluminum, drywall and metal stud jumped by more than 25 percent in 2005. Glenn Gabel, senior vice president of Webcor, said crane towers are “at a premium right now in the Bay Area and continue to get more expensive, but they are available.”

Could these new costs also include the developer price hikes pushed through the Board of Supervisors by Daly last year?

What happens when the office market really picks up and developers turn back to building office space? First a moratorium, now a shift to building Class A office space.

The attack on housing continues… And none of this is going to create more affordable opportunities…

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Rally for Homeownership – Wednesday, April 26th

From an SFSOS email today,

Next Wednesday, April 26th, at 1 p.m., the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee will hear legislation from Supervisor Aaron Peskin that will prevent any building removed from the market via the Ellis Act or owner move-in from ever being eligible for the condo conversion lottery if even a single senior or “disabled” person was previously in the building. 

This is another in a long line of attacks on one of the few attainable means of owning a home in San Francisco. Only the very rich can afford the more than $760,000 median home price in our City. Without the availability of condominium conversions providing homeownership options below that rate, middle class families will continue their flight out of San Francisco, leaving a vacuum of teachers, nurses, police and firefighters, creative professionals and countless other mainstream citizens who are neither the subsidized poor nor the fortunate rich. 

Can you attend Wednesday’s meeting and a rally beforehand? RSVP to our Field Director Ryan Chamberlain at ryan@sfsos.org if you can attend to show the Supervisors and the press that there is significant opposition to this bill. We will meet at City Hall prior to the 1pm meeting. We expect he matter to be heard in committee around 2:00 pm. We will give all participants specific details upon your reply.

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