Trinity Plaza: Courtyard Rendering (Image Source:

“Why do some projects gain quick approval, while others like Trinity do not despite receiving universal acclaim? The answer, not surprisingly, is politics.”

Supes Move Toward Approving Trinity Plaza [BeyondChron]
Trinity Plaza plans hit snag again [Examiner]
(More) Political Wrangling Over The Development Of Trinity Plaza [SocketSite]

18 thoughts on “JustQuotes: Trinity Plaza – One Meeting, Two Takes, One Truth”
  1. I wish these [Removed by Editor], provincial supervisors would come to realize that their actions are doing more harm than good for the city. Sure, they can always push for more below market rate units, but in doing so, it may cause the developer to pull out entirely and NO below-market or market rate units would be created.

  2. “Daly and Sangiacomo’s representatives argue that the project has already been pushed to its financial limits. Prior to Monday’s hearing, Daly helped negotiate a new development agreement with Sangiacomo that put further protections on the 360 rent-controlled units to ensure they remain rental units for the life of the building, and bumped up the percentage of below-market-rate units from 12 percent to 15 percent of the remaining 1,540 units, for a total of 231 below-market rate units.
    The committee will hold a hearing next week to vote on the amended development agreement. McGoldrick is expected to introduce legislation that would require the developer to include a total of 285 below-market-rate units.
    “I smell that they can afford it. It meets my sniff test,” McGoldrick said.
    You have got to be kidding. McGoldrick should be kissing Sangiacomo’s “ring” rather trying to turn the screws.

  3. This is yet another illustration (in my opinion) of why we need to go back to at-large election of supervisors, or a hybrid of at-large and district supervisors, to get the Board of Supervisors working for the good of the city instead of pandering to their own districts and special interests.
    The deal they’ve negotiated with Sangiacomo is good for everyone. In fact, it’s one of the few things I think Chris Daly has really done a good job with. That the whole thing should be potentially derailed by McGoldrick coming in from left field — it doesn’t serve anyone except perhaps Jake’s ego.
    As interest rates and construction costs continue to shoot up, how long before the project just becomes financially unviable and Sangiacomo decides to walk away and keep what he’s got — or to sell the property to someone else for whom the agreed-upon deal would be even less palatable?

  4. I smell that McGoldrick is looking for attention and that he is a sad old dinosaur that should be replaced. It definitely meets this voter’s sniff test.

  5. McGoldrick and Maxwell are two perfect arguments for opposing the proposed measure to relax term limits, which would allow the class of 2000 to stay on the Board. They have achieved the difficult task of making Daly look like the epitome of reason. Trinity Plaza will be one of the largest additions of affordable housing to SF in decades, without cost to the taxpayers. Apparently, all but 2 people in SF are in favor of the project, but the 2 opponents happen to constitute a majority of the Land Use Committee.
    (Peskin, btw, is to blame for appointing McGoldrick and Maxwell as 2 of the 3 votes on the Land Use Committee, and is a third reason to oppose the relaxation of term limits.)

  6. Dave and Dan, I could not agree more. These are supervisors for a town of 750,000 people and they should be elected at large. This type of partisanship only serves to further divide the city and, essentially, blocks progress of any kind at the expense of residents.
    Old parable about the grandfather, grandson, and the donkey teaches us you can’t please all the people all the time. Supes are inadvertently scribing a new parable about irking most of the people most of the time.

  7. I moved from Chicago in June 2005. I got very tired of Chicago politics, dominated for fifty years by one political party and the Daley family. But, at least, Chicago works! It’s clean, it’s fiscally sound, and most importantly, it’s dynamic. San Francisco,well meaning that it may be, is crumbling, has very expensive Real Estate (subsidized by newcomers), and neglected infrastructure. If it weren’t for the incredible natural beauty, San Francisco would be a backwater.

  8. “San Francisco,well meaning that it may be, is crumbling, has very expensive Real Estate (subsidized by newcomers)”
    Bingo! Would it be completely ridiculous to suggest that if we ditched rent controls, BMR lottery schemes, and excessive regulation (e.g.: current supes clusterf*** on Trinity) that much of the shabby looking housing stock with deferred maintenance (to put it nicely) would be cleaned up and the city would show some middle class pride of ownership? That economics of supply & demand could once again function properly?
    Seems like you have a choice between trashy and uber high-end, with little in between.

  9. Catch this in the BeyondChron article:
    “…Will the project be built? That will depend on Sangiacomo’s ability to obtain financing for the rent-controlled building. He has been unable to get such financing to date, but perhaps the Board’s approval will get some lender willing to loan him the $110 million he needs to start construction…”
    If this is true, the financial markets are rendering a verdict that’s even more important than the Supes’. Why would a lender want to finance a new, rent-controlled building? It would be a supreme irony–not to mention terribly sad– if the entire arrangement turns out to be a non-starter.

  10. Sangiacomo is smart enough to only agree to a deal that still makes sense, financially. Originally, he was going to build just 1400 units. Daly helped negotiate increasing the allowed density, so that 1900 units can be built. So there was some compensation for the 360 units.
    I assume that despite Maxwell’s efforts, that there won’t be vacancy control on the 360 units; so, as people move out of those units, rents will increase to market rate, as they do in other rent controlled apts.
    BTW, I thought that by state law, new construction couldn’t be rent-controlled and also that vacancy control was banned. If developers have to “voluntarily” agree to rent control (and perhaps even vacancy control) in order to build, will the city try to demand this from other builders?

  11. I do not want At-Large Supervisors. The City of Detroit has At-Large City Council members, and I cannot imagine a less productive governing body.
    Clearly, Supervisor McGoldrick needs to get the boot. He’s wasting City resources time after time on silliness – his sniff test? When is he up for re-election and who is a viable challenger residents of this City can support?

  12. Not to diverge from the topic of the Trinity Plaza project, but District-based supervisors have (again, my opinion) been hugely worse than our previous system of at-large supervisors. The district system allows supervisors to pander to their districts and virtually guarantee themselves to be reelected, while doing nothing to help the city as a whole.
    The hybrid system that has been proposed (half at-large, half district-based) seems like it’s worth trying. It’d be better than what we have.
    And I completely agree with the previous poster about term limits. There is NOTHING that any of the supervisors could do, at this point, that would make me want to extend the time they could serve in office. I’m thanking my lucky stars that term limits will guarantee we get rid of some of the Stupervisor losers in favor of (hopefully at least marginally better) replacements.
    The best solution for SF’s problems of neglected, dilapidated housing and neighborhoods would be to allow the free market to do its thing. Relax or get rid of rent control (surprise! MARKET rents would fall!) and stimulate investment in our buildings and neighborhoods on a scale not seen in decades.

  13. Much as I’d like to see this project proceed, it’s going to be one monster development whose physical dimensions may end up feeling quite oppressive. It’s unfortunate that the only way to get this built was to increase the size and number of units to Stalinesque dimensions to compensate for the cost of the below market units. But then again, look on the bright size – it’ll make the nearby federal building look petite! 😉

  14. This complex will be tall and dense. John King the the Chronicle also expressed concern about its density.
    However, I think that the thousands of people living or working at Trinity Plaza, the SOMA Grand, and the Federal Building will revitalize the area. And the high density is most appropriate right on top of the Civic Center BART/Muni station.

  15. As a fourth generation San Franciscan, I can olny say that the new money, and the nasty attidudes that go with it, has ruined this city for working people. This used to be a comfortable working class place. Now it has become a theme park for the rich. None of us who belong here are even interested in the opinions of you newcomers. Do it our way or go back home if you don’t like it.

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