Trinity Place

According to the City Attorney’s Office, at least 16 rent-controlled apartments at 1188 Mission Street (a.k.a. Trinity Place), units which were built as replacement apartments for residents displaced when the old Trinity Plaza (a.k.a the Del Webb Townhouse motel on Market) was razed, and another seven apartments at 1190 Mission Street were all leased to the same person who has been illegally renting the units on a short-term basis, operating as the “SOMA Suites Hotel.”

The 23 units appear to have been directly or indirectly leased to Catherine Zhang, the CEO of LUMI Worldwide, which “delivers a full range of world class residential leasing services for property owners and offers premium homes to high quality tenants,” according to her LinkedIn profile.

Yesterday, a request for documents, contracts, leases and other information detailing the financial relationships between Trinity Place developer Angelo Sangiacomo’s business interests and Ms. Zhang/LUMI Worldwide was delivered to Sangiacomo and his counsel with a deadline to respond, along with a written explanation of what the hell has been going on, by August 17.

18 thoughts on “Trinity Place At Center Of Short-Term Rental Scheme”
  1. Good im glad they caught this person. As mentioned before, right next to where i live there are sweet little apartments that the very hip and progressive “kids” airbnb for $350/day, and these units are deep in controlled rent. The owner doesn’t know about it. In the mean time I dont even think they work, just live off this short term rent income.

  2. Not surprised considering this was being done at a Trinity Property, an Angelo Sangiacomo project. Sangiacomo, the man whose business practices helped bring rent control to SF in the 70’s.

    Shameless company, glad I’ve never had to do business with them

  3. It’ll be interesting to see if Trinity’s management was in on this. Initially I guessed no, unless Catherine was willing to pay higher rents. OTOH Trinity have active management on site, so how would they not suspect anything? But if for some reason Catherine was doing this on the sly, then yes, I hope she gets her ass handed to her. Renters have zero rights to profit of RC units (non RC units for that matter too without the explicit owner’s consent.)

    Owners airbnbing? That’s a different matter (I know airbnb is contro, but personally I’m for it. As the more airbnb units are available, the less full time rentals remain, which is good for moí 🙂

  4. i actually stayed in one of those rooms last Thanksgiving; awesome room, high up, full one bedroom, hundred a night. best deal in town.

  5. I wonder what happened to the rent-controlled tenants who originally occupied these units? Maybe the scenario here is that they moved out on their own and, as the units were vacated, the building owner subleased them to LUMI. Was the owner required to re-rent the units to individual tenants and keep the rent low? For regular rent-controlled apartments, the owner can re-rent them to anybody and at market rates after the original tenant moves out. Furthermore, if the lease does not prohibit subleasing, then I suppose the new tenant is free to do so. So what is illegal here?

  6. someone needs to update us on the deal for the rent controlled units in the building. My memory is that a fixed number would stay rent controlled forever. With market rate adjustments when vacated, of course, but remaining under rent control. If that is the case, it would seem clear that there IS something rotten going on here, and it would seem unlikely for building management to be in the dark, unless the management company made side deals with many individual rent-controlled tenants.

    1. As we first reported above, 16 of the 23 units in question, all of which were concurrently leased to Catherine Zhang, are under rent control.

      The Development Agreement for Trinity Place requires that all units remain residential, which disallows for any short-term rentals or tourist use, and that the 360 rent-controlled units at 1188 Mission remain as such for the life of the building.

  7. Not unsubstantiated. For anyone with knowledge of SF history that goes back to before 2000, Sangiacomo was the slumlord who the #1 reason that SF passed rent control.

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