198 Valencia Street Site

As we first reported a few months ago, plans for razing the Oil Changers station at 198 Valencia Street, across from Zeitgeist at the intersection of Valencia and Duboce, and building 28 new condos over 6,000 square feet of new ground floor retail space on the site were moving forward.

As we noted at the time, while a plan to mitigate any contamination issues will need to be drafted and approved prior to the commencement of any excavation work, unless a request for a Discretionary Review (DR) or appeal is filed, the development won’t require a hearing or the Planning Commission’s approval.

And as a plugged-in reader reports, with the notification of the project’s application for a building permit having been posted on the site, the anti-gentrification/tech posters have now followed:

198 Valencia Opposition Bills

189 thoughts on “Anti-Tech Posters Now Flying in Front of Zeitgeist”
      1. Yes, more luxury housing means more luxury housing and nothing more. This corner should be 50% affordable BMR. Building luxury housing does not alleviate the housing crisis in any way. THE only way to gain affordable housing is to build it. Or pray for a massive busting of the tech bubble that sends all the Bianchi bike riders/uber commuters back to their suburban homelands. Until that happens, every development should be 50% affordable.

        1. Mark Cole….Hmmmm, that doesn’t sound like a minority name to me. Why don’t you move back to England, your homeland?

        2. it costs $800,000 to build a unit of affordable housing in San Francisco. Who is going to pay for all these? You?

        3. What I’ve never understood about those that wish for a massive bubble burst…it’s not the eminently employable engineers that will hurt the most. Sure, they’ll have to find another job and move on, potentially out of the area. But it’s the restauranteurs, artists, boutique owners, bartenders, baristas, store owners, graphic designers, etc that will suffer the most. Many will go out of business, lose their savings, and find themselves in a very scary financial position if much of the wealth leaves the area.

          1. Flip that idea around. Has wishing for a bubble not to burst ever stopped it from bursting?

            Tech and SF RE have always gone in cycles. And the climate of stimulus and low interest rates has the potential to make this cycle more pronounced.

            So what’s better for the artists, baristas et al, to set their living expenses to boom times or to treat the boom time money as a nice bonus?

            Isn’t the thought process of ‘This time is different and this boom will never bust’ exactly what causes people to lose their savings and find themselves in a very scary financial position?

            I don’t really see a way of eliminating the cyclical nature of our local economy, so the best we can do is to be aware of it and take the benefits when we can.

    1. These [people] act like there aren’t musicians that take part in the local community while supporting themselves with a tech job. We need to solve the high housing prices in this city, but these people are just a mash of anger and emotion with no rationality.

      1. Absolutely agree. And I know some of them (professionals — not all tech people — who are also musicians and artists/)

    2. I’m with you Curmudgeon! Tech is redefining what art is, it’s called disruption for a reason people. Today’s greatest artist is Peter Thiel who understands that the real enemy is government.

      The people who will buy these condos are the best and brightest – the most creative, the best educated and they (we) deserve to enjoy the bounty of their innovation.

      1. Heh. When wasn’t a certain, substantial percentage of Zeitgeist’s clientele hipper than thou? I’ll go ahead and answer that rhetorical question. Never.

      2. Exemplified by his support for a corrupt gamer of the system (including government) and potential totalitarian.

        Geez. the wacky left (like Mark above) are wacky. Then the wacky libertarian loons show up to demonstrate that wackiness is not limited to any segment of the spectrum.

  1. LAME

    The world goes forward, doesn’t stay the same, doesn’t go back to some imaginary “good old days”. No set of people own the City of San Francisco. Keep up or move along. That’s just life.

      1. Yes, change is cool and change rocks! Change-fighers are lame!

        A friend was recently diagnosed with cancer. She’s upset and wants to fight it. I told her that was lame, because change happens. Move along, accept it!

          1. there will be even more social upheaval if more housing is not built more people will be kcicked out of their older apartment as demand builds with limited supply. new condos are a release valve for kicking people out of older place.

          2. moto-

            We’ve gone around in circles on this many times. There’s a critical shortage of affordable housing. OTOH, most of what’s being built is speculation housing. The two market segments are only marginally fungible. Building a massive supply of Ferraris does little to lower demand for scooters.

            Also, gentrifying a neighborhood enables landlords to charge more for their properties.

            Further, the more floors and units you can pack on a piece of land, the higher becomes the value of the property, further increasing the cost of housing.

            Not only does building market rate housing not help make housing more affordable, it does the exact opposite. RE people know this, but they keep quiet about.it. It is better for their self-interest to trumpet misapplied and simplistic S&D theories than to explain how RE economics actually works.

          3. 2 beers, i agree we’ve been over it, but in this case you are simply wrong.

            no one is building ferraris. if you build a shack in this city, it will still sell for $1M. That’s not luxury housing, that’s pent up demand causing a shack to cost $1M

          4. Stop suppressing interest rates in order to keep the bubble afloat, and watch “demand” (i.e. speculative demand) evaporate.

          5. you didn’t address the issue. is a shack that costs $1M “luxury housing?” it doesn’t matter what gets built, it will sell for a lot because of pent up demand. whether that’s due to interest rates or not, it’s still pent up demand.

          6. What;s the difference between “demand’ and “pent up demand”? When interest rates revert to their historic average and speculation dries up, do we get “pent down” demand?

          7. As for your Ferrari analogy, these “luxury” rentals and condos are one bedroom homes in marginal areas, with new but cost efficient cabinetry and appliances. You think you’re getting 3,000+ square foot units with Calacatta marble and Gaggenau ranges?

            The only reason these new but tiny/cost efficient units are “luxury” is because there ARE NO OTHER OPTIONS.

            These are not Ferraris. Hardly. These are new Kia Sorentos with a Ferrari price tag.

            And for all your stamping about speculative markets and how we all misunderstand economics, what is your field of expertise, or your degree? Do you work in an economics field, or in real estate, or have a background in either? Because many of your statements are analogous to “Climate change isn’t real, scientists misunderstand” or “Vaccinations are evil, the doctors don’t understand” to those that have that background and/or are in those fields (myself included).

          1. Two beers: You’re right that if you entitle a piece of land for a bigger, taller building with more units, the LAND gets more valuable. However, the units that you build there don’t. They are worth whatever they are worth, but they are probably each worth significantly less than they’d be worth if they were a single unit of the same size. If you build enough of them, you start to bring prices down. We are seeing that happen, a little bit, but we need to build a lot more.

            Supply and demand is not some simplistic theory that is inapplicable to our complicated real estate market. Supply and demand always applies, and logic will tell you that it has to.

          2. I never said S&D doesn’t apply to RE. What I said was:

            1. there are many other factors that affect price, so S&D is just one of many factors;
            2. S&D isn’t necessarily always even the most important factor affecting pricing;
            3. often, S&D curves behave contrary to what everyone learns in Econ 101.

            As for #3, the variations in S&D curves are taught in higher levels of Econ. It’s the fault of neo-classical economics pedagogy that there is little or no mention in Econ 1 of the many distortions endemic to S&D theory.

        1. Why I should care about anyone being evicted? Maybe people being evicted should have chosen a higher paying profession, chosen not to have children, chosen not to live in one of the most expensive cities on the planet. The public does not gain by supporting people that have made stupid decisions their entire lives. Good riddance.

          1. Is one not allowed to distance one selves from a tone of voice to which they do not condone?

            [Editor’s Note: If you’re concerned about confusion, we might suggest posting under a different name than “anon.”]

          2. Wrong. actually the public does gain quite a bit from supporting people that make stupid decisions.

            It’s called civilization. If it’s not your cup of tea maybe you would be better suited to living in Eritrea.

          3. Nobody imagined in 2011, including you, that SF rents would double in three years and we’d become the most expensive city in America.

            Yes it was stupid for me to move here twenty years ago, when SF was not an expensive city by any means, and build a life and career only to see the city ruined by pompous [people] such as yourself, but hindsight is 20/20.

            All the people who you rely on every day but don’t make $200k annually, such as your kid’s teachers for example, auto mechanics to fix your Tesla, even some doctors can’t afford to live here anymore. It’s not just the poor being pushed out, it’s the middle and upper middle class.

          4. Many low paid professions are vital to the functioning of a society. The callow dismissal of anyone who is not involved in spreadsheet diddling or inventing the next Pokemon Go! explains why such silly memes as that shown on the signs have any support at all.

            I would argue that SF “needs” the patrons of the bar more than it needs selfish, callow techies like yourself-which are nonetheless A minority.

          5. Hi. I’m sorry I didn’t choose to be born into a wealthy family. Didn’t choose to not have my parents killed by a drunk driver while I was in high school, and didn’t choose not to be disabled by an employer that provided unsafe equipment, and chose to move to sf to live with my only relative in a rent controlled apartment. But I guess that makes me ignorant and stupid. Did you go to Stanford, Harvard, or Yale? Where are you from and who are you to have more of a right to live here than me? And how long have you been here?

      1. Yes, more luxury lofts, more coders, and more property speculation is what’s left of the arts and music scene really needs, right?

        1. But wouldn’t more coders need more music? and create a bigger market for arts?
          Doesn’t wealth patronize art? Don’t audience encourage creativity?

          1. Some wealth patronizes the arts. Coders first of all aren’t wealthy because so much of their income goes to rent. But with some exceptions, coders have proven largely culturally indifferent. They’re a lot more interested in the latest game or ramen joint than music or art.

        2. Speculation happens when there’s a shortage of something and its value is as a result artificially inflated. Building more housing is the only thing that will put an end to speculation.

          1. You’re misstating and confusing terminology, causation, history, and remedy,

            Just one howler: “Building more housing is the only thing that will put an end to speculation.”

            Really? Increasing interest rates has no effect on speculation? Sir, a mythical Nobel Prize in Economics (sic) awaits you!

          2. Speculation happens when the expectations of rising prices in the future causes current prices to rise. When people see current prices rising and this feeds back into increased future expectations, prices can detach from fundamentals and you can get a positive feedback of prices. Essentially a bubble.

            There was no shortage of land in the 2007-era national housing bubble. And as we saw there, both the high and low income classes participated in the bubble.

            Of course you can’t pay $1M for something if you can’t get or borrow that amount, so this time around the low income are excluded from participating. In SF/SV they are probably mostly tech workers, but more generally it’s HENRY’s for whom speculation is most life or death. High Earners Not Rich Yet. Good incomes, but no or negative (student loans) net worth. Buying a $1M condo that goes to $1.6M will fulfill the “not rich yet” portion of their moniker. Buying a $1M condo that goes to $900k will leave them older and saddled with even more debt.

            But as I said, you saw speculation by the lower income class in the 2007 bubble. You see speculation in China, you see speculation in Vancouver, in SF,…

            Bubbles can certainly cause problems, but why add class warfare or xenophobia to the laundry list of bubble side effects?

            Let he who is without speculative behavior cast the first stone!

          1. How much have you given to the arts luxurious lofty? I gave 20 hours a week for five years as a volunteer musician performing with and for numerous school bands. That must be worth something, even from a low life apartment dweller.

        3. You’re a little clueless two beers. I work in tech, I have for 17 years. I’m an art director. I have never touched any code. I make things like Pixar movies – does that count for art? being avant garde?

          1. you dont sound confident. When you say ‘make’ what does that actually mean? What are the hallmarks of an artist? Has anyone even seen your face (or name) attached to this ‘art’? Do you strive to meet an engage with the audience?

            And what is the purpose of your ‘art’, besides making a nice profit over many years so you can afford insane real estate etc? Is there some larger, deeper goal? And how would people know about that?

            Perhaps ‘art director’ in your case is a misnomer.

          2. Dude, I’m not talking about companies like Pixar. I’m talking about face-in-phone coders who so far have largely been cultural bulldozers.

          3. 2 beers. can you specifically list the companies and jobs you don’t approve of? We will build a wall around them and deport anyone trying to join those companies.

    1. McCoppin Hub Plaza has been nothing but a haven for drunks, drug dealers, and homeless. Zeitgeist did not have anything to do with those flyers. It may have been BMW owners going to the dog park who posted them and live in Millennium Tower.

    1. You do realize that an auto motive revolution is FAST approaching. They will mostly be powered by batteries and battery powered cars do not have OIL.

  2. These are about 2 years late…..the bubble is fizzling out and has been for the past 6-9 months. Most of these condos are gonna sit vacant for a few years once they are built anyway, all of this construction reminds me of Seattle circa 2007-8.

    1. that would be great. then prices will go down so the units are filled. even an artist might be able to afford, but of course they would ahve to be a successfull artist, not like the unsuccessful artists who spend more time complaning than creating art

      1. When downward prices start having an affect on the market, many owners can afford to simply take their units off the market to reduce downward price pressures, and wait for a better price. Reason 36c why S&D models don’t tell the whole story about RE prices.

          1. There are some markets which can be modeled easily and correctly with simplistic S&D curves. Housing isn’t one of them. There are many other variables that influence housing prices in addition to S&D. And S&D curves don’t always move like you were taught in Econ…

        1. If they take it off the condo market, that will add to the rental market, thereby lowering the rent. Artists and non-owning communists like me should be happy. Or, if you meant taking off the rental market as well, you’re talking about that proverbial fool who cuts off the nose to spite the lower rent.

          1. Nah they’ll just do short term lets…
            Also remember tax deduction benefits which can offset losses. Not to mention claiming losses Directly …

      2. Let’s tear down everything more than 10 years old that doesn’t cater to the high tech bike riding crowd. Build 4 times taller and more dense than Hong Kong everywhere within city limits, including Pacific Heights and St. Francis Woods, and ban motor vehicles in city limits. People can Bart to Oakland to go to Denny’s. Then everyone will be happy!? And I’ll be in Oklahoma City…

    2. This is actually what we want to happen. Prices and rents will start to go down, more people can stay, less evictions.

  3. how did they make those slick flyers??

    (hint: apple laptop + adobe software + hp printer.. and a facebook “coalition” page to boot.)

    this stuff parodies itself.

    1. OMG, you’re totally right, I never thought of that before: they’re….hypocrites! How can they possibly use photoshop yet at the exact same time oppose a massive condo and tech bubble that is driving the middle and working classes, and artists and musicians and poor people and old people and minorities out of their homes?

      Hypocrites, I tell ya!

      1. some people get really cynical when they drink even a couple of beers… not sure how many condos are needed in SF, but preventing developments like this isn’t going to make it a safe haven for musicians or poor people.

        1. Preventing market rate developments won’t create a “safe haven,” but it will reduce upward pressure on prices.

          1. So Very WRONG. It places pressure on all other existing housing. Including rent controlled apartments. Why do you think Ellis and owner move in evictions happen much more during times of economic expansion for god sake. It isn’t by chance.

      2. As far as I have been able to see, very few people live at the Jiffy Lube. Building some houses on top of the Jiffy Lube will make the housing situation better, not worse.

        1. Correction: building market rate housing will make the earnings of developers, RE agents, and bankers better, and it increases the value of nearby property.

          Building affordable housing will make the housing situation better.

          1. It costs $800,000 to build one unit of “affordable housing” in SF. Who will pay for all these new units???

          2. False dilemma. When the fuel for speculation is removed, the cost of building comes down.

          3. I thought the affordable housing should be the benefit people get from the Government since that should be part of the taxes. Shouldn’t put this onto the property owners.

    2. Reminds me of the anti-slavery activists before the Civil War who used to wear cotton clothes.. made from cotton picked by slaves! Typical hypocritical privileged whining activists. If they would have walked around naked, people would have taken them seriously and they could have accomplished something.

  4. Hummm the cover charge/ticket prices to hear live music in SF clubs is so high that the arts community better support housing for people who can keep them employed.

  5. Market/Van-Ness/Mission – Tech-Hub sprawl….

    Im surprised the CCSF building over on Gough has not been gobbled up yet….

  6. Of course the rent control racket is against more condos. The more owner occupied housing in SF the more influence they lose.

    1. Yep. The mayor. That’s ok. I gave up on sf. The rich techies and Chinese investors can have it. Saving my pennies planning my escape from the overpriced sewer by the bay. Enjoy your luxury condos and homeless. Praying for an 8.0 or bigger.☺

      1. If ranting incoherently against anyone and anything you disagree with doesn’t endear you to everyone here, then wishing for widespread death and destruction certainly will. With such impressive people skills it’s truly a wonder that you’re priced out of the SF housing market.

  7. I agree that gentrification is a problem for middle class and working class residents…but so many people are completely deluded on both sides of the argument. As for the people who put those posters up:

    “big money has no place in our city”

    Really? lol…tell that to the huge corporations that were been founded here/have a big presence here, going back to the 1800s (from banks, to oil companies, to engineering companies, etc), tell that to the old railroad barons, all the people who got rich off of the gold rush, tell that to the US mint and the former Pacific stock exchange, the SF branch of the federal reserve bank, etc. SF has been a home to “big money” (among other things) for almost it’s entire existence.

    1. SF is the city that sold food, booze, shovels, services to the gold rush. Since Gold in the mid-1800s was the currency of choice, SF is directly a result of money.

    2. I think you might be mistaking a normative statement for a positive statement, i.e. “what should be” vs “what is”

    3. Big money had a completely different social responsibility and understanding of how society works back then. Read up on some history. Remember, we’ve only had elements of a social net and other protections for not that long. Rent control has only been since the late 70s for example. In fact, all of those laws came about from a degradation of the social contract over time… Seems like degradation is peaking…

      1. c.f. “anon” above. Anyone who is not a tech millionaire is just a loser who should get out and move to Omaha.

  8. Someone should get these posters, frame them for the staging of the model condo. “See, this area has the ultimate San Francisco rebel vibe”.

      1. There should be a filmed documentary when they take these signs and frame them. The film should be looped in a dark room with no windows like the “how this art was created” films in some exhibitions.

  9. If there are more renters than units landlords get to set rental rates. If there are more units than renters than the renters get to set rental rates. The Ellis Act is only used because there is a huge demand for condos. If we allowed condos to be build than developers wouldn’t Ellis buildings because the demand would be meet. I could go on all day on why a flood of new units would benefit the end user.

    1. Incorrect, the Ellis act is being used widely to remove tenants who are paying below market rate. In other words to correct a perceived profit injustice …

      1. The perceived profit injustice is due to a lack of housing thus creating a demand. If there is not a demand there is no ellis act or huge rental increases. So what seems to be the right fix? More development, Control population or keep the status quo. I think its more development.

  10. There hasn’t been a decent band come out of San Francisco in 30 years. When you music types create something as popular as the I-phone or Google people might listen to you. Until then just shut up please.

    1. Or go-ogle?

      Burritos seem pretty popular. What you are talking about is not popularity but the zeal to profit from invention.

    2. nonsense. you just don’t know anything about contemporary rock n roll. I’d list a bunch of bands here but then you’d act like you know what I am talking about.

  11. There’s no easy answer here. The artists and musicians who are finding it difficult to pay for a roof over their heads will need to decide which is more important: their chosen occupation or their chosen hometown. Art is a cruel business and only rewards a small minority with a revenue stream large enough to support a lifestyle. The rest have to fall back on day jobs.

    The floundering post heavy industrial economy made SF affordable in the 60s and 70s. Half a century later we’re seeing a reversal. Fortunately there are still plenty of low cost locales, even within the Bay Area.

    1. True. One can’t ban market rate housing development as someone suggested but one can find a better balance in the BMR component. The percentage BMR has been too small during the boom times and now its being upped but the boom times may be over for a while.

      Everyone in the world may want to live or work in SF but its a small city and more population and job growth can’t really be sustained. Especially when there are miles and miles of very low density commercial and residential in Oakland and along El Camino Real from Colma to Burlingame.

      Growth could be shifted out of SF to other Bay Area locales. A 10 year moratorium on major office construction would be something to look at. Shifting new development to the East Bay and parts of the Peninsula.

      If a slowdown is coming maybe it will allow San Franciscans to re-evaluate what the boom of the past 6 years has done to the City. Was it worth it? How should future booms be handled? A carte blanche to developers has been to mantra under the current PTB with inappropriate (to many) efforts to up-zone (the Hub). Or imposed development such as Lennar TI which was a huge missed opportunity. The bland lifeless neighborhood MB has become is another missed opportunity.

      SF residents should have a say in the future direction of SF development. And surely major proposed changes like TI and the Hub.

      1. Very wrong conclusion. We are not a socialist society and told where to live. Shifting growth to Oakland and the peninsula is just pushing the problems to those municipalities . Forget the peninsula, they are bigger NIMBYs than you are. Office construction is built on demand. Again, saying no more offices to be built in SF is very socialistic and will never happen. The old generation in SF may like to remain in the past or the artists. I got like the techs but in the end, no one is listening.

        1. SF has a cap on office development, welcome to capitalism 2016.

          And you are missing all the benefits other parts of the region would accrue if development was spread around. Just think of the tax base … And funds available for region wide issues like transportation.

          1. Who wants to work in the East Bay or Live far from your work??? Visa moved out of the city to Foster City and they lost 30% of their work force and now they have moved many employees back. No one moves from out of the State to the San Francisco to live in the East Bay. The demand is SF has been and always will. More development cheaper housing costs. I didn’t go to college but but i understand supply and demand.

        2. Yes, people want to live in SF but not everyone can. The city is small geographically and has not the infrastructure to support big population or job increases.

          Not everyone wants to live in SF. Many younger tech workers have moved or want to move to greener pastures. In my area young families often move to the Peninsula or East Bay after the second child comes. Retirees often leave the area for a variety of reasons. That poll Socketsite ran had a large group of folks saying they’d consider moving out of the area in the next 5 years or so. I tend to believe that and am placing my RE investment dollars accordingly.

          Towers are not going to be built West of Twin Peaks or in the Sunset or Richmond ever – as in forever at least as far as our lifetimes are concerned.

          The housing crisis can only be addressed by regional planning which we don’t have unfortunately. But by any logic job and population growth needs to be directed to the areas in the Bay Area that can support it better than can SF.

          I am born and bred here and, but for 5 years in the NW, have otherwise always lived in the Bay Area and mostly SF. The quality of life is deteriorating and especially so in the past decade. I see it not just downtown but West of Twin peaks. The traffic disaster that is 19th. Sloat/Portola backed up weekdays during commute times in a way they were not that long ago.

          Supply and demand works but not always as in textbooks – demand in SF is for affordable housing and there is virtually no affordable housing being built. No supply to balance the equation.

          There are so many factors at play and just building more 1.5 million dollar 2 bedroom/2 bath condos won’t solve the problem.

      2. You really see the development process in SF as “carte blanche”? Really?

        ROFLOL. Why you have any credibility left is beyond me.

  12. misdirected–you couldn’t be more correct. What hypocrisy.
    I’m singing the Synthetic Blend Blues.

  13. If I make music on a computer am I a musician or a techie? Should I stay or should I go now? If I stay there will be trouble, if I go it will be double.

  14. Plus ça change.

    Reminds me of the late 1990s. Anyone remember the Mission Yuppie Eradication Project and the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition? Apparently neither one has had much success.

    1. Yes, the late 90’s and now have seen similar effort by Mission based groups. They’ve largely attacked new development. In the last boom it was the proposed building at 20th and Bryant, and tech tenants at the US Bank Building. This time it’s “the Monster on Mission” and “the Beast on Bryant”. Sadly, very little development happened in the Mission through either cycle (compared to the city as a whole), but that didn’t and hasn’t stopped the neighborhood from changing into a neighborhood of $5,000 apartments and multi-million dollar homes. Activist groups can’t change economic realities sufficiently to stop change.

      1. the lack of development in the mission in the past 20 yrs is the exact reason the mission has more evictions than any other area in SF. the activists are just sealing their own fates. its called misguided masochism

        1. That’s backwards. The Mission had/has a large proportion of lower income people. Somehow the new wealth was attracted to their lifestyle (and weather and public transport). As the bubble peaked their rents quickly became well below market. Tada! Money opportunity is money. It only helped that a portion of the neighbors were not native speakers or well connected to protect themselves and families.

          You could say the exact same thing about Palo Alto, Mountainview, San Mateo, San Jose. Some of these towns are now reenacting rent control …. But how much development?

          1. Not really. It was not their lifestyle the new wealth was attracted to. Rather it was the lifestyle of those who came in the wake of the Central Americans who rented from Mexican Americans, the artists, the entrepreneurs, the gay folks who moved into the Mission. And yes, the weather of course, the ease to get onto freeways, heavy rail, and San Francisco’s own easing of vertical build restrictions along several corridors.

            To your point that a portion of the neighbors were not native speakers nor well connected enough to protect themselves or their families? I would say this. It wasn’t/isn’t just a portion. It is most, and non-native speakers. Well connected? That’s debatable as the Chicanos renting to them usually know them and speak the same language. People try to always pin this on the buyers. The buyers don’t know the folks renting. Their current landlords are the ones who know them.

      2. 20th and Bryant. Great example, glad you bring it up. Did you know that the original developer pulled out because apparently their fantasy didn’t pencil out anymore? Alas, then there was an empty hole for many years.

        Meanwhile, the agreement with the city to provide public open space with the project somehow dissolves. So what did the neighborhood get in the end? A small number of high end high security market rate condos with meager density (eg height) with only private open space (including a Huge empty concrete slab), and no other amenities for the neighborhood. A waste of a city block…

        But the new developer and condo owners made out like bandits and helped to push this working class/PDR area over the edge.

        Sound like a win?

        1. No it does not. The mantra of oppose oppose oppose all change has not served the neighborhood well at all. Unwilling to compromise with developers over community benefits, they instead create giant holes that eventually get scooped up by another developer who develops something with less community amenity (although I don’t mind the resulting building at all).

          My favorite story along that line actually has completely unintended benefits….the community opposed tech offices, server farms, and housing at the Armory, and got an S&M Porn studio instead, which was like the best joke on NIMBY’s EVER! AND, it turned out that said S&M Porn Studio was the absolute best thing that ever happened to the Armory, putting in substantial effort at renovation and upkeep, lighting the exterior, using the drill court for community events and theatrical presentations. And finally (now that porn isn’t a moneymaker) is converting it into….tech offices!

    2. Yeah Tommie “whats his name” use to rant about $1,800 flats….. now that would be a bargain….

    3. Nestor Makhno? Yeah, I remember that one-man SUV vandal. It would be interesting to know what he’s up to today.

  15. Shameless click- bait on the part of SocketSite. Is this place becoming a rag? If one was to walk all the streets of SF and make news out of every poster or stencil on the sidewalks, any narrative could be created.

    1. And yet we don’t feature every poster or stencil but specifically picked this one. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that it’s also a progress report with respect to a development we first featured and a continuation of an ongoing story that we’ll follow through to the end. Nah, there’s nothing to see here and it’s probably easier to simply characterize it as “bait.”

  16. It’s actually really simple. Either you can afford to live in SF or you can’t. If you can’t, that’s not someone else’s fault.

  17. There’s a couple things at play here:
    1. NIMBY culture
    2. Planning Code and Commission
    3. History of the Arts in metropolitan areas

    The NIMBYism in this town has really gotten out of hand. Those who feel entitled to tell a new neighbor, how and what to build is obnoxious. I understand the need to keep the culture of your neighborhood alive, but they make it seem like the neighborhood culture has been there since the start of time. The mission itself developed when people moved in a new culture was developed when the existing and the new came together. This happens in every neighborhood and city. These neighborhood associations then try to fight developers prolonging the overall schedule and these cost overruns are then factored into the final cost per unit sometimes. This takes me to the next point, the planning code.

    If the building is designed as-of-right there shouldn’t been any reason to ask for the blessing of any neighborhood association. The commission itself should have very few design comments as well. Unless for instance a type of facade was designed in a way the cast huge amounts of glare to a neighboring building forcing the tenants to increase their energy usage. Other than that, if the designers have designed it by the book that the commission has previously approved then they have no right to comment on it. Think about that for a second, “Hey you did everything we asked, but right now we’re not feeling that storefront design, even though it meets every standard.” It wastes time and money. The code was written vague in certain areas to allow for creativity to come and rejuvenate an area with new interesting designs, but the commission and neighbors have used it as a weapon to leverage “community benefits.” I’m all for new stuff for the community, but most of these “improvements” are after thoughts that the developers do to appease. If you look at some of the POPS they’re horribly placed, in drafty alleys, and built on the cheap. They just want the project through quickly.

    Lastly, the artist community has always been resilient. Not just in SF but if you look around the country LA and NYC. Artists as a group usually move into cheap housing in the dirty part of town Arts District (LA) and Greenwich (NYC) popularize it with their art and culture and get priced out and then they move on. The artist community will be always be apart of a city, it’s just not a stable part, but cities never are it’s the effects of economics.

    1. “Lastly, the artist community has always been resilient. Not just in SF but if you look around the country LA and NYC. Artists as a group usually move into cheap housing in the dirty part of town Arts District (LA) and Greenwich (NYC) popularize it with their art and culture and get priced out and then they move on. The artist community will be always be apart of a city, it’s just not a stable part, but cities never are it’s the effects of economics.”

      Honestly this is a part of the charm and excitement of being a young artist. Moving to city, the chaos, the noise, the struggle the room mate drama. But, if you’re 45 and you’re still struggling, then the charm begins to wain.

      1. I do see your point, but I believe that falls on the person who chose that specific career choice. I myself am a struggling designer. I unfortunately can’t afford living in the city either but I’m not complaining about that. I live in the East Bay and commute every day because I decided having a private room was more attractive to me then living in the city. Everyone has a right to decide their the direction of their life. If they don’t become a successful artist by the time they retire they should’ve thought about that risk. That blame shouldn’t be directed at those who decided to be developers and are trying to fill a need that the city requires.

        I’m not saying developers are all good either don’t get me wrong. My point is that development is inevitable. We can either work together or get crushed by the rent prices.

        1. I’m agreeing with you. I was trying to make the point that when you move to a large city to become for instance an artist, you should expect struggle because cities are always expensive. You cannot blame the city if you can’t find a way to survive.

  18. Likely a naive question, so feel free to shoot this down, but according to many of the demographic data that I’ve come across, approximately 65% of all San Francisco residents are renters. What prevents a “crazy” signature driven initiative being put on the ballot as a proposition?

    By “crazy”, I mean why not subject all units to rent control, and have rent levels rolled back to 2010 as a base. This would surely get the approval of more than half of the people who live here and likely up to 2/3’s vote. What am I missing?

    1. I think the Costa bill from the 80s or so exempts new rental construction in the state from rent control. So all units could not be subjected to RC. Units build post 1979 I think the date is.

      Vacancy de-control is another thing. I don’t know about that. Maybe vacancy controls on rentals could be instituted by an initiative.

      Side note, I have a friend who has had a rent controlled unit since the 80s. I met her as she was retiring and I was coming into the company a few years back. This person lives in their own place in another state most of the year and keeps their rent controlled unit as they spend 6 weeks a year in SF. I tell them if they gave it up a young worker looking for a place could move in but my friend says no – the rent would be raised to market and the new person would not be able to afford it. Its sort of how they justify hanging onto the apartment.

      1. Your friend is breaking the law — the rent controlled unit must be the tenant’s primary residence.

    2. A majority consensus doesn’t trump the rights of others. You can’t just name your price and then attempt to get a majority vote on it. Would the vote also include that anyone who makes a high salary be forbidden to rent in San Francisco? If not, why should someone who makes 150 thousand a year get a rent controlled apartment?

      1. Didn’t the property owners of pre-1979 dwellings have rights taken away from them? And Prop 8? California can clearly legislate away rights and as a potential property buyer I would like assurances that I will be able to live in or rent my property as I see fit. With the trend going to lower levels of home ownership in CA it is only a matter of time before renters are in the majority.

        1. Personally I would not own rental property in the Bay Area or California. Owning one’s own residence here is a different thing.

          I have rentals in other states and the balance between tenant and owner rights is just that – balanced in those states. More so than you see in California and especially in places like SF.

    3. Peskin has been talking about getting the State legislature to revisit Costa BTW. Some renters’ advocacy folks are pursuing that idea also. Repealing Costa would allow rent control to be imposed on new construction should a locality so decide.

      1. NEVER HAPPEN. SF promised to never put rent control on new construction after 1979 and when they tried to welch on that promise the courts slapped them in the face. Just like Campos’ landlord theft bill last year.

  19. BK, it’s not legal. Why not roll condo prices to 2010 and how about gas prices too. Lets roll back everything including the jobs and the increased taxes from the jobs. Lets give everything away so we can all live here but not be able to pay for anything…

    1. You bring up a very good point. Just how incredibly incompetent and corrupt does a City have to be to squander a massive economic boom like this, we should be flourishing right now with the tax income but we have basically remained a third world cesspool.

    1. They are not being pushed out, the owners of The Stud are selling. Big difference here. Freedom (to do what you want with your property) still prevails, and freedom will always prevail.

    2. The Stud is not being “pushed out”. That’s a complete fabrication. They are choosing to sell. If it’s successful as a business, which ALSO means financially, then someone will buy it, relocate the license to another location and continue to make it successful.

      Don’t start blaming growth, change and new housing for every business that changes, moves, or is sold.

      1. Selling to capitalize profit, not much different from a rent hike which is driven by same logic…

          1. Once we in The Movement take over, it WILL BE. And you will be forced to design lovely grey cement towers (and dachas for us, if you are loyal enough!)

          2. What movement are you talking about? And besides, no where in this article (to my knowledge) is any information that Zeitgeist is closing.

          3. Futurist: (Can’t reply below). I was kidding. I invented a nefarious The Movement as a joke.

  20. Please Landlords, as a public service and for your own sanity ….ELLIS ACT all of your properties and turn them into TIC’s ! It will make San Francisco a far better city !

  21. Every time I’ve ever been to Zeitgeist it’s been with a bunch of techies and other engineers – oh, and a lawyer or two. Do working class people even go there?

    Also, how many people protesting gentrification in the Mission support immigration from other countries, even when there are Americans who don’t want immigrants in their communities?

    1. Well, affluent people are less impacted by low wage immigration, so of course they support it. It’s convenient to drive down to the Home Depot and pick up workers to do your landscaping job for $10 per hour and a burrito. (Not being racist…this is what people I know do).

      working class people….less sanguine. Because they have to compete more directly with immigrants, legal and otherwise, for work and resources and housing. And, they vote Trump.

  22. Maybe a partial vacancy control is in order? When a rental goes vacant the owner can raise the rent to 75% of the average for that type of unit and not 100%.

    This might free up things a bit. Many of us know people who will not move from their apartment as they have been there for 6 or 7 years and rents have gone up so much they really can’t afford to move. Though some would like to move.

    For landlords a positive might be that subset of renters who won’t move because of a huge rent increase if they do but would move if the increase was not as huge. A rental at 75% of the average is better than one at 40% or 50% of the average.

    1. That makes no sense. We are a market economy and vacant units should be able to charge market rates. Smells of socialism.

    2. People who rented their places 6-7 years ago are not going to move because they are probably paying 50% lower than today’s market. The GFC was going on and I remember landlords actually offering incentives to get people in. Plus, where are they going to move, Reno? Landlords should be able to charge Market rate on any vacant property they have.

    3. The courts won’t allow it. The city has tried everything they can to steal money from landlords and this is it for them.

  23. Rent control prevents the natural turnover of units that would make change more gradual and therefore less disruptive and painful. Of course nobody walks away from a $1200/month 2BR flat they’ve been in for 15 years even if they are now easily able to afford market rate and their life now actually justifies and demands a larger or nicer place. And of course nobody is saving specifically for the eventuality of suddenly paying market rate. If you want to preserve rent control in some form, you had better start thinking about ways to ease it. In its current form it is unfair and unacceptably market-distorting.

    I no longer have a dog in this fight. I’ve been a tenant for many years and a landlord for a few years. Now I’m neither (just a homeowner minding my own business) and I don’t ever want to be involved in the SF rental market again. But I remember that as a tenant, the worst fear apart from an eviction notice was a sudden rent increase. As a landlord, the worst thing was not being able to plan on rising future income. Tenants value stability, landlords value long-term growth.

    The model I like goes something like this: Permit rent increases up to 10% at a time, but require advance notice of at least 1 month per % point (rounded up). So 3 months notice for a 3% increase, 8 months notice for an 7.5% increase, and so forth. After each increase has taken effect, no new increase can be notified for 9 months. This way, tenants have ample time to adapt their financial situation to their new higher rent, or find a new place if they can’t or won’t. Mobility would be greatly increased and the market would be less distorted. There are very significant costs associated with Ellis Act evictions or any other type of legal action, and the ability to at least gradually and slowly increase rental income over time would take away the incentive for speculative evictions.

    Or, of course, you can cling to what we have now where 3/4 of the units (or whatever the pre-1979 portion is) is too tightly controlled and the rest is uncontrolled.

    1. I’ve got an even better model. Don’t like rent control? Don’t buy a rent controlled building. There are plenty of other options both within and without SF. People are still falling all over each other to buy rent controlled buildings here, so maybe they know something you don’t?

      For those few remaining landlords that got rent control forced on them forty years ago, well that building should be paid off now and appreciated at least ten times over. If they don’t like rent control all of a sudden, they can use a 1031 exchange to get a non rent control property.

      For everyone in between, they knew about rent control when they bought the building, so why should we feel sorry for them? Because they want to have their cake and eat it too?

      As for rent control driving up rental rates for new tenants, that’s minimal. There are only a few pockets of rent control in the Bay Area outside of SF, yet every surrounding county has seen their rents rise on a very similar percentage basis to SF.

      1. We need a balanced system for renters and owners, it’s so stupid to say you know what you were getting into when the rules change every year to the detriment of the owner. Even owners of single tic units have been throughly screwed by SF supervisors.

      2. Don’t like an Ellis eviction, don’t rent in California.

        It sounds pretty much the same as your attitude towards anyone with constructive ideas on how to minimize the distortions wrought by the current rent control rules.

        1. I agree, renters should know about the Ellis Act before they sign their lease, and plan accordingly. Rent control is NOT a good retirement plan.

          But again, what distortions? Take a look at this graph and do the math. San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Marin County have little to no rent control, and rents have gone up the same percentage as SF. Of course SF is higher overall because it’s more desirable and much smaller at the same time.

          1. I think operationally it’s obvious that the biggest distortion here is in excessively strict zoning laws and artificially high construction costs/delays, which is what all these regions have in common.

            Prices are set on the margin and new construction is not subject to rent control. At the current high asking rents there should be tens of thousands of new units brought online until the asking rents fall substantially. Same exact thing for purchase prices.

            However *politically* rent control bears a lot of the blame. Most renters are shielded from high prices so it’s not their problem. They’d rather not have anything disturb their neighborhoods. Without rent control, the same people currently spitting on tech workers and protesting new development would be clamoring for more construction the moment market rents started going up.

            Same attitude as most owners, who are to a much lesser extended shielded from market prices via Prop 13.

            Both groups don’t pay a price when market prices go up, but do face some discomfort coming from change. They have a stake in perpetuating the status quo that makes the city hostile to newcomers.

          2. Thumbs up ijustworkhere. And you bring up a good point with Prop 13. Don’t forget the distortions that we landlords enjoy. We can get a 30 year fixed mortgage, basically “mortgage control”, only thanks to the taxpayer backstopping private lender losses through Fannie Mae. We get another huge distortion with Prop 13, basically “property tax control”, which yet again comes at the expense of the public good through reduced tax revenues. Yet at the same time, if our rent controlled tenants do move out, our upside is unlimited.

          3. ijustworkhere,

            All good points and I agree completely. The additional distortions that Prop 13 and Rent Control create are the reduction in natural turnover in properties that might help to decrease market prices (not average prices).

            In addition, my pet peeve is that both Rent control and Prop 13 dissuade owners from properly maintaining their properties.

          4. Rent control is here to stay. Especially given home ownership is near historic lows and the millennial generation is choosing to rent and not own.

            If anything, I could see California enacting some sort of statewide rent control. Its one of the reasons I exchanged my California rentals for out of state rentals.

            Despite the problems small Joe and Jane landlords have in California, rental RE offers great tax advantages. Indefinite deferral of taxes through a 1031. Deductibility of maintenance and property taxes. And other items. Depreciation basically on paper eliminates one’s positive cash flow for years potentially.

            Rental real estate offers more tax breaks than personal home ownership. Those tax advantages are subsidized by the government – as in we the taxpayer.

          5. Any landlord who foregoes maintenance because of rent control is a slumlord. Landlords figure their annual maintenance expense under Net Operating Income when they buy the building. Plus they can pass through improvements even under rent control. And if a landlord gets caught between unexpected maintenance expenses and stagnant rents, they can write off the loss on their taxes. When a tenant gets stuck between unexpected rent increases and stagnant wages, like a huge majority of Americans are today, they can drown their sorrows in cheap booze.

          6. The majority of landlords that can afford SF cannot just write off any losses associated with their rentals. Passive loss limitations would typically apply.

  24. Reminder to the lefties here, SF is just being SF, as SF has always been a place where everyone displaces everyone. The Native Americans were displaced by the Irish, Italians & Swedes that came. Then the African-Americans came in large #s for the maritime jobs & WW2. Then, beatniks and gays came. Each group displaced the other group btw.

    The gays for instance were busy buying up the Irish & Swedish homes in the Castro. Later in the 80’s gays were displacing African-Americans in the Haight & near USF, & in the Western Addition.

    Artists came in really since the end of WW2 into the beatnik & beyond eras.

    Also Latinos came in and displaced the Italians & Irish in the Mission.

    Chinese have been coming since the late 1800’s (probably before!) and displacing the italians in Chinatown & N Beach, and the displaced the Irish in the Sunset/Richmond, etc.

    Have a great day everyone. I support Tech!

      1. actually – “Mexicans” were not “Mexicans when they came here in the early-Mid 1700’s. they were Spaniards moving north getting land grants from the King of Spain…. And they were called “Californio’s”… and when Mexico broke from Spain the “Californio’s” wanted to join the USA – (Fast forward to 1849 – 1850) – only instead of welcoming them the early settlers form the east killed them – Like they did to Mariano Vallejo and Jose Castro….. Just setting the record straight….

        1. yes, and 4th Gen SF’er was doing a flashcard version of history, but he was nonetheless correct…while the history of Californios and Mexicans in California is a very long one, before WWII the population was not very large, particularly in SF. That’s when large numbers of recent Mexican immigrants started moving into the Mission. It was really tied to the “bracero” program which brought lots of Mexicans into the country to legally work, particularly as field labor (in part because the US had interned the Japanese), and many migrated to urban centers.

          1. You are correct – mas o menos – señor. Los inmigrantes en el principio estuvieron invitados… (At first they were invited) Of course, like most US immigration policy, it got perverted by racism, politics and our inability to play fair……

        2. Actually, you did not set the record straight. You also attempted a very cursory definition of a long period of time and a complex people as did I. But yes, Californios were Spanish speakers in California, some of which had land grants from Spain. Many were the offspring of natives who had intermarried or not with Spanish, so in today’s terms, Mexican. My point had to do with the earlier comment that left the Mexicans out of the equation, saying the Irish, Italians, and Swedes displaced them. And Mexicans are part native, so therefore native, anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *