[Hpn] IN YO' FACE! *CHUNK STYLE pt. 2
Coalition on Homelessness, SF
Tue, 29 Aug 2000 19:28:45 -0700
...continued from pt. 1
SAN FRANCISCO'S WORST SLUMLORDS
REAL ESTATE SPECULATORS AND GENTRIFICATION PROFITEERS
This research was developed by a team of volunteers who interviewed
tenant attorneys, tenant rights activists, and tenants throughout the
Bay Area and conducted background research on the landlords
recommended by these people. We're sure it's not a complete list and
would love for you to add to it - with information about other
landlords or more details on the ones we already know about. A list
of East, South and North Bay landlords is also in the works, but to
begin, here are our choices for the worst actors in San Francisco.
According to our tenant activist sources, slumlords are becoming rare
in San Francisco these days; they emerge when landlords want to make
money by cutting back on expenses like repairs. These days in San
Francisco, it's much more lucrative to be a real estate speculator
than to be a slumlord.
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES THAT OWN AND MANAGE BUILDINGS:
ZEPHYR REAL ESTATE
Zephyr officers and realtors are very active as landlords and real
estate speculators. The 1998 effort to repeal rent control was led by
Zephyr: Ilse Cordoni - a longtime Zephyr agent & officer and
currently a Director of the California Association of Realtors - was
the largest single donor to the anti-rent-control campaign, giving
$25,000. Zephyr President and founder William Drypolcher - who had
residential property holdings worth $2.5 million (in 1998 valuation)
- gave the anti-rent-control campaign $5,000.
Zephyr's specialty is advocating evicting tenants to make way for
condo conversions. Zephyr preaches the philosophy of DELIVERED
VACANT. The current issue of Zephyr's newsletter says: "Buildings
which are delivered vacant sell for considerably more than those
which are partially or wholly tenant occupied. The question is how
much is a vacant unit worth?" 20% more, Zephyr says. The newsletter
goes to give an example of a 2 unit occupied building which for
$569,000. The sale fell through in escrow and the building was put
back on the market empty and sold for $100,000 more, for $670,000.
One Zephyr realtor's flyer lists a number of buildings bought and
then re-sold for 50-100% more in the same year, followed by "Call and
ask me about Ellis Evictions."
Zephyr building examples reported by a tenant rights activist:
348-350 SCOTT - Tenants were evicted under the Ellis Act in late 1998
by Zephyr realtor Bonnie Spindler. Spindler bought the property in
May of 1998 for $430,000; in September, she gave tenants an Ellis
eviction notice (this is typical of most Ellis evictions: a real
estate investor buys the rental units and immediately files an Ellis
eviction to remove the units from the rental market).
By February of this year, she had sold all 4 units for a total of
$975,000 (yielding her a profit of over half-a-million dollars.
Spindler has been an active real estate speculator in the past and
besides this Ellis eviction she's doing an "owner move in" eviction
on another building in the Lower Haight which is being converted to
condos, and previously did an OMI eviction for herself at 1550 Fell.
362-366 SANCHEZ - This six-unit buildings was bought by a Zephyr
realtor in 1998 who began converting it into condo-type units. Two
tenants were evicted for "owner move in" and then the
realtor/landlords (Tuan Tran and George Uyeda) did an Ellis eviction
to complete conversions of the apartment units into condo-type units.
273-277 HERMANN - Three unit building created as condos via OMI
evictions in 1997. In May Zephyr was offering one of the condo-type
units for $345,000. Evictees included a 20+ year tenant.
Lynch Associates do a lot of TIC (Tenancy in Common) evictions and
have done three Ellis evictions. They are very active in the Mission.
Various partners were involved in up to half a dozen owner move-in
evictions since 1996. They specialize in "bluff" evictions: They give
people OMI notices or Ellis notices; tenants move when they receive
the notice; then Lynch withdraws the notice. One tenant activist
calls them "bottom feeders." They buy rundown buildings and try to
drive the tenants out however they can.
FRANK LEMBI / SKYLINE REALTY
From a tenant activist: Frank Lembi is the owner of Skyline Realty, a
major San Francisco property management firm. Skyline is one among
several property management companies that both owns and manages
buildings. They do what tenant activists call "pretext evictions."
This means that they give tenants eviction notices on the smallest
pretext. Although most tenants who fight these attempted evictions
win, many tenants just move out when they get an eviction notice.
Thus the landlord is able to get tenants out of the building and move
in people who will pay a higher rent.
Skyline Realty is also the subject of disciplinary action by the city
of SF for major violations of lead paint law. High lead paint
exposure has been linked to stunted development of children and
circulatory and nerve disorders in adults.
From a tenant attorney: Tenant complaints against Skyline are that
when they take over a property, their property manager seeks to
intimidate tenants to vacate or pay higher rent. They look for any
potential violation of lease, including when a family has a child,
they argue that the child isn't on the lease, which they say is a
violation of the lease. Either the tenants agree to pay market rent
or they move out. This may not be rampant in Skyline's buildings; it
is the practice of at least one Skyline building manager. Skyline
seems particularly interested in getting into the Tenderloin and SOMA
neighborhoods. They look for buildings that have "upside" potential:
possibility that the low-income tenants can be cleared out and the
building can be turned into something "nice." Lembi is pretty well
connected. He is the former chief executive at Continental Savings &
ANGELO SANGIACOMO / TRINITY PROPERTIES
"Warlord of city apartment owners, a man whose very existence
engenders fear, loathing, and, judging by a quick review of the civil
court docket, lawsuits." (SF Chronicle 7/15/98) Sangiacomo has been
active in SF real estate for four decades. In the 1970s he responded
to the debate over rent control by raising tenants' rents by 100%. In
1995 he was ordered by courts to return $2,68 million in illegal
tenant sign-up fees to 4,500 renters.
In 1996, Trinity Properties purchased Marina Cove, a 241-unit complex
on Bay Street. He passed through more than $3 million in renovation
costs to the tenants. Tenants were hit with a 19.2% rent increase and
additional 10% increases each year for the next 10 years. According
to the SF Chronicle, renters had to endure two years of noise and
decreased service while Sangiacomo made these "improvements." This
case is an example of how ineffective SF rent control is as it
relates to capital improvements. Only 100 of the original Marina Cove
tenants have stayed in the building. Sangiacomo is also responsible
for forced relocation of tenants and converting vacated units to
From a tenant activist: Angelo Sangiacamo is known as "the father of
rent control." That's because in the '70s he was jacking the rents up
on his tenants so severely and frequently that they began to organize
and this resulted in the passage of 1979's rent control laws.
Trinity contributed $10,500 to Mayor Willie Brown's re-election campaign.
DAVIS PAUL MANAGEMENT
According to tenant activists Davis Paul Management is "buying up the
Mission" and mistreating tenants while they're at it. There are
constant problems reported at their buildings. Apparently, they're
fairly brutal when they take over a building, especially with the
Spanish-speaking tenants. Tenant activists say that Davis Paul
employs managers who aren't sympathetic to the tenants, who don't
provide services even when they get a direct request, and are slow
and even non-responsive to tenant activists' interventions.
ANTONIO CASTELUCCI / HOME REALTY
They take over a property and launch a variety of strategies to evict
the tenants. Castelucci owns a number of smaller properties
throughout San Francisco. Tenant activists say that, for the most
part, he's a hands-off manager; however the management company he
employs is fairly callous in dealing with the needs of tenants. When
they acquire a building, if they discover that a tenant is a
long-term resident, a common practice is to try to find some way to
either intimidate the tenant out of the unit or to fabricate a just
cause to vacate the unit.
Sergio Iantorno owns Realty West and is affiliated with Vanguard Real
Estate. Tenant activists say that Iantorno is a slumlord; but he is
more notorious for his real estate speculation, OMIs, Ellis
evictions, and capital improvement evictions. One of his specialties
is to evict people temporarily while repair work is being done on a
building. To get people to move out for a short time, he tells
tenants they have the right to return. Once the tenants are out of
the building, he tells them that he's going to evict them if they do
come back, and pays them small settlements to get them not to return.
He then turns the building into tenancies-in-common.
According to a tenant activist: Iantorno has a reputation of
harassing and intimidating his tenants. One story has it that he
pulled up outside of one of his buildings and sat in a limousine
staring up at tenants all day long.
See Zephyr real estate. Herth does similar types of evictions. Both
companies are active in and top donors for funding anti-tenant
positions in ballot initiative campaigns.
H & H REALTY
Tenant activists say that this company takes advantage of
undocumented immigrant tenants.
Landmark owns small properties in the Mission. It's a one-man
operation run by Robert Imhoff. Tenant activists say that Imhoff
often operates in a way that makes you believe that there is no rent
ordinance in San Francisco. He's very strong-willed. Tenants have
taken him to the rent board, and he often won't abide by the rent
ordinance even when confronted with evidence that he's done wrong.
For example, illegal rent increases. He also has habitability
problems in some of his buildings.
WEST COAST PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
West Coast is the property management company for the Levinson Family
Trust. Tenant activists say that in one building in the Mission - a
27-unit building - they have systematically attempted to intimidate
the tenants, all of whom are Latino. Many of them are or were
long-term tenants. The game is to get long-term tenants (whose rents
tend to be lower) to leave. Among other things, they've attempted
illegal rent increases, haven't provided proper maintenance for the
building, have attempted to intimidate tenants into accepting leases
that they didn't sign and then hold them to the terms of those
leases. Tenants say that the on-site manager is verbally and
*OTHER PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES*
In addition to the companies listed above, there are many other
property management companies that own AND manage buildings and
practice either "pretext" evictions or otherwise try to get
low-income tenants out of their buildings any way they can. These
companies include MURPHY INVESTMENTS (owned by Bob Murphy, one of our
Rent Board Commissioners), TCO REALTY, and BARBARY COAST REALTY.
PUBLIC AND SUBSIDIZED HOUSING PROBLEM LANDLORDS:
The Apartment Investment and Management Corporation (AIMCO) is the
nation's largest private landlord, with 370,000 apartments in the
United States and Puerto Rico. 90,000 of these units are subsidized
by the Section 8 housing program to keep them affordable. Only the
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department owns more subsidized
properties than AIMCO.
AIMCO's number one guiding principle is "the low cost operator wins."
What this means for residents in AIMCO properties is that the company
spends as little money as it can to maintain its subsidized
properties. While a tenant's roof is leaking and repair problems go
unfixed, AIMCO shareholders are laughing themselves to the bank.
The Shoreview Apartments Residents Association in San Francisco filed
a class-action lawsuit against AIMCO and named HUD as a co-defendant
for rating AIMCO properties as satisfactory and doing little or
nothing to help tenants fight the company's refusal to correct unsafe
living conditions. Tenants of AIMCO-managed Tenderloin buildings for
disabled and elderly residents (the Alexander Residence and Antonia
Manor) have joined the suit.
AIMCO is not in the affordable housing business to do a good deed.
The company is in it to make money. They do this by buying
low-income, federally subsidized buildings and converting them to
market rate. In a 1999 letter to AIMCO shareholders, the company's
chairman wrote, "As we look to 1999 and beyond, we are also buoyed by
the prospect of numerous redevelopment opportunities in the AIMCO
portfolio at attractive returns. Redevelopment opportunity is found
in AIMCO's large portfolio of affordable properties. Many of these
programs will expire in the next few years and several of these
properties will be appropriate for profitable redevelopment into
communities without any government assistance."
Other AIMCO owned and managed properties in the Bay Area include All
Hallows Gardens, Bayview, and LaSalle. AIMCO managed buildings
include the Marlton Manor and Maria Manor.
SAN FRANCISCO HOUSING AUTHORITY
Tenant activists say the SF Housing Authority may yet prove to be San
Francisco's worst evictor. Here's their case: The federal HOPE VI
program demolishes "blighted" public housing and promises tenants
that they can move back into beautiful renovated homes and enjoy
services to aid their transition from welfare-to-work. Sounds great
but here's the catch. Only Hayes Valley has been reconstructed while
Bernal Dwellings and Plaza East remain behind schedule with tenants
dispersed to the four winds of mostly useless Section 8 vouchers.
North Beach and Valencia Gardens are on the chopping block. Tenants
at North Beach organized and won an "exit contract" of guaranteed
re-occupancy - which the Housing Authority and its developer Bridge
Housing immediately began trying to undo. Seems as if actual promises
of 1:1 replacement of housing was more than the developer wanted to
On top of this, the SFHA is fond of using "One Strike" evictions
which throw people out of their homes for the crimes of others. They
recently decided to implement federal rules that kick out
undocumented immigrants. The Federal Quality Housing and Work
responsibility Act mandates that everyone must get kicked out of
public housing after five years.
To make it worse, it seems as if the SFHA is rife with corruption.
Two Housing Authority employees were indicted for "selling"
relocation assistance and Section 8 vouchers. The SFHA seems to want
to demolish housing then make the tenants pay for the relocation.
SFHA Director Ronnie Davis is the target of numerous investigations
alleging that he mismanaged money while directing Cleveland's public
ROBERT AND VERA CORT
The Corts are active in residential and commercial real estate. In
fall of 1999, they bought the Bay View Bank building on Mission at
22nd Street. They told the building's two dozen tenants - mostly
small businesses and nonprofit organizations - that their leases
wouldn't be renewed and that they'd have to be out by June 2000. The
new tenant was to be Bigstep.com. The Corts are also the landlords
who whitewashed a 5,000 square foot mural from a building on Harrison
Street last year, creating an uproar.
The Corts are no gentler with their residential tenants. In 1996,
they owner move in evicted tenants from two units at 3257 20th
Street. The tenants sued that October, and the case went to trial in
1997. Although the parties settled in 1999, a tenant attorney reports
that Robert Cort Jr., the family member who was supposed to move into
the premises, has yet to move in.
Susanna Shaw owns property in Noe Valley and the Mission. According
to tenant activists, she became notorious for serial owner move-in
evictions before small buildings were under rent control. Activists
say that Shaw is also a slumlord and that she harasses tenants to no
end. She shows up at the top of the complaint list of local tenant
Per one tenant activist, Hujazi has court cases a mile long. She is
somewhat infamous in the SF tenant advocacy community. Tenant
activists say that she's particularly aggressive and hands-on in
dealing with her tenants. She's been known to personally enter
tenants' units to intimidate them.
Herbert Jaffe owns Lombard Place, 1320/40/60 Lombard Street. He is
passing through an $8.4 million capital improvements rent increase to
his tenants. Each tenant will have to pay approximately $100,000
additional rent over the next 20 years. These rent increases have
scared off tenants in 20 of the 69 apartments in the building.
Meanwhile, it seems like this was a case of deferred maintenance.
First tenants had to suffer living in a building where the landlord
didn't make repairs, now they're paying for the deferred maintenance
- to the tune of $8 million!
Comments from a Lombard Place Apartments tenant: The Lombard Place
tenants have been served with an $8.6 million capital improvement
passthrough by our landlord for work done to his property.
The significance of this passthrough to tenants is as follows:
* We tenants are being charged $100,000 each as proportionate shares
of the total $8.6 million passthrough.
* This means the monthly passthrough amount is $818 over and above
the monthly rent until paid out.
* This results in a rate of rent increase from 40% to 170% of normal base rent.
* Approximately 28% of the original tenants have vacated since the
passthrough was presented to us. A few have signed statements citing
the passthrough as being the reason for leaving.
* Some tenants (1/3 of our building) are long term; some are seniors;
some are on fixed incomes. These tenants may find the passthrough
plus rent unaffordable therefore may need to voluntarily self-evict.
* In this way we believe our landlord creates valuable vacancies for
himself without going through the cost of eviction.
* With the magnitude of the dollar amount of our passthrough, we
tenants have virtually become silent partners with our landlord
without the benefit of tax deductions, appreciation, or choice of
* Our landlord, on the other hand, realizes these benefits plus the
high rental rates of today's market. In our complex, a one bedroom
rents for approximately $3,000; studio $2500; garage $300; pet/dog
deposit $1000 plus $50/month and cat $25/month; story $75/month.
* Since there is no limit to the amount of passthroughs a landlord
can charge tenants, we may face other passthroughs given the volume
of work done on our buildings, much of which is repairs.
* Does capital improvement passthrough create a situation in which
the tenant pays for landlord's fixer-uppers? Our landlord knew that
Lombard Place Apartments were sorely neglected over the years, and he
passed the repair costs through to us.
* The stress, preparation time involved, and monetary investment
we've had to deal with in order to fight the capital improvements
pass through has been enormous. At this point we can only hope to
reduce our burden by getting some "capital improvements" classified
as "deferred maintenance."
A small-time landlord who was recommended for this list by tenant activists.
A small-time landlord who was recommended for this list by tenant activists.
LARGE APARTMENT COMPLEXES:
Parkmerced is owned by Carmel Development and Management, LLC of
Denver, a subsidiary of Carmel Companies, Denver and JP Morgan
Investment Company. The complex is managed by Olympic View Realty,
LLC of Delaware.
Even factoring in how many units there are, there are a
disproportionate number of tenant complaints against Parkmerced's
owners and managers. Tenants say that they manipulate the rent
control law to give tenants operating and maintenance rent increases
and will probably try to pass through capital improvement rent
increases to tenants shortly. They have a zero tolerance policy for
tenants. For example, they gave a three-day notice (under no pets
clause in lease) to get rid of a tenant who had goldfish!
Tenant complaints at Parkmerced include: decreased services (less
garbage pick up, less maintenance and pest control); broken fire
alarms left inoperative in towers for weeks; leaking roofs,
unfinished roof insulation; massive tearing up of grounds for pipe
replacement now at a standstill; stopping monthly rent notices; and
reduced night time security; giving tenants less than one week to
sign new leases which are substantially different from the old ones;
passing through nitpicking utility increases on new leases; and
limiting tenants' rights to have guests in their own homes. Tenants
challenged the Parkmerced management for putting unauthorized rent
increases put on their new leases and won in front of the Rent Board
Additionally, Olympic View Realty was a top soft-money donor to
Willie Brown's re-election campaign.
A comment from Nancy P., Parkmerced tenant: I live in Parkmerced.
Parkmerced is unique. It's the largest stock of rental units in San
Francisco. It was also one of the last stocks of 'affordable units'.
However, despite San Francisco's 'rent stabilization ordinances', new
units are now going for pretty close to market rate. It looks like
our new owners would like to jack up the rents of old tenants, too.
However, this diverse tenant community of over 3,000 units, 6,000
working people and families, retired people, and students has
succeeded in organizing, protesting, and having withdrawn a
substantial 'operations and maintenance' rent increase petition.
Unfortunately, a new one will follow within 90 days.
I don't want to pay a rent increase to cover the finance costs of my
new owners. I don't want to pay one for overdue maintenance and
inflated operations either. Also, now or in the future, I don't want
to pay for 'improvements' that have nothing to do with my needs or
the needs of the majority of the present occupants. I don't want to
pay for any improvements planned for condominium conversion or new
condominiums. I can't pay them. You see, like many San Francisco
tenants, I cannot afford my apartment as it is. So my children and I
have a student roommate. I like our garden apartment, but if I could
find cheaper, I would move. But, I can't move: a two bedroom
elsewhere in San Francisco rents at the double of our three bedroom.
A one bedroom at Parkmerced is now renting for about the same as our
three bedroom. We're stuck here, in this apartment. We will have to
pay the increase our landlords can get authorized by the Rent Board,
this year and any year they want to petition, or we will be evicted.
I live in Parkmerced but don't know for how much longer. The owners'
plans for the future don't seem to include tenants like me. They
tried to evict the Montessori school. They plan to build a huge
business center and gym. They plan to build condos on vacant land.
If, in addition, the owners succeed in increasing our rents, our
diverse community will change like so many others have already
changed in San Francisco. The moderate income families and
individuals will have to leave as will many retired people on fixed
incomes and maybe the students. Where will we go?"
Similar to the antics at Parkmerced. They give rent increases
whenever possible and try to find the slightest pretext for evicting
OTHER FORCES OF EVIL:
THE DOT.COM PHENOMENA
When landlords evict nonprofits, arts organizations, and long-time
businesses to make way for dot.com companies that can afford to pay
exorbitant rents, who's to blame: the dot.coms? The real estate
developers like Joe O'Donahue and the Information Technology
Coalition who clear the way for them? The San Francisco political
establishment that is doing nothing to stop the crisis in the
commercial and residential real estate markets in San Francisco? As
far as we're concerned, it's all of the above, and they all come
under this category of the dot.com phenomena. Dot.coms are the
leading force in the gentrification of San Francisco. Nonprofits
including the Eviction Defense Center, Homeless Prenatal Program,
Legal Assistance for the Elderly, and Housing Rights Committee are
all being evicted to make way for dot.coms. This is not only a
problem for the nonprofits; these are the agencies that provide
services to poor people who are being evicted from their homes. The
dot.com phenomena also affects residential housing in terms of
increased property values and land use decisions.
JOE O'DONOGHUE / Residential Builders Association
Joe O'Donoghue is the notorious lobbyist and leader of the
Residential Builders Association of San Francisco. If one person can
be blamed for the proliferation of $500,000 live/work lofts in the
South of market, Mission, and Potrero districts of San Francisco,
O'Donoghue is the one. Through lobbying and campaign contributions,
O'Donoghue has ingratiated himself with Mayor Willie Brown and many
of the members of the SF Board of Supervisors. He also holds great
sway with the Department of Building Inspection, which he convinced
to change the building code to allow for the live-work boom.
What's wrong with live-work lofts? Live-work lofts go hand-in-hand
with the dot.com phenomena described above. They were originally sold
to the public as spaces that would provide housing to artists who
were having trouble finding affordable housing in San Francisco. But
they've actually allowed developers to put up residential
condominiums on cheap industrial land and sell them at top prices. In
reality, live-work lofts have resulted in the evictions of many
artists and nonprofits and long-time businesses-to make way for
Live-work lofts have led to the gentrification of neighborhoods like
the Mission, South of Market, and Potrero. When live-works come into
the neighborhood, it's an opportunity to upscale the whole
neighborhood - to evict low-income tenants and bring higher-income
tenants into all the buildings on the block. And the live-work loft
developers avoid paying millions of dollars in school and affordable
housing fees. Unlike other residential housing developers, builders
of live-work units don't have to set aside a portion of their
property for affordable housing and open space or meet many disabled
access requirements. Live-work developers also pay about half what
other residential builders pay in one-time fees for schools. More
than 3,300 live-work units have been approved and another 2,200 are
awaiting the City's go-ahead.
*Joe O'Donoghue has already threatened Andrea Buffa of Media Alliance
with a lawsuit if his name appears on this list.*
SINGLE-ROOM OCCUPANCY HOTELS
Residential hotels are the housing of last resort for many low-income
people and thus SRO tenants are open to the most abuse. Problematic
practices at SROs include musical rooms (tenants are forced to move
out of a room before they live in that room for 30 days so that the
tenant doesn't establish tenant rights), an epidemic of hotel fires,
skyrocketing rents, housing code violations, and unsafe/unsanitary
Tenant attorneys say that Tajkor is the worst operator of residential
hotels in SF. He was running the Mission Hotel when it had all of its
problems. Tajkor was sued there and at 135 Capp Street. Now he has
problems at the Kean Hotel on Mission Street. He is also part owner
of the Justice Hotel on Clay Street. Tenant attorneys say that Tajkor
doesn't make repairs. He lets things deteriorate. He rents to very
down and out tenants who aren't likely to file lawsuits against him
and ruins the neighborhood because his properties are so bad.
Shaikh owned the King Hotel, which burned down. Shaikh also owns the
Helen Hotel at 166 Turk Street and has been leasing the Alder Hotel
on 6th Street. Tenant attorneys say that these hotels are
dilapidated: bathrooms in these hotels are out of service, there are
holes in walls, roaches, and mildew, and when things break they don't
Scherer is the owner of the Julian Hotel in the Mission. Tenants say
that the 27-room hotel is infested with mice and cockroaches, and the
SF Department of Public Health recently visited the hotel and found
evidence of a rodent infestation. On April 20, a housing inspector
gave the hotel a "poor" rating and cited the owner for numerous
violations of the housing code. In a recent SF Examiner story about
the Julian, the reporter wrote, "During an interview in another room
at the Julian last week, a rat walked across a kitchen table, then
dropped out of sight behind a stack of papers." According to a tenant
activist familiar with the Julian, the hotel has been in disrepair
for years. The tenants are mostly elderly Filipinos and Mexican
immigrants. Tenant activists say that Scherer has tried to intimidate
the Spanish-speaking tenants and has threatened to call Immigration
EVIL LANDLORD ATTORNEYS:
Tenant activists say that Andrew Zacks is a private practice attorney
who has marketed the Ellis Act as a way to get rid of tenants. He is
the main lawyer involved in evicting elderly tenants. He also owns
Ellis buildings and is evicting his own tenants.
Zacks represents the owners of the Hotel Chronicle, a residential
hotel that is home to 16 tenants, many of whom have lived there for
decades. The owners are using the Ellis Act to get the tenants out of
the building, saying that they want to leave the rental business.
Zacks also represents the owners of the Astoria Hotel, a 92-room
residential hotel that was ordered by the court to stop renting its
rooms to tourists. In a similar case, Zacks represents owners of the
Cornell Hotel on Bush Street who want to turn almost half of their
units from residential units to tourist use. He took their case to
the Supreme Court. And he represents the owners of the Remo Hotel in
North Beach who want to convert their hotel to tourist use.
Under the SF Residential Hotel Conversion Ordinance, residential
hotels can't be converted to tourist hotels without a conditional use
permit. This ordinance is meant to preserve housing for seniors,
disabled people, and low-income people.
Background articles on many of these landlords are available at Media
Alliance, 814 Mission Street, Suite 205, San Francisco, CA.
MEDIA ALLIANCE HOUSING PROJECT
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