Wednesday, December 2, 2020
The big real-estate money in SF politics
Array

The big real-estate money in SF politics

-

48hillstencon2
Packed crowd at the tenants convention raises the question: Can people power defeat big landlord money?

 

By Darwin Bond Graham

The tech boom has made San Francisco’s real estate the most expensive in the nation. Tech companies, from startups to Fortune 500 firms, are cleaving more and more income for themselves out of the U.S. economy, mainly through advertising, smartphones, and tax shams. As the preferred domicile of the tech workforce, and now even as a choice address for tech offices, San Francisco’s housing and commercial space is in hot demand from buyers who have seemingly unlimited cash. This has pushed up prices considerably.

Add the background effects caused by several years of bond buying by the U.S. Federal Reserve —the rise in all real estate values nationwide— and you’ve got a city where the median home price topped $1 million last year, and monthly rent for a one bedroom is averaging just shy of $3,000.

Into this maw of demand, the developers are shoveling units and square feet. Take a look at the development pipeline (available online courtesy of the San Francisco Planning Department – http://www.sf-planning.org/index.aspx?page=1691) and you’ll see a map of the 47.6 square miles of the city. Much of it, especially the eastern half, is crowded with projects, packing in housing, retail, and office footage. There are 50,600 proposed units of housing coming to San Francisco.

Approximately 27,000 of these housing units have already been approved, with 6,100 currently under construction. Most of the housing under construction is “market rate,” meaning that it’s priced for those who can afford to spend roughly $36,000 a year on rent, or who have a quarter million in cash to drop on a down payment.

Despite the popular myth that “Nimby” forces have retarded growth – or that the city isn’t allowing or approving enough new housing — San Francisco is a real-estate development beast. (more after the jump)

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

1 COMMENT

  1. Sterling Bank & Trust is not a “private bank”. It is a federal savings bank that is headquartered in Southfield, MI, Sterling submits a Report of Condition and Income, the same as any bank which you can download here: https://cdr.ffiec.gov/public/Default.aspx . It may be a closely-held bank. Corporations with less than 500 shareholders are not subject to the same level of disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Corporation.

More by this author

The cops, cannabis, tracking landlords — and are we just done with Zuckerberg?

Plus: a new committee on African American reparations. That's The Agenda for Nov. 30 to Dec. 6

Why it matters that Boudin is charging a cop with manslaughter

The DA's unprecedented decision sends a message that the police can't kill people with impunity.

Will the cops agree to an acceptable deal by next week?

POA and Mayor's Office still in secret talks with Dec. 1 deadline for final approval of a new contract.

Supes to push measure keeping homeless hotels open

Proposal would set up another confrontation with the Mayor's Office over keeping unhoused safe during COVID.

Supes approve police contract that many agree is a bad deal

Facing threats of layoffs and promises of POA remorse, board approves raises for cops with no guarantees they will stop blocking reforms.

Most read

The sleaze reaches high tide at City Hall

How can this level of seemingly endless corruption have happened -- and how high does it go?

The last time an SF cop was charged with killing a Black man

It was 1968. The trial was a sensation. The outcome was a disaster.

The cops, cannabis, tracking landlords — and are we just done with Zuckerberg?

Plus: a new committee on African American reparations. That's The Agenda for Nov. 30 to Dec. 6

State auditor attacks local land-use authority

Study of housing agency finances veers into politically disputed territory.

You might also likeRELATED