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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

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UncategorizedIn the Mission, a developer forum becomes a vocal...

In the Mission, a developer forum becomes a vocal protest

More than 300 people pack community meeting to oppose 16th and Mission project

An angry crowd disrupts the Maximus forum
An angry crowd disrupts the Maximus forum

By Tim Redmond

MARCH 4, 2105 – Seth Mallen, executive vice president of Maximus LLC, managed to get about three minutes into his presentation tonight before the crowd erupted.

“Mic check”

“Mic check.”

The crowd of maybe 350 people was listening to someone else.

“We know about your broken promises,” Maria Zamudio, of Causa Justa: :Just Cause, announced. “We don’t want you here.”

The room broke into cheers.

This wasn’t exactly what the giant real-estate developer had in mind when it set up a community meeting to present what it described as a community benefits package for the 16th and Mission housing development.

Mallen and Larry Del Carlo, who is working with the developer, asked the community activists to listen to what they had to say. “It’s important for people to hear our proposal,” the company’s spokesperson, Joe Arellano, told me earlier.

But the proposal was already out – it appeared in the Chronicle earlier this morning – and the broad-based coalition called Plaza16 wanted none of it.

The Maximus plan calls for 290 market-rate rental units and 41 “workforce housing” condos, priced at between $280,000 and $350,000. The company will also pay to finance 49 below-market units, which won’t be on site and might not be in the Mission.

The way the city’s affordable-housing mandate works, developers can pay into a fund that goes for low-income units – but that money will go into a pot that will later finance what will likely be larger project, somewhere in the city, at some point in the future.

The “workforce” units will be available for households with incomes from $60,000 to about $130,000, and Maximus had a nifty chart that showed who that might be. For example, an “artist” and a “nonprofit worker” could make enough money together to buy one of the low-end condos, which Arellano told me would most likely be a studio.

Look at who can buy the new condos
Look at who can buy the new condos

Two city employees at the upper end of the scale – say, in public safety – could buy one of the two-bedroom units.

Combined with the below-market units which won’t be built at the same time as the 16th and Mission project, the deal includes 31 percent “affordable” housing, Arellano told me.

The below-market units, 49 out of a total of 350 units, amounts to about 14 percent, just about what the city requires from developers anyway.

There was talk of an improved BART plaza (“a plaza for everyone”) that will be larger and “safer.” That means, many fear, that the people who live in Mission SROs who hang out at the plaza to be outside during the day, and the homeless people who spend time there, will be driven out by a more aggressive law-enforcement presence.

Every time Mallen or Del Carlo tried to speak, and present the company’s plan, they faced a festive, vocal audience that had one clear demand: The community groups want 100 percent affordable housing on the site.

That, of course, won’t work with what Maximus wants to do, as Bert Polacci, a senior partner in the lobbying firm Public Advocacy Partners, tried to explain to several activists after the meeting. Maximus is a business, and there’s no way to build 100 percent affordable housing as a private, for-profit venture.

One person asked him why apartments had to be so expensive if developers are building much cheaper rentals all over the country. “This is San Francisco,” where land and construction is expensive, he said. I asked him if he would make public the company’s finances, so we could see what the figures are and whether lower-cost housing might pencil out.

“Of course not,” he said. “This is a private venture.”

A large crowd gathered outside before the event
A large crowd gathered outside before the event

There were two factors that drove this protest, and will drive a long future battle against this project, factors that the developers need to understand.

One is the deep-seated and growing anger over the evictions, the displacement, and the destruction of the Mission community. It’s not easy to get 350 people out for an event like this – and they weren’t all (or even mostly) young activists. The crowd was multilingual, diverse in ages – and reflective of the seething fury that is now part of the culture of the neighborhood.

The city has done very little to prevent working-class people from being driven out and replaced with higher-income workers, many of them in the tech business. Small businesses are getting displaced as rents rise.

That may not be the fault of Maximus – but the company has connections at City Hall, and probably in Sacramento, and there’s a lesson here. If developers want to build like this in San Francisco, first they have to help stabilize the existing vulnerable communities. First the evictions and displacement has to stop; then people will talk about new development.

The speculators who are taking advantage of the housing market to make millions flipping property are not only forcing people out of their communities; they are creating so much anger and distrust that nothing is going to move forward without serious opposition until the people who live here and operate businesses here now stop waking up every morning wondering if they will be displaced tomorrow.

The other element in the refusal among many San Francisco residents to accept the idea that more market-rate housing in low-income communities will help the crisis. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence to the contrary: If this project is built at 16th and Mission, real-estate values will rise in the surrounding area. Commercial spaces that have been cheap for years will suddenly be gold mines. Marginal businesses that serve a low-income population will be replaced with services for the wealthier residents who will move in.

We can argue forever about whether supply and demand works in the San Francisco housing market. There is no economist with any sense who would argue that bringing a large number of higher-income residents to an area like 16th and Mission won’t drive up commercial rents and change the mix of local businesses.

Just look at Valencia Street.

The message that was delivered tonight was simple: The community doesn’t want this project. And it’s going to be a long, tough fight for Maximus to get it approved.

Let me just say one more thing about how development works in San Francisco.

Market-rate housing is a very lucrative investment right now. That’s why lots of international capital goes into high-end housing in the city. Developers and investors are making big returns.

Every project sponsor comes forward with a plan that offers a certain level of community benefits. The more pressure they get, the more they offer. When projects are shut down altogether – when developers realize, for example, that no project at 16th and Mission in 2015 is going to go forward with the normal return on investment and profit that’s expected from market-rate housing in the city – it sends a message.

I don’t know if there’s any commercial housing project that the community will accept today at 16th and Mission. But I can say that what we saw tonight was a first offer, and it was soundly rejected.


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.
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  1. There is a big difference between making comments online that can be ignored, and shouting down people in public.

  2. your envy is showing. if you really thought it was meaningless, you’d say nothing on this comment section. if fact, you wouldn’t even read the article.

    but of course, you know last night was extraordinary and one more clear sign of a movement gaining serious momentum. and for some reason this bothers you and you have to make a juvenile remark.

    but keep it up. we’re reveling in your jealously and frustration. it’s fantastic to see you haters so jealous. KEEP IT UP. it’s fantastic see all the angry, mean trolls on here suffering with envy!

  3. You expect him to vote for your plan even though it will lower his net worth?

    you have a lot to learn about political power, “David”

  4. No one is fooled by your feigned stupidity and ignorance. You know as well as anyone that people fighting collectively for their rights, their dignity, for justice, for equality is the only way anything has EVER changed for the better.

    You know what happened last night was extraordinary and for some reason you can’t handle it. You lash out with a juvenile remark. You aren’t “glad [we] feel good now,” you’re furious and envious. And it shows! And it’s hilarious. We are actually taking pleasure in your disappoint and envy. Please keep it up! The more you rage, the better we feel!

    Sweet sweet Schadenfreude! : D

  5. 4th Gen Sfer, you should do your internet research a little bit better next time. Humboldt State is where I went to college. I was raised in the Mission, Bernal and Castro neighborhoods of San Francisco.

    You can have your feelings, but guess what, when you say “as a TECHIE” that I am an enemy of any political party you are sadly mistaken. Tech is an industry, not an ideology. When I was just learning about technology, the whole industry was run by geeks, outcasts, and social misfits. Sadly not so anymore.

    As for my “pedigree”: I was born in Oregon, my mother and I moved to SF before I was one. I’ve lived on Capp, Bryant, Jarboe, Diamond, Eureka, Barnett and Treat. I spent my time and computer skills as a kid helping my parents create flyers, new letters and written communications (you know, the stuff before the web) to help free lesbian political prisoners. I marched saying “Hell No, We Won’t Go!” in Desert Storm before I was 10…

    I am NOT an emery of the left… whatever you think that is. I am a FRIEND of humanity and people who want to live the lives they deserve. Including affordable housing in the neighborhood I live in.

  6. Guest, who ever you are, I am not meaning to be racist. I apologize if that is what you took from that, I meant to imply clothing / dress. Never mind.

  7. “The community does not want to keep the status quo in the Plaza.

    The Plaza whould be used for public show trials of corrupt politicians and the developers who buy them and the homeless would housed in the homes of those politicians and developers.”


  8. Ginger is wrong.

    1852 – WHIG

    Whigs till 1856 then the American Party whatever that is

    1863 – 1871 = Dems & Populists

    1873 – 1875 – R

    Then a lot of Dems/populists till 1931 – R

    R till 1964 with John Shelley since then D


    The destruction of the Western Addition

    “The Fillmore, where 60 percent of the residents were African American, was declared blight in 1948. The first demolition project began in 1956. The second phase, the brainchild of the redevelopment agency’s then-head Justin Herman, began in 1964 and expanded the area to 60 square blocks. Eminent domain was used to purchase Victorian homes and buy out local businesses. The thriving black business community was destroyed as owners of nightclubs, barbershops, banks and retail stores were forced to close up shop.”

    Under a Democratic admin – Justin Herman

  9. “You know what they say – the first person to introduce race into a discussion is the real racist”

    More like the first person to get defensive about talk of race is almost certainly a racist. Or just terribly ignorant. Either one.

  10. “The intent of developers is to make all those poor brown people disappear and increase the size of their bank accounts. People should at least be honest about their intentions. Nothing that is happening in the Mission is making life any better for anyone except the white people who just showed up there.”


  11. “Interesting because I equate ‘yelling down speakers’ and your ridiculous over-posting, your sometimes racist rants, your disdain for working class people and your obsession with having the last word.

    Thanks for again demonstrating your hypocrisy.”

    OMG. YES. THIS!!

  12. “99% of Mission residents would have listen and engaged in a civil discussion. Ambushing their good intentions with an organized minority rabble is as rude as it is ineffective.”

    All you folks on here pretending to be naive and stupid. No one actually believe that you believe this. What sort of “discussion,” exactly do you think might have happened at this meeting if the 400 folks from the community didn’t come and speak their minds? Hmm?

    Do you think Maximus would have added another, say another ten affordable units because a neighbor raised their hand and politely asked for it in the Q and A segment at the end? HA! : )

    No one thinks you’re as stupid as you pretend to be. Everyone knows the only reason Maximus even went from 12% affordable in the plan they have presented for a year and a half now, to the 31% now, is because the community has marched against and maligned the Monster for months. That’s the ONLY reason. It wasn’t because someone has “civil discourse” and sat politely during a bland-ass power point presentation. Duh.

    But of course, you know this. It’s patently obvious. You’re only pretending to be that stupid.

    Again, the fact that you fools are so envious of what the community was able to do last night, and the fact that you can’t take it away from us, is frankly fantastic! Its’ a delicious smorgasbord of schadenfreude for all of us. So keep it coming! : D

  13. David, we agree, if you tax land heavily enough, its price will plummet. So what does a buyer face? His land cost is now $0 — because the negative net present value of the tax costs are roughly equal to the positive market value of the land.

    If those two are not equal, prices are not $0.

    Buyers then have to finance purchasing the structure and improvements, which is less, and pay the tax, which is much, much higher. The regular cash outlay should be roughly the same today.

    If it is not roughly the same, land is not $0.

    Your system does have the one-time effect of expropriating landowners, who suddenly have to pay these very high taxes. That doesn’t bother me much, but it also doesn’t eliminate private income from land; it just nationalizes lots of it.

  14. Ginger, your GGP would make you the 4th gen. Or did you miss math? 3rd gen your parents, 2nd gen your grandparents, and 1st gen your ggps.

    PS, I went to public schools and figured that out!

  15. Gee Zach, your linkedin profile with that same pic of you does not say you were from SF either. Humboldt lol. And you work in software and tech! You ARE the ENEMY OF THE LEFT!!! You are the enemy which you speak about, when you say to “go home”, right?

  16. Guest6:47, we agree that land taxes are the best taxes. We disagree on the advisability of a tax asymmetry that taxes not land, but only rents. If owner occupants don’t pay the 10%, you just subsidized them.

    Don’t lose sleep over landlords; do worry about the incentive structure of your tax.

    I’m not sure I see property ownership as a human right. It’s how we’ve designed the economy, but there could be other ways to arrange things.

  17. “What you need to understand that the sitting down and having a conversations has been tried many many times in the past. The community is always at the losing end. We first fight to be at the table then when we get there we are not listened too. Over and over again. Money is the driving force and those who have it have influence over city hall.”


  18. Dialog with billion-dollar developers? Ha! Do you understand how the world works?

    You want the “trouble makers” gone? You would have said the same about women fighting for suffrage, blacks fighting Jim Crow, LGBT fighting for equality. Trouble makers all of them.

    Trouble makers fighting for their dignity, justice, equality, and their communities are the ONLY folks that have ever brought progress. VIVA the TROUBLEMAKERS!

  19. Larry DeCarlo said we have to be militant about affordable housing a few months ago at Local 261 – and last night he got his wish- hundreds of militant folks demanding 100% affordable housing. Some folks think Larry DeCarlo sold out, and yes, it might look that way …but people do have geniune differences of opinion – the reason we need to respect each other and have a meaningful dialog. I think it was great the community came out united in force and made their point of view loud and clear, I joined them on the picket line doing so too – I appreciate so much what Larry’s Dad did in the Mission, all the beautiful housing we have there because of his Dad’s legacy. I hope Larry sees the Plaza 16 Coaltion as the contempoary version of the MCO, fighting to retain the right to live in their homes and to have opportunity. I hope and pray we can stop Maximus. we have to fight to stop it – too many people being left behind economically and being kicked out of their homes to the streets by this tech and real estate runaway boom. And I hope we can have a community based redevelopment of 16th and Mission with local 261 laborers employed that meets our local needs.

  20. Guest1:11 and TK, there are a few good ideas in there, mostly on the Peninsula where jobs are plentiful but zoning is inept. Housing is regional.

    Sam, as we discussed before, the suburbs have lots of low-paying service jobs, but little relatively affordable housing. San Francisco is no saint there, but the suburbs are multiples worse.

  21. Ha! You are farce! Where on earth would people be bused from!?? That’s absurd on it’s face.

    Again, no one actually believes you’re as stupid as you pretend to be. Everyone knows that everyone in that room was from the neighborhood and came entirely of their own volition because they’re furious about what’s happening to the Mission. Just as Tim said in his great piece. You are keenly aware of this fact and it drives you crazy, so instead you pretend you’re stupid and say, “uh, they came in a bus!” There isn’t one person, least of all yourself, who believes that nonsense.

    Your seething envy and frustration with this fact is obvious to each of us. And frankly, it’s hilarious! : D

  22. Ha! Wait a minute. So “speak truth to power” is a “vacuous cliche.” Really? Dude you are the most hilarious caricature of yourself. No one believes you’re that stupid. But carry on with your meaningless banter. No one’s listening! : D

  23. Guest6:30, sure. And then you’re in Concord. Not every BART station is Glen Park.

    How is sterility a requirement?

  24. “Spamalot, your influence here is nil whether you post as Guest, Sam, guest or Anon. Something seems to be preventing you from moving on with your life to more productive activities. Bring it up with your therapist next time you see her. She might be able to able prescribe something useful.”


  25. no one actually believes that you are really so naive as to think a corporate-sponsored powerpoint presentation is about “civil discourse”

  26. Interesting perspective & that may make me in favor of the moratorium, for opposite reasons. But honestly, I think the left is done in SF.

  27. I never apologized for my “temper” – I apologized ONCE to someone who wasn’t a party in a ‘conversation’ but who was offended by my harsh words for Sam/guest.

    But your concern is duly noted.

  28. Walnut Creek,

    A gross receipts tax doesn’t “subsidize homeowners.” A modest 10-15% GR tax on rents merely collects part of the rent (mostly land-rent) from the landlord class. Taxes on land are the best taxes since they recycle property value gains that ARE CREATED BY THE COMMUNITY. Landlords contribute nothing to the community (they don’t even build new housing), so you shouldn’t lose any sleep that society taxes their rents to collect revenue to fund government programs and services.

    To the extent some landlords get out of the landlord business, that’s great, since then buyers will have more housing to choose from and cooperatives will form to buy up buildings, ensuring affordability for generations to come (assuming deed restrictions are added to the properties to protect affordability).

    Ownership, including limited-equity ownership, is the goal. No one with half a brain wants some corporation or government or private 3rd-party as their overlord. How creepy is that? The US became a prosperous country because even poorer people like my immigrant parents and parent’s of my equally poorer classmates could own their own home and tell landlords and the government to F off. There were no rent increases. No deferred maintenance. No house checks to make sure the right people were living there or that the family wasn’t making too much money.

    It’s not “progressive” to support corporations or the government owning people’s homes. It’s oppressive and highly paternalistic. And when homeowners, or wealthy people or politicians suggest rentals as a good housing model, it’s both hypocritical and demeaning. F those people.

    For short-term rentals (ie, for temporary students or short-term work assignments), non-profit owners offer a decent solution, but are not ideal since they are PRIVATE CORPORATIONS with their own goals that may or may not be aligned with the people living in the units.

    Home ownership is a primary human right, even if it’s limited-equity ownership.

  29. There’s enough suitable land within a 1 mile radius of each BART station to build more housing and artist rendering sterile neighborhoods than you’d ever be able to in San Francisco.

  30. House prices in the area look toppy to me, certainly versus rents, which I can’t see having much room on the upside, but who knows. Markets can be stupid expensive for a very long time.

  31. W.C.,

    If the annual market rent potential of “location, location, location” (not including on-site improvements values) is taxed away, the sales price of land will plummet.

    Buyers would have to finance purchasing the improvements, of course, but this amount is 50% or less of real estate value in regions such as San Francisco. My home is appraised at $650K; 400K is in land value. If a purchaser had to finance $250K as opposed to $650K, that’s more accessible.

    There wouldn’t be a flood of investors snapping up these bargains, of course, because most of the speculative value is in the land value, but that gets siphoned off by the land value tax. Land values are economic rent. Samuelson, Piketty, Marx, Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, Joseph Stieglitz (heck, even Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein, not to mention Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio) know this, with some of them making their unearned living from it.

    You’re correct to question my reference to “care.” My words were unintentionally ambiguous. What I meant was that “when there is ownership, care for that which is owned is generally greater than when the thing USED is not owned.” So, where there is greater home ownership, there tends to be greater care for homes.

    A potentially interesting hypothesis is that where a population “owns” through taxation the value of place, that population may take greater care of that place. So, for example, were the citizens of the Mission District to derive most if not all of their social infrastructure creation and maintenance dollars from land values (and, commensurately, were those land values not to go to the individual owners of land in the Mission), then I suggest that the incidence of vandalism would decrease because vandalism that diminishes land values diminishes local revenue. Land values are a natural feedback of community health.

    A great number of positive correlative dynamics would follow the abolition of private income from land values, but let’s leave that for a pot of tea as we plot a political campaign to tax away unearned income and liberate earned income from taxation that subsidizes the private ownership of the economic rent of nature.

    check out a cyber mayoral candidacy: LeonPhat.com

  32. Guest5:24, do you know anyone who lives in San Leandro? They can drive to BART, or they can drive to the Peninsula, and that’s it.

    Transit infrastructure in the East Bay is adequate for getting to SF; on the Peninsula, it’s not even adequate, unless you live by a main Caltrain station.

    I support building in Mountain View and wherever there are jobs. San Leandro, though.. I’m not seeing it, except right near BART.

  33. Tradition and community values are not yours then. I’ll take that over your flawed so-called logic any day. What part of your “logical” mind told you it was about safety?

  34. About twenty years back, by my memory, yes.

    Not sure how I can speak for anyone else, but I assume it’s post hoc thinking. Things look more gentrified after development, even though it’s the gentrification that drives it.

  35. Gary,

    Why such a convoluted tax structure, especially one that benefits residential landlords who have received the most gains from obscene property increases over the decades? It doesn’t make sense from a policy perspective or an ease of administration perspective.

    Prop 13 is easily reformed by:

    1) Protecting ONLY primary homeowners, small businesses and small farms;

    2) Repealing it for everyone else, using 5-year rolling reassessments if a parcel hasn’t sold in the interim;

    3) Reducing regressive sales taxes by an equal amount for the significant taxes raised by these modest property tax changes.

    Eliminating the interest deduction for non-homeowners would be an important change on the income tax side, and imposing a minimum 65% capital gain tax on all property sales that are not a primary personal residence would be a good move too. Eliminating the “step-up in tax basis” on property transfers to heirs is a great idea too, which was recently proposed by Obama.

    Prop 13 was sold to voters back in 1978 as a way to protect homeowners from being displaced from out-of-control property tax increases. The changes listed above restore the promise made to the voters.

  36. Its cool about the name thing lol. Hey, what wasn’t mentioned is that there were many of us making sure the conversations were civil with few of the pro-Maximus group. There were lengthy and healthy discussions overall and the bottom line is we exchanged ideas and plans on how to address these issues, and there are philosophical and methodological differences. You have your views about what San Franciscans think, and I have mine. This is a unique time in the city and isn’t just “another protest”, just sayin’

  37. 90? Whoa, way too many. There should be, if we have to have them, 5 or 10 at the most. They are a scam. I can recall a friend of mine (W) who rented a BMR in the Haight out of the old Polytechnic school. The couple were a nice Ch couple who owned it and rented it out! They lived elsewhere! All BMR’s are scams!

  38. Hatred Gary? Come on, while I’m glad you apologized for your egregious temper lots of times here, please look within. I wish you well because, frankly, you need it.

  39. If you own a home, you can thank prop 13 for letting you stay in it vecina. Otherwise, prepare to move. Am I right, you were the person that inherited great wealth? Maybe I’m wrong.

  40. It’s been a long time since the Mission was safe. Like maybe MAYBE when the Irish and Italians lived there, there was less crime. But that was a long time ago. I’d have to see statistics.

  41. Yawn. The anti-white card. That’s twice on this thread you pulled it. OTOH, as I’ve stated, I am biracial, and in many ways, btw, I actually LOVE London Breed & think she’s awesome. And I like Ed Lee too. Neither is W btw. And completely o/t London Breed’s name is really awesome too.

  42. I’m actually on the sidelines & I can see both sides on this as I’ve stated.

    Don’t develop: the left will be completely priced out, fast.

    Develop: The left will still be priced out and it will be almost impossible for the left to get into BMRs since they’re done by lottery, but with a racial bias built in. IE, if you’re a person of color you’re more likely to get in vs one of the Mission hipster white hippies.

    My advice for anyone reading is to BUY cheap properties now. Even in the Richmond/Vallejo/Martinez/etc areas, because it’s all going to go up up up UP AND AWAY by this summer.

  43. Stop with all the David Campos bashing. He needs to run for Mayor and use all the lessons he learned last year to good use.

  44. I am biracial as I’ve explained many times. And I have not divulged what part of SF I live in on this forum so that is moot.

  45. The writing on the wall Carlos? Come on, you’ve lived in SF all your life you already KNOW what the writing on the wall is. The capitalists and the developers will win, and the complainers & people who bitch and moan will leave. End of story.

  46. Yup. Rent a mob is exactly right. Same old reactionary same olds were there. Many familiar faces, fighting to keep that corner of the mission permanently crappy. NIMBY selfishness at its disgusting worst.

  47. One thing I like about you is that you’re always dreaming big. Keep on dreaming big Carols. But you know how SF rolls. Big protests and big noise roll off our backs here. We actually don’t care.

  48. Pretty much. He says “la gente” are winning. Awesome. Carry on developers! Please do! And please no more BMRs get around that as MUCH as possible.

  49. Commuters go from the East Bay to the Peninsula and Silicon Valley and San Francisco all of the time. The transit infrastructure is there and is arguably richer regionally with more options for people whose workplaces will change many times over their work lifetimes than it is here.

  50. Guest5:13, regional coordination would be ideal. Human scale dense neighborhoods around the Bay Area includes the city.

    As for jobs, where do you think they are? Commuters don’t go from the Mission to San Leandro.

  51. Sid, the last thing a bank wants is to have to work out a project. It just wants to get paid. 50% LTVs suggest it’s going to get paid, but it still doesn’t want an insolvent developer halfway through.

    Levered IRRs don’t impress a lender.

    Margin loans are different, because financial markets are liquid. All your broker has to do is push a button, sell your securities, and it gets paid.

    Does the bank for which you work like its borrowers to default? That sounds more like the sketchy world of ‘hard money’ lenders.

  52. Housing could easily be upzoned to SF heights and built along the BART line between San Leandro and Fremont and the CalTrain line from and Sunnyvale to Palo Alto. The alternative to packing San Francisco full of people is making human scale dense neighborhoods around the Bay Area like, you know, closer to most job sites?

  53. PPM is right about one thing — markets don’t provide affordable housing in the presence of land use restrictions. Absent them, they work fine, but then you get sprawl.

    Pretty depressing that with a straight face someone turns around and claims supply is not the issue. Providing supply is exactly what public building would do.

    I mean, if not supply, why should the government build a thing? The solution apparently is a pony.

  54. “Whats more important is getting people from the community into positions of power,”

    If so, then I encourage you to continue with your current strategy of declaring everyone not part of your core constituencies, and everyone with differing views on policy issues, to be either a waste of space or 100% pure evil.

    It’s worked so well for you these past few years.

  55. Guest says:
    March 5, 2015 at 2:45 pm
    This may come as a shock to you, but I don’t want the value of my land to go to zero.
    David Giesen says:
    March 5, 2015 at 3:09 pm

  56. Yeah I messed up and I apologized to the authors and Examiner as soon as I realized my error. It was only three of the ten paragraphs that got mashed up into a mailing list posting. On a lark I thought it looked good and shot it over to the Examiner. It has been ten years since I’ve submitted to print and it is not like journalistic ethics are always at the forefront of my mind. I guess I assumed that since there was no personal gain involved, the content was simply a recap of secondary data, and it was written to advance the common cause that it wasn’t an issue. As soon as I realized what I’d done, I’d apologized. My bad.

    People Power Media had the Examiner take the piece down. Many folks allied in the campaign were horrified that they’d do that given the innocuous context. To my mind it indicates a petty attempt to assert control by the affordable housing insiders.

    But then People Power Media was at the final planning meeting for the action covered by this piece. The meeting was at noontime as usual and they said while planning the action that they were going to put their other hat on to cover the action, which they did.

    I wonder People Power Media disclosed their role in participating in the planning of the action, as good journalistic ethics would require in their “reporting” on this action? It might be possible to cover the actions of a group that you’re a member of and isolate any potential conflicts with disclosure. But is it possible for a professional journalist to cover an action that you’d helped plan and do it as journalism?

    At last evening’s action, I confronted them about their journalistic conflict in process and asked if they would hold themselves to the same standard they held me. The conversation turned to the previous piece. I apologized again and said “I’m sorry, I’m an amateur.” She replied “You’re an amateur alright.”

    That really speaks for the contempt that so many in that clique have for outsiders to their in-group. She was the individual who “facilitated” the Urban IDEA and was the one who filtered audience questions to the panel of Corey Cook and people who have never won a contested campaign in the east side discussing “How to win in 2015.” You will only hear the echoes that have been certified to be heard in the echo chamber.

    Apparently activist journalism has different sets of rules depending on who is involved. Who knew?

  57. Tim’s job is to write about what’s going on in the city. AFAIK he isn’t standing up in the Mission telling residents what they should want or what they need, but merely listening to the community and writing about it. He does an excellent job, by the way. One of the last true journalists left in the city.

    If there was a project down his street that he opposed (or supported), I’d expect him to be there to voice his opinions, but I’d also bet he’d find someone else to write about it since he would have a vested interest in the project. He seems honest that way, unlike many others who work directly or indirectly for developers, or who benefit from a developer’s largess, but insist they are part of “the community” without any ulterior motives.

  58. Guest says:
    March 5, 2015 at 2:45 pm
    This may come as a shock to you, but I don’t want the value of my land to go to zero.
    David Giesen says:
    March 5, 2015 at 3:09 pm

  59. People do have power. They vote.

    It’s just that you don’t like what the majority voted for. Too bad.

  60. Guest says:
    March 5, 2015 at 2:45 pm
    This may come as a shock to you, but I don’t want the value of my land to go to zero.
    David Giesen says:
    March 5, 2015 at 3:09 pm

  61. Ed Lee is a lame-duck mayor. No one will be listening to him for the next 5 years. Ed Lee has done enough damage to the city over his 5 year reign. The community has had enough of Ed Lee and his gold-plated, granite encrusted condo projects. The worm has turned.

    The new rallying cry is disrupt Ed Lee. Disrupt the Planning Commission. Disrupt the Board of Supervisors. Disrupt every city department that crams their gentrified vision down the city’s throat and is responsible for thousands of evictions and displacement throughout the city. Disrupt and occupy is the battle-cry. People-power is the weapon.

  62. The community does not want to keep the status quo in the Plaza.

    The Plaza whould be used for public show trials of corrupt politicians and the developers who buy them and the homeless would housed in the homes of those politicians and developers.

  63. There are not plenty of Black, Latino or Native American people in tech.

    The number is slowly increasing over time but by no means are there plenty.

  64. There’s no such thing as “gross ROI.” A bank doesn’t “invest” – it only loans money to a project and expects to get its loan back, with interest.

    A bank evaluates a loan on a fairly simple matrix.

    1) Are expected proceeds from the project equal to or greater than costs? If so, by how much and what are the risks the borrower might have receiving the project proceeds (sales or rental price of units)?

    2) How much equity is the borrower putting into the project? Is their equity contribution greater than the risks I face if the borrower doesn’t meet their sales/rental goals?

    ROI only involves the project developer who puts up the cash to buy the property and makes the development deal happen. An owner’s ROI calculation is very straight-forward: (1) How much cash did I put into the deal?, and 2) How much cash do I expect to get out of the deal when it’s completed?

    If you don’t think a bank is more willing to lend money when a developer puts 50% of the equity into the construction project verses when a developer puts only 10% equity into the deal, you’ve either never worked in a bank or never worked on an actual real estate deal. With a 50% equity owner investment the bank is virtually guaranteed to get their money back, whereas in 10% equity deals it’s much riskier a bank will get their money back. Huge difference. In the first situation, if the owner defaults on the loan the bank picks up the property for 50% of its value, so a bank is much more willing to lend money in that situation.

    Banks watch stupid investors lose money all the time but still keep lending to them because as long as the bank gets their money back, with interest, they don’t really care about taking easy money from stupid investors. It happens all the time with margin loans on stock purchases and it happens in real estate deals. If a homeowner loses their 20% downpayment because real estate prices decrease and they can’t make the loan payment, it’s no big deal to the bank assuming they can sell the property for 80% of value the homeowner paid.

  65. Sid, marcos stopped posting as marcos to try and hide his shame. But he is still posting his stolen ideas as one of the “Guest”s.

  66. Or white male condo-owning tech workers trying to stop other white male tech workers from buying condos.

    When he isn’t plagiarizing of course.

  67. Aaron, you don’t speak for the community. Nor does a couple of hundred of “usual suspect” activists.

  68. The Mission already is gentrified. Why people can’t see that the gentrification ship sailed a loooong time ago totally perplexes me.

  69. Yes, And many people have spoken out in support of this project, only to be drowned out by people who have no interest in civil discourse.

  70. I always get a chuckle out of seeing white, 20-something males protesting about “gentrification.”

  71. It sounds like marcos’ usual untrue, incoherent rant. The lack of coherence is why he steals other people’s ideas and sound bites because his own thoughts are a muddled mish-mash.


    If the Examiner or other publication had taken down something I submitted because it turned out I was stealing ideas and text from other people, I’d hang low for a year or two. It’s not like he’s added anything to the mix over the years other than be another white techie gentrifying the Mission. Yuppies, Guppies, they’ll are the same – it’s all about their bank accounts, status and narcissism.

  72. David, if land goes to zero, the result is equivalent to the status quo with government land financing.

    Land must have carrying costs the cash-flow equivalent of interest-only financing at current price, otherwise price would not be zero. You could ‘liberate’ the same capital by providing that financing directly.

    Cash-constrained buyers would now buy with government financing, but income-poor buyers have to take market risk or forgo purchase. The number of owners may decrease.

    I am curious, what evidence shows care follows ownership? The developed world has lower ownership than the US, yet its residents seem to care.

  73. In case you don’t realize it, there’s plenty of brown people in tech. What a stereotype you have. Call Sharpton.

  74. Oh dear Carlos. Pipe dreams. You know what happens next, you were born here. A deal will be made behind closed doors. By shouting people down you made things worse. Come on, be smarter than that.

  75. Maximus knows that they can push it through again like Parkmerced, and even with court appeals, they will win as they have the $$$, remember they just flipped Parkmerced for 1.35 billion…

    Whats more important is getting people from the community into positions of power, be it supervisor, or planner, commissioner, to housing developer…

    Than we will have a real say.

    For now its just 100% great to see the community stand up and say we don’t want your “vision”….

  76. Guest,

    Don’t forget to add:

    More white homeowners over the last 20 years.

    More white and Asian tenants over the last 20 years.

    More techies over the last 20 years.

    Much higher rents over the last 20 years.

    More targeted police patrols and “gang eradication” efforts over the last 20 years.

    The Mission: beloved by hipsters, techies and white folks the world over. Come and make it your home too, but only if you can pay $3,000 a month rent or at least $1 million for a tiny, crappy condo.

  77. Well, “Zachary”, how do we know that’s your real name.

    Look just like me? Are you trying to be racist?

  78. You do realize Tim Redmond, the editor of this site, is a homeowner in Bernal Heights, right? He is apparently white, and has an economics degree from Wesleyan, and ticks all your boxes. Are you suggesting he STFU as well?

    As you so aptly put it, with no hint of self-awareness, some people just don’t know when to shut up.

  79. Fazal, while there are those whom it pleases when rents are high, wouldn’t most prefer a less-unaffordable city? It doesn’t feel good when people around you have trouble making rent.

    The housing model I like is Vienna’s, which couples rent and eviction protections with massive municipal involvement in providing housing. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly better for both incumbent and new tenants than San Francisco.

    I’d like people to be able to move here without already making some baffling salary.

  80. Guest, If you really cared about the Mission, or civil discourse, you would be willing to put your name on your opinions.

    You have no understanding of what is going on, 99% chance that these people you say live in the Mission and engage in civil discussion are probably just like you. They think like you, they look just like you, and were raised just like you.

    Entitled new comers should go back to where ever you want to make San Francisco, and leave our home alone.

  81. Guest2:13, are you the one who kept correlating equity prices with commercial office rents?

    Offices aren’t apartments. We see house price increases when population growth outstrips housing units. Finance froth has zero correlation with rents or house prices.

  82. Aren’t you a homeowner on the west side of the city? If so, please stop commenting on articles where tenants are organizing against projects that affect them directly.

    Homeowners actually benefit if the tenant activists win and the project doesn’t get built. There will be less market-rate housing available, and the market rate will be higher, thus making the homeowner’s property more valuable. Thus 4th Gen SFer is actually advocating against his or her own self-interest, unlike NIMBYs.

    As for tenant activists, they are really incumbent-tenant activists who are fighting to keep rents low for their existing members, at the expense of newcomers hit by much higher rents due to the scarcity of market-rate rental units. They certainly can’t claim to speak for all tenants as a whole, since rent-controlled units only represent about 50% of the housing in the city and I doubt homeowners account for all or even a majority of the remaining 50%.

  83. If and when society collects the rent of land, the sales price of land will fall towards ZERO. The result will be no mortgages on the land value portion of real estate. In SF and hereabouts, that will liberate investment capital from non-productive investment in location, and direct it into productive investment in actual housing construction. In fact, with every dollar of additional public revenue derived from land value, a dollar of property tax revenue can be abolished. . . and that’s a good thing, of course: Reward construction with lower to no property tax on improvements while retrieving community-generated land values.

    There’s no need for additional public ownership of land under this model. Indeed, when the sales/debt price of land disappears, more people will choose to own and be able to. They will pay rent for land location (which they’re already doing as renters), but won’t have to cough up the down payment on the land value portion of the down payment, nor have to pay interest on land value sales price debt.

    More owners under this scenario, not fewer. More families able to own their home and thus bring to neighborhoods the culture of care that does palpably follow ownership.

  84. Guest1:48, the country and world would be a lot better off if we had avoided the Great Recession. Not sure that retaining Glass-Steagall would have headed it off, but maybe.

    How this prevents working class people being priced out of the Mission eludes me. What are the mechanics? The economy does not crater, incomes are higher, household formation is stronger, so demand for housing hardly gets lower.

    There has been plenty of capital in place to have built. The building actually happened, but it happened in suburban San Jose, non-SF/Oakland MSA and outer MSAs, not here.

  85. Tech has been in the Bay Area for decades. We only see housing price bubbles when finance froths and bubble capital flows into tech.

  86. Having some rich people in the community makes it more unequal, but that doesn’t make anyone else poorer.

    The Mission has less crime now than when it was 100% poor

  87. Campos probably heard the meeting was going to be hijacked, and didn’t want to be associated with the rabble

  88. The only thing that might have prevented working class people from being priced out of the Mission was if Gramm-Leach-Bliley and the CFMA had not passed and when the economy was cratered by these banksters, Obama and Bush had not catered to their every whim and bailed out their morally hazardous conduct.

    There was never the capital in place over the past 30 years to have anticipated and built to the current flood of capital stoking demand.

  89. It wasn’t a picket line, it was a meeting and they were guests that behaved like infants. Do you even know what scab means?

  90. This is sad; you have a very vocal group of a few that (a) thinks they speak for the entire Mission and (b) refuse any opportunity for negotiation and (c) make Maximus look like the good guy. Here is a dose of reality: Maximus is going through the motions (per Planning) and this project will be built. It will be built w/a minimum of BMR’s and Ed Lee will bless it. Ed will be here for a while.

    A bigger question; where was Campos? Wants to distance himself from this small fringe group opposed to everything related to “change?” Campos will sell the Mission for a new private sector job.

  91. San Francisco has been a progressive city since 1849

    Has it really? SF was pretty square in the 50s and 60s (e.g. Justin Herman and his ethnic cleansing policies in the Western Addition). The treatment of Japanese-Americans and African-Americans in the 40s and 50s was appalling, as is the disgrace that is the continuing neglect of Bayview-Hunter’s Point (life expectancy: 30 years than Caucasians or Asians in the city). Progressive rhetoric is cheap, but actions speak louder than words.

  92. Drew, if the city doesn’t build enough homes then they have to be rationed. Cost and price is simply the mechanism by which rationing is done if the city’s housing policies fail, which they have done

  93. Drew, neighborhoods and entire cities change over time. Some get more expensive like SF. some get cheaper like Detroit. Same with neighborhoods.

    But if your point is that money gets you a better home or better location, then sure. That’s all part of why we love to have money. It gets you better stuff

  94. Guest, those towns already have more housing than they need. Which is why there is a huge net daily commute INTO the city.

    It is SF that doesn’t pull its weight, and so relies on the burbs to house many of the workers it needs

  95. It’s very possible to be poor with dignity. It’s not compulsory to be an asshole just because you aren’t successful

  96. If you think it’s remotely possible to build a 75% BMR development anywhere in San Francisco and even just break even financially, you’re high on something.

  97. The Mission is unsafe because income inequality has made people desperate and those desperate people know that many people on the Mission now are suburbanites without any urban armor who make for easy marks.

  98. Fremont, Union City, Newark, San Leandro, Milpitas, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Mountain View, Brisbane, South San Francisco?

  99. Union members crossed a community picket line, effectively scabbing on the residents on behalf of greedy bosses.

  100. I’m not talking about diversity quotas — I’m talking about giving a wide range of people a decent shot at living in a place. Segregation is fine when it’s intentional. Our current system allows the wealthy to “self-segregate” themselves where they want, muscling out those who were there before.

    Also: LOL at “putting rich and poor people cheek-by-jowl can cause envy and resentment”. The rich folks came into the Mission first and created the resentment.

    Shorter you: “we can’t give poor folks housing where they want to live: they would HATE it”

  101. The Mission used to be an affordable area — do we keep relocating affordable homes to the more affordable areas?

    And: people should be allowed to be picky about their neighborhood — sure we can’t give people 100 % what they want but relying solely on the market means only the rich get to decide where they live.

  102. Guest11:35, I know that phrasing.

    San Francisco has plenty of room. It’s one of the most efficient cities in the state, due to transit, climate and lack of water-hungry landscaping. If you’re not arguing for mass depopulation, you have to put people somewhere, and the city is as good or better than most other places.

    Where do you think people who want to live in San Francisco should live instead?

  103. I just cant believe the things you are saying!
    “Because they are poor they just know how to act like assholes, they are literal trash that ‘we’ dont want.”

    there’s a lot of a bad soul on your words here.

  104. Gary, you view is that anyone who disagrees with you is evil and therefore justifies you behaving badly towards them.

    Society would collapse if everyone was that bigoted.

  105. Thanks, Guest11:08.

    I took a look at the OCC’s CRE lending handbook. It reads, ‘a project budget with modest or no developer profit leaves inadequate room for cost overruns… if the bank must take possession.. lack of profit.. complicates the bank’s efforts..’

    On sources of wealth, the Fed’s Flow of Funds has household RE equity as $11T. The Russell Top 200 has a total market cap of $33T. How did you measure wealth creation?

    You can’t just sum debt increases and assume 100% losses. Estimates of government cost of the S&L crisis top out in the $0.1T range. TARP so far has turned a small profit: as of December, Treasury had recovered $0.44T on disbursements of $0.43T.

    Deductibility of interest, preferential gains rates and step-up basis are awful policies. The mortgage interest deduction make McMansions in Dallas and high prices here. But I don’t follow you otherwise, since I can’t get the numbers to foot.

    Are you saying bailouts should have zeroed out more bank equity? There I can agree. But the difference between TARP and zero isn’t trillions.

  106. I remember the ACT-UP era. If those activists didn’t ‘behave badly’, tens of thousands more people with HIV/AIDS would have died.

    When you become a civil person, let us know. Because in your amoral world, disrupting a meeting = horrible, but the displacement of people from the only community they have ever known = ‘though luck.’

    You have no standing in this debate. Actually, there is no debate.

  107. The activists really disrespected the union hall and its members with their unruly behavior. They would’ve gotten their asses handed to them if they tried that shit in nyc or philly.

  108. The protesters were assholes, period. They wil never do anything to build affordable housing – they can’t because they are poor, and their lame social studies degrees from community college prevent that. They just know how to act like assholes. Hope the unions and the developers push more of these people out of SF, they are literal trash we do not need or want.

  109. No, the first Guest is correct here. Unless the gross ROI is viable, then the project relies almost exclusively on leverage. And for that level of risk, you need a massive return to justify it.

  110. That is why we build high and dense where the infrastructure already exists – like 16th and Mission

  111. Guests, you seem to think that you can just demand 50% BMR units and that will happen. But it won’t. The offer on the table is probably the best you’re going to get. If you want to give up those 90 BMRs because of a pipe dream, then you’re part of the problem

  112. Native, you say that as if this “community” are all agreed. They are not. Many Mission residents are very happy with the progress and improvements in the neighborhood, and hate that 16/Mission plaza

  113. Adam, most people I meet and know in the Mission are decent folks capable of reasonable discourse. There will always be an angry ugly minority who dont play nice and it seems they were all in one room yesterday

  114. David, I’ve lived in the Mission, or close by, for the last twenty years and it is orders of magnitude better in every way I can think of. A few:

    Less crime

    Less blight and skeeve

    Better maintained homes

    Better stores and restaurants

  115. I can’t really add to what others here have mentioned. So, add me to the list of those who think this was a shameful, silly display. If the protesters succeed in blocking or delaying the construction of these units, they will have only succeeded in making the existing stock more valuable thus increasing the asking price for a one-bedroom which can go for $3000+ as this decrepit one bedroom in the Mission shows:


    Mission residents are venting their own justified anxiety and fear in a way that contributes to the vicious circle in SF housing costs and against their own self interests (unless they happen to be wealthy owners of SF property, in which case they’re voting for their own self interest and against those of their increasingly impoverished renting neighbors.)

    It’s behavior like this that is seriously undermining the over-all credibility of the left in SF which I consider my self a part of.

  116. But it is okay for black and brown people who don’t live in a neighborhood to tell black and brown people who do live in the neighborhood what they do want?

    And what good is for black and brown people who don’t live in a neighborhood telling brown people who do live in the neighborhood people what they want if there are no viable plans for following through on delivering it?

    Everyone holds residents in contempt, obviously the fly-by-night developers who are running a get-rich-quick scheme, but the commuter non profiteers don’t trust “the people” to get the “right” answers.

  117. My guess is that the project doesn’t get done for at least 5 years without 50% affordability or higher. There’s a lame-duck mayor in office who has mostly built luxury housing in SOMA and a few pockets elsewhere. With a lame-duck figurehead mayor in office, that’s the time when very active protests are most likely to have a meaningful impact on public policy. Last night showed that this fight is just beginning in the Mission. Affordability numbers like 35% to 60% will be needed to get projects like this passed without huge, costly fights. This particular project will likely need a higher number than that since the developers have done a great job arousing the local community.

    Smart developers should work with Habitat for Humanity and let them take over at least 50% of the newly-constructed units for their very effective affordable housing programs, and the developers can do what they want with the other units.

  118. That won’t work because it runs up against infrastructure and carrying capacity constraints. You can’t maximize on a single variable in a complex multivariate system without shifting distortions onto other variables in the system.

  119. The intent of developers is to make all those poor brown people disappear and increase the size of their bank accounts. People should at least be honest about their intentions. Nothing that is happening in the Mission is making life any better for anyone except the white people who just showed up there.

  120. 99% of Mission residents would have listen (sic) and engaged in a civil discussion

    Says someone who obviously doesn’t live in / know the Mission

  121. Another uninformed poster. Or more likely someone trying to deliberately mislead readers. The calculation of ROI is “cash on cash.” How much cash did I put in to begin with and how much extra cash did I end up with at the end. Since virtually every large real estate project uses loans from banks, pension funds and/or insurance companies, loans are never counted for the “cash on cash” ROI calculation since loans are paid back at face value (plus some interest).

    If the $100 million project sells for $130, and if I as the investor put up $20 million of the total $100 million cost, I’ve made $150% on the investment (30/20). If I’ve only invested $10 million, I’ve made a 300% ROI (30/10).

    The calculation of “annualized ROI” that you mention requires using time as a factor, but I hope most SF Hills readers know this already.

  122. That’s the problem, though. You protest everything to the point where its totally expected and meaningless.

  123. Whiner (questions seem earnest so here’s a reply):

    Re: banks lending only to “profitable” projects. Developers, either individually or in tandem with other equity partners (including pension funds), use their own equity funds (5-20%) for part of the construction costs and borrow the rest. So even if a project is marginally profitable the bank will still lend to it since if the rents/condo sale prices come up short, the equity investors take the financial impact not the lenders.

    The “millions of millionaires” referred to property investors across the US over the past 40 years, although CA has a large percent of the total since the state has grown tremendously after the US interstate highway system was built and after air travel became much more accessible since the 1960’s. The amount of money made from real estate speculation over the past 40 years is far greater than the wealth generated by the US’ biggest companies that actually produce goods and services. Government policies are a huge reason why landlords and real estate speculators are able to make so much money: deductibility of interest; depreciaton write-offs; tax-free cash-out refinancings; tax-free exchanges; low capital gains taxes; and zero taxes paid when heirs are transferred the investment property are a few of the many valuable tools the US and state governments give to real estate speculators to help encourage the wealthy to further their wealth creation.

    The US government took on about $2-3 Trillion of debt (including interest on bonds) when it took over the S&Ls (FISLIC) and another $7-8 trillion of bad real estate debts after the last melt-down. The other $7-8 trillion of government debt is partly related to transfer payments since government policies ensure high rents and real estate prices (see above), this requiring higher government transfer payments.

    Yes, much of the debt absorbed by the government from these bad real estate loans is money that was paid out to millionaire investors. Many investors sell at the top of the real estate cycle (or at least sell a portion of their highly appreciated property portfolio). All the families and investors who bought at the top of the market bought the property from somebody, after all. And investors (and some homeowners) routinely take cash out of their property (tax-free) as its value is increasing. When the market crashes, the loan money isn’t paid back since “it’s been spent” and the government and banks take over the inflated real estate loans that are worth 30-50 cents on the dollar. Follow the cancellation of indebtedness (COD) discussions over the last 5 years (and after the S&L melt-down too). The government isn’t even making people who got lucrative tax deductions from their over-valued real estate investments pay them back, much less make the speculators pay back the original loans since it’s so much easier to let the general public pay off the bad debts. It’s called reverse socialism. The biggest beneficiaries are often people who are rabid anti-communists. Go figure.

  124. What you need to understand that the sitting down and having a conversations has been tried many many times in the past. The community is always at the losing end. We first fight to be at the table then when we get there we are not listened too. Over and over again. Money is the driving force and those who have it have influence over city hall.

  125. It’s true that this meeting exists to tick a box. But it is an opportunity for a community to give input. When instead the meeting is hijacked by an intolerant fringe minority, that opportunity is lost, and the community loses.

    You only get so many shots at influence. If you want to squander them, so be it.

  126. “We need to change the mix on all developments to 75% BMR and 25% MR.”

    In other words, we need to end all new construction in SF, period.

    Oh, but of course … the SF Housing Authority and nonprofits are _totally_ capable of picking up the slack. LOL.

  127. The one time Ammiano ran for mayor, he finished 4th.

    But you are right about one thing. The developers probably wont bother talking to this rude rabble any more. They’ll just make a deal without them

  128. We would not know the depth of support for 100% affordable until Maximus offered much deeper affordability at the ratios you mention. The community is all ears for meaningful concessions.

  129. They are just trying to delay the inevitable. They know that they have lost the war here, and just want to eke out their time as best they can.

    Come back here in 2050 and the parasites will all be gone

  130. People who yell, scream and behave badly in meetings do not deserve any respect, so they don’t get any.

    When you are ready for a civil debate, let us know.

  131. There was no discussion or outcomes required. Meetings like this are a box that the developer wants to check in the march to perfunctory approval.

    The community had other ideas and the plans were changed, Maximus’ agenda was abrogated and the framing of the meeting was changed to reflect the priorities of the community.

    This is what democracy looks like when the electorate is frozen out of the process by developer money.

  132. 100% affordable is just a slogan. Clearly such a project would never be built, at least with private money.

    BMR homes are sold or rented at cost. There is no profit on them. Who is going to build for a profit of zero?

  133. Guest, you are confusing gross and net margins. A $100 million project that nets $30 million is a 30% ROI. To get the annual ROI you have to allocate that across the time period involved.

    Such projects only become viable with leverage. If developers had to front 100% of the cash then they would never bother because the risk/return profile would be miserable

  134. Spamalot, your influence here is nil whether you post as Guest, Sam, guest or Anon. Something seems to be preventing you from moving on with your life to more productive activities. Bring it up with your therapist next time you see her. She might be able to able prescribe something useful.

  135. carlos claims there is no problem and that he is winning.

    So we can carry on evicting and jacking up rents, because carlos says he is happy with the status quo

  136. It’s been happening wholesale.

    In fact I thought that was what you are complaining about.

    Are you saying everything is great here? Fantastic!

  137. These fringe activists don’t need money. The same faces show up for all these things and they do not represent the majority who don’t attend meetings and who want more homes and less squalor.

  138. Andy. Let’s say the population of the Mission is 30,000. That means that 1% showed up and 99% didn’t. The 1% who showed up were the usual suspects who oppose everything

  139. I am always civil and I listen to the other side respectfully. There is no comparison.

    And I get results.

  140. 99% of Mission residents would have listen and engaged in a civil discussion. Ambushing their good intentions with an organized minority rabble is as rude as it is ineffective.

  141. So you admit that you’re not interested in a civil discussion and compromize?

    And then you wonder why you can’t influence events and don’t like the changes and improvements in the Mission?

    As MLK said, “We have to learn to disagree without being disagreeable”.

  142. guest8:53, a project without profit is on the edge of default. Lenders will not lend money if they do not think the borrower can pay.

    The deductibility of interest is a bad idea. Social democracy is a good idea.

    I am curious about a few things you said.

    > ‘millions.. become.. multi-millionaires’

    Do you think there are millions of multimillionaires in the Bay Area?

    > ‘most.. US debt.. created by.. investors’

    The S&L Crisis only cost $0.1 trillion, so I assume you’re talking about the Great Recession.

    Are you saying all the proceeds of public debt increases since 2008 somehow went to investors? How does that transfer work?

    Please take these questions seriously, I am curious, despite the insults.

  143. Here’s my question for the protesters: how firm is the stance on 100% affordable-or-nothing? Suppose for every market rate unit, 3 affordables were built. Would that suffice? What about 5-1? Because if it is all-or-none, why would Maximus even really care what your think? Why wouldn’t they target the people in the community that are willing to work with them. And here’s a newsflash: despite what the protesters say, they very much are NOT speaking for everyone in the neighborhood.

  144. Don’t let them get you down. There are only a handful of them and while they are prolific commenters here, they recycle the same tired and sometimes racist or working-class hating rhetoric here. We outnumber them.

  145. carloSFMission, the city added 72,000 people from 2007-13, probably 15,000 since. Housing them requires around 40,000 units. Per Planning, the city added roughly 20,000, so new residents need around 20,000 units.

    There are only 24,000 units in the Mission.

    The way to take the pressure off is by building.

  146. Hundreds of people above and beyond the usual suspects showing up protesting market rate profiteering throws you all into a tizzy doesn’t it?

  147. Walnut Creek, you’re as bad as Spamalot. Too many posts with way too many mal-formed personal opinions masquerading as facts.

    Lenders lend money to get their money back, plus a nominal interest return. In some cases they might get an “equity-kicker” if the development reaches certain profit levels. But generally, lenders could care less if the developer makes a “profit” from the deal.

    When I buy a rental property for $10 million with an 80% loan and $2 million of my cash, and the property goes up by 10% (1 million), I make a 50% ROI (1/2). When the property goes up by 50%, I’ve made a 250% ROI (5/2). When property values go up by 200-500% like they have in SF and the Bay Area since the mid-1990’s, I and millions like me become very, very rich multi-millionaires.

    This use of debt leverage is precisely why real estate is so high. Investors make a financial killing by using tax-deductible debt. Even better, when the property is refinanced and investors pull cash out of the property by increasing the leverage, the money they receive is tax-free! And even better than that, when the property prices collapse like they do every 10-20 years, they can walk away from the property and leave the worthless loans for the government to pick up. It happened in the late 1980’s (S&L “crisis”) and it happened in 2008. Most of the $17 trillion of US debt was created by millionaire investors who made billions from their property “investments,” and then let the government absorb the bad bank loans when the prices collapsed.

    It’s called reverse socialism, and the US and their state governments do it better than anyone on planet earth.

  148. I just dont want to believe or accept the amount of hate, bigotry and violence in most comments.
    We clearly dont like each other, it’s all fraud. I lived in the Mission for the past 15 years, because of its diversity. Now there is a ghost of greed sweeping around the streets.
    Shame on them! Go invest somewhere else!

  149. Guest7:55, a naive tax on gross rents has the unintended consequence of further subsidizing ownership. I’m on record here supporting a luxury tax, but only with a mirror image subsidy to the bottom end of the market.

    The vast bulk of income constrained seniors with valuable property own free and clear. If accruing tax destroys your equity, you didn’t have any equity. There is no public purpose served by gifting heirs tax subsidies.

    GarySFBCN, what makes a transfer tax preferable? A simple, annual land tax strikes me as the simplest, least-distorting approach. If as I suggest you allow owner occupants to elect accrual, they likewise only pay tax out of their realized gains.

  150. Interesting because I equate ‘yelling down speakers’ and your ridiculous over-posting, your sometimes racist rants, your disdain for working class people and your obsession with having the last word.

    Thanks for again demonstrating your hypocrisy.

  151. where to find information as where this happens! I want to join! And I want to pass the word along.

  152. Other Guest, what you’re leaving out is that lenders also expect a return on their money. If you borrow from them, you also have to pay interest, and quite a bit more than 3% per year.

  153. Yes, last night was indeed amazing. So many people from across the Mission and SF coming together to fight for their community, and their city, and their people.

  154. “Land is not made. Land values are a result of growth in the community, both in population and productivity; therefore, land values belong to the community because they were made by the community.” Yup!

  155. Start lobbying Sacramento to repeal the Mitigation Fee Act. Otherwise you’re limited by SF’s 2006 nexus study to 30% BMP and 20% BMR.

  156. Wow. The community 400 deep last night! What an incredibly beautiful, inspiring, and empowering action. The People spoke truth to Maximus last night and it was AMAZING!

  157. Of course you had to walk them to safety. It’s an unsafe zone in its current state. Sheesh, logic is not your strong suit is it?

  158. 100% affordable housing. Utter stupidity. The intent is to keep that plaza the status quo: i.e, the mentally disturbed on the NE block, Burger King, McDonald’s, feces in the BART station. Yeah, it’s a wonderful life….

  159. Instead of repealing Prop 13, I propose that

    1) It be completely eliminated for non-residential properties.
    2) It be maintained on residential properties, but we implement a hefty real estate title transfer tax for the sale or transfer of the residential property from one owner to the next.
    3) Figure a way to implement a real estate tax for residential properties owned in trusts and partnerships when there is a change in trustees or partners.

    And this is just a start.

    For properties owned by individuals, couples and families, the benefit is that they are only paying taxes on actual realized gains at time of sale or title transfer, not increased property value on paper.

  160. pathetic losers, all without jobs and wanting their welfare, will lose in the end. Money talks, bullshit walks. Hope they fucking pave the entire Mission and make it into a playground for the god damned rich.

  161. Watch for more of this. We need to change the mix on all developments to 75% BMR and 25% MR.

    And make this proposed development a symbol of everything that has gone wrong in the last 6 years, and use all efforts to thwart it in its current plan.

  162. As a 3rd generation SF native, (my son is the 4th) This makes me very proud. Time for you to move. San Francisco has been a progressive city since 1849. for someone claiming to be a native you sure have your history wrong. If you like cosevativism there is So Cal for you…My great grandparents moved here because they believed in the ideals of San Francisco…freedom of thought and freedom to be who they were. It has been a city of artists, rouges, fortune hunters and adventurers. Protest is in our blood! Viva la SF!

  163. You wouldn’t want to make that bet, I’d have to get ya for all your dough. WTH do you know anyway? You’re behind a pc all day. no action

  164. If the developers didn’t realize what they were walking into last night, fault their clueless advisors, not the people who showed up to be heard. Maybe the developers should take their project to Marin or Hillsborough, which could use tens of thousands more housing units. I’m positive they’ll get a better reception there.

  165. That’ all you got? What about the 70 year old lady and her husband that I walked to Mission street so they could get home safely last night after the action? Don’t talk about it, be about it and you ain’t about it.

  166. Its actually an idea, something you’re struggling to come up with right now as you see the writing on the wall.

  167. Yep, I heard ya. *snore* I just have to say how proud I am of our neighborhood, city-wide and regional organizing 🙂

  168. Prop 13 doesn’t have to be repealed for a quasi-land tax to be enacted. A 10-15% tax on gross rents will capture much of the land value without scaring grandmas that “the people” want to take their Prop 13 protections away and force them out of their homes. The Democratic Party controlled legislature could make this change tomorrow if they wanted, but they won’t since residential landlords are one of the major funders of the Democratic Party across the country.

    Many homeowners over 50 do not have an income stream to pay for property taxes that would skyrocket without Prop 13 protections. Thus, repealing Prop 13 for homeowners would cause massive evictions. And adding the tax to their property to be paid off when the home is sold would effectively destroy whatever equity they have in the home.

    A credible way to reform Prop 13 is to preserve its protections for a homeowner’s primary residence, small businesses and small farms and repeal it for everyone else, including 2nd and 3rd homes, residential landlords and commercial property owners. A ballot measure structured like this would likely pass in the 2016 election, but I can guarantee that whatever shows up on the 2016 ballot will protect residential landlords and 2nd and 3rd homes since the Democratic Party is aligned with the landlord class, not the tenant class. In fact, most lefties focus their Prop 13 reforms on “corporate owned” property, even though most commercial property is held by partnerships, trusts and other legal entities. So, even if Prop 13 is repealed for “corporations,” it will have little effect on multi-millionaire landlords. It’s hard to support “the left” since many of their proposed reforms are so ill-considered.

  169. Does money breed arrogance? Seems so. How good to see a developer with dollar signs in their eyes get shouted down before they can finish with “mic check”. Haha. Who do they think they are trying to fool with their charts and their condescension. Everyone knows these deals are made at City Hall and I don’t even fault the naive developers for trying—they are only doing what capitalists do, exploit the system for all it’s worth. The real blame lies with the blind Lee administration who are only too happy to bend over for anyone with big bucks. That’s why we need a new mayor in 2016. AMMIANO FOR MAYOR RUN TOM RUN SAVE SAN FRANCISCO. And Sam the Spam Man here masquerading as a “Guest”? Go to your penthouse, landlord, cry in your beer, keep trying to dominate this message thread and last but not least go fuck yourself.

  170. Sure, it will. There aren’t enough gentrifiers in the world to fulfill your dreams. Funny, because so many of the newer residents were in support yesterday. We’ll continue to engage new residents and work on solutions while you continue to cry. WE take action!

  171. Leverage doesn’t change profitability. Lenders won’t lend without sufficient expected profit.

    If you want the city to lend or to offer loan guarantees, then you can talk about postleverage profit. It could be a worthwhile approach. You’d be sharing risk and it would be hard to avoid conflicts of interest, though.

  172. Haha who the hell has money for that? That’s what (r)’s do, and there’s plenty of data to back that up, just ask me. You guys are envious of our ability to organize and you sit behind your PC’s.

  173. Our intention was to take over the meeting duh LoL We know the viewpoint, its the same tired ass presentation as the last one. We have plenty of influence, and the so-called “decision-makers” don’t make all the decisions here, bruh. YOU GUYS ARE PISSED, and we have the COMMUNITY haha

  174. Tenant and development issues concern everybody. Why should a homeowner or a nonresident be precluded from participating?

    Homeowners and nonresidents are part of the community, too. Excluding them strikes me as shortsighted and selfish.

  175. Sam, is that you with the casual bigotry and the dog-whistle code words? Ugly.

    Neighborhoods would be really boring if everyone in them were exactly the same.

  176. Why don’t you loser whiners STFU for a change. You idiots want 100% affordable housing there and to keep the plaza as Skank Plaza for homeless. Well pony up some goddamn money, buy the place and do it! But no, you get upset when a real developer gives you more than they are required by law.

    This motley crew of losers will continue to cry histrionics and entertain us with their antics, as this baby eventually gets built.

    Gentrify The Mission!

  177. Spamalot, you prove every day you’re the most clueless poster on this site. Whether it’s intentional (my guess) or it’s because you’re trying to confuse The SF Left, which always struggles with basic math, or it’s because you’re tyopiocal of most know-it-alls who actually only know about 5% of what they think they know, just I’ll let others decide.

    If I make $30 million on my $10 million investment, it’s a 300% ROI. Loans are not “investments” – they’re loans. I’ve sat in meetings where financials were presented by developers that included loans and listened as prominent local lefties treated the loans as “investments” and were thus satisfied the developer was making a “modest” ROI. It was at those meetings I realized the SF left was doomed since they had no idea of what they were looking at, what the numbers meant, and were too arrogant to ask around to make sure their understanding made financial sense.

  178. Repealing Prop 13 would go a long way to socializing real property appreciation. Strikes me as eminently politically feasible, except that large property owners will defend their tax subsidies tooth and nail. Still, a realistic place to start.

  179. You’d have to repeal the Mitigation Fee Act to get 65%. SF’s 2006 nexus study would allow 30% BMP and 20% BMR.

    Let’s say you do repeal, though. How many of the 50,000 units in the current development pipeline still get built?

    My real problem with inclusionary housing as it exists is that it creates a small population of lottery winners. I’d much rather build enough housing that rents and house prices moderate for everyone, not just for the lucky few.

  180. You know it’s true. San Francisco’s high real estate costs are overwhelmingly high land values. When those with an interest in addressing that, they will be on course to address a myriad of social justice concerns, not the least of which is housing.

    Land is not made. Land values are a result of growth in the community, both in population and productivity; therefore, land values belong to the community because they were made by the community.

    For those willing to commence the long, arduous, and necessary struggle to socialize land values, visit TheCommonsSF.org

  181. But people naturally self-segregate. That is why the city has aggregations of similar people in the same ‘hood e.g. gays in the Castro, Chinese in ChinaTown, Russians and Irish in the Richmond, Hispanics in the Mission and so on.

    You can’t impose diversity quotas on people against their will. And putting rich and poor people cheek-by-jowl can cause envy and resentment

  182. Yeah, some people just don’t know when to shut up. When homeowners show up at meetings involving tenant housing, or make comments about what tenants should want or need, or what type of housing to built in a particular area, it’s enough to make one’s blood boil.

    Current homeowners: please sit down, go home and STFU until tenants actually affected by these developments ask for your assistance. Based on the attendance last night, it appears tenants don’t need any help from homeowners, especially college-educated whiteys who have contributed to the gentrification in the first place.

  183. Good way to ensure that no new homes get built, and rents and home prices continue to inflate so that my RE investments make serious bank.


  184. That wasn’t the community. 99% of Mission residents did not attend. What you saw here is the 300 people who oppose it and not the 30,000 people who are normal and want to see more homes.

    And I’ll bet half the people there don’t live anywhere near 16th and Mission

  185. The in-lieu fees are higher so off-site can be better for the city. It’s just that the city isn’t very good at getting the build done.

    It makes more sense for affordable homes to be in affordable areas. There will be 1,000 applicants for each BMR home, so it’s not like they’ll be picky about neighborhood.

  186. What is “SJW?”

    Where are the links to pix and videos you reference?

    Aren’t you a homeowner on the west side of the city? If so, please stop commenting on articles where tenants are organizing against projects that affect them directly. Just as it’s very bad form and extremely condescending for whiteys to tell black and brown people what they should want, it’s equally condescending for homeowners to tell tenants what they should want. Homeowners need to shut up and stand down about tenant and development issues that don’t concern them.

  187. ROI isn’t something that you are I get to decide or determine. It’s up to the investors in this project and those who are lending or putting up the funds. When you think that it can take five to ten years to complete a big project, then clearly a 10% ROI isn’t going to work. That’s just 1% a year.

    Typically projects get done when the ROI is about 30%. And even that is only 3% a year for a decade. And a project like this is risky – anything could happen in that decade. who would risk tens of millions for a lousy 3% a year?

    In fact the only way it works at all is because of leverage. So I put in 10 million, and borrow 90 million. I then sell for 130 million, pay off the loans and interest, and maybe that leaves 30 million. A 30% ROI but I tripled my money. But with great risk.

    Nix this project and the city loses 90 affordable homes and a bunch more market-rate homes that people want. Why is that smart?

  188. Drew’s entirely right that in-lieu fees are part of the problem.

    ‘mixed neighborhoods with housing for all’ existed before, and exist now in other cities. How is that utopian?

  189. I wonder if a certain condo which is exclusively for the use of a white male tech worker and his partner – currently valued at 981k – falls under what the community is pissed off about.

  190. Yeah, it’s gotten to the point where I just want to see these regressives and trouble maker gone. And if that means pricing them out and them moving to Oakland, then bring it on.

    Hard to feel sympathy or support for anyone who just thinks that shouting down others is a dialog.

  191. Yelling down speakers in’f a meeting. It’s a rabble. Maybe if you learned to shut up occasionally and actually listen to different viewpoints, you would have more influence over what happens in the community.

    Next time, the decision makers might decide to not bother talking to you

  192. The SF Left does protests and organizes reactionary actions extremely well. I’m guessing there were lots of high 5’s all around after the meeting. Hopefully a citywide moratorium on all market rate housing construction will be enacted until the city devises better rules to ensure that 65% of all new housing construction is affordable to those making under 150% of AMI.

    Limited equity deed restrictions managed and enforced by the city need to be a primary tool to ensure future affordability for future generations on all new construction.

    PS – More photos to accompany 48 Hills articles, please.

  193. The more you resist development and undersupply the market, the greater the imbalance, the higher the profit. If you don’t want an unending march of luxury condos, you need to make them less profitable, not more.

    Tax them, and subsidize modest development.

  194. The only thing that might have prevented working class people being priced out of San Francisco would have been a coordinated, regional, public building program which didn’t and doesn’t exist. Evictions and displacement will stop once there is no profit in them. The lack of abundant building guarantees the opposite.

    More housing has to go somewhere. If not here, then where?

    As for supply and demand, of course it works in the Bay Area. Adjusted for CPI less shelter, rent of residence for the area dropped from 1988 to 1995, then again from 2002 to 2006, and did not begin to rise in earnest again until 2011.

  195. The community swarmed and dominated the astroturf BARFers and developers shills and HACs.

    You ain’t seen nothing yet. The community is Pissed Off at the march of the exclusive luxury condos and it appears that the 2/3 of voters are in agreement.

  196. Of course David Campos has a complicated past which makes Tim’s mouthpiece role even more interesting.

    Remember, Campos came on the political scene in the mid 2000s when he was Louise Renne, public enemy of the Raker Act and shill for PG@E, and Arlene Ackerman’s choice to be counsel for the SFUSD after Campos did time in the corporate law suite to pay off his law school debts.

    And Campos took a shit ton of money from for-profit market-rate gentrifying and displacing developers with projects in the Mission while Campos adopted a hands-off posture to the march of the condos.

    Now Campos is proposing interim controls that require 8 votes to pass, 8 votes that will not be forthcoming. There do not seem to be plans to go to the voters to take advantage of the apparent 2/3 citywide support for a moratorium on market rate housing in the Mission until an affordability plan can be developed.

    The Mission was lost on Campos watch. Campos could not be bothered to put his own advancement after the interests of his constituents and they kindly returned the favor. And Campos offers up slim viable pickings after the fact that really have no chance of passing in their proposed form.

    Yet Tim and the insider nonprofits depend on Campos for their access and bread and butter funding, so we will continue to see laudatory apologetics here.

    The community apparently has different ideas.

  197. One can see the pix and the videos online. You know, internet age and all that…and tech. But you’re right from what I saw, it was some SJW group that told people to wear these teeshirts and plead. And well, you know what I think. Let the market decide. As I stated, I do not believe in BMRs either.

  198. You have a financial interest in this though because you founded a pot club. You already know that there’s quite a # of tech that is neutral on social issues but you’re not going to be wanted in their neighborhood. And that will come soon enough. I’d start looking elsewhere. Oh and note to Carlos who will read this, yep I said the same thing to you.

  199. That’s exactly what is going to happen. Great weather in the Mission. Eventually the Outer Mission will be gentrified too, and all those other areas. It’s coming.

  200. Wow You even weren’t there then. Majority of the people there don’t even know what a NIMBY is much-less think that way.

  201. I went, and mostly I saw a bunch of the usual NIMBY suspects acting rudely to keep the 16th Street BART station disgusting and San Francisco housing expensive.

  202. The ability of developers to pay into a pot for below-market-rate housing instead of building it themselves is a huge part of the problem. Where and when is that housing going to be built? Not where people live now, and not where they want to live. The city needs to attend to this, stat, so we can build a future city that has mixed neighborhoods with housing for all!

  203. After the meeting I asked a similar question of the developer: How much ROI do you project for this current proposal? At first he said it’s “hard to know because of fluctuations in construction costs” … but when I pushed a little bit more he told me that “information about profit was proprietary”.

    I wonder how many more affordable units Maximus could create with their current funding projections if they only expected a 5-10% ROI…is it even POSSIBLE for Maximus to make a profit off of 100% affordable housing? And would residents accept the design as is if the development was 100% affordable (for some range of households making between $20K and $120K per year?)

    Many people, including me, would like to have a more detailed understanding about the actual cost breakdown of developing new housing … We can easily find out the cost of land and the sale price of units, but is it possible to find detailed information regarding cost of labor, materials, design, planning process, and ROI for private development?

  204. My, my, all that going on tonight in District 9 and years of frustration boiling over in District 9, all because of evictions and over-development and luxe condo construction in District 9, so many Latinos born in the USA and emigres in District 9 fearful of displacement, no end in sight of Mayor Lee and Ron Conway selling off more chunks of District 9 and the damn Supervisor for District 9 has been and continues to be struggling to get up to speed and propose solutions that will fly in the community, at the BOS and around City Hall.

    So, how’s Campos doing on changing SFO’s name to Harvey Milk Airport and opening the cafe for the Tamale Lady on 16th near Capp and getting his legislation together for a building moratorium?

    Tim, you’re a Campos mouthpiece. Couldn’t you get him so say _something_ constructive about this crisis point? Crickets chirping.

  205. One by one (house or apartment) the Mission will be gentrified, in two or so years it will be a very different Mission. This is irreversible.

  206. I say take away the BMR on the building. And when most of the progressives are out of SF and possibly possibly run out of CA things will change. This was once a red state. Things can change. We changed to blue. We might change back in the next 10 years and if Congress/Pres/CA state legislature goes red than BMRs will be gone. Let the market decide. Way too many BMR’s in that building.

    Also the SJW’s brought the people there by buses or whatever. The rest of us are working a lot of hours.

  207. Great coverage of what happened today at the hall. The turnout was great, the message was on-point and it was a great community effort all around. Mic check!

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