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UncategorizedThe tragedy of InnerMission

The tragedy of InnerMission

How market-rate housing could wipe out a cultural landmark, destroy jobs, and undermine the history of the Mission District

A Mission institution (and successful business) is going to be forced out of town for more high-end condos
A Mission institution (and successful business) is going to be forced out of town for more high-end condos

By Steven T. Jones

MARCH 11, 2015 — The rapid development of market-rate housing in the Mission District is squeezing out the art, community, and light industrial spaces that have helped create its vibrant grassroots culture.  It’s the story of San Francisco’s colorful past and high-stakes future — and it’s a tale that can be told through the proposed demolition of the place called InnerMission and the entire block that surrounds it.

Formerly known as CELLspace, this massive, mural-covered warehouse space and former ship-building facility at 2050 Bryant Street was re-activated by countercultural artists back in 1996, quickly becoming a valued clubhouse and work station for artists and builders who attended Burning Man. It was the launch pad for everyone from the Flaming Lotus Girls (creators of massive, fiery sculptures, including Soma, now on display at Pier 14) to Bassnectar and other world-renowned DJs that animated dance parties at the site.

Over the years, the space evolved to include an art gallery, after-school programs for at-risk youth, a hub for classes teaching everything from dance to metalsmithing, and a venue for community events ranging from the MorningGloryville dance parties to a launch party for the Guardian-in-Exile Project’s commemorative edition that I helped throw in January.

In recent years, InnerMission became the home base for the Vau de Vire Society, a large company of circus-inspired performance artists whose immersive dinner theater show The Soiled Dove runs from March 13-April 4 — what could be the last extended performance before the venue is destroyed to make way for market-rate rental housing.

The project that will replace InnerMission calls for the demolition of five adjacent buildings on the block bounded by Bryant, Florida, 18th, and 19th streets, including a metal workshop, a landscape design studio, Flats Cafe, and the prop warehouse and workshop for the American Conservatory Theater, forcing the venerable company that operates two large theaters in San Francisco to contract out its props. But at more than 10,000 square feet, InnerMission was the largest and most public site on the block.

In its place, property owner and developer Nick Podell has proposed to build 276 housing units (just 44 of them offered below-market-rate, the minimum required under city law), 4,300 square feet of ground floor retail, and a garage with 151 parking spaces.

“We want something cool that is evocative of the neighborhood,” said Podell, who has developed smaller apartment projects in and around San Francisco but nothing of this scale, promising, “It’s not going to look like the boxy metal and glass crap that everyone is revolting against.”

Yet perhaps Podell is missing the point of many of the protests over local evictions, which have had more to do with the displacement of people and cultural institutions rather than the quality of the architecture that replaces them.

InnerMission owners Mike Gaines and Eric Reid told me they have put tens of thousands of dollars into renovating the site, and two years ago they were within days of signing a 10-year lease with the previous owner, Lloyd Klein, who ran a metal shop on the block for nearly 40 years, when they were told the property had been sold to Podell and they would have to leave once the plan was approved.

Since then, Gaines and his allies have searched San Francisco for a similarly sized space and they can’t find anything that is even remotely affordable.

“The tragedy is we may have to leave the city and we feel like a successful company,” Gaines told us, noting that he recently handed out independent contractor Form 1099s to 99 people who worked for him last year, including on his company’s Edwardian Ball and Bohemian NYE events. “This place going away is a profound thing for the city, and it’s sending our company away with it.”

 “A certain ruthlessness”

But both Gaines and Reid sounded fatalistic about losing their spot, even as they decry how the city is losing important arts and community spaces that are more needed than ever as the city grows, calling for the city to support homegrown artistic movements like New York City has done on Broadway and Los Angeles has done with Hollywood.

“So many people are making money now that you just can’t stop it,” Reid said. “When you’re dealing with that amount of money, there’s a certain ruthlessness that comes in.”

“We don’t fault him, he’s playing by the rules,” Gaines said of Podell, an understanding that Reid also voiced, even though both of them fret about what the city is becoming.

But the city’s rules for destroying a block of art, community, and PDR (Production, Distribution, and Repair) spaces and replacing it with housing aren’t so clear-cut in the Mission District. While Podell is relying on the Mission Area Plan’s residential designation for the site — telling us, “This site was rezoned to allow for 100 percent housing” — the plan also calls for preservation of spaces such as InnerMission, as the Planning Department has informed Podell.

The department’s preliminary assessment of Podell’s proposal cites its negative impact on “Cultural Facilities. For many years, the project site has been a significant venue for community art and cultural events. The Mission Area Plan places a high value on such spaces as an essential part of the area’s character and identity. The Department encourages the Project Sponsor to consider incorporating a sizeable community arts space or PDR space to support the continued presence of creative activity at this location.”

Specifically, the planners cited Mission Area Plan’s Policy 7.1.2 — “Recognize the value of existing facilities, including recreational and cultural facilities, and support their expansion and continued use.” — and Policy 8.1.3, which states, “Recognize and evaluate historic and cultural resources that are less than fifty years old and may display exceptional significance to the recent past.”

I asked Podell how he was incorporating the recommendations into his final design, which is currently undergoing an environmental assessment that he expects will be complete in early May, when it will then go to the Planning Commission for approval.

“I told them, look, I disagree with you,” Podell said. Nonetheless, after he says he “met with an ad hoc group of community artists who requested more art spaces, we’re increasing the space going to art.” To do so, he says that he’s eliminated two of the 276 proposed housing units, although he admits that the art space will be small and not suitable for something like InnerMission.

There has to be community support

Sup. David Campos, who represents the neighborhood, said that’s not nearly good enough, calling the project a “non-starter” if the developer isn’t willing to substantially increase the space and resources going to affordable housing and/or protection of art and community spaces and to work closely with the community on the project, something Campos hasn’t seen.

“There has to be community support and I don’t see the community supporting the demolition of a place that is being used by so many people. PDR is also very important,” Campos told us. “He’s not working with the district supervisor to let us know what they’re up to and that raises red flags.”

Campos said that spaces like InnerMission are important parts of the neighborhood’s character, and the city needs to do more to protect the arts from real estate speculation.

“It’s a huge issue and it goes to the heart of the idea that we’re losing character in this neighborhood,” Campos said. “The Mission wouldn’t be the Mission without art continuing to have a presence in the neighborhood. And you have can’t have art without the artists.”

One of CELLspace’s original artists and art facilitators was Dave X, who co-founded the Flaming Lotus Girls right there and is now the fire-safety director for Burning Man. This space incubated his culture here, “a community center for groups that didn’t quite have their own community,” something that is disappearing in the city. “When I look around,” he said, “I don’t see a lot of incubator spaces.”

And Dave X said that would affect the future of the city: “All those early startups came here for the creative people who are here and a place with affordable rents. You have to have a base of creative people who think outside the box.”

But it isn’t just the art world outsiders that will feel the loss of this space. American Conservatory Theater Artistic Director Carey Perloff told us the loss of this space has been a blow to her Tony-winning theater company and its employees.

“It is deeply unfortunate that our scene shop building has been sold to a residential developer and that we will be forced to vacate it at the end of this season. As a result of this loss, we regrettably had to lay off long-term and loyal A.C.T. employees,” Perloff said.

Like InnerMission, ACT hasn’t been able to find another space in the area.

“We have scoured the Bay Area to find a suitable space for our scenery builds but to no avail,” Perloff said. “The real estate market is punishing at the moment, as everyone knows, and we have been unable to find a replacement location at this time. We will continue to operate a small prop shop in town (we are currently looking hard to find THAT space, in case anyone has any brilliant ideas!) but our scenery will be built elsewhere until such time as we can find a new space for our scene shop.”

“This huge smack”

Right now, Gaines is too busy preparing for The Soiled Dove to even get his head around moving out and finding a place for all of the props and equipment that Vau de Vire Society has created over the years: “Come April 5, that’s when I’ll feel this huge smack.”

Today, he’s living in the world of yesterday’s San Francisco. The Soiled Dove tells the story of the city’s bawdy Barbary Coast days, when the original Gold Rush fed the rapid growth of a brand new city that drew people from around the world through a heady mix of hedonism, greed, and creative expression.

“It’s about the environment and not just the show,” Gaines said of The Soiled Dove, where sexy and outlandish performers will mix and mingle with the crowd throughout the four-course meal and show — but he might have also been talking about InnerMission and the larger city environment.

Also displaced with InnerMission will be Reid’s Theater MadCap Company, a rare performance group or Mission business run by an African-American. “When this business goes away, the Mission loses a fifth of its black business ownership,” he said.

Dinner theater has all but disappeared from San Francisco. The popular Teatro ZinZanni circus-infused dinner theater was forced out of its longtime home at Piers 27-29 two years ago by the America’s Cup races and subsequent construction of a cruise ship terminal at the site. Late last year, the company announced a proposal to build a new tented theater at Broadway and Embarcadero as part of a massive hotel project pitched by Kenwood Investments.

“It’s the only way to make it work,” ZinZanni President Norm Langill told the San Francisco Chronicle in October, referring to the need for arts companies to partner with larger development projects.

Attaching arts and community institutions to capital is one formula, one that the InnerMission folks are being forced to contemplate. Gaines noted that The Crucible started in CELLspace before moving to a large facility in Oakland sponsored by wealthy arts patrons.

“They got benefactors and maybe we need a benefactor too,” Gaines said. “Our sensibility is art first and the business will follow.”

But now, they’re being forced to be more pragmatic or face extinction, leaving only memories of the mark that this space had on the culture of San Francisco. Gaines noted the long creative history of CELLspace and said, “We were just caretakers of this building that was throbbing with art from day one, and it was communal art.”

 

Final events at Inner Mission?

The Soiled Dove: “An immersive, circus-infused, dinner-theater experience,” music by Jazz Mafia/Realistic Orchestra; March 13-April 4, Friday and Saturday nights, 8:30-11pm; $120; vaudeviresociety.com/the-soiled-dove

Pinewood Derby Extravaganza: Dave X hosts a CELLspace remembrance party and pinewood derby, with music by Jerk Church and Forlorn Hope; April 19, 4pm-midnight; $20 with pinewood derby car kit, $15 without; pinewoodderbyextravaganza.com

 

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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176 COMMENTS

  1. The solution seems easy; approve construction that’s 20-30 feet taller, conditional on appropriate space and 10 year leases for the existing tenants.

  2. Why do they have to choose? Why can’t the developer also dedicate one floor to artistic space, for example?

  3. OK, the neighborhood has to choose: more housing or “cultural” space? What adds to our safety, public well-being, sense of community, and tax rolls?

    Whichever you choose, stop whining about the other. Guess what? This isn’t Burger King and you can’t have it your way.

    (I’m a neighbor of this block and don’t feel any connection to it
    besides enjoying the murals and knowing that something goes on there.
    Otherwise, its a derelict space for people I don’t know, don’t run into
    on the sidewalks, or who take part in our community AFAIK. And scary as hell at night — it’s lifeless (even during the day it appears without much life.)

  4. Word choice? That’s your comment? Thats all you have to say is that you didn’t like one word because you think it overstated the problem? And you are telling US to get a grip?

  5. That’s a misleading statistic. Many of those are lucky enough to have bought when the housing cost differential between San Francisco and the rest of the country was more reasonable. Believe it or not, there was a time, pre-Prop 13, when it was fairly negligible. Prop 13 helped propel property values throughout urban California into the stratosphere by severely restricting mobility. The old-timers and their heirs got lucky, but the rest were screwed.

  6. You mean $120K, right? So let’s stipulate you’re right that it’s “barely making it in San Francisco.” As far as household income, though, it’s also more than the vast majority of San Franciscans make. If it’s one person’s income, that would put that person well in the top 10% of San Franciscans. So if 90% or more of San Franciscans are “barely making it,” then don’t you think that’s a problem?

  7. W.C.,

    I must admit that I thought I didn’t make out your objection, so I put your remarks to my betters so they would make plain to me your point. My failure to myself address your point I take as a learning experience for me.

    I supply my colleagues’ responses (2 of them) below. Does this assist?

    #1 responds:

    The central argument by W.C. is that LVT (LAND VALUE TAXATION) has no incentive effects. A big part of the problem lies with W.C.’s algebra that apparently fails to recognize that cash flow from land can be zero even if the NPV (net present value or price of land) is high. NPV is based on what a challenger believes the property will yield in income. At least that is the meaning of NPV is assumed equal to market price.

    Just ask this: “Do you assume in your notation that a given parcel is being used in a manner that maximizes its potential income?”

    Or this: “Is NPV based on current use by the owner or on the highest and best use by a potential owner?”

    The incentive effect is based on the difference. If one assumes that every parcel is currently being used in its highest and best use and that all vacant land is idle because it is profitable to lie idle for years, then W.C. is entirely correct. The argument for LVT’s incentive effect is based on the assumption that many parcels are underutilized and that a tax will require owners to generate the income required to pay it, thereby improving property that is otherwise occupied by a use that is lower than what an alternative owner might construct.

    #2 responds by supplying a reference

    13-d. “Tax capitalization” does not erode its base

    The tax on land value does not erode away its base. With a property tax on land value there is no taxable event to avoid, as mentioned, hence no Laffer Effect. In addition, even with a tax on land income, the land does not move away or diminish.

    Some economists have mistaken “tax capitalization” for erosion of the tax base. To make this point they leap in fancy to an extreme tax rate so high, and public services so low, there is no land value remaining. This is assuming the tax money is all wasted (as by invading a foreign nation and losing), so the taxes are what Marshall called “onerous” and not “beneficial”.

    Even under that extreme assumption, however, a higher tax rate on land value never causes lower tax revenues. Few have carried this beyond cocktail party chatter, but such banter often betrays underlying doubts that have simply not congealed enough to be published. Murray Rothbard is one who has published the view that the tax destroys its own base. “… the single tax would yield no revenue at all. For if rents are zero, a 100 percent tax on rents will also yield nothing.”[1] This is simply bad algebra – very bad – as I will show.

    “Tax capitalization” refers to the effect that a tax on land value has of lowering the value of land, its own base. Let V=Value of land, a=annual rent, i=interest rate, t=tax rate, and T=Tax. Let “a” be unaffected by lowering other taxes or by improving public services. Then:

    V = (a – tV)/i (5)

    Rothbard stops here. He notes that V is a decreasing function of “t”, and then imagines that a very high “t” means no V, and no Tax.

    Generations of appraisers and assessors have carried their algebra beyond where Rothbard stopped, and avoided this fallacy. One simply collects terms, and then:

    V = a/(i+t) (6)

    (6) is a simpler form of Equation (1), above, (not shown in this excerpt) with g=0. The denominator on the right side, (i+t), is the “cap rate” (capitalization rate), found in every appraisal book and assessment manual. Adding “t” to “i” is called “tax capitalization”.

    The Tax (T) is tV:

    T = tV = t/(i+t) x a (7)

    The effective tax rate on “a” is t/(i+t). That ratio is always an increasing function of t, approaching 100% asymptotically.

    Note in passing, from (5), that the tax base, V, is the after-tax value of land. This makes the real tax rate much lower than the apparent rate. To this extent, Rothbard is on target. It is as though the personal income tax were based on after-tax income, in which case a rate of 100% would take just 50% of income. So, to tap the land base we need tax rates higher than are considered normal or possible today, when buildings and fixtures and (in many states) inventories are part of the tax base. This is, indeed, a major reason why landowners want to keep them part of the tax base: not that they like paying taxes on buildings, but the landowners need arguments for holding down property taxes.

    [1] Rothbard, Murray, 1997. The Single Tax: Economic and Moral Implications. The Mises Institute and London: Edward Elgar, p.298

  8. What you are calling “wage-based rentals” are really subsidized rentals. Rentals can be cheap for one person only if another person can be persuaded to pay the difference.

  9. The government could learn how to manage wage-based rental housing. They could even create community co-op buildings. If commercial entities can rent to teachers, nurses, civil servants, and doctors successfully, it seems the City could as well. And yes, I would say that almost anyone who owns a single family home in SF is part of an elite class.

  10. So true, the SF left would always rather tell and force others to do this and not do that, rather than ever raise a finger themselves to help.

  11. At least it’s replacing Petrelis’ obsession with trying to get pics of Scott Wiener taking a leak. I have no idea why anyone would take a filthy pervert like Michael Petrelis seriously.

  12. That’s the real SF spirit Charlie. It’s DIY and you’re doing a good thing. People who do park cleanups earn a lot of respect.

  13. $120 is actually just barely making it in SF, TBH. And Doggie, when were you ever for the “rentier” class? I think you never were. Just wondering if you’re still in SF or did you have to move?

  14. Take a non-FATCA bank in a non-FATCA country. It wants to correspond in USD with a FATCA bank or do USD business in a FATCA country. ‘Sorry, broseph,’ says the FATCA correspondent, ‘but now I have to withhold 30% of your USD flows.’

    That’s a material effect on a foreign financial entity with no presence or business in the US.

  15. David, if you impose high carrying costs to bring land to $0, then public acquisition at $0 must cost society the market value without carrying cost.

    This is arithmetic. You can’t drive the value down to $0 with taxes without public acquisition costing society the exact market value that taxes erase.

    The economists you cited all did arithmetic.

    There is no reason your system optimizes anything. It is the equivalent of a one-time expropriation followed by public financing of land. The incentives are exactly the same, and so are the results.

    Expropriation certainly changes income distributions. It does nothing to land use.

  16. 4g, Bayshore is indeed the name of a street, and of a freeway, though freeway names aren’t too current any more. Yes, people use street names as shorthand for neighborhoods (‘Telegraph’ for the area south of campus in Berkeley springs to mind), but I haven’t heard Bayshore used that way.

    If the folks with whom you hang out do, more power to you, but that strikes me as unusual.

  17. There’s no one stopping you from swinging by Dolores Park on a Monday morning w/ a few trash bags and picking up trash yourself. I make a point of picking up trash when I’m in a public park–I try to leave it “better” than when I arrived.
    It’s very easy to sit behind a keyboard in your jammies and complain, than to actually put on some clothes and do something productive for society.

  18. 4th, whenever someone speaks out for white people, there will always be a small minority of card players who will squeak about “racism” or “white privilege”

    And they are usually white!

  19. LOL, Greg asks why people are obsessed with race after Greg himself complains that most techies are white!!

    Priceless.

  20. Yeah, easily the most entertaining of the lefties are the ones who endlessly criticize other lefties. Evans and Brown were always excellent at that. marcos and Petrelis are amateurs compared with them, but at least are maintaining the tradition.

  21. Native: so the “not great” and clearly “superior” culture in your mind is the one where gangbangers, guns, knives, filth, needles, keeping everyone back instead of going forward, anti-education, is clearly the “superior” culture. Ok. Just to be clear.

  22. Who CARES with his obsession with Campos is. Let him go on. Personally, I love it. Pull in the fangs about Petrelis. He’s a lefty criticizing the left. Nothing wrong with that.

  23. What the heII is it with your obsession with flags and campos. How Bout trying to snap d1ck pics in men’s restrooms? Are you a muckraker or just another poorly socially adjusted SF prog?

  24. It’s actually Silicon Beach 4th. I think Venice or Malibu is more Silicone Beach.

    Moving on… Why don’t you or Nancy answer 4th’s main point Greg? Why did she feel the need to note that they were mostly white? If Sam or 4th Gen had said: “why do those mostly Mexican (or black) people leave their burrito wrappers (or whatever type of trash you feel isn’t racist) all over Alamo Square?” You’d be jumping up and screaming about how racist they are.

    One might speculate that they’re mostly techies but even then there’s no proof one way or another. D-bags who litter come in all ethnicities, income brackets, and professions. Would you be less pissed off if they were mostly black and in construction?

  25. “or someone said that you did and you admitted it”

    I love that part -probably the same troll who said that I’m white. Who cares where she lives anyway, or what race I am, etc. Why this obsession with people’s personal details? Can’t you people just debate on the merits?

  26. Or steals from BevMo, Safeway, etc. And of course, that never happens either. Nor was Dolores Park ever messy before tech got here either, nor was the Mission a big mess before tech got here. Right.

  27. Nancys: You said you live in Malibu, or someone said that you did and you admitted it. How would you know about the tech crowd since you don’t live here? Tech is moving into S CA too, it’s called Silicone Beach.

    What do you mean the problem is no longer with gangbangers? There’s only been 33 evictions in all of SF since last year according to the SFChron from September to December 2014:

    http://blog.sfgate.com/opinionshop/2015/01/07/what-happened-to-san-franciscos-housing-evictions/

    Tech has every race in it. In one sentence you completely contradict yourself:

    [i]Dolores Park has nothing to do with race; the question remains: what is the problem with the predominantly white tech crowd [/i]

    Huh? You are slamming people you don’t know, you don’t see with the unknown stereotypes that they are white, when you don’t know.

    There’s all people of every color in Tech, as said above, check out Pinterest, and women who code, black women who code, etc, and the gangbangers are still in SF’s Mission District. And people of all colors use the park. The park has been trashed for decades btw.

  28. If the players in the game of Monopoly had to pay the market rent of the parcels of the board they own each time they passed over those sites, they’d optimize development and not dare sprawl. That engages a slew of good of good land use principles: Optimize use of land, kill sprawl, fund infrastructure with land values,
    reduce the margin of production and thereby increase productive efficiency, abolish the land rentier class through taxation.

  29. W.C.,

    Tell me how very low to no sales price for public acquisition of land harms society? I don’t say that public use of land should not entail market economic rent.

    So, for instance, the SF Shopping Center at 5th and Market. The land is owned by the SFUSD. The land rent paid by the leasers goes to defray public education. Plenty of income stream multiplied times all the parcels in SF.

    The value to society of land is it’s opportunity cost to all but the current title holder. A Land Value Tax collects that opportunity cost.

    cf. Samuelson, Smith, George, Walras, Stieglitz, Friedman, etc.

  30. Walnut Creek, I looked up “Bayshore” on google, and the zips seem to go from 94124-94135, & includes the “Bayshore freeway” (101) and seems to include HP, Little Hollywood, Bayshore Blvd, Candlestick area, etc.

  31. See my caloric thoughts elsewhere in this article’s Comments section. What has woof woof to say to those?

    (I’m on a short holiday, ending tomorrow, so relief from Deep Thoughts with Dave comes soon . . . unless any of the three social movement possibilities I recommended above attract more than ink blotters.)

  32. It’s not racism when you don’t want to live next to the following, all of which I’ve seen when the Mission was less gentrified:

    dirty diapers on the sidewalk full of baby brown stuff, trash everywhere, drug addicts shooting up, stores filled with stuff that is not useful, stores that are fronts for crime, used heroin needles, trash everywhere on the sidewalk, food thrown down on the sidewalk, cigarrette butts, dirty sidewalks, criminals who are purse snatching, I’ve personally seen crazy homeless people walking around with open carry knives in the Mission, just filth everywhere.

  33. Dolores Park has nothing to do with race; the question remains: what is the problem with the predominantly white tech crowd with cleaning up after themselves after their use of Dolores Park. Also, who says I no longer live there? and, the problem is no longer with the “gangbangers”; why are the tech people so thin-skinned, so hyper sensitive and whiny and overreact so harshly and so immediately, it is really humorous.

  34. Sam, overseas persons with US passports are enjoying the dubious pleasure of having their accounts closed, right now. FATCA is different.

  35. Signing on to a foreign law doesn’t mean being willing to enforce it.

    If Iran passes a law saying that all american infidels must pray to Allah five times a day, would you be scared?

  36. Ah, you appear to now understand that FACTA may not be enforceable to a foreign entity with no US assets or presence.

    Incidentally, a foreign bank may not know which of its clients are American. Many accounts are set up through corporations, trusts, partnerships or proxies

  37. Sam, I (and Deloitte) noted that FATCA affects foreign financial entities, regardless of presence or business in the US. Enforcement is separate.

    Even before FATCA, the Swiss bank at which I once briefly worked fired all its US clients. These days, many banks deny services to US citizens, regardless of presence or business here.

    Those are material effects.

  38. Andrew, you fell into a classic trap, i.e. labelling as a racist anyone who seeks to argue that racism isn’t a factor. Rookie error, so I’ll go easy on you.

    there is no material difference between a non-white who is out-bid for a home, and a white family who relocates because of non-white crime

    If anything, the latter is worse.

  39. Sam, that was a nifty turn of phrase. Still, please don’t tell people what they think. Not only is it offensive, but worse, it’s probably wrong.

  40. Sam, think twice before using the second person. It’s offensive to be told what you think.

    Granted, casual bigotry is more offensive.

  41. Dont even try to compare todays “migrations” to the pasts. Obviously, not all “migrations” are the same, especially when todays “migrations” have mostly been evictions. And No one told or forced out the white families of the past to leave their homes/neighborhoods. They left mostly due to racism and ignorance. If they have stayed and learned to live with minorities and gays, then maybe, our communities and America in general would be in a better place today.

    Now please post your racist comments somewhere else.

  42. 4th, whiner may be like a stopped clock – still right twice a day. And yes, of course, we need to build baby build.

    What amuses me more is that way he thinks his schoolboy swotty posts are politically persuasive.

  43. WC, it’s so adorable the way you think that some petty pedantic anal-retentive left-brained semantic nitpicking wins you every debate.

    Keep it up!

  44. 4g, Bayshore is not the Bayview.

    Sam, there is a reason I’ve given your name to any short clause with several false or incoherent points in it. It’s a rare, well honed talent.

  45. He’s an old school liberal actually from my perspective. He has some really good points about housing, and he’s sort of convinced me of the need for putting in a lot more housing even though I’m against having a denser SF.

  46. Owners too. The legislation to get rid of prop 13 for businesses hurts small & large businesses as well.

  47. It would be okay if his numbers footed. Unfortunately, his is one of those revelations that makes testable predictions, and they are false.

    Revise and resubmit.

  48. 4th, yeah, but i like it when WC resorts to trivial nit-picking because it means he cannot refute my substantial point.

    He is kinda transparent like that

  49. Walnut Creek some people call Hunter’s Point the Bayview. There’s even a newspaper out there called the BayView. It’s an AA newspaper (as in African-American). So, Bayview/HP – same area. I’ve heard that my entire life from everyone. They are interchangeable and there’s plenty of housing.

  50. Land use decisions would get worse. High carrying cost adds more pressure on ‘jobbers’ to develop anything at all as soon as possible.

    The community, meanwhile, pays more for land. Governments pay lower interest; SF non-callable GOs are 2%, not 4%. If we borrow at half private rates, that land worth $0 to the market is worth the negative current market value to us.

    The community would be much better off borrowing heavily at low rates, buying at market prices, and developing thoughtfully.

  51. KB, apparently an empty bottle of $40 bottle was found at the vandalized site and so there’s a theory that the damage was done by affluent white male tech workers.

    Or a Hispanic gang that robs a licqor store. No wait, that never happens

  52. Petrelis is on a roll after exposing plagiarism by marcos, which forced him to start posting as “Guest” instead, out of shame and guilt

  53. There’s also lots of gangbangers who use Dolores Park, and frankly who hasn’t seen them leave the park messy as well? You’re pointing fingers at people and you no longer live here.

  54. Maybe instead of obsessively ranting about what is and who is wrong, you can offer some solutions. It may even get you some votes if you ever run for office again.

  55. Because it’s a stupid question, obviously intended as more of a rant than an actual inquiry?

    Why don’t you go find a known tech worker littering in Dolores and ask him/her?

  56. Dolores Park was a mess in the 80’s and 90’s too so not sure it is unique to the “tech class” to not clean up.

  57. Despite some assertions to the contrary by many in SF, we live in a capitalist society where money and land/building ownership rule. Latinos who OWN property in the Mission don’t HAVE to sell if they want to stop “displacement.” But I but many of them–despite the rhetoric–will if the offer is right. Same with property owning queers in the Castro, who will sell to hated straight techies for the right price. Sadly all “migration stories” are equivalent if you don’t own. Renters are always vulnerable no matter what regulatory framework.

  58. Pinterest is not. It’s also not owned by a white male. Also who says it’s the techies who are trashing D Park? There’s still plenty of gang bangers in the Mission.

  59. Wrong, your flat is almost 4k if it’s a one-bedroom. If you’re paying $2500 you’re getting a sweet deal from rent control.

  60. I just want to know why the techs who dominate Dolores Park on the weekends refuse to clean up after themselves?

  61. Again: why is it the young and beautiful tech class refuse to clean up after themselves in Dolores Park? Why is this question being avoided?

  62. “Burners and gentrifiers are often one and the same right now.”

    You say that like you weren’t before. “Gentrifier” doesn’t typically just mean “anyone who moves here making more money than you, personally.”

  63. This isn’t the first time Greg has made racist comments here about whites, even though it has been pointed out that he is white himself.

    I do not blame him totally. Progressives appear to believe that if only they can dismiss their opponents as “white” then they will prevail. If someone is a white male tech worker, like marcos, then his opinion instantly doesn’t matter.

    This despite the fact that typically 60% of the San Franciscan residents who actually vote are white.

  64. Depends. The intent of what campos said (“It’s a non-starter” is clearly to intimidate and deter.

    The fact that he lacks the power and influence to follow through on that doesn’t mean his intent is honorable. It isn’t

  65. You missed my point. you only ever comment here on this one thing, and endlessly, no matter what the original topic

    BORING

  66. The VanshingSF “moderator” is a well-known NIMBY and hypocrite.

    Luckily she has even less readers than 48 Hills

  67. Doggie, you sure harbor a lot of hate envy and resentment for someone who doubtlessly claims to care about humanity

  68. Cut Steven some slack. He hardly ever gets to write about BM since his own personal organ and mouthpiece self-destructed on his watch

  69. KH, there are about 200,000 SF households who own market-rate homes. Are all 200,000 of them “elite”?

    That’s a heck of a large elite.

  70. nancy, but does Greg think it is significant or bad that they are mostly white (if that is even true)

    Why mention race at all?

  71. We need both wage-based housing and space for arts and it would be possible to have both if the City would build on the property it currently owns and is developable instead of selling it to “market rate” developers. We are in a time of economic boom, historically low interest rates, and a lot of local capital. The City owns a site at 33 Gough which could be developed by the City which for a minimal amount of costs as the City has influence over permitting and zoning laws. It could charge wage-based rents on the spaces and pay back the financing over time. If the City pursued this approach, it would be building a permanent, public asset that would serve generations to come. The renters would be paying off the loan. In San Francisco, “market rate housing” simply means some of the most expensive housing in the country. The “market” which can access this housing is elite and not reflective of the pay scale of any public employee and many other professions. The San Francisco “market rate” housing excludes most wage earners who are not in the tech sector specifically public employees, teachers, nurses, doctors, and small business owners. We need to ask the City to build wage-based housing and to finance it through bonds or loans. We need to ask the City not to sell any City property for “market rate” development and to build space for non-profits, arts organizations, artists, and wage-earners whose salaries have no chance of competing with the IPO earnings and base salaries of those who work in finance and technology. If we want to keep professional and cultural diversity in San Francisco, we need the City to develop its current holdings for the benefit of the public and as a permanent public asset. The development at 16 and Mission for instance could be 100% wage-based if the City worked at developing the area.

  72. Eliminate the power of LLs over your life by buying a home. Support City policies which prioritize ownership over perpetual renting. Many of the most vocal housing advocates own their home: Redmond, Welsh, Shaw, Campos, Ammiano, Peskin, Mirkarimi – even the VanishingSF moderator.

  73. OMG, there’s a supervisor for the Mission? Thanks for this news, Steve, and for again serving as Campos’ unquestioning, uncritical mouthpiece. Have you thought about becoming his PR agent or joining his City Hall staff?

  74. The Sams (Guest, Sam the Man, SF Rentier, Anonymous, et al) have over the course of the last six months turned me solidly against the rentier class.

    What a bunch of world class a**holes! Boggles the mind. If this bunch of sociopath misfits inherits San Francisco then all the hills, the views, the Victorians, the halcyon days of late summer won’t balance the awful reality of their triumphalist occupation of a city that once had a soul. But they haven’t won yet… and so we’ve got to fight them vigorously.

    F*** LLs. Land… LORDS for god’s sake. What else do you need to know? This class of social-economic parasites is a tragic throwback to feudalism at its worst. But we’ve got to be smarter about blaming the yuppie-techies who are being exploited by the LLs ALSO..

    I read recently that SF has the worst record for potential savings of almost any major US city. Not surprising if $3500-$5000 of your $120K salary is going to rent. So techies are in a squirrel cage also, exhausting themselves to pump out the silly apps and shiny toys and throwing it all away on rent and expensive SF “lifestyle.” I’m not a fan of entitled techies, just noting that a political coalition is possible because they too are getting screwed by Capital and Private Property.

    Food for thought?

  75. Guest,

    Perhaps the proposal wasn’t made sufficiently clear. The idea is to abolish all taxes except those on economic rent. My question to you was, “Which source of public revenue do you prefer?”

    My argument is for a land value tax. It does not distort the market for goods and services; in deed, it liberates goods and services from taxation. You called my proposal a one-trick pony precisely because you observed it called for abolishing other taxes.

    I ask again, “Without a huge tax on economic rent in place, how do you propose to pay for streets, schools, fire protection, and other public infrastructure?” Or perhaps you prefer tolls? pay-as-you-go fees? That’s a genuine question, not a rhetorical challenge.

    And would you leave economic rent as is, largely in the pockets of Feinstein and her lobbyists, Willie Brown and his lobbyists, Newsom and his lobbyists, Pelosi and her lobbyists, and, across the pit at the national level, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and their lobbyists? Economic rent is the great funding source of electoral politics as rent seekers mete out a slice of the economic rent pie to politicos in order to keep the rest of that pie in place. Abolishing economic rent would practically void the Citizens United decision (the Koch brothers operate on the economic rent of coal and other natural and legislated monopolies). As it is, the left concedes economic rent to “the kings” and instead piddles about denouncing corporations as being persons. There is good reason to hold corporate charterhood accountable, but real persons can suck up economic rent with as much gusto as corporations.

  76. the tech industry is predominantly white male – that is just the statistic; it is more than amusing to hear these techies cry “anti-white” racism – and, to try and compare what is happening today to other SF historical trends; also, please answer: why can’t these techies clean up after themselves in Dolores Park?

  77. Campos has no jurisdiction. Planning is a city-wide function.

    Even the Corona Heights moratorium went to a full board vote and it is a tiny neighborhood.

  78. When a business makes “all or nothing” demands, it is seen as “negotiation”. Same for a government.

    So Campos can stop this project? I don’t think so

  79. Guest: you did not read his post; too anxious to cry anti-white racism – your apps and shiny gadgets have no substance

  80. Guest,

    Quite right, under the model proposed we’re not buying land and assuming the associated interest-bearing debt on it.

    Debt contracted in order to produce goods and services leads to the provision of new goods and services. Debt for nature results in no new nature, and obliges producers of goods and services to pay profit-eroding interest and speculative rent for access to productive sites (unless, of course, the producer owns the site, in which case the producers efficiency in production is masked by imputed rent not paid — hardly a recipe for operation of the market in determining whose productive efficiencies account for viability).

    This one-trick pony is a pretty good pet. What other ponies should be added, do you think? A sales tax? A graduated income tax? Business taxes? Taxes on buildings? I’m game for adding any of these back if abolishing the privatization of economic rent doesn’t suffice.

  81. W.C.,

    The rent of my flat is at least $2,500 on the market today. 60-75% of that is land value (clearly, if labor and material costs aren’t rising at anywhere near the rise in real estate values, the difference in rising rent is overwhelmingly locational value). $2,500 x .6 = $1,500, all things remaining the same, which I allow won’t so remain.

    Let’s set aside for this episode whether a land value tax (and taxes on legislated monopolies–taxi medallions, for instance) will raise enough revenue to fund society. Taxing away land speculation will dramatically alter the incentive to score on land values. Builders will be rewarded for building, but not for merely owning a particular site. As a consequence, land use decisions will much more reflect aesthetic and logistics considerations than the pressure of land jobbers to cash in on land values.

    Plus, as previously noted, where the sales price of land approaches ZERO, the community does not have to pay a heavy sum to acquire sites for parks, museums, mixed income housing, etc.

  82. Exactly why I said we should instead move some arts collectives there.

    You’re staring to get it, WC

  83. WC, explain exactly how the US will enforce FACTA against, say, a middle-eastern bank with no US presence, business or assets.

    This should be good.

  84. Not this kind of housing, bob. I admit, Burners aren’t exactly the best protagonists right now, and I say this as a Burner myself. Unfortunately, Burners and gentrifiers are often one and the same right now. Take the Vau de Vire society, for example. The event sounded really interesting. I thought maybe I should go… until I saw the price tag. $240 per couple? Are you kidding me? Who exactly goes to this kind of event? Answer: probably many of the same people occupying these high end condos -white techies making $120K per year looking to add a façade of hipness to their lives.

    That said, we certainly don’t need more of this kind of housing in the city. We need affordable housing. We need stronger protections for renters, preservation of existing rent control housing stock, and innovative solutions for creating new affordable housing. The tech industry loves to tout its innovation -surely they could find an innovative solution to affordable housing other than “build more crap.” Unfortunately their innovation consists of shiny gadgets and stupid apps. When it comes to innovations for real problems that people face, the industry reveals its moral emptiness.

  85. ‘Nearly every business with an international footprint or conducting business outside the U.S. will need to confront new compliance realities.’

    -Deloitte

    The acronym is FATCA.

    I call these Sams because it seems that you literally cannot make a statement without at least one glaring falsehood. Here, you get a bonus typo!

  86. ‘The area around Bayshore’ is entirely commercial. It is incoherent to talk about it as a place where people want to buy homes.

    It’s not nitpicking to point out that a statement presented as fact is incoherent or false.

  87. FACTA has no material effect on any foreign financial entity that has no presence or business in the US.

  88. The area around Bayshore, obviously.

    not sure what the rest of your post is, except fr nitpicking in place of substance

  89. WC, the problem is that the entities that are disliked are often the ones that can pay more.

    Win-win for the property owner.

    If the city thinks arts tenants are so important, why doesn’t the city give them space?

  90. * FATCA effectively removed banking and tax secrecy from havens like Switzerland and Austria
    ** FATCA became law in March 2010
    *** yeah, I don’t actually have a Swiss account
    **** but it was fun pretending

    The Sams are flying thick and furious today.

  91. * Bayshore is a street, not a place, I mean Bayview
    ** Bayview Waterfront/Candlestick has 10,000 units in the pipeline
    *** but Candlestick isn’t the real Bayview, homie
    **** Rockridge and Crocker Highlands aren’t really Oakland, either

    Four footnotes to make half a sentence correct. What a Sam!

  92. Balancing that political risk with the political benefits of renting to a favored group is part of doing business. If a property owner isn’t competent to balance costs and benefits, he’s probably better off selling to someone who is and clipping muni coupons.

  93. David, you are a one-trick pony. Whatever the topic, you try and change the topic to your pet agenda.

    We’re not buying it.

  94. They could easily move to Bayshore or Oakland – places where many people do not want to buy high-value new homes

  95. Migration is migration, and many of those whites were driven out by the increasing presence of an alien culture and its associated problems like crime and blight

  96. Seems obvious to me. If at the end of the lease the owner does not wish to renew, he faces political pressure to renew anyway, because it’s an arts location.

    Better to let to an entity that everyone hates

  97. ..and many others where it is even worse.

    Amsterdam is a decent model, with adequate transit, lots of good bicycling and a competent if oversubscribed public housing system. Bern’s a village one-third the size of Oakland and isn’t going to tell you much. Try Zurich, if you must be Swiss.

  98. David, the numbers still don’t add up.

    Let’s walk through it:
    – land is a perpetuity
    – perpetuity payout is NPV * r
    – imputed land income is NPV * r
    – subtract 100% land income
    – land value must be $0
    – r is around 4%
    – required tax is 4%

    If your RH2 lot is worth $500k which seems right offhand, then each unit pays $833 in land tax per month. That’s a lot — but it’s less than the monthly California income tax on a $150,000 salary, and less than one fifth of the total Fed/State/OASDI/Medicare burden.

    Raising taxes by one fifth on high earners is a fine idea. Raising them via a land tax is another fine idea. Expecting something miraculous from a modest tax hike is not realistic.

  99. Please, the so-called “third world,” has many cities with much better public rapid transit than we see in most of the US.

  100. White flight opened up vacancies in the Mission and the Castro to Latinos and queers in the mid 20th century. There were no mass evictions or economic displacements during the cultural migrations of that period. People did not move to San Francisco to take the money and run. Most came here to find a better life above and beyond work.

    The Western Addition was “cleaned up” of “blight” by the same booster tradition via redevelopment which supports the economic cleansing of the Mission today.

    Not all migration stories are equivalent.

  101. This project is disturbing on so many levels. Even if there was nothing exciting happening on this block and worth preserving, no vortex of dance, music, tango, and art community, slapping 276 units plus retail without significant changes to the third world public transportation we have in SF and in the immediate neighborhood (trams anyone?), no changes to the roads (roundabouts, bike lanes that are separate from car lanes), and missing a good 300 parking spaces (there should be well over 1 space per unit plus parking for retail, so 151 is a joke), this looks like a big failure, maybe even an example of poor city planning. Once condos are up, it will be very difficult to bring the arts back. Wouldn’t it be great if we looked at cities that work? Here are two very different examples from which we could learn a lot: Amsterdam and Bern. If you’ve lived there, you know what we’re missing in SF. Also, a note on the way out: the planning dept. should not be relied on for preserving a special place like CELLspace.

  102. You have no idea what you’re taking about. None of the events you listed above are supported by the government. They are supported by ME and my partner along with the support of the arts community.

  103. I’m confused. “Owners should take note when considering a lease to this arts organization.” Why should owners take note when considering a lease to this arts organization? What did the arts organization do?

  104. This is also blackmail from Campos

    ““He’s not working with the district supervisor to let us know what they’re up to and that raises red flags.”

  105. Right, it was such a shame to lose “our Mission” to the Latinos, such a shame to lose “our Castro” to the LGBTQ, such a shame to lose “our Western Addition” to the LGBTQ, such shame to lose “our SF” to LGBTQ, such a shame to lose “our” AA neighborhood in the Haight to LGBTQ & Hippies.

  106. We’re not going anywhere. In fact if you read the article, it’s the leftwing that’s leaving…do not let the door hit ya either little “d”…

  107. CELLspace did not exist without gov’t funds Now the place called InnerMission might not have taken funds, but anything that does this “Over the years, the space evolved to include an art gallery, after-school programs for at-risk youth, a hub for classes teaching everything from dance to metalsmithing, and a venue for community events ranging from the MorningGloryville dance parties to a launch party for the Guardian-in-Exile Project’s commemorative edition that I helped throw in January.”

    Most of those projects are supported by the gov’t.

  108. From the article “Sup. David Campos, who represents the neighborhood, said that’s not nearly good enough, calling the project a “non-starter” if the developer isn’t willing to substantially increase the space and resources going to affordable housing and/or protection of art and community spaces and to work closely with the community on the project, something Campos hasn’t seen.”

    THAT is blackmail, pure blackmail.

  109. So what is it, Occupy brothers and sisters? What will we occupy?
    The buildings? They’ll be gone.
    The rhetoric of alienation: “The 1% are bad.” That talk won’t preserve community.

    We could occupy land values. That’s principled. And ambitious (but is any meaningful solution other than ambitious? Solutions are not, as Marxists believe, inevitable).

    When we acknowledge that the value of place is the creation of society, of community, and claim that value as a conservative property right: “We made it, that’s why it’s ours,” then we have moral truth on our side . . . and sound economic argument. Socialize land values, collecting for community the market economic rent of “location, location, location,” and we get all that artists and workers and yes, even what construction developers want. The only losers are those who stand to gain from merely owning “place.” Those who receive payment for land itself are getting an unearned increment. At present, it’s legal to get that unearned increment in land values. And I daresay the land-owning members of the Occupy movement will get (and do get) as knee-jerk reactant as notorious Guest, SFRentier, and Sam do when it’s realized that collecting the annual rent of location obliterates so-called “home equity” which in reality is land equity.

    The up-side of killing the sales price of land (which is what socializing annual values achieves) is it 1) makes public acquisition of land a matter of community choice rather than an opportunity for private parties to legally ‘extort” community when community wants to assume land use; 2) fully funds social infrastructure such as schools, fire protection, streets, public maintenance; and 3) it extinguishes what makes the 1% the 1%, namely the ownership of nature and the ownership of the socially-generated value of nature.

    By nature I mean that which is not made by people; nature by that definition includes the unimproved value of any given parcel of San Francisco land in its context of existing community.

    It’s worth picketing and bellowing and lobbying officials & developers, but if the real objective isn’t to Occupy Land Values, then “devil take the hindmost,” and the rest of us will go on paying land rent to Da Man who does Own/Occupy land values.

    What to do? I can think of three movement building activities for you.

    1) Join the Black Lives Matter current of thought and action, and press it to generate a relevant update of “Forty Acres and a Mule.” Back in the day, forty acres and a mule meant you had land enough to tell the oppressive overseer you’d work for yourself, thank you, and he could keep his offer of low wage employment. Socializing land values is a mode for adapting “forty acres and a mule” to today’s sophisticated economy.

    2) Join the faith community and pressure it to follow through on the implicit truth that nature is evidence of a Creator. Unless faith community theology indulges the notion that the Creator favors first arrivals, those with land-taking weapons, and those who say they have a special relationship with His Godness, the faith community should follow MLK in calling for a restoration of first principles. Visit Tikkun.org and that magazine’s Winter 2015 issue for a place to connect.

    3) In fun-loving SF, join in support of SF’s cyber mayoral candidate, Leon Phat. Enough splash-ola, culture-jamming, and spirit-raising with the serious platform laid out at LeonPhat.com, and the grungy, inventive, bohemian, but also sprightly, blue collar, innovative spirit of Our City has a good chance of hanging in there.

  110. You bought-and-paid-for wingnut trolls are more than welcome to get the hell out of this socialist commune at any time. That’ll show us commies! Oh, and don’t let the door hit ya….

  111. I’m reminded of the saying, “I didn’t fight to protect X because I wasn’t X ….”

    There’s no better time for the tenant and small business communities to get more involved fighting these individual projects. Much stronger requirements to incorporate existing art space and PDR into these massive new housing projects are an urgent priority. The affordable housing percentage needs to be much higher in the Mission, at least 35%, which might be winnable at the ballot box.

    Over the next few years office space square footage in the tens of millions is being added in the South Bay, peninsula and SF, with very little new housing construction included in these large developments. It’s just wrong for companies like Google and dozens of other large companies to add huge office complexes with tens of millions of office space sq ft (250 sq ft per employee), including mammoth headquarters for Apple, Facebook, Google and Oracle, and not also build housing for these new employees. Many of the newly-hired high-priced employees will have their sights on SF, with predictable evictions and large rent increases to follow for existing SF residents.

    If nothing else, projects like this make it more likely Supervisor Campos wins his moratorium on larger housing developments until the community and government can get a much firmer grip on the rapid gentrification, displacement and high rents in, not just the Mission, but middle-income neighborhoods across the city. Stronger protections for small businesses and significantly higher percentages of affordable housing and community space in new developments can’t happen fast enough.

  112. Interesting things they can do, move to the Outer Mission/HP/Crocker-Amazon area and buy a building.

    Also interestingly Ms. Perloff is married to a high powered attorney whom, on his website, is proud of taking on large construction law firms. Connect the dots.

  113. This place would never have existed without massive amounts of gov’t grants and funding from mostly governmental monies. Good riddance. G’bye and don’t let the door hit your behind on your way out.

  114. Owners should take note when considering a lease to this arts organization. It appears they will resort to political blackmail once the lease has expired.

  115. Really? The EN plans make promises to developers in enforceable code but makes its promises to the residents in vague unenforceable policies?

    I’m sure that back in the day the crack investigative progressive journalists at the SFBG caught that and blew the whistle. Oh wait, Calvin and Sue put the kibosh on any of that.

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