8 Washington

Who really lives in those fancy condos?

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Interesting piece in the NY Times about the growing number of high-end condos in the city that are empty most of the year. Thurns out that the more expensive the housing, the more likely it will be owned by somebody who hardly ever lives there:Read more »

High-rise risk

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The fate of 8 Washington, a luxury high-rise project planned for San Francisco’s northern waterfront, remains uncertain after landing at the center of a political firestorm last year. Yet a whopping $42 million, invested by the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS), is currently tied up in the project.Read more »

War of the waterfront

Too many projects and too little planning on San Francisco's most valuable strip of land

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tredmond@sfbg.com

There's a blocky, unattractive building near the corner of Howard and Steuart streets, right off the Embarcadero, that's used for the unappealing activity of parking cars. Nobody's paid much attention to it for years, although weekend shoppers at the Ferry Building Farmers Market appreciate the fact that they can park their cars for just $6 on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

But now a developer has big plans for the 75 Howard Street site — and it's about to become a critical front in a huge battle over the future of San Francisco's waterfront.Read more »

The most shameless campaign mailer of the year

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This is out-of-control shameless: David Lee -- the pro-landlord, pro-downtown, pro-any-form-of-development candidate who is running against Sup. Eric Mar in District 1, is trying to hit Mar for supporting 8 Washington.Read more »

Newsom votes for -- and pushes -- housing for the rich

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I can't say if the campaign contributions had anything to do with it (in fact, nobody seems to know when campaign contributions become bribery) but for whatever reason, Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom not only voted for 8 Washington on the State Lands Commission -- he pushed hard to make sure the project went through.

Read more »

Newsom will vote on campaign donors' projects

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On the front page of the Chronicle Aug. 12, California Watch reported that Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has been promoting the interests of campaign donors in San Diego and San Bernardino. It’s nothing criminal, but it looks bad – and it’s just the start. Read more »

8 Washington's going on the ballot

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San Franciscans are going to get a chance to vote on the most expensive condos in the city's history and the future of development on the waterfront as soon as this November.

Opponents of the 8 Washington project turned in 31,721 signatures to the Department of Elections July 19, and since only about 19,000 have to be valid, it's a safe bet the referendum will qualify.Read more »

Developer hires crew to block signature gathering

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The developer of 8 Washington has taken an unusual if not unprecedented step to prevent a referendum on his waterfront condo project from succeeding: He's hired a crew of people to surround signature-gatherers and try to drive away anyone who might sign a petition to put the project before voters.Read more »

Gonzalez withdraws his endorsement of Olague

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Matt Gonzalez – the attorney and former president of the Board of Supervisors whose 2003 run for mayor galvanized the city's progressive movement – has withdrawn his endorsement of Sup. Christina Olague for his old District 5 supervisorial seat, citing her positions on the 8 Washington project and replacing ranked-choice (RCV) voting with a September mayoral primary election.Read more »

We can stop 8 Washington

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There's a week left to stop the sale of San Francisco's waterfront to the 1 percent.

The Board of Supervisors approved the 8 Washington project, and a coalition that (for various reasons) opposes this giant pile of housing for the very, very rich is trying to put the issue on the ballot. That takes a lot of signatures, and there's only one week left to collect them.Read more »