Putting 8 Washington on the ballot

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The fall ballot's going to be crowded -- and one of the issues that may face a vote is the future of the 8 Washington condo complex, the waterfront multi-zillionaire housing that the city doesn't need.

Opponents of the project have filed for a referendum on the Board of Supervisors approval, and they're meeing Satruday June 23 at 15 Columbus at 10am to start the process of gathering signatures. It's not easy -- they need 28,000 signatures in 28 days, and this, I suspect, isn't going to be one of those money-heavy deals with a lot of paid gatherers.

Former City Attorney Louise Renne will be there to lead off the festivities.

Me, I'd love to see this on the ballot in a high-turnout year when six supervisorial seats are up. Because it's a great issue to discuss: Who is San Francisco building housing for, and why?

Is it ok that more than 80 percent of the people who work in San Francisco can't afford to buy or rent a median-priced home? Is it ok that virtually all of the new housing getting constructed is out of reach to virtually all of the people who work here?

Is that in any way sustainable?

 

Comments

80 % of people who work here can not afford to live here, that is pretty interesting. Can you put it in some perspective?
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How many people work in San Francisco and how may units are available to house the work force of SF? If there are only 2 units per 10 employees in San Francisco it would be no surprise that 80% can not afford to live here or even be housed here.

Posted by chris pratt on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

IT's unfortunate the the voters of SF were not able to vote on whether Bruce Brugman should have been able to sell his paper to the examiner.
Its also unfortunate that the voters of SF were not able to vote on whether Bruce Brugman should have been able to sell his building to a real estate developer for a several million dollar profit.

All decisions questioned by the Telegraph hill dwellers should be put to city wide vote.
a problem for the extraordinarily well connected and 1%'ed elite in Telegraph hill is a problem for ALL of SF.
I for one am thrilled that the SFBG has become the mouthpiece for this underrepresented group.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

Do you really think that S.F.would be worse off with more rich people? wouldent that help the economy, with all their spending?

Posted by Jason Lee on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

>"Do you really think that S.F.would be worse off with more rich people? wouldent that help the economy, with all their spending?"

I can answer that one, having read this stuff for awhile.

Tim has already explained that rich people are boring and he has calculated the environmental damage that will result from their private jets flying here once a month.

(seriously, he did)

Posted by Troll on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

If the owners are rich people who will only be in town a few days per month I don't see where they would get the opportunity to spend money in SF.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

2 million dollar condo would be about 22K per year.

They will also pay HOA fees which, by definition will be spent locally and hire locally.

Then they'll still need cleaners etc.

One of these residents will put more into the local economy, whether here or not, than a dozen bad artists.

And they won't all be absentee at all.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 6:18 am

Within the context of prop 13 the property tax is less than exciting. Small local businesses get nothing from this retarded development model.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 9:23 am

It merely favors older homeowners over younger ones.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 11:30 am

Meaning that the project supporters are myopically short sighted because the effect of prop 13 over time is dramatic.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 11:46 am

of new prop tax revenue. P13 merely informs the rate at which that will increase. But the over-riding factor is that the high sales prices means a huge amount of tax revenue.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

Meaning so called moderates don't like long term projections because over time prop 13 dwindles those taxes to insignificant amounts, by design.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

windfall gain every time a unit sells.

Prop taxes increase on average by 7% per annum

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

Doesn't sound like prop 13 does much good after all so should be no problem repealing it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

Why do you wingnuts lie about such easily verifiable facts?

Prop 13 does NOT allow increases above annual inflation.

Thereafter, annual increases to the base year value are limited to the inflation rate, as measured by the California Consumer Price Index, or two percent, whichever is less.

I have a question to ask you:

1) Are you so stupid and misinformed that you actually believe the drivel you post?

2) Are you a deliberate liar?

http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/faqs/caproptaxprop.htm

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Jun. 24, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

Increases are limited to 2% pa, and not inflation.

In addition, it gets rebased to every new sales price.

As does new build.

So prop tax revenues increase by about 7% pa overall - far above inflation. and still the government can't live off it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

Assessed value is limited to 2%. When the property is sold assessed value is raised to sale price so you miss years of assessed value.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 26, 2012 @ 7:16 am

"It merely favors older homeowners over younger ones."

So why include commercial property?

Corporations just sell shares, they don't sell property outright, and they keep the base valuation forever.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 26, 2012 @ 7:19 am

I might sign the petition but I need to know one thing that has never been disclosed here:

Exactly how many affordable units is the city losing because of 8 Washington?

I need to know that because, AFIK, the answer is zero and in fact that developer will be paying $11 million dollars to create affordable housing elsewhere in the city. If it is canceled we lose that money.

What am I getting wrong?

Right now I feel that the 8 Washington articles here only reflect Tim Redmond's psychological issue with wealthy people. It is like watching a car wreck already.

Posted by Troll on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

rhetorical slant. Actually it really doesn't suit your spurious argumentation. The answer to your falsely delivered question is that every time luxury apartments are built, it drives up the "market rate" so that susequent housing based on that rate increases in cost.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

Imagine that we built 100,000 million dollar condo's in highrises. By the time they were for sale, they wouldn't be a million dollars.

We need more homes at all price points. Introducing class warfare into the debate isn't helpful.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 9:08 am

"More supply depresses prices."

Not really. Developers just sit on the empty units until the gubbment can raise the conforming rate to cover their properties with rich-people welfare.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 9:31 am

More supply = lower prices.

It's obvious. Or "a priori" as Lilli would say.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 11:30 am

You seem to imply just what most progressives were thinking a few years ago, just build and build until the price goes down and the market is glutted with houses.

That was a major reason for the Rincon Tower development. Build it, extort money from it, and when the obvious real estate market correction hit, let them not be able to sell them and have it go bankrupt.

That isn't how it turned out.

Rincon Towers just sat empty. When market rate went down, the units just went off the market. There wasn't a flood of cheap, relatively nice condos that hit the market. There was a big, ugly, empty, ridiculous building.

That is one difference between 8 Washington and One Rincon.

One Rincon was designed to fail.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2012 @ 6:28 am

The plan now is to have the social media bubble burst and have a bunch of cheap condos at 8 Washington.

What will really happen is the people running the printing press will come to the rescue, making the middle class, or the children of the middle class, pay for their crazy errors.

That is what 8 Washington will be. Another big bail out.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2012 @ 6:31 am

Build and build and build makes Detroit, not San Francisco.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2012 @ 6:33 am

More supply = more government mortgage subsidies. It most certainly does not mean lower prices.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2012 @ 6:34 am

>" it drives up the "market rate" so that susequent housing based on that rate increases in cost."

Yeah....somehow I don't think that argument is going to lead people to want to keep that site as a surface parking lot and private tennis club. But thanks anyway.

Posted by Troll on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 7:50 pm

If you want to see a FLOOD of affordable housing end government subsidies for jumbo mortgages.

I am offended beyond words that the government props up this vastly overheated real estate market to begin with, making it economically more attractive to build project after project after project of luxury condos for the extremely wealthy.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

I also find it quite unbelievable that the developer, who is projected to make 200 million dollars on this project (you sheep think about that when you remember the last time you made 200 million dollars) and STILL demand millions in support from the city which is cutting and cutting to save its budget.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

You're assuming the developer has no costs!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 6:20 am

These numbers come from City's Budget Analyst, Port and developer. Project soft cost number based on formula that soft cost average 40% of total project costs:

Projected sales of condos: $ 391M initial residential condo sales
+ $ 78M initial commercial condo sales
$ 469M total revenue to the developer

Total cost to build project: $ 177M construction costs (hard costs)
+ $ 114M soft costs (40% of total costs)
$ 291M total costs to developer

Profit: $ 469M Total Revenue
- $ 291M Total Costs
$ 178M Projected Profit

Posted by Brad Paul on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 7:47 am

Anyway, it's really nobody's business how much profit they make. They'd need a lot more profit from a SF project simply because of all the political risk and hysteria they bear.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 8:56 am

Are you referring to his office expenses?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 9:35 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 11:31 am

Non construction costs, fertile grounds for manip.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

Both are huge, meaning profits are far less that you might think.

Developers are entitled to make money, else why take the risk and the hassle?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

I'm sure the city could find someone to do it for (a lot) less. The idea that you have to spend nearly half a billion dollars and make nearly 200 billion on a block of condos is something unique to SF I would think.

people in this city are staggeringly dumb.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 23, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

Wait what? 200 million.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2012 @ 6:39 am

finished ten years behind schedule. Do you really want the guys who run muni doing construction?

200 million isn't an unreasonable rate of return given the risk.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2012 @ 8:32 am

Put it up for bid and see what is "reasonable rate of return." Not 40% certainly. Anyone who thinks a half billion dollars is reasonable for a condo project just doesn't have a clue how much money that is or how much cheaper it would be anywhere else in the entire world.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2012 @ 10:36 am

concerned about what it costs, since you're not paying for it. If private investors want to over-pay to build it, that's their concern.

Likewise, it's not our concern how much profit, if any, they make. The profit cannot be known at this point since, by the time it is finished, the RE market may be doing great or worse than now. That's the risk these investors bear and why they demand a higher return.

Either way, it's a non-issue for the rest of us.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2012 @ 11:17 am

That's just what Rose Pak said.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

so far isn't happening. Cat got your tongue?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

Rents are going through the roof. This is totally my business.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 26, 2012 @ 7:21 am

As a concerned citizen who happens to know that construction projects make around 10% I am puzzled and shocked by the apparent windfall profits from this project and wonder why is was so intertwined with election politics last year.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 26, 2012 @ 7:36 am

Ok well since development projects that are profitable make on the order of 10% I am concerned about the apparently outrageous profits of this project that has politicial ops crawling all over it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 26, 2012 @ 7:39 am

I am constantly amazed at how these "moderate" lemmings fight for some faceless developer who is going to make ungodly money a leave them with nothing but security guards to shoo them away from the front gate.

no one but the super wealthy will ever see the inside of these condos so I guess you will never know what you are missing, dimwits.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 8:45 pm

It's walled, gated and closed off now as a private club. The new plan would open up most of it to parks and reconnect Pacific Avenue to the Embarcadero as a pedestrian street.

I'm surprised you guys buy into all the affordable housing crap. The people fighting this either are rich and living on Telegraph Hill or living in the affordable housing in Golden Gateway. The opposition has three law firms working for them and paid Asian Development (a planning/consulting firm) a huge fee to come up with an alternative. They all lie so much they sound like Mitt Romney.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

The average unemployed "activist" would feel intimidated the moment they entered that exalted entrance because, well, they don't look right or fit in.

But Tim would rather preserve this bastion of upper-class recreation than provide 11 million dollars worth of affordable homes, just because he is that angry, bitter and snide.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 25, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

Why not pull a page from the proglodyte book and assert that Tim hates poor people for not supporting this particular affordable housing scheme?

Posted by marcos on Jun. 26, 2012 @ 8:09 am