Mid-Market landlord appeals as tenants face holiday evictions

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1049 Market st. tenant Marcele Wilson speaks to the crowd
Photo by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Tenants fighting evictions from their 1049 Market home suffered a major setback this week as their landlords filed an appeal that may clear the way for conversion of their apartments into an office space. 

The landlords want to knock down the walls of the now-apartment building to reap the benefits of the tech loving Mid-Market area, and will make their case to do so at the Board of Appeals on Wednesday, Dec/18, according to appeal documents. 

At a press conference for the tenants today held on Market, tenant Marcele Wilson said that there are many people still living in the building despite the eviction notices. There are around 60 units in the building, but it is unclear how many are still occupied. But those remaining may lose their homes this winter, Wilson said.

“What kind of human being evicts people during the holidays?” he asked the crowd. The tenants have yet to see any eviction notices rescinded. 

The landlords, John Gall and Amy Bogart, didn’t return calls or emails from the Guardian. 

The tenants first received their eviction notices in September, which became highly politicized because San Francisco suffered an exodus of the working class, families, and artists as rental prices continue to surge. But the building was never up to code for rental units and was zoned as an office space. 

When that was revealed the Department of Building Inspection moved swiftly to work with Gall to bring the building up to code to stave off the evictions, but a DBI official told the Guardian that Gall quickly begged off. They haven’t heard from him since early October.

“The way this works is the owner would come in with an architect or a designer so they could talk about what part of the building code needed to be addressed,” William Strawn, a spokesperson from DBI told us. Officials offered to meet with Gall on Oct. 11 in order to clarify what needed to change in the building to make it safer for residents -- like having access to light and air.  

“We haven’t heard from him since making that offer,” Strawn said.

Though in other coverage Gall told reporters the cost for making modifications were extensive, a Planning Department official told the Guardian that there were less expensive alternatives.

"The owners had a variety of options available to them," said Dan Sider, senior adviser for special projects at the Planning Department.

April Veneracion Ang, an aide to Sup. Jane Kim, said that Kim’s office had been working with Gall, but hadn’t heard word on if he’d rescind the evictions yet. 

Despite his silence, Gall has been hard at work to remove the tenants from the building. The eviction notices came in waves, and he continued to issue them through all of these negotiations, Sara Shortt of the Housing Rights Committee told us. 

But on Oct. 28, the Planning Department suspended Gall’s application to turn the building into office space, writing that the building had been used as a residence in violation of planning codes for quite some time. The suspension was a win for the tenants and housing activists.

It was that suspension that Gall appealed to overturn on Nov. 8. 

In his appeal, Gall wrote that the suspension of the permit for office space was “arbitrary and capricious” and not consistent with the “plain language” of the planning code. He also said he spent over $120,000 in relocation fees for tenants. 

Tenants at the rally told us they were given checks by their landlord to move on and find new places to live, but in a story that is exceedingly familiar, it didn’t help a bit.

Many couldn’t afford to live in San Francisco if evicted, they said. 

“I can take that $5,000 and not get anywhere in the city,” said Jonathan Stoker, 47, a three-year resident. A former server who injured his arm waiting tables on Hornblower cruises, he’s now a freelance graphic designer looking for a new job, a tall order, he said. If evicted, he was certain he’d have to leave the city. 

“[Living in San Francisco] was my dream. People are engaged here, they’re creative, they’re thinkers,” he said. “I’d probably end up in Oakland in a basement somewhere, but even that’s going fast.”

The rents at 1049 Market range between $900 and $1,200 a month, the tenants told the Guardian. 

Inside the building after the press conference, some tenants gathered around inside an ornate red-hued apartment belonging to Peter Taylor, 70. 

Glasses of wine in hand, Taylor, Stoker, and another neighbor from down the hall traded tales of the sordid ways they’ve been pressured to leave the building in the past month. 

Their security guards were let go, Tony Antori, 40, said. The property is across from Civic Center, a hub of suffering souls who’ve now been making their way into the building and some of them  “have been living in our bathrooms now,” Antori told the Guardian, to nods from his neighbors. “A guy was found with his pants down and a hypodermic needle in his arm.”

ToniAntoni

Tony Antori in his apartment in October. Photo by Bay Guardian News Editor Rebecca Bowe. 

Stoker said that they’ve also been losing hot water periodically, forcing them all to shower in the cold or go without. Antori said the YMCA has been a savior for hot showers. 

Taylor sees this all as a sign that Gall is ready to play hardball, no pun intended, as the now-landlord was a former Major League Baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals.

“This is the king of guy this is,” Taylor said. He felt in his bones that his landlord wouldn’t back down easy. 

The tenants will find out for sure on Dec. 18, when Gall makes his case to turn the apartments into offices at the Board of Appeals. Until then, they fight, hoping they’ll keep their homes for the holidays, and longer. 

Comments

It helps the people making $100K who are on rent control, that's not no one.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

and especially from people who may not be making that much themselves.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

Tax capital gains like income and we'll talk about your concern for the well to do being subsidized by the working schmoes.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 15, 2013 @ 9:04 pm

Once as income and then when it produces a capital gain - there's a reason capital gains aren't treated like income.

I can see the capital gains tax being raised but treating it the same as income? A non-starter.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Nov. 15, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

Capital gains should be taxed a third time if possible.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 15, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

I support rent control because it's fair. The government stabilizes rents because it's a public good -it keeps communities together and makes rents more fair for everyone. It's not done just because it's a subsidy for the needy, although renters are generally poorer than their landlords (with not many exceptions, actually).

So I don't care if high income people get rent control. I don't begrudge high income people their success. I don't want to punish them for their success like some people.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 16, 2013 @ 9:34 am

Aspen is 100% wealthy doesn't mean that the surrounding area is, and it is those cheaper surrounding parts of Pitkin County that can house the low-paid service workers that any affluent town needs.

You appear to be assuming that SF is a town of 777,000 people with nothing around it. But really SF is just an affluent neighborhood within a much bigger city - the Bay Area. And different towns can be affluent or poor in much the same way as different areas of a single town.

Some decent-sized towns are mostly very affluent, like Santa Barbara. But mostly the situation is a rich core (SF, Aspen) surrounded by cheaper "dormitory" towns (Oakland, Carbondale).

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 9:05 am

That's not what I'm assuming at all. I'm simply pointing out that your basis of comparison is weak and doesn't serve your argument well at all.

Calling Oakland a "dormitory" town is incorrect since it's obviously much more than that. It's a completely separate entity, not a mere adjunct to SF. I'm fairly certain that residents in Piedmont don't view themselves as being a part of the supply of low paid SF workers.

Posted by Yo on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 10:23 am

conurbation (and without signs, you'd never know where one city ends and the next one starts) then it becomes a lot more realistic to see that some BA cities can be affluent (SF, Piedmont etc.) and some can be cheaper (Oakland, Vallejo etc.)

Once you know your budget, you can find a place in the larger city that suits you best. You don't have to live in the Aspen of the Bay Area. Nobody owes you a home in a neighborhood that you cannot afford.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

the Bay Area should moves toward closer integration between cities.

Except we're not there yet. Not even close. You can fantasize all you want.

You can also keep dreaming of the day when the laws of SF finally come around to suiting your interests more (whatever they may be). Until then, act like an adult and deal with things the way they are.

Posted by Yo on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

should live in the part of the Bay Area they can afford without assistance, rather than demanding that they live in SF when that requires some form of subsidy from someone else.

That is what being an adult is all about.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

is for San Francisco to change laws that have been on the books for decades in order to bail out incompetent landlords who lack the ability to properly run a risk analysis on the realities of owning a rent controlled building.

I actually think it's worth having a discussion about repealing rent control, just not in the way you want to go about doing it.

Posted by Yo on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

those who hoard units for decades, no matter how rich they are. And punishes those who have to move, no matter how poor they are.

How can you justify that?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

as I'm merely stating the way things are. Hopefully, this city will figure out how to build more residential units and make effective changes to rent control in ways that help out tenants and landlords.

Of course, I'm sure you'll continue to spend your days on comment boards hurling insults at working class tenants while pretending you have the authority to direct significant population shifts into other Bay Area cities.

Posted by Yo on Nov. 15, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

policy then it will surprise nobody if the rate of evictions continue or escalate, while people like you scratch your head wondering how that can possibly happen.

But for the record, I am not trying to direct anyone to move anywhere. I am simply outlining how available cheaper housing options are for people who cannot afford SF.

And therefore how this alleged "crisis" may in reality be instead an opportunity to find more sustainably affordable homes than relying on the generosity of your landlord.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

since I understand why we're seeing an increase in evictions. It's because of the following:

1. An acute shortage in the supply of available residential units.
2. Outdated rent control laws.
3. Incompetent landlords who can't manage their properties correctly and thus need to resort to drastic measures (legal or otherwise) to recoup their losses.

Note how I'm not blaming tenants here because:

1. They agreed to pay rent at a price set by their landlord.
2. They are simply operating within the parameters set by the city government. They didn't create or pass rent control. Bureaucrats did that. It's human nature to take advantage of things that may prove to be beneficial to them.

There's a difference between not needing to justify something and being unable to. I stated that I don't need to justify anything to you because I'm not a lawmaker. I'll try to wear that hat for the purposes of this discussion though.

There is a justification for the current laws in that they help some tenants increase their purchasing power (which helps the local economy and businesses) due to not having to place a larger percentage of their income towards covering rent. It also gives lower to middle class residents a chance to be a part of a world class city. However, I agree that rent control distorts the market and is not a long term solution.

The notion that tenants are relying on the generosity of landlords is fiction as most pay rent under terms set by the landlords. Nobody held a gun to any landlord's head and told them they have to run a loss making enterprise. That's something they chose to do. It's similar to a lottery… some win, some lose. Yes, it's bad policy.

Posted by Yo on Nov. 15, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

by landlords at all but rather nothing more than having bad luck at getting no turnover. In other words, it is random and the blame can only be raised at the laws that make such situation inevitable.

There are only two ways a landlord can exert skill to avoid this:

1) Pick tenants who will move on quickly, such as temporary lets to foreigners, tourists, visiting academics etc.

2) Invoke Ellis when #1 fails.

You want landlord competance? I think that instead you hope that there won't be any.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

than figuring out which tenants will move out after a few years.

So it encourages prejudices against factors that might make a person less willing to move on. Such factors might be:

1) No decent job prospects
2) People whose ambition to live in a "world class city" exceed their ability to sustain that
3) Any kind of misfit who is maybe in SF only because they don't fit in elsewhere
4) People with overtly left-wing views who are ideological about quasi-scoialist policies like rent control

When in doubt, AirBnB the unit rather than risk a "lifer loser"

Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

since before purchasing a rent controlled property, a prospective buyer can ask the outgoing landlord things like: "Hey, how long has Tenant 1 been in Unit 5?" or "What does Tenant 23 do for work?"

If the answers are coming back negative, then the prospective landlord might say to himself "Gee, it looks like the majority of these tenants aren't leaving or will cause me problems in other ways. Maybe I should look into buying another building."

What happens instead is we get people who decide to roll the dice anyways and then whine and complain when they lose. So there are, in fact, two places blame can be assigned: the current rent control laws & the landlords who choose to play the SF rental lottery game and then attempt to rationalize their failures by attacking tenants.

I don't need to hope for landlord incompetence since this city is already rife with it. What I'm actually hoping for is more residential construction and effective changes to rental laws.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 16, 2013 @ 9:14 am

Places where the wealthy live always do. and they all live somewhere, just not in prime Aspen, but in the surrounding area.

Likewise, SF can be "prime" Bay Area. The wealthy live in Sf and the service workers live in Oakland and elsewhere. That's why we built BART and the Willie Brown bridge.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 7:04 am

to accomodate post-war migration and to ease congestion. Nowhere is it said that the system was constructed solely to transport low-paid workers into SF to service a 100% wealthy population.

Posted by Yo on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 8:54 am

That implies the notion that people can live where land and homes are cheaper and still work in downtown SF.

As work has decentralized more, BART has been extended south and east, but it's main purpose remains to allow more people to work in SF than live here. And to give SF workers a better choice of residential location.

And to many, that means living in Oakland if you pay won't cover SF.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 9:08 am

not just SF. You are aware that some people use it to commute from the suburbs to downtown Oakland right?

Posted by Yo on Nov. 14, 2013 @ 10:15 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... Jane KIM's Office " April Veneracion Ang, an aide to Sup. Jane Kim, said that Kim’s office had been working with Gall, but hadn’t heard word on if he’d rescind the evictions yet. "

Is this the SAME JANE KIM that would not contact me nor take my evidence for CORRUPT Police Investigations that she had a HEARING over ... on 9/9 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xtqja9Up02A and on 9/19 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DogpfAUdBg4 (and who is that in the video?) and 9/27 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7GI9YAElnk and 10/7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6Vw1f9OMLU and then watch teh MALTREATMENT by the Sheriff https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K37J2PCKDA ANY MORE QUESTIONS?

Yes, the SOUNDS of FURY and RAGE accomplishing NOTHING while continuing the ILLUSION and NATURALLY being well paid for the FRAUD. What will come of this is EXACTLY what happened with the LEE's ... then the Sheriff's Eviction Assistance Unit will give them MEANINGLESS papers.

So I am STILL awaiting contact from the Supervisor ... I mean would that NOT take INTEGRITY? It is now 11/13/13 ...

Keep DRINKING the KOOL-AID and watch the rest of the youtube videos to see the GAMES, INHUMANITY, FALSE LEADS and NO HOPE, etc.

Keep watching to see the SAME results as the LEE's ( NOTHING, NADA, ZIP ) and NATURALLY the same PR from the Supervisors who will accomplish NOTHING yet tell you how much they care while collecting $$$ ... RIGGED,RIGGED,RIGGED.

Again, I still await my meeting with Supervisor KIM ... me and my video camera, evidence and questions ... ha,ha,ha. Oh and MAR's Office has NOT contacted me either.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 8:01 am

It's likely they ignore you because they think you're loopy, JGG. Maybe just stay home with a nice cup of cocoa and put that camera to work shooting porn, as god intended.

Posted by Chromefields on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 9:31 am

Jason Grant Garza here to Chromefields ... thank you for your common average useless opinion (ignoring the TRUTH, etc) while providing ad hominem attacks ... I would guess that in your reality " LOOPY " people have signed confession from the city http://myownprivateguantanamo.com/settle1.html that they got after having their case dismissed with TESTILYING and FRAUD (C02-3486PJH) admitting fault and guilt then LEAVING its INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD. The videos clearly show who was "DISRESPECTED, ABUSED and HARMED." Nice chatting with you again.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:12 am

A pleasure indeed, JGG. I wasn't attacking you, however, merely speculating as to why no one in city government ever wants to talk to you, based on the sheer weirdness and numbing repetitiveness of your posts. Godspeed in your search for truth, comrade.

Posted by Chromefields on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:36 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive deceptions, reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by kksjh on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:41 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive deceptions, reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by kksjhfk on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:36 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive deceptions, reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by kksjhfk on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:37 am

"Mid-Market landlord appeals as tenants face holiday evictions"

"The tenants first received their eviction notices in September"

"“What kind of human being evicts people during the holidays?” he asked the crowd."

So let me get this straight - you get an eviction notice in September, you fight and successfully put off the eviction for several months, and now you whine that you will evicted over the holidays.

If you didn't want to get evicted over the holidays, you had the option of leaving when you got the eviction notice.

Posted by racer さ on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:14 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive deceptions, reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by kksjhf on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:39 am

Probably because it isn't logic at all.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:42 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive deceptions, reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by hdhgk on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 11:12 am

Official Dogma of the San Francisco Rent Control Cult
1. Landlords are more evil than child molesters, serial killers and rapists… COMBINED!
2. We demonize landlords to make it socially acceptable to strip them of their property and keep it exclusively for our personal use. (Just as the Nazi's started out doing to the Jews)
3. We use the canard of "compassion" to attempt to shame and make others believe it's amoral to use,control and benefit from their legally owned property. That by letting us steal their property they magically become "good" people. (this does not work well with anyone who has intelligence, but luckily for us there are plenty who don't.)
4. Rent Controlled tenants (only) have special privileges that cannot be denied FOR ANY REASON. Just our undeniable magnificence makes the city a far superior place and therefore our special and exclusive price controls, are deserved and can never be removed FOR ANY REASON!, even if State Law allows it.
5. People who work and create technologies are worth less and have far less rights than our privileged selves and should not even consider living in OUR city (even though we actually OWN nothing). WE WERE HERE FIRST, so just go back to Mexi.. opps, we mean Cupertino.
6. For us GREED is a one way street, owners who want the legally obtained financial harvest from their property are GREEDY, GREEDY pigs, while we conniving coveters of valuable property owned by someone else, are never GREEDY, GREEDY, we just want what is obviously ours by the divine right of our exrta special greatness.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:47 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive deceptions, reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by kks on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:52 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive deceptions, reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by kks on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:53 am

Wonder if it's the same Peter Taylor used to publish long short stories in the New Yorker 40 years ago?

Posted by pete moss on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 11:41 am

Would love to return to Mountain View, live in Napa instead because of work and reasonable rent. It is not Mountain View which is suffering the same fate as San Francisco, rent hikes, home prices going up, influx of tech related workers and businesses.

Posted by Garrett on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

there is far more supply of rental housing, meaning lower rents and no evictions.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

"April Veneracion Ang, an aide to Sup. Jane Kim, said that Kim’s office had been working with Gall, but hadn’t heard word on if he’d rescind the evictions yet."

You mean this is ONE issue that busy-body Scott Wiener isn't sticking his nose in for camera time and publicity? And it doesn't matter whether it his district or not, that's immaterial to him based on other feel-good symbolic bull shit he's comes up with thus far. His rabid supporters tell us "he listens to his constituents." He listens to his angry rabid supporters, the Real Estate Industrial Complex and their corrupt liars, the Chamber of Commerce, the homeowners, the conservative prudes in the Castro and elsewhere, but he completely ignores all of his other constituents who are not from his select groups who make up his conservative, rabid, redneck, angry base.

Upon reflection, I guess it's just as well that he keeps his nose out of this because he would likely be working on the side of the landlord and not the tenants, as he speaks pretty, sweet words to the contrary.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

denounce the only supervisor who can actually get things done in this town?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

They indicate exactly what I should be reading - comments which differ wildly from the SF hive mindset and which really are the only comments here worth reading.

Thank you for making it easier and more enjoyable to read these comments. Please keep it up!

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

My name is Tory ANTONI., and thank you for continuing to tell the public about .
our fight to keep our home,s during the holiday,s.While I can forgive a name misspelling I will never in my soul forgive a man who throws out my friend,s and neighbor,s I love on Thanksgiving and Christmas ."Merry Christmas now hit the brick,s I've got an eviction orientation class to attend!!"

Posted by Tory Antoni on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

For all the techy,s who want to live in home,s already being lived in here. I keep hearing from a lot of landlord,s here about how great it is to live in Oakland.So why don't you look at building some property there?

Posted by Tory Antoni on Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

so rent the places for 1,000$ when each unit is probably worth about 3 times that? you must all be terrible business people if you think that makes sense. If you want to live in city, be realistic what the rent should be. Id want to do the same thing if i was the owners, and if you owned the building, your lying to yourself if your typing otherwise

Posted by Guest on Mar. 30, 2014 @ 1:15 pm

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