Gabrielle Lurie/Special to The S.F. ExaminerAlon Gutman stands outside of The Park Hotel at 1040 Folsom Street as he speaks to a construction worker

Gabrielle Lurie/Special to The S.F. ExaminerAlon Gutman stands outside of The Park Hotel at 1040 Folsom Street as he speaks to a construction worker

Residents moving out of violation-plagued SF tech communes

On a lightly rainy evening last week, a handful of residents at The Negev Folsom tech commune in South of Market merrily played ping pong in the common area newly adorned with a Christmas tree, lights and a blow-up Santa.

Yet those festive additions cannot sugar-coat the long list of building code violations that the property manager has failed to abate — a situation that appears to be getting on the nerves of once largely complacent tenants.

Still, several of the 20-somethings living at 1040 Folsom St. laughed and seemed unbothered by water leakage in the living room and kitchen areas from the recent heavy rainfall. As far as some of them are concerned, it will soon be a problem in their past.

“People are moving out,” Cory Bray, 30, a resident and former “president” of the commune, told The San Francisco Examiner. “When they look at things like the fire escape that's not safe and when The City issues notices of violation and it's not being taken seriously, at that point [the residents have] had enough and decided to go do something else. I've heard at least 10 confirmed to move out within the next 30 to 45 days.”

Amid San Francisco's economic boom fueled in large part by the emerging tech industry, entrepreneurs like Danny Haber, 26, and Alon Gutman, 27, have found creative solutions for housing for an increasingly younger workforce. The pair started The Negev Twelfth last year and The Negev Sixth and The Negev Folsom this year. A bed in one of these places goes for $1,000 to $1,700 a month. But the properties are not without their problems.

In the past six weeks alone, the Department of Building Inspection issued six notices of violation at the single-room-occupancy Negev Folsom. Since building manager and leaseholder Haber did not reattach and secure the fire escape to the building within 30 days of the Nov. 6 notice, the property will be subject to its first building inspection director's hearing Jan. 8.

In the most recent inspection last week, housing inspector Luis Barahona found broken glass panes near the common space at the front of the building, no fire extinguisher and debris stored in a hot water heater room. Also, a fire alarm needed to be fixed and the source of a water leak that damaged the ceiling needed to be identified.

“They all need to be fixed; all of them are super-important,” said Barahona, who also inspected The Negev Sixth at 219 Sixth St. and found similar violations.

At a director's hearing on Dec. 4 for The Negev Sixth, Haber listed some work completed to abate the violations and learned how to address an improperly installed water heater.

“By tomorrow, everything should be done,” Haber said.

Meanwhile, work remains unfinished at The Negev Folsom and The Negev Twelfth at 200 12th St.

“In The City as a whole, most landlords are responsible,” said senior housing inspector Jamie Sanbonmatsu. “But we do have enough that aren't that keep us busy.”

Bay Area NewsSan Francisco housing crisistechThe Negev

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Those who stick around San Francisco on long holiday weekends can enjoy a slower pace, uncrowded streets and beloved institutions like cable cars. <ins>(Kevin Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
These empty San Francisco streets: A holiday dream

We’re here because we can be, and because we have nowhere else to be

The 2020 Census has concluded taking responses sooner than expected. (Courtesy photo)
What does California have to lose if undocumented immigrants are excluded from the census?

By Kim Bojórquez The Sacramento Bee If The U.S. Supreme Court rules… Continue reading

It’s disheartening to see that Bill Graham Civic’s marquee isn’t announcing upcoming concerts. (Screenshot/Bill Graham Civic Twitter)
A cruise through The City with the ghosts of rides past

I take my time and don’t even mind the occasional traffic jams

A ban on smoking or vaping in multi-unit buildings has drawn opposition from cannabis advocates, who say it would leave users with no legal place to consume a legal substance. (Shutterstock)
Cannabis group slams Yee’s proposed apartment smoking ban as ‘classist’

Legislation would impose fines of $1,000 a day on repeat violators

The most dangerous behaviors by drivers include failing to yield right-of-way at crosswalks, unsafe speeding and failing to stop at red lights or stop signs. <ins>(Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>

Most Read