MIKE koozmin/2013 s.f. examiner file photoTenants of 1049 Market St.

San Francisco intercedes in mid-Market eviction fight

The City has halted renovation work at a mid-Market Street building that houses dozens of tenants who have received eviction notices in an “unprecedented intervention” that nonetheless may not stop their exodus.

Tenants at 1049 Market St. — a building zoned for commercial use that houses dozens of artists in spaces dubbed “office lofts” — began receiving 60-day eviction notices in September from the landlord, a property group that secured permits in order to convert the lofts into office space.

The conversion work was necessary to fix an earlier violation notice issued by the Building Inspection Department, which noted the property is not supposed to house residents.

After an outcry over what could be one of the biggest evictions in San Francisco history — coupled with a citywide “affordability crisis” that has put living space out of reach for many — The City suspended that building permit in a Thursday letter, officials announced Friday.

No one, including the landlord and activists, knows how many people live in the building, but it could be upward of 60 in 40 units. About 20 have already accepted relocation checks and moved out.

Though the conversion to office space is on indefinite hold, all eviction notices are still active and several floors of the building are already vacant.

However, the delay is a “victory, no matter what the [eventual] outcome,” said Tommi Avicolli Mecca, an organizer with the Housing Rights Committee who has worked on behalf of the tenants to keep them in their homes.

“We’ve gotten The City to respond in a way that it’s never responded before to an eviction,” he said. “This is City Hall realizing it has a PR problem on its hands and that it’s got to do something.”

John Gall, a Stanford University-educated former Major League Baseball player who is one of the partners in 1049 Market St., told The San Francisco Examiner last month that converting the office lofts into legal living space would require extensive modifications that are not economically feasible.

On Friday, Gall said he and his partners are “still trying to figure out the situation” and are unsure how to proceed.

“We get new information daily,” said Gall, whose group owns two other buildings on the same block.

Gentrification and skyrocketing prices for residential and commercial property are hot-button issues in San Francisco as a tech-company-fueled economic boom continues.

San Francisco’s long-blighted mid-Market area has seen a rapid renaissance since Twitter — now preparing for a lucrative IPO at an estimated market value of more than $20 billion — was enticed by a tax break to move into a long-vacant building at 1355 Market St.

Longtime mid-Market tenants, including community-serving nonprofits, have been edged out thanks to a market for office space that’s increased from $39.67 per square foot to almost $51 per square foot in the past two years, said area Supervisor Jane Kim.1049 Market St.Bay Area NewsneighborhoodsSan Francisco evictionsTwitter

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

Competing Hayes Valley petitions reveal fractured response to tent encampments

Some business owners say they signed a ‘tent-free zone’ petition unwittingly

SF cops to vote on delayed raises amid pandemic

City officials have agreed to new pay raises for officers under a… Continue reading

Balboa Reservoir project wins approval from Board of Supervisors

Development will build 1,100 housing units on 17-acre parking lot near City College

Supervisors fear Tenderloin lawsuit settlement sets bad precedent

UC Hastings case pushed city to move more homeless residents into hotels or shelters

What California knows about Kamala Harris

More than any other vice presidential contender in a generation, Kamala Harris’… Continue reading

Most Read