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

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

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

A Bay Area Concrete Recycling facility that opened on PG&E property in 2019. Former PG&E employees have been accused of accepting bribes from Bay Area Concrete. (Courtesy of Bay Area Concrete Recycling via ProPublica)
Lawsuit reveals new allegations against PG&E contractor accused of fraud

By Scott Morris Bay City News Foundation Utility giant Pacific Gas &… Continue reading

New protected bicycle lanes stretch from the city's Portola District to Bernal Heights. (Courtesy Bay City News)
City leaders celebrate protected bike lanes in city’s Portola, Bernal Heights neighborhoods

San Francisco city leaders on Thursday announced the completion of new protected… Continue reading

Basketball (Shutterstock)
Stanford’s NCAA Tournament hopes in peril after close loss to Oregon

Ziaire Williams nearly had his moment on Thursday night. After giving his… Continue reading

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Most Read