Real Estate

Angry building owners threaten lawsuit over anti-speculation tax

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Opponents of the anti-speculator tax that will appear on the November ballot blasted the proposal in a City Hall hearing yesterday [Thu/10] — pledging to defeat the measure in court even if voters approve it — but they were overwhelmed by a strong turnout from supporters who said real estate speculation drives up the cost of housing without adding any value.Read more »

Ammiano and Leno seek to reform the Ellis Act and slow SF evictions [UPDATED]

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State lawmakers from San Francisco are launching a two-pronged attack on the Ellis Act, which real estate speculators are increasingly using to evict tenants from rent-controlled apartments and cash in on a housing market that's been heated up by demand from high-paid employees of the booming tech sector.Read more »

SF Board of Supervisors approves new tenant protections

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The Board of Supervisors today (Tues/17) gave unanimous final approval to legislation aimed at giving renters in the city additional protections against being displaced by real estate speculators, and initial approval to legislation protecting tenants from harassment by landlords, both part of a wave of reforms moving through City Hall to address rising populist concerns about gentrification and evictions.Read more »

Commodifying urban real estate hurts the culture of big cities

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When urban real estate is turned into merely a commodity — or just another safe place for the wealthy to park their cash in uncertain economic times, while also providing pied-a-terres in which to crash a few times a year — it tears at the social fabric of big cities such as San Francisco, New York City, and London.Read more »

Richmond gets radical, seizing foreclosed homes from banks

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As a rule of thumb, we at the Guardian tend to believe that if the banking and real estate industries are against something, then we’re probably in support of it. But that’s not the only reason that I’m so intrigued about the possibilities of Richmond taking ownership of hundreds of foreclosed homes, using eminent domain laws as needed, to keep people from being evicted and rejuvenate the community.Read more »

Yahoo and other tech companies are squeezing the Chronicle's newsroom

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With high demand for office space in San Francisco these days — thanks largely to the latest technology bubble, Mayor Ed Lee’s economic development focus, and its amplification by the San Francisco Chronicle — Hearst Corp., which owns both the paper and the Chronicle Building, seems to be more focused on property management than journalism these days. Read more »

Democratic Party chair signs on with Realtors

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Gee, which is worse: Having the chair of the local Democratic Party working for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which blows up neighborhoods, or for the San Francisco Board of Realtors, which pushes anti-tenant legislation and whose members profit from gentrification and evictions?Read more »

Rival condo conversion measures finally up for board vote

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Controversial condominium conversion lottery bypass legislation is finally headed for a vote by the full Board of Supervisors this Tuesday. Befitting legislation that has stirred strong emotions and traveled a twisting political path over the last six months, there are new dramas and uncertainties cropping up at the last minute, including the lingering unknown of where Mayor Ed Lee stands.Read more »

Condo bypass legislation now before the full board

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Controversial condominium lottery bypass legislation -- sponsored by Sups. Mark Farrell and Scott Wiener but substantially modified by tenant group that strongly opposed the original legislation, with the help of Sup. David Chiu, Jane Kim, and Norman Yee -- is finally coming to the full Board of Supervisors today (Tues/7, starting at 2pm).Read more »

Proposal to raze I-280 linked to train and real estate deals

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It's a bold idea, discussed for years behind closed doors and recently announced in a strangely understated and pro-growth way: Tear down the last mile of Interstate 280 and replace it with an wide boulevard – reminiscent of the removal of the Central and Embarcadero freeways – in order to facilitate the extension of electrified Caltrain and high-speed rail tracks into the Transbay Terminal.Read more »