Google Maps, 298 Alabama Street.

The Venture Capital Post writes today that Google has leased a location in the Mission District at 298 Alabama Street near the corner of 16th Street.

The report from the Venture Capital Post comes from the subscription-based Financial Times. The FT reports that Google declined to comment on its story. Sources told the FT that the company leased the space to house engineers who do not want to travel to Silicon Valley.

The travel between San Francisco and Silicon Valley has also created controversy around the buses that pick up workers living in the Mission District and shuttle them to Silicon Valley.

From the looks of the building, Google employees will not be moving in for awhile. Many of the windows are out and restoration work is in progress.

HBC, an international cell phone company, has also recently expanded in the Mission District. 

On the Google move, the Venture Capital Post writes:

 The former office of newspaper and catalogue printer Howard Quinn is big enough to accommodate 200 people. Located on 298 Alabama Street, the printer had been in business for half a century when it closed in 2012. The increasing popularity of online publishing, fueled by the technology of the search company, has proven to be very detrimental to printers, the report said.


Hardware firms could utilize the site for gadget and device development since the building which was constructed in the 1920s is zoned for manufacturing. With the leasing of the space, Google could be thinking of acquiring more startups focused on making hardware as it grows from web search and dips its hand into other markets like wearable technology, robotics and the Internet of Things, the report said.


The move highlights the growing trend of Internet firms in Silicon Valley where a fierce competition for tech talent has led them to expand in San Francisco so they can lure new employees who don’t want to commute to Mountain View, Palo Alto and Cupertino, the report said. READ MORE.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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  1. We have been looking at that building for a brewery incubator / brewing academy.

    The Mission is home to an astounding number of homebrewers, many of whom are
    not male or white or young or hipsters. None are MBAs, and many will actually abandon
    more lucrative jobs to embark on the low-paying career of their dreams.

    As the child of a self-made immigrant parent and as someone that can no longer live
    in SF due to the housing shortage, I pledge a sincere commitment to hiring from
    within the community and to providing financial aid and apprenticeships to low-income

    If you’d rather see a Google HQ than a world-class brewing academy, please let me know
    by voicing your opposition or support below.

    1. Oh yay, we still have time to organize a protest! Let’s think creatively, what can we substitute for the google bus piñata?

  2. Where’s John? Maybe he celebrates Presidents’ Day seriously. Too bad, he missed a juicy one!

      1. Progress is simply the name we give to change. Some oppose change on principle, but that is hardly a progressive outlook.

        In fact, so called SF “progressives” are highly regressive in nature, usually opposing anything new.

          1. So, John and sflover2, when Europe changed from peace to war in 1939, that’s “progress” in your book?

            I personally think people should evaluate proposed changes and only accept them if they are deemed net-positive. The word “progress” to me (and historically) means net-positive change.

            Teddy Roosevelt was our most famous progressive (and, interestingly, a Republican). He believed in controlling the forces of capitalism for the good of the society.

          2. The problem there is obvious. Change can be measured but whether it is “positive” or “negative” is highly subjective.

            As a community it appears that we cannot agree whether having a booming economy is a good thing or a bad thing.

            We elected Ed Lee on a pro-growth, pro-jobs platform and he has halved the unemployment rate. You are free to argue that is somehow bad but i’m not sure you would have majority support.

      2. Marcos said at 8:10AM:

        “There is no such thing as progress”

        Says the guy who will probably live twice longer than his predecessors 200 years ago.

        Says the guy who can express his opinion freely, 24/7 and readable by the entire planet micro-seconds after he has pressed on a button.

        Says the guy who has to walk 10 feet to clean and safe water., And also uses this invaluable clean and safe water to flush his toilet.

        Says the guy who can hop on a flying machine to go to virtually any place on earth in less than 24 hours when most of this world was unknown just 500 years ago.

        Says the guy who is sleeping on a bed, protected by walls, a roof, has access to cooking without the need to go fetch deadwood first, can have any kind of food at any season, have access to meat, vitamins, can choose to be a carnivore or a vegan.

        Says the guy who has access to most the knowledge in the world for free if he chooses to.

        Yeah, apart from all these minor things, you are right.

        1. And every minute in USA (we’re #1) someone attempts suicide. And everyone fifteen minutes a person succeeds in ending their own life.

  3. Don’t worry about the techies. The ones walking around crossing streets without looking up will have the end of life experience of a lifetime. And the rest are buying up properties and raising property values so no problem there. If they’d just ride their bikes in parks instead of the street where they block traffic and get themselves killed when they tangle with cars and trucks everything would be better. Can someone please tell these people if they ride the Muni it will get better and safer? I’d much rather have these people in the neighborhood than helpless people living in tents on the sidewalk and in converted school buses and trucks dumping their feces all over the sidewalk and robbing houses in their spare time.


  4. It seems like a good idea to make use of 35,000 square feet that’s been unoccupied for over a year.

    1. Hi Google. Would you please consider making some of that space available for community use (meetings, groups, services etc)? Our neighborhood can use more free or affordable space for community building and healing. Thanks.

        1. And several bars have back rooms and upstairs rooms that can be used for either a small fee or in return for buying a few drinks.

          Also, the women’s Building.

  5. Yes! This is a much-needed addition to the Mission. The only people complaining about gentrification are the White hipsters who infiltrated the neighborhood 10 years ago, or the Latino race-baiters who scream “racism” whenever they can because they don’t want their freeloading lifestyle of cheap/subsidized rent to end. The leeches and bottom-feeders are being evicted from the Mission once and for all, and for that I am so happy.

    1. I am neither a White hipster nor Latino, have lived in the neighborhood for 22 years and oppose gentrification. Your statement is false. You might work on some new names to call people. “Leeches” and “bottom-feeders” are pretty played out unless you are referring to TIC and condo converters.

      1. @Landline: ha, ha, apparently it is only OK for you to use insults.

        BTW, why is it wrong for someone to want to own the house they live in?

        You and GetnrifySF deserve each other.

        1. Never been in a limousine nor am I a liberal. Try again. What’s up with the profanity? For someone who claims to have it made, you have a lot of hostility. Lighten up or your poor ass might pop a blood vessel.

      2. Why shouldn’t people want to own their homes? TICs and condos are the only way to home ownership for many, many people in San Francisco. All over the world people buy 2 and 3 unit buildings together so that they can build equity in their homes, and perhaps move on as their needs change.
        I believe this is a good and healthy practice. It’s also an old and tested one.
        One reason a lot of people want to get out of the rental business in San Francisco is that rent control is a huge burden on mom & pop owners of our oldest housing stock. Tens of thousands of units are left vacant by their owners because of rent control.
        Why demonize small owners?
        Developers of large residential buildings are best positioned to subsidize lower cost housing. Nothing built since 1979 is rent controlled. Developers are not compelled to build below market rate housing where they build market rate housing.
        You know what doing the same thing after it has failed repeatedly over a long time is?

      1. Homegirl be getttin’ belligerent! Go back to drinking beer on your front stoop, and keeping it real.

        1. Oh poor.ass..millionaire…you are humoring me on Presidents Day. I do agree with some of what you are saying but can you tone it down on the name calling?? or maybe…just keep it going. I need a good laugh!

          1. Hmmm…homegirl isn’t taking the bait. Looks like she’s smarter than I thought she was 🙂

            As for my missives, yeah I can be an ass. But it’s not entirely my fault, I was born that way (as a friend once sagely said, hmm, looks like you were born with the asshole gene.) And besides my wife thinks it better I fight with my online friends than take it out on her. So I guess that’s just the way I roll.

    2. Woooooow. “Latino race-baiters” and “their freeloading lifestle”. Glad to see racism is alive and well in San Francisco.

      The flood of tech money into hip neighborhoods in the city is yet another example of neo-colonialism, which gentrification is one face of. If you don’t see how it is displacing many people besides just “White hipsters” then you’re clearly out of touch with the reality of the city.

      Go to Arpaio’s jurisdiction in AZ where people like you belong.

      1. Do you suggest that we put a moratorium on white tech people in the mission? I mean, if they are minorities and in tech it’s ok. Or if they are white and are artists, lefties or otherwise impoverished they get a pass too. But white techies, no.

        Or, we could just confine them to Valencia street, since hat battle has already been lost. They could be encouraged to wear special arm bands, so it’s easy to identify if they venture off Valencia street.

        1. No arm bands needed. They self-identify with the constant gazing into their mobile devices regardless of their skin color.

          The Mission District reflects the rapid rise in inequality and the division into two general groups–the rich, everyone else. Goodbye middle. The percentages in San Francisco overstate the rich relative to the country as a whole, but the dynamic is the same.

          Two groups look down into their hands more than the general population. The mostly affluent tech addicted staring at their mobile devices and the desperate destitute scratching off their lottery tickets.

          1. You act like techies are the only ones gazing at their phones. I see people of every race, age, background doing the exact same thing.

          2. pete’s point is valid.

            We can argue about whether the affluent are slightly more smartphone addicted than day laborers, but the sad fact is that these devices are the new cigarettes: addictive to a broad demographic and slightly bad for your (mental) health.

          3. I’m actually with nutrisystem on this. I hat smartphones. Matter of fact, I hate cel phones. Only use one on rare occasions when I need to coordinate with someone on the go. Otherwise, call my home. Why? I hate being bothered by phone calls when I’m out of the house doing things. I like my privacy when I’m out, thx.

        1. Every power that was capable of colonizing did so. Judging that my today’s post-colonial mindset is missing the point. It was a natural part of the world’s history and evolution, and you would not be where you are today without it.

          1. “We” would not be here without slavery either. To my knowledge, my ancestors escaped Eastern Europe as refugees, coming to the US before the onslaught of the worst of the pogroms. I do not believe that there is any direct colonialism in my family’s history although I do benefit from the fruits of colonialism now and as such own the responsibility for making amends for that.

            The question, of course, is whether the Native Americans here when the white people showed up were the “first people” or the “second to last people.” I’m a uniformitarian when it comes to human history, that historical patterns of human conduct don’tt deviate that much from he conduct we’ve seen in our lifetimes.

            Now that survival is not an issue, we can circle around to identify historical crimes and make amends for them. In the case we’re seeing now, Wall Street is throwing shit tons of cash at speculative investments that are having the same impact on our communities as colonialism did. But this is not just market competition sorting out winners and losers, it is intentional investment designed to give certain players full spectrum dominance in the market.

            It is when there is not an even playing field that government needs to get involved. This is not Wall Street’s Sim City for SPUR and Google to play with, it is our neighborhood.

          2. No, marcos, any inflation due to QE is not anything like what you are claiming were the ills of colonialism. That is pure hyperbole and laughable.

            You and I do not have to make any amends for anything, because you and I have done no harm to others. Carrying the burden for activities performed centuries ago that were consistent with the ethics of that time should no longer weigh heavily on us now, and such wallowing is unhealthy as well as patronizing.

            If you don’t welcome Google to the Mission (and I do) then say so, but the rest is a reach too far.

          3. marcos, I wasn’t the one equating living in SF to living under colonial rule. You dug this hole for yourself with no help from anyone.

      2. Many in Tech are Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, etc…

        We attract the best and the brightest and this is a positive thing. Now if locals are feeling bad because they are less successful than newcomers is NOT the problem of the newcomers as much as it is the problem of locals.

        Do you want your kids to brush shoulders only with their own kind or be exposed to more educated folk’s kids?

        Mediocrity hates mirrors.

  6. I welcome Google to the neighborhood. I am so bored listening to people
    complain about change in The Mission District and being so “anti-tech” (as
    they pull out their smart phones to rally up their friends for their daily protest).
    Get a life! I’ve in SF for over 25 years and in the Mission for 16 of them…I am
    enjoying the change and as well as, seeing productive, smart people sprinkled in with the
    many Mission residents that have lived here for years.

      1. Nor are you, if you look back in history. The Mission was full of Irish….there is a lot of reading on all the different ethnic changes in this district (it was not always Hispanic) And many of my friends who are “natives” are benefiting from the positive changes here with their shops and businesses being more profitable and the properties they own being more valuable. Not to mention the sheer decrease in crime that has accompanied these changes.

        1. Sara- The Mission was always working class. Sure there were wealthy pockets along SVN, but the Mission as a whole was working class. People LEFT the neighborhood on their own accord, they weren’t pushed out. That’s the big difference of what’s happening today. The working class has been priced out, are forced out.

          1. There are always neighborhoods on the “up” and neighborhoods on the “down”. It’s not something that can be micro-managed nor is it desirable to do so.

            Many upmarket neighborhoods in US cities used to be working class. But there are also formerly middle-class areas that become cheaper.

            Anyone who walks around the mission sees more poor people than wealthy people, except maybe on Friday and Saturday nights on Valencia. The Mission is a large, populous area and it is only changing slowly and at the margins.

    1. Then you are just as close minded as the “techies” even though you are a “native”. If you don’t care about your neighbors being evicted after living here all of their lives, then there is someting wrong with your heart. The main problem i have with the “techies” is that they just don’t care. Their answer is “Oh well, deal with it, change is happening”. Which i think is the wrong attitude. There CAN be a happy medium, but that is not what is happening. SF has always been a place of openness and change, but it is important to not step on peoples toes and crush them in the process. Peoples lives are being turned upside down because of the influx of new combers and the need for more rental spaces. To not acknowledge that shows that you have no simpathy for the little guy and don’t care about your neighborhood. We already have a marina district, if you like that environment you should have moved there.

      1. The number of eviction is fairly low and tenant turnover in SF is probably lower than any other city.

        so what outrages you might seem very strange to someone who arrives here from a place where turnover and change is normal.

        You are making demands of newcomers here that it is not yours to make. If you really cherish diversity then you must accept that others have different opinions to you.

  7. Hopefully city officials learned their lesson with the Twitter payroll tax cut fiasco and will quit the special treatment of these companies.

    Though I wonder, if there are already laws on the books preventing chain stores from moving into Valencia why can’t we pass a law that regulates the terms for massive firms like Bechtel, Monsanto, or Google when opening offices in our communities??

    Google is already willingly funneling our personal data to the NSA, why not equate them with traditionally reviled mega corps?

      1. @Asymetric: Sigh… you don’t understand. The only true San Franciscans and the only people we could possible care about are the “creative” types and the minorities they claim to speak for. Everyone else should be excluded or ignored. If you read this blog more matt and nutrisytem would have made that clear to you.

    1. Because I need these well paid workers to pay the market rate rents on my renovated apartment units. And giving them walk/bike commutes is the icing on the attract-ability scale. It actually out does the “near the shuttle bus” benefit.

      And now you want even more city regulations? Bro, you’re a bonafide kook!

  8. I’ve heard through the grapevine that this building will house Google’s ultra-secret “U Lab”, which is tasked with developing the Google Shoe.

    The Shoe project’s goal is to “organize the world’s up-skirt imagery” – currently a tiny market, but thought to be worth north of $100B/year in the coming decade.

    Wall Street analysts were delighted by rumors that Shoe will be powered by piezo generators in the sole that derive electrical energy from each step – thus solving power issues which have vexed wearable computers up to this point.

    Users of Shoe will likely enjoy tight integration with Glass, including live video feeds from Shoe’s cameras, as well as a dashboard displaying foot odor levels and number of steps taken.

      1. Help is on the way poor ass. Soon, being away from porn while at work, church, or driving will be a distant sad memory.

    1. It’s west of the freeway and in the Mission. East of the freeway 16th Street takes you into Potrero Hill.

  9. San Francisco has traditionally stood out as a place that upends mainstream values. The term “San Francisco Values” is a brand (to use corporate speak) that attracts creative people to the city. The vast majority of Techies did not move to San Francisco to “be in San Francisco” they moved here to take a corporate job that for them could have just as easily been in Cleveland. Tech companies hope to expropriate the hip factor by moving to SF. But they end up killing the vibe that made the city interesting to begin with.
    The co-oping the The City is funded by people like Ron Conway (who was a life long registered Republican).

    1. Matt: I don’t know how you can pretend speak so authoritatively on why tech workers moved to San Francisco. Maybe you should try meeting some and talking with them — you might actually learn something.

      But of course, you wave the flag of San Francisco values. Which for you, like for so many other people, means that you are tolerant and welcome diversity so long as people hold the same political opinions as you. But you can’t abide by the fact that Ron Conway is, shudder, a republican.

      The degree of prejudice and close-mindedness you show would be truly remarkable anywhere else — but it is completely accepted in San Francisco.

      1. San Francisco values ARE welcoming and tolerant of diversity – perhaps to a degree unequaled in the world.

        But a growing number of these welcoming and tolerant people can see the writing on the wall: in the long run, gentrification results in LESS tolerance and WAY LESS diversity.

        And that’s why the tolerance and welcome for Tech is drying up. (that and the creepiness factor)

          1. That’s indefensible and you know it. Freedom works both ways. This is why the ACLU also defends extreme right wingers on 1st amendment issues. Because if they defend someone against bias one way and not the other, they are just a politically motivated entity, not a non-profit acting for the protection of all.

        1. @Nutri– Why do you assume that techies etct are intolerant? Isn’t that awfully close-minded of you? And, what percentage of the population can be techies before we don’t have “diversity”?

          Sorry, but you aren’t welcoming of others. You don’t want different ideas. You just want a bunch of other people who think like you and vote like you. You are truly frightened that someone right of center might want to move into the City. So, without any basis, you assume that person is intolerant.

          1. It’s not so much Techie that’s intolerant, it’s wealth that’s intolerant… Wealthy neighborhoods are, by definition, intolerant of non-wealthy individuals.

            And wealthy neighborhoods are, by definition, not economically diverse. Poets, musicians and craftspeople can’t exist there, only people who play the corporate game.

            So, although wealthy techie gentrifiers may be personally tolerant of different kinds of living (maybe even enthusiastic), they collectively are a force that extinguishes diversity.

          2. You love generalizations, don’t you nutrisystem? The problem is that there is no evidence to support your stereotypes.

            The wealthy people i know are individually very tolerant and diverse, as you appear to acknowledge. So on what basis can they be collectively not so, if individually they are so.

            The only intolerance I see is against wealth. And that is typically little more than lipstick on envy.

          3. John, like my 9th grade English teacher said: be sure the brain is in gear before engaging the mouth.

            As I said (clearly, I thought) a bunch of wealthy individuals in one place creates a wealthy neighborhood. At that point, the character of these individuals no longer matters. At that point, the simple arithmetic of per square foot prices crushes the tolerance and diversity.

          4. So your theory is that a group of people can be the most selfless, diverse and tolerant folks on the planet and yet somehow collectively they are intolerant for no reason other than their bank balances?

            Can you understand why I am struggling with that?

            When someone wants to discredit a class of people based on some common characteristic, first they must classify them, then they must stereotype them, and then and only then do they feel justified in attacking them.

            Africans were originally classified as being a different species and not human, in order to rationalize enslaving them. While you stigmatize those who have been successful in order to tar them with epithets like intolerant.

            In principle, I see little difference.

        2. @nutrisystem: Oh I see your use of the word “intolerant” was just meaningless rhetoric. Your only point is that in wealthier neighborhoods there are fewer poor people. Brilliant! Please let me know when you have something insightful to say.

          1. Insights don’t need to be brilliant, they just need to be right.

            Rich-only cities are INTOLERANT of the many sorts of people who are not rich.

            P.S. Please stop with this stupid fad of misusing the “@” symbol as a name prefix.

      2. I admit I don;t like the idea of Ron Conway running City Hall because he is a Republican. We have enough parts of the country run by Republicans. In a effort to escape them many of us moved to SF. They can have Texas and the rest of the Confederacy.
        But if Ron is not ashamed of being a Republican why did he change his party registration? Why is Ronny trying to buy a congressional seat in San Jose by backing another Corporate style DINO against a liberal Democrat.
        Better yet why do SF Demos take his Republican cash?

        1. Yeah, you admit that you are uninterested in living in a place where people have ideas that are different from yours. Just because you moved to San Francisco so that you could live in a bubble does not mean that everyone else needs to support you in that. Some day you will have to grow up and learn how to defend your ideas.

          Calling your political opponents by diminutives of their given names is not an argument — it just show how juvenile your thought process is.

          1. 15% of San Franciscans are Republicans. Ron Conway has more power himself than all Republicans combined should have citywide.

            The fact is, Ed Lee lies, runs as a Democrat but governs economically as a Republican.

          2. Ed Lee is a moderate democrat, which of course makes him more right-wing than General Franco if you’re a naive socialist, but not otherwise.

            Clearly the voters disagree with you. Or else they want a conservative in charge. Either way, you’re out of touch.

        2. When there is only one party in power, in this case the nominal Democrats, the would-be Republicans cohabitate serenely in their midst, Feinstein, Weiner, Farrell, Brown, Lee, etc. The only thing they’re remotely progressive on is that which costs them nothing–queer rights.

          1. But we elected them knowing who they were. So the people have the government they want, even if it isn’t the government that you want.

          2. We didn’t “know who they were”, only who they SAID they were.

            When voters have nothing to go on but gross misrepresentation and outright campaign lies (e.g. Obama), there is no more democracy.

            The press used to fill to this information gap created by lying politicians, but doesn’t do that anymore… now, the same people that own the politicians own the press.

            Choosing our “representatives” based on defective information is a bit of a problem.

          3. No, nutrisystem, the names cited have all been re-elected as incumbents. So the voters knew exactly what they were getting and approved them anyway.

            Just because you don’t like moderate centrists having the power does not mean that most voters feel that way.

    2. So… basically “values” are commodified and so the city should be sold to the highest bidder? Pushing out the very population for which the city’s values is “branded”.

  10. Pete – the bus protests were only in part about he actual buses. Google employees want to live in the Mission because artists, creatives, activists and a diverse population have made it a great place to live but they are changing the area with their wealth and entitlement. Make no mistake these are not jobs to going to San Franciscans.

    1. Honest question here

      Why is a transplant artist, creative or activist a San Franciscan but a transplant software engineer isn’t?

      I know there are some native artists and activists as well from the Mission so maybe you are only referring to their rights?

      1. generally, artists/activists can’t pay big dollars to displace current residents. People who make $17-$50 thousand a year can’t compete for housing with folks who Make $100,000+

        1. You didn’t respond to the question. Why is is “wrong” for a person to be a technology worker rather than an artist, a mechanic, or a dentist? Some tech workers *are* artists. What is “wrong” with holding a tech day job rather than working in a cafe? And what about native San Franciscans who pursue careers as programmers? Do they get a pass? “Technology” is a weird scapegoat for the broader problem of income inequality.

          1. It’s wrong Barabara because these whiners are basically entitled fucking idiots. Simple as that, and discriminatory as that. It’s amazing how much one can get away with discrimination if it’s against perceived privileged people.

          2. Wagnerian DID respond to the question.

            To put the answer another way, the coming of Tech means the going of everything else.

            This economic bulldozing will happen slowly (because of tenant protections), but don’t let the slowness fool you… Once the price of space is driven up sky-high, nobody aside from obedient corporate drones can come and live here or create here. It becomes a one-way demographic process: SF inexorably transforms into a corporate/technocratic/consumerist monoculture.

            I suppose scapegoating the surveillance/advertising industry is unfair. The destruction of SF’s quirky and independent culture[s] would be the same if it was some other industry flooding the city with highly paid workers, be it petroleum, cluster bombs, finance or whatever.

          3. The main problem is that “techies” don’t take part in their community that they live in. They will sit there and watch their neighbor, who has lived there for years, be evicted from their apartment and not do anything about it. And just say…oh well….so sorry too bad. It’s not that they have nothing to offer because they do, but if they really wanted to be accepted into the community, they have to be involved and care about what happens around them. That is why I think they are not well received. They sit there and could care less and say, oh well…deal with it. That’s not the way we have done things in SF. WE care about our neighbors and WE stand up for each other. These are things the techies could give to sh**s about.

          4. lulusf, some people like to be “involved” in their community while others are more private and prefer to maintain a lower profile. You cannot demand of your neighbor to get involved, and especially when that involvement has a political angle to it.

            So your example of someone “doing nothing” to stop an eviction is disingenuous because there is nothing that can be done to stop a legal eviction anyway. And you also assume your neighbor should take sides in a dispute that does not concern him.

            Part of respect and tolerance is allowing people to be private and silent if they choose.

        2. Everyone who rents in SF is displacing someone that makes less than them. Artists making $17k/year are displacing artists making $15k/year.

      2. The artists/activists in question will never recognize anyone who isn’t within their own little clique as a San Franciscan. But that’s ok, because it’s not their decision to make.

    2. It is not all about the first wave gentrifier artists and their art, people came here for a wide range of reasons just like you did.

  11. I thought the NE Mission was zoned industrial in a effort to help rebuild our poor manufacturing base.

      1. Then why does City Hall fund groups like SF MADE who was tasked with rehabilitating our manufacturing base but instead gives grants to hipsters with MBAs making craft beer and chocolate. You know, the working class.

      2. Yeah, it’s really sound economics to put all your eggs in one basket, because there’s no such thing as sector downturns.

        1. You have more confidence that local government can do something than I. They seem barely able to provide basic services

          1. Can’t provide basic services to us, but when the developers or tech speculators come knocking, the City spares no expense in catering to them with us on the catering menu.

      3. This area has been underutilized and mis zoned for years. They should have just allowed it to be developed into residential.

    1. A bldg owner can rent out the space to whoever they want, as long as they use it for it’s intended zoning. It looks like Google plans to use this space for industrial design and engineering, not only office space, so their use fits. So basically, gentrification protesters, who I’m sure are against this, can basically shove it.

      But this is really peanuts. They’ll really bust a nut once Google makes a big play for office space either in the new transbay tower or somewhere near mission bay (maybe where sales force was supposed to go.) that will be thousands of googlers that don’t have to commute to mtn view. And I say, welcome to SF!

    2. 16th between Mission and Potrero was up/re zoned for a neighborhood commercial district in Eastern Neighborhoods with Potrero Center up zoned for very dense housing.

    1. The protests against the busses were/are symbolic protests against gentrification. There are problems with the buses, but it’s not merely busing that is the problem. The problem is displacement, of tech and housing developers cleaing San Francisco of it’s sub middle class so they can have it for themselves.

      The city needs to be economically diverse, not merely a city for the well to do.

      1. Ellis evictions are up some over last year, but are still down a lot compared to 5 years ago. So this is not a new problem. Since current rentors are so well protected (best in the nation), the only people affected are people moving to SF. Why can’t these sub middle class people move into another neighborhood that is cheap to rent? The bayview has plenty of cheap places for example. Or is it a sense of entitlement? Should the city also subsize low income workers rent in Pac Heights?

        1. You are 100 percent correct. It is not a new problem. Yes all kinds of people should be able to live in Pacific Heights.

          You are wrong if you think there is no crises for current renters, and let’s not forget all those who have been squished out in the last 17 years.

        2. What exactly do you mean by ‘sub middle class”/ Do you know how bad living in Bayview Hunter’s point is? What exactly does “a sense of entitlement” mean here? Do you even understand what it means to be evicted when you don’t have savings?

          1. Look toots, rent control does not mean you own the unit. It’s ridiculous for entitled renters to think they will get super low rent forever, simply because they started renting 10-15 or more years ago.

            The reason the middle class is getting screwed out of SF is largely due to rent control. RC keeps so many units off the market, precisely by looser hoarder tenants that take advantage of it. And the worse part is that there are many tenants who are not poor that hoard their unit, simply because it’s cheap! They have second homes, or substantial savings, yet insist on milking their landlord for cheap rent. Therefore, the few units that turn over go for premium rents, rents that only wealthy can afford. So SF continues to become a city for two classes of people: 1- the wealthy that can afford it and 2) very poor that are supported by the myriad of non profit programs, shelters, etc the city possesses.

          2. No, actually, it means keeping rental properties on the market at rents that are profitable when tax rates and costs of maintenance and management are considered, rather than the money-grubbing “profit at all costs” notion of deserving whatever the guy up the block is renting his place to new tenants for, or what you can sell it to an tech-bagger for.

          3. @Roger: No, you have no clue. Rent control is not designed to allow for a reasonable profit etc. It is designed to subsidize existing tenants. People who are new to the area or who need to move within the City (for job, family or personal reasons) get screwed.
            Rent control is indiscriminately subsidizes those who have been around a long time and haven’t had a change in their life circumstances. If the City actually had to spend its own money on such subsidies, you can bet the criteria would be stricter.

          4. I am still scoffing at the “reasonable profit”.

            who is supposed to decide what’s reasonable and what’s not? The politburo?

            Also, many long term landlords just don’t make any profit.

            Say you have a 3-unit building you bought in 1980 and the 3 still have the original tenants? They probably pay less than 800.

            Monthly regular maintenance will be roughly $1000. Provision for renovations will be another $1000. Property taxes will be $500 to $800 thanks to prop 13. Then you pay taxes on the rent.

            The landlord in the red by $1000/month or more, just because the voters decided one class of people had to be subsidized at the expense of another.

            Screw long term tenants. I would do an Ellis ASAP.

          5. If rent control actually operated by allowing LL’s to have a minimum ROI, then it would actually be fairer. Right now, ROI isn’t consider at all and two LL’s who own adjacent identical buildings can have wildly different ROI’s based solely on one of them being more effective at achieving tenant turnover.

          6. Landlords know the EXACT ROI when they buy a building. They know that the ROI can only increase as protected tenants move on or die off, or if they can be evicted, and the rent raised on new tenants.

            But, yes, let’s eliminate the one check on the landlords who already control the state government. That there is even one meager, local law protecting families and working people is a crime against humanity.

            We’re treating landlords exactly like Hitler treated the Jews!

          7. TwoBeers, by the same argument, any tenant who rents in SF knew exactly that they can be subject to a no-fault eviction, for a variety of legal reasons, at any time.

            So why do they complain when the deal they signed up for pans out that way?

            See, both sides can play that game.

          8. False comparison.

            No one forces a landlord to buy a property that he thinks he can’t profit from.

            Working families on limited incomes have no choice but to rent what they can afford.

            No one compels a landlord to exploit others.

            By the fact of their condition, the poor have few means to fight exploitation.

            Can’t we all just stop treating landlords exactly how Hitler treated the Jews?

          9. While everyone has to live somewhere, a tenant is not forced to take any particular place. There is some basic due diligence a tenant can do to determine his risk of a no-fault eviction. For instance, is the building full of older tenants who have been there for decades and paying a very low rent? If so, You can almost hear Mister Ellis ringing his warning bell.

            Renting is essentially a temporary arrangement. The problem start when a tenant instead regards himself as having some kind of subsidized lifelong entitlement to a home in an expensive town for not much money.

            In the end, renting is unstable and risky. And you know that ahead of time.

      2. Displacement isn’t the real problem, it’s only a symptom. The root of the problem is the lack of construction of new housing. The city can be economically and culturally diverse without ostracizing any particular group, but it needs to give up a bit of its “quaint city by the bay” image and start stepping into the world-class metro it’s destined to be. A lot of people think this means Manhattan overnight, but that’s ridiculous. It might take us 50 years to become half a Manhattan while still keeping much of SF’s charm. We’re nowhere near the turning point past which further density is bad.

        1. Nonsense, the City would need to entitle 100,000 new units to begin to see downward pressure on price for a moment. Existing crumbling infrastructure cannot begin to handle existing and recent residents much less another 100K.

          We run out of runway trying to build our way out of the affordability crisis. The solution is to distribute the demand regionally by providing housing and good office space near each BART and CalTrain station to take pressure off of San Francisco.

          1. Build it and they will come. Sure.

            News flash: people want to live in SF, not near a bart station in Fremont!

          2. We will build 100,000 new housing units. There is no question about that. The only issue is the amount of time it will take to get approvals for that, given the latest NIMBYism here.

            It would have an effect on prices if they could be built quickly. Most importantly, they would relieve the pressure on the existing housing stock which otherwise will see more and more conversions to TIC.

      3. Don’t people know that tech workers are the new middle class. They are the equivalent of Union workers 20 to 50 years ago.

        1. Not really – to most people, “middle class” implies a large contingent. Say, the middle 50-70% of the population.

          Tech workers are more of a “professional class”, like lawyers, in that their numbers are quite small – perhaps 1-2% of the population (of course, it seems like more in the Bay Area since the tech industry is based here).

          A nation is in trouble if only 2% of its workers have good purchasing power.

          America was the envy of the world in the post-WW2 period when there WAS a large, secure, and growing middle class of e.g. union workers.

          1. I agree the term “middle class” isn’t useful. And i’m OK with the idea of a salaried professional class and a working class.instead.

            As such, the question here is to what extent does it matter if a neighborhood has mostly professional workers rather than working class workers.

            Since we do need the latter, the problem occurs not if there aren’t many of them in our neighborhood, but only if they cannot live close enough to commute here.

          2. I dunno, unions aren’t exactly thriving in the new economy, and interestingly, are largely being rejected by the workers themselves, as they are more of a hinderance than help even to factory workers.

            Look at what just happened in Tennessee, UAW got their ass handed to them when the workers of that plant actually rejected union participation (read:interference.) the world has changed ALOT during the last 50-60 years and folks like you need to start looking forwards, not backwards!

          3. That loss mostly shows that the working class continues to lose the battles against the owners of the economy and their hired political leaders. In Tennessee, Senator Corker used scare tactics at the last minute to influence the vote. Still, the vote was fairly close with numerous abstentions. Had 44 workers switched their votes, the UAW would have won the election, not to deny the seriousness of the loss.

            The rise in inequality and the flattening (or decrease) in real wages for the vast majority of workers in the United States corresponds directly with the diminshment of organized labor, who are not blameless in the process.

            Almost always, union workers have better wages, benefits and working conditions than their non-union counterparts at the same jobs.

          4. Unions or no unions, the broad issue is whether the fruits of our very productive industrial society are to be equitably distributed or (increasingly) hoarded by an elite.

            We’re blessed with sufficient natural resources and installed capital for all Americans to live with dignity, security and some comfort. It’s all about designing a fair system of distribution – really that simple.

            You’d think that with all the MIT geniuses floating around, such fundamental problems would have been addressed decades ago. But I guess they’re interested in more important things like scientifically optimized advertising.

          5. Inequality is a natural and desirable state, because the output from different classes of worker is significant.

            American workers are making less in real terms because historically they have been overpaid in global terms – a state that is gradually being reversed as global competition punishes the overpaid.

            The average American workers is still in the top one percent globally. So we are affluent in global terms and likely to become less so over time as economic equity continues to reward more competitive nations.

          6. You should ask that question of those who have chosen to pay me far more than you are paid.

            The provision of scarce high-value services is typically well rewarded in any society.

          7. Rentierism is an unproductive use of capital, according to orthodox classical economics. Hoarding and rent seeking are anti-social behaviors that our dysfunctional political economy unfortunately encourages.

          8. I know of no economic theory, whether classical and orthodox or other, that suggests that it is of zero value for those with capital to provide access to and usage of those assets to those who lack that capital.

            Are you suggesting that car rental businesses are evil? Tool hire places? Should no loans be made?

            And where would you live without someone willing to risk their capital to provide you with your home?

          9. Under capitalism, capital would flow to its most productive use, markets would be free and fair with many buyers and sellers, and profits would equal zero.

            Hoarding necessities like food or housing in order to extract rents is anti-competitive activity anathema to Adam Smith’s fantastic vision.

            If you can’t distinguish the difference between car and tool rental needed for short-term use and housing rental needed for survival, you are unredeemable.

          10. But it is the leftists who are suppressing competition and manipulating the market, via such interventionist policies are rent control and NIMBY land use rules.

            In places that do not have such policies, the RE market is genuinely free and the rules you cite will apply.

            If the city suppresses supply and deters investment, then prices will distort. But you can hardly blame those who take the risk anyway for that situation.

          11. @nutrisystem: “It is all about designing a fair system of distribution” Apparently you believe that economy automatically produces goods and services and that one can design a fair system without affecting that production. Good luck with that.
            Also, I love the use of the word “fair” without any explanation of what constitutes “fair”. Whether you acknowledge it or not, the US has a highly progressive tax system and those that you accuse of “hoarder” in fact paying a much larger portion of their income than less productive members of society in order to subsidize those members. but somehow that is not fair enough for you.

          12. nutrisystem has a whole lexicon of words whose meanings he thinks are obvious, objective and broadly agreed.

            So he trots out words like “fair”, “just” and”positive” as if he thinks we all buy into his skewed definition of them.

            This crucially enables him to leap from generalization to stereotype without ever pausing to reflect upon whether his categorizations are meaningful or self-serving because, from his perspective, those are one and the same thing.

            I am jealous of the simplicity with which he views the world, as i am sure life would be much easier and more comfortable if only such cliches has validity and the world wasn’t far more complex than he sees.

          13. In the interest of brevity, I’ve made some assumptions – this is a comment section to a news piece, not a book.

            Most people know “fair” and “unfair” when they see it.

            For example: when a full-time worker is paid so little that she requires food stamps to survive, while the owner is the richest man in the world… that’s generally considered “unfair”.

            Valenchia, taxation in the US is the least progressive it’s been in generations, and the least progressive of any comparable country. The ultra-rich, whose income is almost entirely capital gains, pay only 28% tax (if they don’t weasel out of it all together). A school teacher pays a higher percentage than that!

            Not surprisingly, the historically recent reductions of tax progressivity correspond to the massive accumulations of wealth at the top.

            For the sake of the nation, the top marginal income tax rates (INCLUDING capital gains income) need to go back to where they were in the prosperous post WW2 period: >90%. This is not vindictive, it’s to prevent the solidification of an aristocracy, and the subversion of democracy that goes with it.

          14. No surprise that nutrisystem wants 90% rates of tax. Luckily the voters won’t touch that – even the ones who would never pay that rate.

            Oh, and the top rate of income tax is FAR more than 28% as you said. It is almost 40% federally and over 10% at the state level. So it’s possible to have half your income confiscated by the state even as things are now. Compare that to places like Dubai and Hong Kong, where the top rate is 15%.

        2. The local market is being “manipulated” by the presence of white hot blasts of speculative investment capital both in tech and in real estate to recover as much of the wage portion of those tech investments as possible.

          It is not like there can be market competition when there are two bands on the demand side, one with 20% of residents and the other with 80% where the former out bids the latter by an order of magnitude or more.

          1. Liquidity waxes and wanes but long-term investment contributes to the local economy through both good and bad times.

      4. Why hasn’t anyone remembered how the SFUSD implemented the new enrollment program with the CTIP areas (mission) getting #1 preference even over proximity. Many many well to do families moved to this neighborhood for this purpose alone. Out of their own neighborhoods. They rooted at a time when there might not have been the crisis but realize that landlord raised rents because of sfusd new rule. Fact.