Committee to Save the Mission (Yes on Proposition I) Activists gather outside the offices of Robert Rosania. Photo by Julian Mark

A small group of activists in support of the Mission moratorium ballot initiative went to the offices of Maximus Real Estate Partners, the developers planning 345 units at 16th and Mission streets, and challenged its leadership to a debate “about the future of the Mission District.”

Robert Rosania, the developer of the large market-rate project and the principal owner of Maximus Real Estate, wasn’t in the offices at the time of the rally, activists said. The rally was mostly organized to bring attention to Rosania’s financial contributions to defeat Proposition I, the ballot initiative that would pause the construction of market-rate housing in the Mission District for 18 months.

Rosania contributed $180,000 to the “No on I” campaign and Seth Mallen of Maximus contributed another $20,000, according to activists and Open Data SF.

“We know at least $200,000 is essentially coming from Maximus to defeat Proposition I,” Blue said. “If Robert Rosania has $180,000 to laying around to defeat a proposition that’s come from the community, it sounds like he plans to make a huge profit from the Monster in the Mission.”

Asked whether he believes a debate would actually take place with Rosania, Blue said, “I’m not holding my breath.”

Bearing signs reading “Wanted: Robert Rosania for Mission Displacement,” protesters walked into Maximus’ gated office complex and crowded outside a closed office door. “Maximus, open up! We have a letter for you,” said Gabriel Medina of the Mission Economic Development Agency. “We hear you in there — why do you wanna hide behind closed doors?”

“We’re your neighbors, gardeners, and teachers,” Medina continued. “Mr. Rosania, you’ve heard the people — come out and have this debate!”

After receiving no response, Medina slipped a letter under the door, and the group walked out of the complex, chanting: “We’ll be back!”

Police Officer D. Sands, who watched as the protesters delivered the letter said, “I don’t even know if they’re allowed on the property, but they’re peaceful, so that’s good.”

“I really would have loved if we were able to engage more, and if they had opened their doors to us,” said Lia Salaverry, who works with the Proposition I campaign. “But I think we came out strong and were able to get our message forward, and that’s successful in and of itself.”

The door had been open roughly an hour before, according to some of the protesters.

“They obviously saw us, pulled all their shades and battened down the hatches,” said John Eller of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a statewide grassroots community organization. “I bet you could come here an hour later and all their shades will be up and doors open. I walked in the office [earlier], and there were plenty of people in there.”

A Maximus spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

We will update this post if a statement from Maximus becomes available.

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. Whether someone will make money on the deal should not make people for or opposed to construction. Is this constriuction going to bring more housing to the neighborhood and help get people homes? The answer is YES! The study done by the city studying the impact of the moratorium shows it will not help at all and will only drive prices higher. Voting yes on the moratorium is voting yes for higher rents and higer home prices. As a home owner, I want the morotorium as it will allow me to rent my place for more once I move out of the city. As a person empathetic to folks struggling, we need to build build build in order to get prices down. It’s an argument about what will work, not who is evil or not. Let’s stop calling people names and figure out a way to get more homes for everyone here faster.

    1. Factually incorrect. Page 1 paragraph 4 of the “Main Conclusions” of Tom Egan’s study says, “At the end of the moratorium, these effects would be reversed, through a surge of new building permits and construction, and there would be no long term lasting impacts of a temporary moratorium”. Finally, the city’s Housing Element, which was approved by every current sitting Board of Supervisor member except Farrell, points out that market rate housing is “overproduced”. What seems to have escaped your analysis is what we need is housing for middle and low-income people in the city as that is not coming anywhere near what the demand is. The moratorium would allow for construction of affordable units during the moratorium period. The city’s poverty rate is at 24% (not including housing costs). So the goal is to provide housing for mid-low incomepeople. I am glad you are doing well financially but I don’t understand why you don’t want the same for your neighbors. It would be very helpful if you wanted to argue a position if you would use a position that was based on the facts and not just on your opinion.

      1. For you to say I don’t want my neighbors to do well is absurd. I just disagree that not building will help the area with housing costs. THere are still going to be more people with money wanting to live here than folks moving out. Without market rate or luxury homes for the tech crowd to rent/buy, they drive up rates for regular middle income housing. It’s simple supply and demand. Fact is, SF has not been building what it should for the past 30-40 years. Only time will tell, but so far SF has proven to be a very expensive city to live in and always will be. It took me 3 years after college to be able to move to the city because I couldn’t afford it. This is over 15 years ago. Once I could afford it, i could only afford a room with 4 other roommates. TImes haven’t changed as much as you think.

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