The brightly colored Vida Apartments on Mission Street were attacked sometime last week when someone smashed the condo building’s front windows and badly cracked four panes of glass before fleeing the scene.
Video of the incident, seemingly filmed by someone involved, was posted online shortly after the attack and shows someone in jeans and a dark hoodie walking calmly up to the apartment’s glass facade before pulling out an unseen object and smashing the windows five times. The person then drops the object, which makes a metallic sound as it strikes the concrete, before running down Mission Street towards 22nd Street.
The camera person, standing across the street, zooms in on the attacker as he or she walks up to the building and tracks him or her down the block as the windows are smashed, following until the suspect flees the scene.
A post accompanying the video called the incident a “direct attack” on gentrification in the Mission District and pledged “solidarity to those resisting gentrification and the police.”
“This is an escalation from a sentiment of resistance to gentrification to a direct attack against it,” read the post, signed by “anarchists” who decried the November elections as “a charade of democracy” in which “not even the crumbs” of San Francisco “could be saved through legal means.”
“We fight because the issue of our homes and survival is not up to a vote by anyone. Survival and resistance are only there for the taking. All that is necessary is the will and the act,” the anonymous post continued.
A front desk receptionist at the condo complex said management had filed a police report, though they had received no information about any progress. A police department spokesperson said the matter was under investigation and that video evidence would be used to try to identify a suspect.
This is not the first time the 114-unit building has been attacked, though a front desk receptionist said this was the most damaging incident so far. Another post on the same site as the video bragged of throwing paint on the sales office on-site in April of last year, saying “this was just one small act of hostility in what will hopefully soon be a storm” before exclaiming “down with gentrification!”
And between Tuesday and Wednesday, black graffiti reading “Die slow rich fucks” was scrawled on the facade.
The front desk receptionist also said residents reported that other locations suffered similar attacks the day the front windows were smashed, and the focus on the attacker in the video suggests that the Vida incident, at least, was coordinated.
When asked whether residents of the complex were fearful, the receptionist said she did not know “other than the presumed feelings that you would [have] when your property is damaged.” She added that the windows are scheduled to be repaired but did not know when.
Conny Krygsman, the mother of a Vida resident, said her daughter was not amused by the window smashing and felt it a step in the wrong direction for the neighborhood.
“She feels really upset of course,” Krygsman said. “This area is trying so hard to improve and this is a setback. It’s like a setback in quality and security in the area.”
Other residents were less forthcoming, but one young boy did say he had noticed the cracked facade. He refused to be intimidated, however.
“I’m not scared!” said the young boy before entering the building.
The market-rate condo complex was built at 2558 Mission St. last year and opened for move-in at the beginning of this year. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom rental units were listed for $7,499 a month in rent in January, and some sold for $936,000 — though there were one-bedrooms for several hundred thousand less.
As part of the affordable housing requirements in San Francisco, the developers of Vida Apartments bought land for a housing complex at 26th and Shotwell and granted it to the city. That site was approved for a 96-unit fully affordable senior housing complex earlier this month that will break ground in 2018 and house its first slate of residents in 2019.