Tenants of 812 Guerrero St, owned by the estate of former Google department head Jack Halprin, won an appeal of the decision that had saved them from eviction. For now, at least, the collection of teachers and other residents will be able to stay.
Halprin, who headed up the e-discovery department at Google, succumbed to cancer in July 2015. Soon after acquiring the property in 2012, Halprin had begun the process of evicting the tenants, and the case became a lightning rod for the anger over the rapid changes in the city that were forcing long-term residents out.
The seven-unit building on Guerrero Street is now managed by Halprin’s family, who took over the appeal Halprin had filed of the May 2015 court ruling that had invalidated his attempt to use the Ellis Act to evict the tenants. Halprin lost that case over a lapse in the process – the tenants never received the first half of city-mandated relocation payments.
That decision was upheld by appellate courts, according to documents filed in late January.
Nonetheless, Claudia Tirado, a teacher and one of the tenants at the building, fears that the family may simply try another eviction. After multiple attempts, the family could not be reached for comment.
“It’s hard to celebrate… Yeah we won but the fight, on their side it’s still going on,” she said. “Any chance he had to get us out, he would have taken it, and so it’s just a matter of time. It feels like. Or at least it feels like it’s not over.”
Now, the tenants hope Halprin’s family will agree to sell the building to a nonprofit.
“We would hope that the brother of the deceased landlord, who doesn’t even live in the Bay Area, would agree to sell the property to a nonprofit land trust to allow the tenants to continue living there. That’s always been our hope,” said Stephen Collier, an attorney at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic who represented the tenants.
It’s unclear whether the family is interested in selling the property to a nonprofit. Lawyers representing Halprin were not immediately available for comment, and attempts to reach Halprin’s brother were unsuccessful. Tirado, too, said the tenants have not been in contact with the new landlord.
“What do I say to him? It can’t be easy to have had his brother die, and him inherit this whole entire dilemma of the building,” she said.