Wayne's has been on Guerrero for 25 years. Photo by Julian Mark

Wayne’s Self-Service Laundry, housed in the charming baby-blue storefront on 22nd and Guerrero, is getting a $600 rent hike, forcing the business to close.

“My landlord raised my rent very high and I have to close,” said Lisa, the owner, who declined to give her last name.

She said she had been paying $2,400 per month. But early last week, she was informed through her landlord’s lawyer that it would soon become $3,000 per month.

When she began 25 years ago, her rent had been only $750 a month, she said.

“I don’t have enough income — how can I afford it?” she said. “I don’t have food, I don’t have anything.”  

Her landlord appears to be Robert Imhoff, who owns property throughout the city, according to public records.

In 2015, Imhoff evicted some 25 tenants of a 12-unit building through the Ellis Act at 3301-3310 Cesar Chavez St. Last May, a 77-year-old woman was evicted from that same building for having multiple subtenants, which was a violation of her lease.

“Imhoff … was one of the most controversial San Francisco landlords in the 1970s and 1980s, when operating as owner of Landmark Realty,” Randy Shaw, director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, wrote in Beyond Chron in 2015. “Known then for his slum housing, he has kept a very low profile in recent years.”

Imhoff did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. 

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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. How does $3000/month compare to other comerical spaces in that area? Is this above/below market rate?

    Sad that a business is going to go away forever due to an increase of $7200/year. This is where MEDA and other non-profits should be stepping in to help this business owner come up with ideas to generate more money. $7200/year is not a lot of money for a business to generate in a year.

    Maybe sublet some space to a small business owner selling coffee, pastries, cookies, art, etc….?? Can she add a wash and fold service? ask local hotels or other businesses to do corporate laundry(towels, sheets, etc…) In this area full of entrepreneurs, somebody has to have an idea to help her generate the extra income to stay open….

  2. @ John–it’s not a huge laundromat. It’s a smaller neighborhood dry cleaning /wash & fold/ small repair service, which is the type of business that operates on a very thin margin to begin with. (I’ve been using her for years). I guess this last rent raise just was that final straw to her (very well- run) business

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