Galería de la Raza’s landlord on Friday declined to make a deal with the venerable gallery that would allow it stay in a space on 24th and Bryant Street for two years while it searched for a permanent home. This likely means the gallery will have to close down in the near term.
This was laid out in a Friday evening Facebook post by Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who had been involved in negotiations between the gallery and its landlord, Lily Ng, since the gallery was served with a three-day pay-or-vacate notice two weeks ago.
“I feel the landlord is being unreasonable,” Ronen told Mission Local. “I tried to mediate, and I can’t mediate with someone who is being unreasonable, so I’m joining Galería in protest.”
An eviction notice would appear to be imminent.
This follows the gallery receiving a purported 100-percent rent hike in August that effectively forced it out of the space it had occupied for 46 years. It was founded in 1970 at 14th and Valencia; two years later, it moved to the location on 24th.
The negotiations that crumbled on Friday morning left Ronen “heartbroken and angry.” The supervisor said in her Facebook post that the gallery had been willing to compromise by paying increased rent on the smaller space and contributing to building upgrades. That, apparently, was not good for Ng, who was “unwilling to budge on costs and liability that would be unacceptable to any commercial tenant,” Ronen wrote.
“This landlord’s behavior toward their responsible tenant of 46 years is appalling and emblematic of the greed that has infected the real estate market throughout San Francisco,” Ronen continued. “We are seeing these same types of assault on small businesses and tenants throughout the Mission.”
Ng could not be reached for comment, and messages left with Galería de la Raza were not immediately returned.
A press conference will be held at the gallery (2857 24th Street) on Monday, Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. An “emergency community response meeting” will be held at 6:30 p.m. that evening at the same location.