2/23 Update: The proposed meeting between Mission Greenway and Monkeybrains, which had been tentatively scheduled for this week, has been nixed. Mission Greenway reportedly wanted a public meeting while Monkeybrains wanted a private meeting; no agreement was found.
In another twist to the parcel 36 saga, local internet service provider Monkeybrains has bought the Heinzer warehouse, a large commercial property that abuts the northwest edge of the contested lot.
As well as buying the warehouse, the company has staked its claim to the adjoined parcel. At the start of February, it paid over $20,000 in back taxes on the land. Before this payment, the parcel had been largely delinquent for several years.
“We do want right-of-use, which we believe is intrinsically there,” said Alex Menendez, co-owner of Monkeybrains. “The space allows for loading and unloading. The warehouse has a very strong historical use argument.”
But the company’s intended use for the parcel, which primarily involves parking space for vehicles and access to two of the building’s three loading docks, brings it into conflict with Mission Greenway, the group of guerilla gardeners that set up planters there last October. Mission Greenway has been organizing for years to convert the space into a publicly accessible green space.
“We see this as predatory,” said Elizabeth Creely, former contributor to Mission Local and a current member of Mission Greenway. “They are plonking down money to secure land they do not own. It is supremely arrogant.” Creely sees Monkeybrains’ proposed use of the property as incompatible with a greenway, which would ultimately be pedestrianized.
Ownership of parcel 36 has been a fraught question for a long time. Originally the path of a rail line, the Assessor-Recorder said that Southern Pacific was the land’s owner until at least 2017, even though the company folded in the 1990s. Until Mission Greenway’s arrival last year, the parcel had been used as private parking for decades. Now, some members of the group perceive Monkeybrains’ tax payment on the parcel as the first salvo of a “hostile takeover.”
A representative for the San Francisco Treasurer and Tax Collector told Mission Local that there is no rule against paying taxes on a parcel you do not own, but was unsure if there was any legal benefit.
According to a local land-use lawyer who asked to remain anonymous, paying tax on a delinquent parcel confers no ownership status, but could help with an “adverse possession” claim over the land. This is an uncommonly used element of property law which allows a non-owner to claim a parcel if they have openly used it for five years and have paid taxes on it for the same period.
Any claim of ownership would need to come at least five years in the future, explained the lawyer, as Monkeybrains would need to use the parcel for that long for a claim to be valid. But paying off taxes now means that other groups cannot do so later, he added.
“I am not a land-use attorney, and we haven’t retained a land-use attorney,” said Monkeybrains’ Menendez. He said that he did not see paying the tax as a step toward ownership, but as a way of bringing “stability” to the plot.
“I’m interested in being able to use the parcel the way that I believe it has historically been used, and how current zoning allows it to be used,” said Menendez. “If taxes are paid, there’s no longer an issue of, ‘This is not being attended to right now.’ There’s an organization that obviously is invested enough that it is willing to pay taxes.”
Monkeybrains has been in business in San Francisco since 1998 and employs more than 60 people, with tentative aspirations to expand now that more space is available. Menendez said that the company will end its current lease at 12th and Folsom streets and shift all its San Francisco operations to the Heinzer warehouse, where it hopes to remain for “several decades.” Menendez added that the property cost between $3.7 and $4 million, with the exact final figure still unclear due to the tabulation of various fees.
The warehouse came up for sale last August, following the death of co-owner Ernie Heinzer. For two decades prior, the space had served as cheap space for artists’ studios.
Members of Mission Greenway said that they have been trying to contact Monkeybrains to discuss its plans for the warehouse and parcel 36 for weeks. Menendez and Rudy Rucker, the company’s other co-owner, said that they had received “aggressive emails” from Mission Greenway members but did not engage in any formal conversations.
“They refuse to respond,” said Lara Hanna, a member of Mission Greenway who emailed the company. “They refuse to talk to the neighborhood about what they are trying to do.”
The first time members of the gardening group met with Rucker and Menendez in person was on Friday afternoon, when the pair, along with a few employees, visited the warehouse as owners for the first time.
The meeting did not get off to a fortuitous start. Two police officers arrived on the parcel around the same time as the co-owners. Menendez believes they were called by the warehouse’s realtor, Louis Cornejo, and neighbors who were unhappy with the addition of new planters.
“We didn’t call the police,” said Menendez. According to Hanna, the officers left when no one was able to prove ownership of the contested parcel.
Today, Monkeybrains began working on the space in earnest, bringing in gardeners to chop weeds, and using heavy machinery to remove debris and shore up access to the warehouse’s loading dock. Members of Mission Greenway were on the site and spoke with Rucker and Menendez, asking them not to disrupt any planters.
Monkeybrains also attached a new lock to the 22nd Street entrance, near the loading docks.
Both groups claim that they want to nurture the parcel after years of neglect, and both claim that their use of the lot will benefit the community. Neither claims to own the parcel.
Menendez said that Monkeybrains will clear up parts of the site that have long been derelict. He added that as a sign of goodwill to neighbors, the company intends to extend an offer of free or discounted internet to the blocks around its new property.
Creely from Mission Greenway said that the gardeners’ efforts have grassroots support. While there is ongoing tension between the group and some neighboring businesses, more than 1,200 people have signed a petition in favor of the greenway. In January, a community event attracted a stream of supporters, and another gathering is planned for March.
“You are seeing here two instances of squatting,” said Creely. “Our squatting is done in an attempt to open up the land to public access. Their squatting is done to shut that down.”
“They are destroying a years-long community effort,” she added. “It is unconscionable.”
Trevor Chandler is a neighbor to the parcel and a mayoral appointee to the Eastern Neighborhoods Citizens Advisory Committee. He has been keeping up with issues surrounding the parcel for the last couple of months and, after spotting commotion on the parcel today, attempted to broker a peace.
Chandler asked Rucker not to move or damage any planters on the southwest side of the parcel, and not to damage the planters at the 22nd Street entrance. He also asked Rucker to join a community meeting to try and figure out a solution that Monkeybrains and Mission Greenway could both get on board with.
According to Chandler, Rucker agreed to both suggestions. Chandler and Mission Greenway member Jorge Romero are now organizing a public meeting.
“The main thing stopping a win-win scenario is a lack of communication,” said Chandler. “This shouldn’t have to be a big ordeal.” He added that one of the major drivers of tension was a lack of clarity from the city regarding ownership of the parcel.
Earlier in the day, Menendez said that confrontations over the past week had made him more reluctant to try and find a compromise with members of Mission Greenway. But he did not rule out the possibility.
“Am I saying no to talking in the future?” said Menendez. “Absolutely not.”
The public meeting arranged between Rucker and Chandler is tentatively scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m., with a location still to be confirmed.
Additional reporting by Chuqin Jiang. Disclosure: Mission Local and Monkeybrains have a barter arrangement exchanging advertising for service.
I think there’s a little bit of confusion in this comments section about what the Mission Greenway is all about.
The “Stop Mission Greenway” petition says, “Let’s […] look to the city to create a park or housing or whatever is truly best for everyone.”
But that’s exactly the point of the Mission Greenway effort! The Mission Greenway petition itself says:
“As the Mission continues to grow, it is more vital than ever that the few remaining open spaces such as this be converted to uses that welcome the entire community and represent the culture and history of the past and present people here. We, the undersigned, support developing this vacant, historic railroad right-of-way land into a public, car-free pedestrian pathway surrounded by greenery…” (https://www.change.org/p/let-s-create-a-greenway-for-everyone-to-enjoy-on-abandoned-land-in-san-francisco)
In other words, both petitions are saying that the land should be used for the public good, benefiting all, with the specific uses to be determined together by the Mission community.
I have met a number of the gardeners and organizers involved with the greenway effort and, consistently, the main point is this land being in public hands, not a private parking lot. I do not think people are dogmatic beyond that. If you don’t like the vegetables that they’re growing there right now, well, let’s talk about it and get your vision included as well! What matters is *public, community-serving use* of the parcel and it seems like both petitions are actually in agreement on that.
Tomorrow, Sunday, in the afternoon, gardeners will be on the parcel and it’ll be a great time to stop by and talk about the greenway effort, its history, and possibilities for the parcel. I encourage anyone who is interested to stop by.
Its disingenuous to try and cast Monkeybrains as some sort of tech bro douche association. These guys are a paragon of small business success stories. They have been providing a valuable service to SF for literally decades, and were built from nothing. Additionally they have provided free and low cost internet access to groups of people who could not afford it. Pretty sure handing a segment of people internet access, or the potential ability to get jobs/work from home is more valuable than giving 6 adjacent neighbors a head of cabbage, no? How is this garden organization somehow “more righteous” than Monkeybrains?
Sadly they have become the paragon of greedy land-grabbers too. Throwing money around to push volunteers out, telling volunteers that they will pay them if they stop volunteering for the greenway, vandalizing planter boxes, cutting a shared lock and replacing it with their own in order to keep everyone else out. typical divisive corporate behaviour. similar to union busting or other types of corporate bullying. they “were built from nothing”. guess what, community projects get built from nothing too. what else is new.
CMD – What on earth are you talking about? No one owns this contested parcel and Monkeybrains has no claim on it. They haven’t “earned” anything either — they did not buy this land. They paid some taxes in a show of force but they’d need to pay a lot more if they actually were buying it. If anyone is being a bully, it’s Monkeybrains since they’re the new kid on the block here and being aggressive towards existing users. They bought this warehouse knowing the parcel ownership was contested and are now making a move on it so they can use it for parking. And as far as what the community wants, I note that the Mission Greenway petition has almost 1300 signatures as of this writing. Roberto’s NIMBY petition? Not even 40…
At this point, this parcel should officially become City property, Monkeybrains should get its 20k returned, and we should have Supervisor-led community hearings on how the parcel should be developed.
As an organization of one person (me) who posted a petition 4 days ago and only put the link in the comments of this one Mission Local article, I think it’s pretty telling that almost 50 people have signed it. 🙂 I love my community!
It really looks like MnkyBrnz is trying to control the narrative on the internet with full forced commenting. I agree that this should be an open public space, cut through… and MBrainz should park elsewhere and consider the building they purchased all that they purchased. They should not try to stop the process of making it a public greenway but it looks like that is their plan. cities have limited opportunities for greenspace and we shouldnt let that slip away.
“It really looks like MnkyBrnz is trying to control the narrative on the internet with full forced commenting.”
And you know this how? Is it maybe possible that a majority of SF residents are tired of seeing the squatter mentality be used to bully businesses? Just maybe?
I think the thought process is something like: “I want it and I’m guessing that some folks will back me up because I’m using words like ‘community’ and ‘green space’, so I’m just going to take it”
SF residents are fed up with folks taking things that THEY DID NOT EARN.. Is that difficult to understand?
Also, I’ve rarely seen “community gardens” that engage the community beyond the first few weeks of their existence.. people get bored and it’s hard work.. not as interesting after a few weeks.. that’s my own personal opinion based on what I see living in SF
move on and let a business operate (and support dozens of families in the bay Area)..
Supremely arrogant she says? Pot calling the kettle black.
This is the only place that the “Stop Mission Greenway” petition has been posted and already dozens have people have signed it. I think I’ll organize a rally near parcel 36 to promote stopping them. I’ll keep you all posted.
One other important point that no one is bringing up is that the ground is toxic. So before Mission Greenway or the city could even open it up to be a public space, tens of thousands of dollars are needed to remove the toxic soil from the railroad line. Even the preschool next door which is dozen of feet away had to remove tons of toxic topsoil.
Elizabeth, what is your plan for dealing with the soil if you turn this into a park?
she has no plan
We use raised beds.
So no plan to remove the toxic soil then. That sounds great for a family park. Or will you just warn children to stay out? Or monitor them to make sure they don’t touch the ground?
So, you’re only concerned about your “raised beds”? Not actually improving anything with the land.. just parking stuff on top of it.
That 4 word reply speaks volumes about the true intentions
You don’t give a hoot about “community” or any of the other buzz words that you’re using. It sounds like you’re just planning to leave junky flower beds in place above toxic soil. I thought this was supposed to be a “community space”..
not so much, eh?
I’m glad that the comments are showing how the community really feels. Very different than how the article displays Greenway in a positive light. I’ve spoken to so many people who are infuriated with their invasion. Join the cause and sign the petition.
Petition to remove Mission Greenway: https://chng.it/kgWRXNsQx2
Done. The comments read like a rebuttal. Oh, the young, white and entitled.
This does not seem like too much of a problem since there is a lot of area along the corridor for parking and plants. This is a perfect opportunity for people to prove they understand the meaning of SHARE vs TAKE.
Sorry to screw up your name. Memory ain’t what it was.
But at least I have the memory of having a memory.
Go Niners !!
“We see this as predatory,” said Elizabeth Creely, former contributor to Mission Local and a current member of Mission Greenway. “They are plonking down money to secure land they do not own. It is supremely arrogant.”
And plonking down planters on land you don’t own isn’t?
Not really. See, the thing is that we plonked more than planters: we restored access to a right of way with a much deeper history of serving the neighborhood as a road. One of the great about doing this work was talking to the senior population around the parcel who have memories going back to the forties, sometimes, of using that space as a cut through. This became more frequent as freight operations slowed down.
Transportation is in the DNA of this parcel, and much of it was pedestrianized.
We’d like to see that restored.
Oh really. Then why are you picking on people with Spanish surnames by describing them as predatory? Check your privilege Miss Thing.
“One of the great about doing this work was talking to the senior population around the parcel who have memories going back to the forties, sometimes, of using that space as a cut through. This became more frequent as freight operations slowed down.”
I’m confused.. is this land valuable because seniors have fond memories of using it as a shortcut decades ago? Is that why THIS plot of land is so important?
Is that really what you took from that comment?
Then why bring it up? More meaningless buzz words to confuse the issue?
What does it’s use decades ago have to do with anything?
I mean… that’s exactly what you said so…
This group is full of privileged people who are out of touch with the needs and desires of the neighborhood. Millionaire Zack Klein was happy to post all about Greenway invading the space and taking it over for what these entitled people want. They didn’t coordinate with the artists or the preschool that was just built to serve low income families. I guess the low income communities adjacent to the space don’t deserve a say as these rich folks decide they want a garden on property they don’t own.
This really goes to show that one thing that is guaranteed to bring the worst out in people is parking.
Lol reads like every monkeybrains worker was told to write a comment here for the company.
Guys, its a bit too obvious
No, I don’t work no one but moi.
These guys are just that good.
Meet em and see.
Put em on your roof and get strong consistent feed.
Will’s pieces are getting even more like honey to bees.
As a former tenant of 933 treat, one of the artists that was evicted from that building I think it is supremely hilarious, that the mission Greenway people use the word “supremely arrogant”. There couldn’t be another group of people so toxic. Everybody was in favor of the garden until we met the people who were advocating for it. Their work on this has been consistently harassing, bullying (leaving poop on our doorstep, and by our cars, threatening mean mugs.), consistently lying, and consistently not listening, and having Fox News style articles about the space, written for mission local by a member of their group. For the 10 years I had direct interactions with the group and I am much happier after being evicted and moved away. That should tell you how horrible those folks can be. Happiness in eviction, go figure.
Adam. We never left on poop on your doorstep.
We really wanted to work with you. But after several stiff meetings and opaque objections from you and the others, it was clear to us that preserving parking was more important to you.
And thats what happened.
Best of luck!
No it’s not, and it would be supremely arrogant for you to tell me what happened when you weren’t in attendance.
It’s totally fine to want secure parking Elizabeth. Adam and others were actually paying to live there. Want kale? Go grow kale in your own back yard, there are plenty of parks in in the area and this little strip can hardly be considered a green space.
seems pretty clear that they have only one move, bullying ppl that don’t agree with them. Imagine claiming to be doing something for the community and then attacking members (like Adam, like Monkeybrains) the moment you don’t get what you want. They are just a bunch of white privileged freeloaders and bullies. Pretty sure I know how this one ends… (the good guys win).
This one will happy a very Happy Ending for All Concerned.
Trust me on this one.
I met Rudy and Alex when they wired Matt Gonzalez’s 2003 Mayoral Run office.
Place was friggin’ Grand Central on meth adding a bank of computers daily or another office all over a 30 day period.
They wired 3 separate stages in Walter Wong’s huge Office/Warehouse (Dick Hongisto told me he saved it for Walter when no one would give him contracts and got Wong State offices which are there til this day) …
I was the only 24/7/30 days tenant.
Slept under my desk in between the ‘West Wing’ where top staff had multiple offices and there were two rooms with free masseurs (bet you didn’t know that) …
One full kitchen Downstairs and Walter’s upstairs but everyone got sick once and I had to meet the Press and accused Newsom of poisoning everyone but no one printed it.
There’s was another fab guy and they had this huge German Shepherd I think that played with Bruce’s Service dog, unleashed and running wild thru the entire building.
Yeah, Rudy and Alex run a Hippie business.
They cut my monthly cable bill from over 80 bucks down to 30 with 5x Comcast speed.
They offered to wire the entire City and start with certain areas and it was going smoothly until Google came in and gave a million bucks to grab the contract and never built nothin’.
Trust me, the gardeners will love Monkey Brains.
As does anyone who knows anything about them.
There was a shower and washer and dryer across from my office (really a bar/pot stop) and only myself and a gorgeous blonde photo/journalist used it and til the Staff went home, Judy b. would stroll down the halls singing beautifully.
Monkey Brains in the Walls and Ceilings and Floors crawling around.
Dogs freed and racing.
3 stages and a fantastic Gonzalez curated 100 piece strong Art Collection on loan from all over the place.
Made Clinton’s place in ‘War Room’ look like a phone booth.
Did I mention the Koy Pond with the grand apiece big goldfish ?
Maybe they’re nice guys, but once this valuable piece of real estate is privately owned, it’s privately owned forever. The people they sell it to might not be as nice. Monkeybrains might make some kind of elaborate and expensive park, but what if they go out of business?
If instead the city takes it over and turns it into a park, we don’t have to worry about that. But as soon as someone seizes control of the land through adverse possession, that will never be possible again.
Your Garden is Safe w/Reggie and Alex,
These guys have fought off Comcast for a couple of decades and won after having the Giant ‘incentivize’ owners to ignore the law which says we get a choice of our carrier.
Like I said, when I met em they were 3 men and a dog ‘kingfishing coaxial cable in the dark of a huge empty building with blasting Rock n Roll as backdrop.
Boy does Creely and co. sound obnoxious. Sensational speech at its worst. “Supremely arrogant… unconscionable… hostile takeover.” If you want it… buy it! Don’t have the cash? Then it’s not yours to claim! Talk about arrogant, entitled brats.
Cheers Monkeybrains. Solid local company who paid the taxes and has rights to the space. How SF is taxing a lot that supposedly has no owner again speaks to the dysfunction in this city.
Looking forward to switching from sonic to Monkeybrains. A little embarrassed I’m not with them already.
We’ll get you on the install calendar ASAP! Of all other ISPs, sonic is the second best choice to Monkey Brains, no embarrassment using another Bay Area ISP
These types of “Community” gardens tend to be run by and for the benefit of a very small sliver of people living in the immediate area. Their cause is no less noble than our un-housed citizen who commandeer alleys and sidewalks to seek shelter. However let’s be real for second; they ain’t “The Community.”
Since Mission Local published the guerrilla gardener’s petition, I assume that it’s fine to post the one to stop them as well. Sign the petition and get Mission Greenway people to stop their illegal occupation.
I signed it! 😉
Yeah Monkeybrains!! It’s about time someone stood up to these people who have zero rights to the property but think that they can just dictate what should happen to the space.
Thanks for the support. For 25 years, we’ve shuffled around the city and had to move due to needing more space, rent hikes, or the building being sold. We will be very active in the buildin, make good use of it, and continue to hire people from all over SF.
Monkeybrains is a good company, run by good people. They have served our community for years. I began with them 15+ years ago when they had 4 employees. I watched them grow. I have seen them offer full benefits to their diverse team. They began offering free or nearly free DSL service to low income or disabled internet users. Monkeybrains is a good company not some kind of money hungry land grabber.
Likewise Mission Greenway is a group that wants good things to happen in the Mission. Energy filled Elizabeth Creely has been following this parcel for years. She has lobbied the city endlessly to create a public space.
Everyone except the city has claimed ownership of that parcel of property.
Mission Greenway installed planters and wants a public use greenspace. Monkeybrains, a mission based small business wants a place to park their trucks and paid delinquent taxes.
Look, both of these groups are good hearted and Mission District Centric. They both want to serve our community. Recent history reveals that Monkeybrains and Mission Greenway are both delighted when the community benefits.
My question is where is Southern Pacific or it’s new owners Union Pacific Railroad? Where is the city? They levy taxes on a parcel which nobody except Monkeybrains pays.
May I suggest that these two groups of kind minded people, set acrimony aside, get together and to create a community centric solution. Then turn the heat up on the city to take action in a way that benefits the Mission. The mission should support the mission.
Thanks, George. That’s nice of you to say.
Yay for Monkey Brains.
I love this.. only in SF..
On one side, you have a local company that employs over 60 people and is trying to buy and use a space for their business.
On the other, you have people that have been using the land for free for years that feel completely entitled to continue using it.
According to this piece, it seems like Greenway is attempting to bully a local company and, based on the article, sounds like that may be their M.O.
I’d be interested, for example, about why “there is ongoing tension between the group (Greenway) and some neighboring businesses,”.. as the article states.
It actually just sounds like there is a group of “gardeners” in the area that hassle businesses if they don’t get their way.
And they make zero financial contribution to the area.. actually expecting others to pay taxes for the land that they feel entitled to and have been using for free for years..
I love this town, but only in SF
Another Mission Local article says the gardeners started just started using the south end of the lot a few months ago when the building went up for sale. Previously, they asked the artists of the Heinzer warehouse if they could put a garden there, and they said “No”. I don’t know the details of why they said no, but my guess is that they used the space to access their loading docks.
As for other businesses, Mission Kids did a lot to fix up the lot; they added the gravel over a muddy, bumpy area where the gardeners now have planters. The preschool paid for that improvement. My guess is that confronting the gardeners is too risky for them as they work in child care and can’t have irate people badgering/harassing their staff.
I am one of those artists, I led the group in discussions with the gardeners, I can give you the full run down. Msg me on ig @adam5100
Funny. A certain parent of the school, he knows who he is, screamed at us volunteers, while his kid was right there, in the back seat. He screamed “colonizers” and other derogatory nonsense while driving towards us. A shocking level of aggression. Other people and kids were right there hearing this. It is not volunteers who create a tense or unsafe situation for kids there, it’s these parents screaming at us. It’s the preschool management repeatedly locking us in at night.
Of course, most parents are wonderful and chat with us and let their kid play in the garden. New parents come up to us and say, “We applied to this school because we thought this garden was part of it!”
Mission Kids preschool has been a part of the community and serving low income families for over a decade. The wait list is forever long because it’s an amazing school. You trying to take even an ounce of credit for why someone would attend there is insulting to the people who poured their souls into building an asset for the community. Yet again you are showing how ridiculously arrogant and entitled the Greenway people are.
Lara you are so arrogant that you really think that people applied to one of the best schools in the city because you tossed some plants in there? You invaded after the admissions cycle so you’re clearly lying when you say someone applied there because they thought it came with a garden (on the other side of the fence, which also makes no sense). Your comment is just flat out insulting to the school and the community it serves.
sounds like you guys are doing a great job interfacing with the parents, the residents and the companies in the community (sarcasm). When you think everyone else is the asshole, usually the asshole is you!
This group installed these planters blocking the loading dock just a few days ago ago in an obvious grab. This area has never been a public park. This street has always been used as a loading dock for the warehouses for decades. You cant just show up on land you don’t own and say “this is a park”.
You can’t just show up on land you don’t own, and say “this is a parking lot” either.
You can’t show up on land and say “I declare this will now be a garden.” Stop being such a hypocrite.
Well, what we’re really declaring is this parcel should be available as publicly accessible space to the neighborhood.
That’s a function its served before. Why can’t we have that again?
There really should be no debate here, a productive operation like Monkeybrains that contributes to the community should use the land and the self serving urbanist arriviste settler colonialists should shove off.
I am a strong believer in property rights. The ownership of the warehouse is clear. The gardeners may have noble goals to help the community but they have no standing as owners. There is a long history of buildings falling into decay and problems of life threatening magnitude developing from bad management, remember the Hamm’s Brewery on 3rd or the Ghost Ship disaster in Oakland.
These former railroad easements have a long history of legal problems once they are abandoned. There is clear case history to be reviewed.
We aren’t claiming ownership to the building, and certainly not to the parcel itself. As for noble goals, the city itself has a goal of increasing green space in the mission, and has for a while. So if we have this goal, and we do, its partly because we’re taking our cues from the city.
They paid the back tax. You did not, and missed a trick there.
You’re siding with Dopey and Mopey over the DIY gardeners? The anarchist in you has withered and died.
Anarchy draws attention to where power imbalances are abused. SF has an generalized entitlement problem. In this case in the Mission, the entitled identify as guerrilla gardeners who paint themselves as noble victims. The pitch and reaction to push back come off as so self-serving, so contrived, so sleazy condescending abusive.
I’m not seeing it. Monkey Brains is the one looking to capture wealth through privatization, and certainly expecting a ROI on their $20k. Mission Greenway is putting in sweat equity, and I believe them that their ultimate goal is public access.
1) “More art centric — small local bands, poets, art shows, things like that. There is a great community room in Parque Niños Unidos across the street for birthdays, meetings, things like that.”
2) “Well, what we’re really declaring is this parcel should be available as publicly accessible space to the neighborhood.”
Who sounds full of shit?
If you have ever tried to work with the city, you would not need to ask this question. Obviously, number 1 will actually happen. Number 2 is not likely. And even if it is a possibility, that stewardship should not be awarded to such an angry, hypocritical and entitled group such as the greenway.
The “the self serving urbanist arriviste settler colonialists” include support from families who live nearby who have been in the neighborhood for multiple generations. Careful of painting the people who want a greenway with such a broad brush.
You haven’t purchased a property there nor contributed to the community. Quite the contrary from what the preschool and people who passed by your crew have said. Also, this article shows a one-sided slander campaign, not a good way to negotiate. I live 2 blocks away …
Also, there is a park on Capp that looks like it could use love… with garden boxes, take that over. Parque unidos niños across the street also has a garden that isn’t on top of railroad tracks.
Jeez Mission Gal, we got this debate started! If anything, we’ve asked people to think of this site differently, after decades of neglect and after decades of serving a small group of people as nothing more than a parking lot (and party pad, from what I hear.) Shouldn’t we think differently about the city? And the spaces in it?
We had stunning success in the past year keeping JFK-car free and creating a network of slow streets that let people ramble in spaces that were off limits.
Purchasing power doesn’t seem more interesting to me than that.
And I don’t think it confers anything more than the ability to control, as opposed to the ability to create.
The key difference is that the initiatives like no cars on JFK have city approval and the city owns keeping it safe and clean. The folks at Mission Greenway aren’t working with the city to have the city make this a park (which would be great!). Instead they’re doing what THEY want despite the fact that the comments clearly show they don’t have the pulse of the community. And they have no budget to maintain the space and keep it safe. If you guerrilla gardneners want a park, great! Go work with the city to suggest that. But the city might want to build housing. Or a space for homeless. Or a million other things. You don’t get to decide for everyone what to do with the space. Go away.
I’ve also signed the petition. Amazing it’s getting traction without any events like Greenway had to hold. The community is making it clear that you’re not wanted.
Thank you, Marcos. At the moment, the warehouse is more space than we need. We are going to experiment with setting asdie roughly 1500 square feet on the Treat Avenue side for community events. Our model for use of the space would be like Adobe Books on 24th St. More art centric — small local bands, poets, art shows, things like that. There is a great community room in Parque Niños Unidos across the street for birthdays, meetings, things like that.
Aside: I’m always amazed by the offerings of SF Rec and Parks.
The moment MB gets fiber in the Mission, we’ll be back!
Hi Rudy Rucker. How ironic, your space is too big for you. Why then don’t you park your fleet inside, to enable the parcel to be a public, green, pedestrian-safe space? Isn’t a warehouse meant for storage? And events can be held on the parcel too, trust me!
Yet you demand every inch of the parcel around you, including the strip along your neighbour’s building that has planter boxes on it.
“It’s actually an act of decolonization for a private corporation to seize ownership of unowned land”
I do not understand how law enforcement can allow a person (or business) to lock the site, when they have no legal ownership of the land. I think those who have used this as their FREE parking for years have a lot of gall to suggest the gardeners are arrogant. As for Monkey Brains, they bought this knowing damn well they do not own the land they are trying to keep. I wish the city could step in and just make it into a park and let the businesses pay for land to park.
You forget that the guerrilla gardens cut the locks but then PUT THEIR OWN locks on the gate for their own purposes.
You forget, or just don’t care to mention, that we ensured everyone with a key could still get in.
You gave keys to the entire Mission? Wow, that’s a lot of keys.
Fox News of the mission greenway
Mighty big of you to permit access to land that you have no valid claim on.
Hi Robert. The greenway volunteers dont lock anyone out. It was actually monkeybrains who cut off an old communal lock this week, threw that away, and added their own private lock in order to lock everyone else out of the 22nd st entrance of the parcel.
this is really such sad thinking… people trying to claim land as their own and it’s not lock out others and a group who wants to make it for everyone cuts the lock….