The two-and-a-half-year-old saga of 1049 Market Street continues this week as the landlord, at this point desperate to convert his half-empty residential property into office space, is invoking the Ellis Act after all else has failed to get rid of the remaining tenants. The tenants were served Ellis notices either this week or last, and today they rallied outside building, which sits between Sixth and Seventh Streets, to draw new attention to their plight.
The problem for the landlord is partly political, as he learned when Supervisor Jane Kim stepped in back in 2013 to advocate on behalf of the tenants, partly financial, and partly bureaucratic. The city is short on affordable housing as it is, and this building, regardless of the gray area it occupied with some illegal units in its core, represents a large source of rent-controlled housing in the neighborhood. The current owner clearly wants to capitalize on the high office rents that are being commanded in the neighborhood, while Kim’s office and the tenants want to stress that this eviction is unprecedented in its size, and that the landlord shouldn’t be able to get off so easily…
The Ellis Act, of course, allows a landlord to “go out of business” and convert units either to for-sale residential or some non-residential use, either of which might be possible here, but the question remains if the landlord has to go out of business on this building, what happens to the tenants a few doors up at 1067 Market, which also houses dozens of students and artists in similar “live-work” units that were all renovated at the same time in the 1990s… (more)
We know the solution lies in Sacramento. It is time to amend the Ellis Act. Where are Leno, Ting and Chiu in this? Where is the fight to amend the Ellis act? We know where Kim is. Where is Weiner?