Yes, gentrification will hit the Tenderloin

By John Elberling : 48hills -excerpt

Market forces are too powerful, and no neighborhood in San Francisco is safe

n an admirable burst of optimism, a current BeyondChron post concludes that, unlike the rapidly gentrifying Mission District, the Tenderloin is not “… transforming itself into a place that low-income residents will no longer be able to afford. That’s not ever going to happen.”

The rationales offered for this bold prediction are:

  • There are few Tenderloin home ownership opportunities – single family homes or flats that could be converted to condos or TIC’s, so Ellis Act evictions will not become a “challenge.”
  • The limited amount of new market-rate housing that is built in the Tenderloin is consistently rental, not ownership.
  • There is no major retail shopping street or strong retail base to support new market-rate housing populations in general.
  • Local zoning and citywide SRO protections prevent its residential hotels from being torn down and replaced with market-rate housing.
  • Since the 1980s, various nonprofits have bought about 25% to 33% of the Tenderloin’s housing units and will keep them permanently affordable.

Unfortunately, this is a compendium of wishful thinking that ignores actual facts on the ground and capitalist economics, combined with an artificially narrow field of view… (more)


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