Two weekends ago I visited an open house tic unit at 1298 Treat Street in the Mission. It’s a very contentious situation. The developer is trying to Ellis Act several elderly tenants, and some family members and tenant groups were peacefully protesting outside the open house.
I drove by the building this morning on my way to a meeting, and I saw that the building was scorched! It certainly looked suspiciously like arson, and the report [here] suggests the same.
I think that this is an unfortunate situation that we sometimes have in SF. On one hand the developer wants to maximize his property’s value by converting to tic’s. But on the other hand, evicting seniors in their 80′s or 90′s is morally reprehensible. I’m totally for property rights, as I own several buildings in the city, and am actively involved in their development, but i must say that I had sympathy for the tenants in this situation, and spent time talking to them and the tenant activists who were there that day.
I just don’t know what led to this case of possible arson. I highly doubt any of the people I met that day were involved. Could it be some silent angry activist, who wants to use destruction as a way to get back at ‘the system?’ I remember a similar case last year on 23rd street, between Treat and Folsom (across the park), where there was some violence. These immature and illegal acts certainly do not help the people adversely affected by the evictions. It is so asinine to act as a spoiler with these types of destruction. And it certainly fans the flame (no pun intended) of animosity between property owners/developers and tenants.
It’s too bad this city cannot collectively get it’s act together and find ways to mitigate the housing problems that we have. What’s next, drive by shootings at open houses? [We hope not!]