Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rincon Hill revisited

In a post that's apparently based on a press release from Pacific Marketing Associates, the folks that handle the Rincon Hill condos, Jim Herd of SF Citizen doesn't give us a link but provides the text of the document, which contains some interesting tidbits. Apparently the luxury condos in the 64-story building are almost all sold:

The Asian market, primarily China, Taiwan and South Korea, is also bringing an influx of trans-generational buyers, sparked by less government restriction to overseas investment. “These condos are often bought by Asian parents---who may or may not have current plans to reside in the property---and put in their children’s names,” added[realtor Gregg] Lynn. “In many ways, San Francisco is catching up to a trend prevalent in Vancouver and Los Angeles, providing a surge of sales to our upper luxury condo market.”

Pieds-a-terre for rich people from foreign lands. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, though it means the increased "Carmelization" of San Francisco. But, hold on! Wasn't the Rincon Hill highrise development what former Supervisor Chris Daly bragged about as a "progressive" victory on housing policy? Yes, indeed, way back in 2005 in Beyond Chron: "I've got very exciting news. As of about one hour ago, individuals with development interests in Rincon Hill and community members came to agreement on a package for development and associated mitigations [in the area]."

Later that year, Daly said that his deal getting development fees from the Rincon Hill developers somehow threatened "Downtown":

So the real story is that for the first time in San Francisco development politics, neighborhoods are engaging to raise questions of community benefits. It's not about folks saying "Just don't build" and developers are saying "Just build it." The issue is how development affects neighborhoods and how neighborhoods engage to mitigate impacts. That's what really threatens Downtown. And this thing about me building a political machine? It's probably half right. Because even though I'm not building a political machine, if we are able to get resources into the hands of communities that have been marginalized economically, socially, and politically, then we might have real empowerment, and that seriously could turn the tables politically. Because Downtown has made its living by starving everyday people and thereby silencing populist politics in San Francisco.

This is vintage Daly, class-struggle bullshit. That wicked Downtown, "starving" people and "silencing" them! The bastards! Exactly how luxury condos could possibly threaten the powers-that-be---downtown or anywhere else---is unexplained.

More importantly, how much has the city collected in development fees from Rincon Hill and where has the money gone? Funny that six years later we still haven't seen an accounting.

As I accurately predicted at the time, all Daly's high-rise deal will do is bring more rich people to San Francisco. Nothing wrong with that, except that what we need in SF is affordable housing, not luxury condos. Rich people never seem to have any problem finding housing.

John King endorsed the "Vancouverization" of San Francisco.

The allegedly radical Bay Guardian opined that five highrises were too many, that only three should be allowed on Rincon Hill. Take that, wicked Downtown interests!

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