Tags: development • Developments in Development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% Developments in Development is a “weekly” column recapping real estate, housing, planning, zoning and construction news.I can’t wait to see what role this new tidbit will play in upcoming meetings about housing: San Francisco actually outperformed the entire rest of the state in terms of adding new housing in 2016.This is a fascinating statistic that I’m sure will be interpreted two ways. On one hand, how can San Francisco be slow at building housing when we’re actually leading the state? On the other hand, California’s housing production is so abysmally slow that byzantine San Francisco, home of the years-long planning process, is beating the competition. Thing is, you can have a long planning process and still come out ahead if after those years you actually build some housing. Unlike, say, Brisbane. Remember Brisbane? San Francisco threatened to annex part of it to force it to build housing? Well, better grab that popcorn, because this period of quiet was just the intermission and Brisbane Is Back. The city is considering competing proposals for a swath of land previously used as landfill. One of the proposals includes no housing whatsoever, the argument being that the area is too contaminated to live on (but fine for office and retail space). One might speculate, however, that new housing in Brisbane would be very popular. RentCafe suggests that rents have been dropping slightly in San Francisco and rising in the suburbs because people are starting to accept super long commutes and living outside of metro centers for the sake of less super crazy rent.And yet. We seem to persist in churning out baffling stories like this one from the South Bay, in which a realtor has been leaving handwritten notes, for that extra personal, sincere touch, on homeowners’ doorsteps promising big payouts.A different San Francisco drama appears to have finally come to an end: Airbnb has settled a lawsuit with the city of San Francisco, ending a years-long conflict over regulation of short term rentals. Lawmakers have been struggling with how to keep homesharing as an option for residents, without letting entire units slip out of the rental market and into the more lucrative short-term-rental one. Within the next six month, Airbnb will require all listings to be registered with the city – register or you won’t be able to appear on its site. It will also automatically pass on the required city forms. So, how far will listings drop? And will complaints reporting illegal short term rentals drop with them?One other city crackdown has come to fruition: The city attorney has prevailed in a case against notorious serial evictor landlord Anne Kihagi, managing to overturn some of her evictions, some of them in the Mission, and fining her $2.4 million. Kihagi has also recently been sentenced to a few days in jail in contempt of court in LA. Now let’s see if San Francisco manages to actually collect.
The owner of the two-story building that is the home of Sunrise Restaurant and two residential units on its second floor is being investigated by the city attorney’s office for allegedly violating San Francisco’s housing codes. Since purchasing the 143-year-old property at 3126/3128 24th St. in March of 2014, Andrew Kong has racked up eight housing-code violations, including dry rot, a crumbling roof, missing smoke detectors and gaping holes in the ceiling of Sunrise Restaurant.He is due back for his third hearing with city building inspectors on Tuesday, Nov. 6, for failing to comply with the current code violations in both apartments, and for purportedly living in an illegal unit in the back of the property.Kong, who did not respond to requests for an interview, faces fines of up to $7,500, and costs associated with code enforcement — as well as potential penalties from the California Franchise Tax Board, which forbids taxpayers from claiming deductions from “substandard housing.” From the day Kong purchased the property, tenants say they have had troubles with him. They claim he has failed to make repairs, and then moved to evict them. Kong, who was profiled in Mission Local earlier this year, raised the rent for Sunrise Restaurant in February from $4,800 to $7,800. Proprietor Alba Guerra says that rent increase came without any repairs to the restaurant’s ceiling.The space is at least 2,500 square feet, according to property records, which would make the increased rent just over $3 a square foot.“A well-functioning building on 24th street could cost $3 a square foot, but someone who’s trying to rent a space with a leaking roof does not have a $3-per-square-foot space,” said Phil Lesser, a permit expediter and former president of the Mission Merchants’ Association.Alba Guerra, the owner of Sunrise Restaurant.“Water floods this back room,” she said, gesturing to the hallway behind the seating area. “My employee bathroom floods, too.”Collapsed and eroded drywall, along with old beams and wire, is clearly visible in the ceiling in the bathroom. Guerra says Kong has made no attempts to fix anything. “He lives in the back of the property,” she said. “But he won’t talk to me. He doesn’t answer calls. He doesn’t do anything.”Diana Ponce de Leon, the project manager from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, worked with Guerra this year to “stabilize” her relationship with Kong throughout her lease negotiations. “Our goal is that Alba is in a stable position,” Ponce de Leon said, noting that the Sunrise received an SF Shine business grant of $150,000 to make improvements to her restaurant, including new equipment.Ponce de Leon said her office was monitoring the situation and noted that OEWD considered the rent hike to be “steep.”“Our partners, Working Solutions and Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, consider the rent increase to be above market rate,” Ponce de Leon said.This year, Kong has received four Notices of Violation, including two on the same day. Public records show complaints dating back to March 9, 2015, just a year after Kong and his wife Aliana purchased the property from the previous owner, Glenda Gutierrez, who was also the subject of frequent complaints from her tenants.Any hope the tenants harbored that habitability might improve with a new landlord vanished quickly.According to Ligia de Leon, a tenant in one of the upstairs flats, Kong hasn’t paid for any of the repairs to her unit, forcing her to spend more than $8,000 in basic repairs. These include fixing her stove and the plumbing for her shower.“I paid to fix everything,” said de Leon, who works the night shift for a shipping company. Her bathroom sink doesn’t still doesn’t drain, and her front windows are cracked and taped shut. There is no heat in the apartment, and a small crack, visible in the plaster surface of her living room ceiling, drips water every time it rains. She has no garbage can to use and says that although Kong bought one after the city required him to, he has forbidden her from using it.Ligia de Leon and her daughter. Photo by Elizabeth Creely.Kong did purchase a water heater, she said. But it didn’t work. “I didn’t have hot water for two years.”De Leon says Kong has attempted to bully her. “Six months ago, he came over here to see my water heater. He was so mad! He pushed my door open, and yelled at me and told me I use too much water!” Kong tried to take pictures of her, de Leon says, in an attempt to intimidate her.Kong has a history of property neglect that extends beyond his troubled building on 24th Street: A property he owns at 1399 Plymouth Ave. in San Francisco’s Westwood Park neighborhood was cited for hazardous conditions in 2010 by the Department of Building Inspection.A property that Kong owns in Sacramento is similarly troubled. According to Carl Simpson, the Code and Housing Enforcement Chief for the city of Sacramento, Kong has racked up $142,315 in fines for code violations dating back to 2005. The property is now listed as a “vacant building,” which allows for stricter penalties to be applied.In August of this year, the Kongs, along with 70 other Sacramento property owners, appeared on a city resolution that listed the owners of “substandard and dangerous buildings,” and sought to recoup administrative fees associated with code enforcement.Kong has repeatedly blamed his tenants for the dilapidated state of his building. In two hearings in 2015, held by the Department of Building Inspection, Kong blamed the lack of repairs on his tenants, claiming that he had no keys, and thus no access, to the building.In a hearing held in May 2015 conducted by Chief Plumbing Inspector Steve Panelli, Kong told the inspector that after purchasing the building from Gutierrez, the keys he was given didn’t work.Kong also said that the building inspector then assigned to the case told him not to change the locks.“The tenants changed the locks without providing a copy,” Kong said in 2015, remarking that his tenants wouldn’t “communicate” with him. When asked about the condition of the second unit, Kong said he didn’t know.“You need to find out how to get in and take care of it. You’re the owner — you bought the units. Wouldn’t you walk through the units and make sure they’re in working order?” asked Panelli, who pressed Kong to explain the wretched condition of the building.At a second hearing in September 2015, Kong was found to be noncompliant with the city’s orders. His lawyer, Dale N. Chen, blamed non-cooperative tenants that Kong was purportedly attempting to evict. “They don’t mind complaining about things, but they don’t want him to inspect or repair anything,” Chen said, adding that the tenants refused to let Kong or his contractor in.This assertion was challenged by another city inspector, who said he had gotten access in August but neither the owner nor contractor showed up. Public records show that on two subsequent occasions, Kong was described as a “no-show” at a scheduled re-inspection.At the 2015 hearing, Chen asked for a “continuance,” so that he could begin eviction proceedings. “We’re going to need time to evict. Evicting a tenant is not an easy task. We’re trying to do it peacefully,” Chen stated.Panelli denied his request, citing Kong’s lack of action on the violations. “All you’ve done is ask me for more time so that you can get somebody thrown out of a unit,” Panelli said emphatically. “You haven’t done anything at this point to make any repairs. You haven’t gotten any permits.”De Leon, who’s lived in the apartment for 24 years, disputes Kong’s assertion that he has no keys. “When he bought this building, he had the keys.” One of de Leon’s daughters gave him the keys, she says. De Leon was shocked to hear that Kong in 2015 said he was attempting to evict her. But she wasn’t surprised. “He’s had so many excuses for not fixing something in my apartment I think he has the same attitude as the last landlord: When I push too much, he tries eviction. That’s why I don’t push.” Back at the Sunrise Restaurant, Guerra worries about the future. “This building is not safe,” Guerra said. “When I say something, to [Kong], he doesn’t care. He don’t do nothing for this building. He says ‘write the letter. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else’. He says he has somebody else he can it rent it to.”The scene within the employee bathroom at Sunrise Cafe. De Leon’s floorboards are clearly visible. Photo by Elizabeth Creely. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address
JAMES Graham and Michael Shenton have been named in the Frontline Index Team of the Week for Round 4.Their performances in the 22-16 win over Catalans have been recognised statistically in the table.Wigan Warriors full-back Sam Tomkins is this week’s Player of the Round after his performance against Salford City Reds.Points are calculated from every action made by players, every involvement is given a points value depending on the importance and frequency of the action.For example a try would be the highest scoring value, with actions such as tackles and carries scoring smaller values. Mistakes such as handling errors or penalties conceded would incur negative values.At the end of a match, all the players’ actions will be added together to give a game score. The 13 individuals with the highest scores in each position on the field of play will earn inclusion in the Frontline Index Team of the Week with the highest scoring individual earning the Frontline Index Player of the Week title.The player with the single most outstanding performance during the regular season will win the Frontline Index and be presented with a £1,000 cheque at the 2011 Engage Super League Man of Steel dinner. Frontline Index Team of the Round1. Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors) 8572. Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) 6243. Michael Shenton (St Helens) 6874. Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves) 5525. Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos) 5756. Kevin Brown (Huddersfield Giants) 7147. Thomas Leuluai (Wigan Warriors) 8448. James Graham (St Helens) 7339. Andy Ellis (Harlequins RL) 69710. Andy Lynch (Bradford Bulls) 70011. Ben Galea (Hull KR) 65812. Setaimata Sa (Catalan Dragons) 76113. Luke O’Donnell (Huddersfield Giants) 814
THE Saints Superstore at Langtree Park will close at 4pm on Friday for a stock take.It will reopen on Saturday from 10am – 4pm.The online store will be unaffected.
NATHAN Brown admits there is still much more to do even though his side recorded their fifth win in a row on Sunday.They beat Wakefield 26-12 to consolidate fifth spot in Super League.“We did some decent stuff but at times it was like opposite ends of the scale,” he said. “We weren’t consistent enough. We put ourselves in a good position early, but then made a lot of errors. We never seemed to get flowing.“Wakefield are an interesting team. They are well coached and dangerous and there are other sides in the eight who don’t attack as well as they do. To keep them to ten was pleasing but we let ourselves down in small areas.“Our start was good and at times our attack was too but we turned over cheap ball.“We know we need to be a lot better than that going forward.”He continued: “We have won five in a row and a couple before that so we are doing some good things well and the players are getting more consistent too.“There are lots of things to be happy about but today some things stood out we have to work on.”
PRE-SEASON training is never easy but Saints’ final session of 2014 brought the best out of the first team and academy squads.A 7.30am start at The Dream saw a number of players arrive bedecked in Christmas gear – only to be promptly sent up the hills by Head of Strength and Conditioning Matt Daniels.They then split off into teams and completed a series of runs, sprints and endurance challenges before enjoying a relaxing bath.You’ll have to take our word for it… and watch the video on our Official Facebook Page.
“It was always going to be a tough game, we knew that. To come away with the win is very pleasing.I thought there were a lot of good performances across the park from our boys.Obviously, we started well and I thought we were unlucky to go in at 12-all at half-time.Wigan kept coming back at us. In the second half it was a great defensive effort, we really ramped it up.I thought we showed enough in attack and, in defence we were really strong. To only concede a barge over and an intercept, against a very good Wigan side was really pleasing.”In the end, we came away with a good win. I thought Lachlan Coote was a very calming influence and he reads the game so well. To have Big Al back aswell was fantastic to see.I thought we all worked really hard as a team and I think we are going to get better as our new guys gel more.”
CFPUA says the Whiskey Creek force main failed.Staff stopped the overflow by shutting down a nearby pump station shortly after 6:00 p.m. Pump-and haul operations were conducted to minimize service disruptions and environmental impacts, while CFPUA construction crews made repairs.The pump station and sewer flow through the force main returned to normal by 10:30 pm.Related Article: NC environmental chief: Chemours must change its waysCFPUA Environmental Management staff members are performing water quality testing in various locations near the site. Results are expected in the next 24 hours. CFPUA says they cleaned the area and reported the spill to the N.C. Division of Water Quality. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Crews with the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority responded to a sanitary sewer spill that sent 1,800 gallons of untreated wastewater into a tributary to Whiskey Creek.It happened Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. near 241 Navaho Trail.- Advertisement –
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — After years of discussion and construction, the I-140 Wilmington Bypass is now open to traffic.The new stretch of road connects Wilmington to Brunswick County.- Advertisement – Even though the new road is now open, the North Carolina Department of Transportation says finishing touches will still have to be made over the next several months and will require occasional lane closures.The DOT held an official ribbon cutting last week.
A tow truck driver removes a flat tire on I-140 in New Hanover County on March 16, 2017 (Photo: Kevin Wuzzardo/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Several people called in to New Hanover County 911 to complain about nails and screws on the roadway, after they were left with flat tires on I-140.It happened around 10 a.m.- Advertisement – New Hanover County 911 says the drivers were on I-140 between I-40 and the Dan Cameron Bridge in the westbound lanes.Several people called WWAY about the problem.One woman says she saw a line of cars on the side of the road and grew concerned, then her tire warning light came on in her car, so she pulled over. She, too, had a flat tire.Related Article: Brunswick Co. Schools still looking for bus drivers as other districts near full rostersNo word on how the nails ended up on the road.A tow truck driver WWAY spoke with said he’d responded to at least five or six vehicles. He showed us the bolts he had pulled from some of the tires.A New Hanover County firefighter who was helped with traffic control said he had heard of at least 11 vehicles affected.