we miss McDonalds bookstore at 48 Turk, “the dirtiest, poorly lit bookstore in San Francisco” which was an obvious reference to a ‘clean well lighted place for books, some of which, also is now closed
Curious that article in the Bay Guardian about Randy Shaws pet project for the Uptown Tenderloin Historic District and most of the commenters aren’t buying it. And kudos to the Tenderblog for writing an excellent piece on it
Couldn’t have said it any better
I believe this idea that a neighborhood can be shaped to ones own designs is completely misguided. What Randy doesn’t say is that all this rich history he’s so proud of was not created during the current reign of non-profits controlling development in the TL. It once was a place that played host to a wide variety of entertainment, businesses, and yes… vice. It was a time when SRO’s played a valuable part in housing what was once a very diverse transient population. Shipyard workers, musicians, entertainers, and roustabouts of all types once contributed to the vibrancy of this neighborhood.
Take a walk around Taylor, Eddy, and Turk and you’ll notice that storefronts that once housed viable businesses are either boarded-up or have become offices for non-profits. Randy’s own organization was involved in the eviction of long-time business (McDonald’s Books) from a space on Turk Street in order to make way for his own storefront office where he keeps the blinds drawn 24 hours a day.
That was close, but not quite. It is true that Randy Shaws organization, the Central City SRO has now taken over 48 Turk, where beloved McDonalds books used to be. But it was another non profit, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp (The Dalt) that actually evicted McDonalds Books (Volansky). At this point you now have one non profit renting from another non profit, and using city funds to do it. here’s the eviction filing
In this article, TNDC head Peter Falk acknowledges that street traffic may not support a business other than another non profit. What he fails to mention is that this street traffic partly comes from his own non profit, in the very same building at 48 Turk (The Dalt)
bonus quote….eh, wanna say what you really mean?
From Inside the Tenderloin
Federal authorities should be called in to investigate exactly what is going on in the tenderloin. My suspicion is that there is massive collusion, fraud, and civil rights violations occurring in this district. My background: SF native, economist by degree, currently living in the tendernob, employed as a federal contractor (DHHS).
No one finds it odd that we just went through the largest property bubble in the history of the modern western world (not an exaggeration), in a city at the forefront of obscene housing pricing (again, not an exaggeration), and a non-profit is able to become the largest owner of residential buildings in the district?
The problems here are many but the cause is singular: SROs are being used to warehouse those deemed untouchable by the city’s politicians. Everyone always references those SRO’s filled with the elderly and hardworking/earnest folks who are down one their luck and working to better their lives. I have nothing admiration for them and those helping them; but, these building are the minority.
The typical SROs are not referenced by the feel-good articles of the day. These are the SROs that house the crack-heads who sell drugs directly out of their windows or the chronic drunks who are belligerent by 8 am and use their subsidized room as a home base for all day drinking binges. Where are the articles about how the corner stores in this district all receive payoff money from drug dealers so that they can use their stores as hideoutes when the police arrive and use their registers as change order machines, how some have scanners to help give head’s up so that people can change their description as the 911 calls are being radioed out to the police, how all the homeless here have ‘credit’ accounts with the corner stores to exchange food-stamps for alcohol and cash. How police are on a first name basis with the regular vagrants who are responsible for 90% of the noise (deranged yelling) for each block but don’t do anything because all their arrests are thrown out or not pursued. How ‘non-profits’ receive government section 8 subsidies while maintaining roach motels and drug dens. How Sunset Scavenger has received a waiver somehow so that they can collect regular garbage at 10pm (we’re talking the huge garbage bins that require a truck to empty and make an enormous amout of sound) and then come again to pickup recycling at 630am (again, extremely noisy)…EVERYDAY…so that residents are constantly running on ~5/6 hours of sleep. How there are 500+ units of housing with 4 corner stores on every block–yet still not classified as a residential neighborhood.
If gentrification is defined as an influx of those with higher standards and higher income potential, then I am all for it. There is no way to improve an area dominated by drug dealers, addicts, and the mentally unstable without bringing in ‘normal’ people. The ‘non-profits’ are in name only–they are actually part of the problem and serve to maintain the status quo. That guy’s been ‘working on’ (not living in) the Tenderloin for 30 years and has amassed a portfolio of buildings and a 6 figure salary….non-profit my ass. That guy has a business model and it seems to be working well for his finances.
As a native of this city I have been forced to realize that the liberal vs conservative dynamic is a false choice. This is the only rational choice left after seeing countless well-meaning but misguided people come to this city to try and change the world only to realize that they’re trying to reinvent the wheel. After 30 years – it’s time to try something else. Instead of creating a district where people HAVE to live here (subsidized SROs) why not try opening up the district to people who WANT to live here (aka – start selling the properties individually–to exclude developers–to people who live and work in the city).