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The House Divided: Not Everyone in San Francisco Hates Gentrification

March 15, 2015

By sfweekly – excerpt

Fill in the blank, and you’ll complete the oft-used catchphrase in this town, such as a Tale of Two Missions, or a Tale of Two San Franciscos.

Or in this case, it’s the Tale of Two Housing movements.

Just last week, some 300 protesters descended on a town hall meeting like an angry mob, sans pitchforks. Their hosts, Maximus Real Estate Partners, wanted to present a new plan on expanding affordable housing at its proposed 16th and Mission development. Angry Mission neighbors dubbed the enormous project the “Monster in the Mission.”

“Hit the road, Maximus, and don’t you come back no more!” they sang. The whole night was tit for tat: Maximus representatives spoke for 20 seconds, then protesters would drown them out with shouts. (audio track from the protest) See what happened to Maximus did to affordable housing in Parkmerced:  (http://www.pmacsf.org/) Maximus plan described on bizjournals.

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Site for the new Maximus Monster in the Mission and at risk residents and properties.

It’s easy to see why. With nearly 40 projects in the pipeline in the Mission District, and rents flying sky-high, the neighborhood is swiftly gentrifying. Of course, longtime Missionites are going to push back on developers trying to make a buck.

You’re likely to see this same kind of housing outrage spur the Mission neighborhood every week. What you won’t see is similar outrage on the west side of the city, at the edge of the Outer Sunset district.

On that side of town, a large housing complex is being erected by Ocean Beach, with nary a peep of protest…

“I’m just postulating,” (Peter) Cohen says, but “the pushback in the Mission is much more about the gentrifying effect relative to affordable housing.”

In short: Housing on the west side isn’t as sky-high pricey as housing in the Mission. So where developers lack obscene profit, they also lack opposition.

If developers want to get in on the action, and if San Francisco is serious about building housing, The Tale of Two Developments has a clear moral: Build west… (more)

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