The plutocrat - Page 2

Tech mogul Ron Conway is trying to buy San Francisco politics and sell his pro-business agenda

|
(181)
Ron Conway has spent more in the last two elections than any other San Franciscan.

Avalos complained that Conway (like many in his industry) disdains openness and public access. "It's all behind the scenes," he told us. "That's how he likes to operate."

In each of the last three years, Conway has doubled or quadrupled his political contributions. He's the first big spender to operate in the city in the post-Citizens United era, when one rich person can play an outsized role in politics, creating independent expenditure committees that can throw around unlimited amounts of money.

And right now, a lot of City Hall insiders say, this unelected, unappointed operative is helping undermine progressive policy and send city politics in a very different direction.

 

WEALTHY, CONSERVATIVE ROOTS

Conway declined to be interviewed for this piece, with his press spokesperson — Aaron McLear, who served as press secretary to then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other prominent Republicans — offering up a canned statement for print. So what little we can glean of Conway's beginnings come from public records, other media reports, and Gary Rivlin's insightful book The Godfather of Silicon Valley: Ron Conway and the Fall of the Dot-coms.

Ronald Crawford Conway was born in San Francisco on March 09, 1951. The middle child in an Irish-Catholic family of 12 siblings, Conway also has a twin brother, Rick. Ron Conway went to St. Stephen's boys high school in San Francisco until he was 15, when the family moved to the wealthy nearby enclave of Atherton.

Conway's father was a top exec at the then-Oakland-based American President Lines, which today is a major shipping company for Walmart's goods. The elder Conway cashed out for what Conway described as "a couple million dollars," according to Rivlin.

Driving through Atherton, you get a feel for how starkly different it is from San Francisco. Stone walls 10-feet high surround most homes, many that look like Spanish villas or small castles to the eye of a San Francisco native. The Conways home there was valued at $18 million in 2001.

It was in wealthy, conservative Atherton that Conway found his political voice, according to Rivlin's book. "It was in high school where I became more outspoken," Conway told him. While studying political science at San Jose State, Conway served on the Atherton City Council starting at the age of 21, mostly to "counteract the noisy student protesters at nearby Stanford," Rivlin wrote.

While his father had been active in San Francisco politics as a Democrat, Conway got involved in local Republican politics as a teenager and worked on Nixon's 1968 campaign for president, telling Rivlin that he and his twin brother were "dyed-in-the-wool conservatives."

That ideology apparently stayed with Conway, who records show gave $50,000 to George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and $90,000 to Schwarzenegger, his "recover team," and the California Republican Party in 2005-06.

But, Rivlin noted, "he was hardly someone you would describe as politically engaged." On the issues, Conway told him, "I could care less." He cares about government, Rivlin noted, "to the extent it has an impact on the business climate."

 

GETTING HIS WINGS

Conway worked for National Semiconductor in the 1970s and cofounded Altos Computer Systems in 1979, selling it in the early '90s and using its proceeds to become an "angel investor," providing early capital in exchange for an ownership stake, in small tech startups in the early years of the Internet.

To Conway, being an angel seemed to be about helping the rich get richer by pumping up the first big tech bubble. His Angel Investors, LP consisted of Conway and a number of already wealthy Internet and film luminaries, from hardcore investors and disinterested tinkerers, each contributing to the pot that was controlled by Conway.

Comments

Most of us are doing pretty well and are happy.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

Of course the priviledged elite (and their paid supporters) would try to dismiss Ana as a rare malcontent who would be better off somewhere else, but that argument won't fool many of us. Ana expresses thoughts quite well that speak a lot of truth - the federal and state governments have been waging economic war on lower and middle income working people for many decades, while allowing big capital and wealthy landlords to accrue more and more of the nation's and world's wealth.

It's not an accident that the bottom 2/3 of society pay a huge percentage of their income for regressive payroll and sales taxes, while capital owners, big landlords and bondholders pay far lower percentages. But it's no different than the UK or Japan or other developed economies - the regressive payroll, VAT, and sales taxes have helped destroy their lower and middle income classes too, while their small group of property owners, stock and bondholders accumulate vast fortunes as well.

If ever these same-situated fairly well-educated groups in cities and countries across the world would get together to fight for their common economic interests against hostile governments and the extremely wealthy, there might be a chance they can start to see an improvement to their standard of living one day.

"... The UK Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, told the conference today that “we need to get wealthy individuals to pay a fairer share” towards the government’s tax take.

“In this country, we tax work, effort and income too highly and unearned wealth far too little,” he said. “Now you can move your money offshore but you can’t move your mansion. That’s why we want a mansion tax. It’s simple, it’s fair, it’s unavoidable.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-24/clegg-says-u-k-could-apply-mans...

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

Local property taxes in the UK are paid by the occupant, which is often the tenant.

So are you suggesting we adopt that system here? If so, I am all for it ;-)

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 29, 2012 @ 8:00 am

So you can post the work of others. This is a comment site. You're contributing nothing - which is probably the exact nature of your problem in life anyway.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

Here here!

Posted by Joseph Thomas on Dec. 04, 2012 @ 11:10 am

but increasing discrepancy between the rich and the poor impoverishes the later more profoundly.

Note what happens to pricing of housing or the land on which food can otherwise be grown -- and so many other finite and semi-finite commodities -- when the rich become rich enough to collect such in quantities beyond reason.

Look at the economy-jarring turbulence in the precious metals markets which was caused by too many questing ticks of the financial world looking for another blood meal.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 9:16 am

It's possibly that that leaves behind an underclass of poor people who have no worthwhile skills, and the rich-poor gap may be more as a result. But we'd all be poorer if the rich folks took all their money overseas and fired all their employees.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 11:53 am

It's hard to not assume you are trolling, since your comment appears to be an attack against reason, but I'll take the time to break it down with a bit of logic.

The wealthy aren't altruistic right? Can we simply dispense with the idea that we lowly peons only have jobs because our patrons in the upper class want the best for us?

No, rather, when they "create jobs," they do so because there is demand for good and services that those workers who fill those jobs will produce.

If the wealthy took all their money overseas, we'd all be poorer alright -- even the very rich!; if they "fired all their employees," they'd also be firing all their customers.

One last thing: your concept of "worthwhile skills" is quite troubling.

I suppose it might make me a humanist, but I believe that economic criteria should *never* by themselves determine what "worthwhile skills" are.

I believe the economy should be fashioned by a functioning society to accord with our humanity. It should reflect our self-image and be subservient to human traits, rather than humanity being subservient to a transient and contrived economic system of our own devising.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

...leaky rowboats, not so much. Folks treading water holding on to driftwood... even less so.

The problem is that America has abandoned the "grand bargain" that held for about 30 years after WWII, whereby wages roughly tracked increases in productivity. The rich were still rich -beyond the wildest dreams of most people in some cases -but the middle class was getting a share of the wealth.

But since the Reagan years, virtually all of the gains in productivity have gone to the very top. The working classes are working harder, but receiving nothing. They're the ones creating the wealth, but all that created wealth is being concentrated to the likes of Ron Conway, who then funnel some of that wealth into further subverting democracy in order to make conditions even more favorable to concentrating their wealth.

It's hard to see it when you're in the midst of it, but if you try to see this with a little bit of detachment, you do have to realize that it can't go on like this forever. There is a breaking point. When it will come, no one can predict. But inevitably it will come.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 10:22 am

The genius of Reagan was to artificially increase asset prices - especially housing and stock prices - with generous business and investor write-offs (interest and phony depreciation deductions) coupled with low capital gain tax rates. Wealthy people bought assets for the rich deductions that offset their other income at a 35-50% tax rate (pre 1986 tax reform), but when they sold the assets they only paid tax at 10-20% (or sometimes no tax at all). Tax arbitrage 101. So of course real estate and the stock market skyrocketed, even though no real wealth was being created, only asset prices were increasing because of generous government tax write-offs.

But the 1970's weren't much better before Reagan either (which is partly why he was elected) since the economy was burdened with slowing output, high taxes on workers, and even higher inflation caused by an expansionary government (wars in SE Asia and Great Society programs) without corresponding taxes to pay for the programs expansion. High inflation destroyed the purchasing power of millions of modest earning families, but enriched the landlords and property speculators who saw rents and property prices dramatially increase in the 1970's forward.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

On the other hand, the workers at the companies that Conway invested in (Google, Facebook, etc...) are doing pretty well for themselves, aren't they? I've been reading in these very pages that they are likely to be buying million dollar condos. So maybe we can't blame him for all of society's inequities.

Posted by Troll on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

This is just another bubble, a "tech bubble" this time. I hope the techies don't plow through their millions too quickly, because when the inevitable bust comes, they will be out on their asses, just like everyone else. Pop!

Besides, it is disingenuous to compare "workers" in the tech industry with those who are struggling to get by in the rest of the economy. The techies are closer to the financial elites who trade on misdirection and hype, while creating nothing of real value for the society at large.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 29, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

then you claim that the tech business "created nothing".

Ha.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 29, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

Greg-give us some proof. Sounds like he has made money by investing wisely in new businesses- mostly in the tech sector. How has investing in companies like this sucked money from the middle class?

Posted by D. Native on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 8:44 am

Investment can go both ways.

Investment can destroy jobs. Investment can bid up the price of commodities in casino-style to be far out of synch with their practical value. That manifests itself as a cost to the economy. Just one example of this is how platinum was so high that people were chopping catalytic converters out of cars so they could be sold as scrap and turned into new cats.

Investors are not societal benefactors, but are simple attempting to get ahead of inflation; if they weren't depredating the commodities market, the real estate market, the off-shoring jobs by building factories in China market, etc. etc., they'd be forced to put their money in banks at .002% interest. Only one facet of investment pertains to financing good ideas which help society at large.

Obviously, Greg has quite properly pointed out that based on the general milieu this Conway developed his riches, he probably didn't do so to the benefit of others, but rather based on the suffering of others; such as scooping up fire-sale real-estate in which people had lost their equity.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 9:28 am

The article makes it pretty clear that he made his money through investing in new companies- not via real estate speculation etc.

Posted by D. Native on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

No doubt Lilli lives in a house that at one time was the speculation of a property investor. And he probably works, if he has a job at all, in another such building.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

Tim isn't even a good propagandist.

He quotes multiple people with bad things to say about Conway but provides zero words from people who are Conway supporters. He should have at least tried to make this look like journalism through lip service. Or, maybe, why even bother.

I actually laughed out loud at the part about the Conway companies nefariously being incorporated in Delaware...whoo..... Of course 90% of the people reading this know that almost every large for profit company is a Delaware Corporation.

That's what I mean about Tim being a lame propagandist.

Tim's statement implying that sf.citi makes no effort to help anyone less than middle class is also laughable. In fact they bring together the local tech companies and the local schools to review the skills and curriculums that could help local graduates get good 21st century jobs right here in San Francisco.

What's wrong with that?

Go Ron!!!! The fact that people like Tim Redmond and taking feeble swings at you only mean that you are on the right track. I hope that next year's Redmond piece on you is twice as desparate! That will mean that you are doing even more to help SF.

Posted by Troll on Nov. 27, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

The entire premise of SFBG is political bias and prejudice, and hatred for anyone who isn't in their gang.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 6:40 am

People in San Francisco need to stop asking the government for help instead you should ask what you can do for the government. taken from my citizenship class on John Kennedy. I came here 20 years ago, have wife and 2 kids, own a TIC, make a monthly purchase of groceries that last whole month, and I am raising 2 kids for a College Degree from San Francisco Public Schools.
Stop with stupid Rent Control and the Rents will go down because a major housing construction build up is going to happen in the City.

Posted by Guest Pablo Renteria on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 7:02 am

not asking for government handouts, welfare, regulations, subsidies or special treatment. Those things only enable crippling dependency and do nothing to build America.

Rent control does not solve SF's housing problem - it created it and makes it worse.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 7:49 am
TIC

is a conversion of rental unit to a condo lite. So unless Pablo bought the unit he was renting, that conversion meant the eviction of a renter. That person or group most likely couldn't find a comparable apartment, which meant moving out of San Francisco, or into a much more expensive apartment, or onto the street, all major disruptions.

Rent control allows for a yearly rent increase. Don't be fooled. Landlords are making a killing in this town.

Rents are determined by what a landlord can charge. Any apartment built since 1979 is exempt. Once a rent controlled unit is vacant, its owner can charge whatever the market will bear.

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 8:11 am

Many flats become TIC's because a tenant voluntarily leaves and then the landlord decides to sell the unit rather than rent it out again. So it becomes a TIC without any evidction.

Where a tenant is evicted to create a TIC, it is usually because of an Ellis Act eviction, which in turn only exist because rent control laws are so strict that landlords have an escape clause.

Finally, if a tenant does have to move because he cannot afford the rent, so be it. Not everyone has the fiscal power to live in the world's favorite city. I cannot afford to live in Switzerland but I don't whine about it or expect the government to fix that for me.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 8:56 am

on evictions, they would show that the preponderance of vacancies for TIC's came from evictions, lawful and unlawful; harassment; or buyouts under extreme pressure

I know personally I was evicted twice for TIC's (owner move-in and Ellis Act). Fortunately, we had the income to find an overpriced, but still affordable apartment in the mid-2000's. If it happened now, we'd be SOL.

Perhaps other evictees who read this blog can share their experiences, or housing activists can provide the data to prove my statement.

Evictions equal homelessness. If you can't afford Switzerland, try Belgium. I hear the chocolate is good there also.

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 9:26 am

only one of those unit vacancies was caused by an eviction, and that was an OMI which even Chris Daly agreed was a just cause and fair.

No landlord in his right mind would impose restrictions like that on his own property unless the alternative were even worse i.e. being stuck with a low-rent tenant for life.

Evictions are caused by rent control, and the rational responses to it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 11:56 am

If you TIC'ed two buildings consisting of five units and only evicted one unit, then you carried out an owner move in eviction in a building with an empty unit, which is illegal. Or the unit was in a single family house which wouldn't need to be TIC'ed.

Either way, there's a hole in your story. Congratulations on profiting from someone else's misfortune.

Do you still live in that unit? Did you ever? My landlord never lived in the unit from which he evicted us. He just pretended to by keeping a light on at night while living elsewhere.

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

building in the Mission that was fully tenant occupied. I OMI'ed my way into one unit, as the law allows. Later the other two sets of tenants left voluntarily, and I sold the building vacant as a 3-unit TIC.

I then bought a 2-unit building in the Castro. The previous owner was selling and his tenant had died of AIDS. I bought it and condo'ed it. Again, no eviction.

Problem?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

You may have followed the law, but the purpose of the OMI just cause eviction is to provide a place for the owner of the building to live. You only intended to live there until you could resell the building at a profit.

So you followed the law, but fucked over the evicted tenant. You are not some struggling landlord hurt by rent control, but a real estate investor (speculator), using the law and market imperfections to your economic advantage over those that can't or won't profit from others misfortunes.

As I said, congratulations. You are good at making wealth for yourself from a fixed pie.

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

unit he performed the OMI on for at least 3 years. I complied with that.

If you don't like the law, then vote to change it, but don't blame those who fully comply with it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

I don't know if you are the same "Guest" who constantly posits the rising tide falsehood, but I suspect you are.

In any event, your anecdote about TICs is a fine counterexample to the rising tide theory. You used real estate laws and housing market imperfections to improve your situation while the evicted tenants situation worsened. You created wealth for yourself without improving everyone's situation and most certainly diminishing the wealth of the party you evicted.

That is our economic system in a nutshell as so eloquently described by the comments of Steve and Greg above.

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

rightfully and lawfully evicted was worse off as a result?

He may have lost a subsidy that he enjoyed, but his ability to live in a city that realistically he could never afford was always doomed.

He moved to a more affordable place and area, and now has the advantage of knowing that no LL will ever feel an incentive to move him on.

A win-win scenario.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

not a win. When the tenant moved into the unit, he was paying market rent, and rent control allows for a yearly increase, so where's the subsidy? He realistically afforded the city when he moved into the apartment or he would have been evicted for non-payment of rent.

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

The other 40% of CPI is effectively a subsidy from the LL to the TT.

And given that market rent increases often trump inflation, the subsidy is more than that.

Times change, life moves on, and not everyone who could afford to live in the "world's favorite city" in 1980 can still afford it.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

The deduction of mortgage interest is a subsidy to property owners. Your tenant could still afford to live in SF if you hadn't evicted him. Usually, the winners rather than the losers in a scenario refer to it as "win-win."

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

about being able to afford a place to live in which his earnings power clearly doesn't entitle him or her to?

Enabling self-delusion is not a quality where I come from.

Mortgage interest deductions for tax are different. They are not from an individual but from the taxpayer in general, and have been voted for by the entire nation.

Moreover, by definition, tax breaks can only be given to those who, er, earn enough to pay taxes.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

We should be encouraging people to buy property - property owners are more responsible and have a long-term investment in their communities. Rent control encourages the opposite - a class of moochers who feel entitled to live in one of the most desirable places in the world at the expense of the person who had the misfortune to rent to them in the first place. Either way both are subsidies, rent control just happens to be the least justifiable of either.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

Proposition 13, which keeps property taxes artificially low, and the low rate (15%) at which capital gains are taxed vs. the tax rate on wages, are both huge subsidies to property owners.

Everyone who works or spends money pays taxes, either payroll (FICA, Medicare) taxes or sales taxes (very regressive). The reasons that allegedly 47% of US residents don't pay federal income tax reflect the absurdly low wages most workers earn, and high unemployment caused by the banker-induced housing bubble depression.

Who's a bigger "moocher"? A San Francisco renter who paid market rent when she moved into her apartment and can stay because of rent control enacted by the elected Board of Supervisors, or the almost totally wasteful defense industry that reallocates over 50% of federal taxes upwards from the middle class to the richest Americans.

Once, San Francisco was a city inhabited with people less concerned with judging people by how much money they earn but by the quality of their character. Sadly, those days have passed, and the city is worse for it.

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

else of course nobody would ever do that. It's true in every country on the planet.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

Most of you arguing with Eddie are missing a key point that'd help you to understand why he's right and you're wrong -

- Tenants gaining a free estate for life, with no burden of upkeep or property taxes and a fixed rent that can never be raised (except by a truly minuscule amount once a year), is beneficial to Eddie.

- Allowing people that own property to have a reasonable say in determining the use of that property is NOT beneficial to Eddie.

- Eddie has less money than you. Therefore, he is a better person and his motive's are noble.

- You have more money than Eddie. Therefore, you're a pig and you deserve to have your property seized and redistributed to "the good guys".

Hope that clears things up :) By the way, have any of you ever known a militant tenant/activist that eventually ended up owning his own building? I have. I've known several of them in fact. They tend to end up being the biggest bastards out of any landlord you've ever seen, lol. All that solidarity and brotherhood shit goes right out the window.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

Housing makes up roughly 30% of the CPI. Thus, an annual rent increase equaling no more than 30% of the prior year's CPI sounds much more accurate than the current 60% used by the SF government. Just as SF allows landlords to increase rents for substantial improvements to their properties, SF is even more generous to landlords by using 60% of annual CPI instead of a more realistic 30% to increase annual rents.

Your proposal to use 100% of the CPI takes the inflation factor from ALL sectors of the economy and applies it to the much narrower rental market. How greedy of you!

Isn't it funny how landlords always want to cheat in their favor? For example, when a landlord's mortgage costs go down after a property is refinanced or when the loan is paid off, the rent never goes down even though the landlord's costs have decreased significantly.

Landlording is the new slavery. When economic output increases, the working groups just end up paying more in rent or pay a higher mortgage amount to the bank. The government loves higher housing prices since they get higher property taxes. And the real estate agents, speculators, banks, mortgage brokers, and others playing in and around the real estate industry all love the higher real estate prices since they get higher fees as a percent of the total transaction.

The federal and state governments subsidize the whole game by giving away multi-billion dollar tax write-offs to landlords and property speculators, while the government relies heavily on regressive payroll and sales tax to finance ever larger government budgets. After many families pay 40% of their income for housing and another 30-40% for combined federal, state and local taxes, there's not a lot of disposible income left to spend in the part of the economy that actually produces goods and services.

Best of all, when real estate values collapse - which they always do - it's always the speculators who dump their property first, leaving the govenrment to bail out the banks, financial companies, and bondholders who own the underlying property loans. Taxpayers were fleeced for $1-2 Trilllion from the late 1980's S&L collapse and it looks like they'll be fleeced for another $6-10 Trillion by the time the 2006-2008 collapse plays out over the next few years.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

logically be up by the same amount. There is no logic to increase rents by just 60% of that amount.

All that results from artifically low rents is TIC's, condo's, ellis act evictions and a dearth of new build for non-codo rentals.

IOW, RC leads to less supply, which leads to higher rents.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

There are 99 separate towns and cities in the Bay Area, some with higher populations and and some with lower populations; some have more land, some less land. Regardless the differences among the 99 separate towns:

BY ANY MEASURE, SAN FRANCISCO HAS BUILT MORE HOUSING THAN AT LEAST 95 OF THOSE OTHER LOCATIONS.

Rent control has no effect on NEW housing supply since rent control doesn't apply to it. Moreover, San Francisco land is super-valuable for a dozen different investment reasons, with the issue of rent control a tiny pimple of concern.

The ONLY people who care about rent control are large, wealthy landlords (often absentee owners) who could extract a few more millions in rent from the local economy each month if there wasn't rent control, and a small group of small landlords who are jealous of their tenants who don't pay as much rent to them as they want. Some of them whine a lot. A few of these landlords are very self-absorbed and might be worth a million or five depending on how many units they have, but they are often idle with nothing to do other than collect rent checks and harrass tenants. Some even spend their idle hours on chat boards like this stirring up the pot. Unfortunately there are always a few not-so-brights who engage them.

Since you seem like a fairly bright soul, Anonymous, I'm sure you can easily grasp the fantastic benefits of rent control when 75,000 San Francisco households save about 150 million in rent each month that they can spend in the local economy for medical needs or educating their children, or a dozen other worthwhile causes, instead of sending even more money to the already very wealthy landlord class.

Now you're up to speed about rent control, greedy landlords, and SF new housing construction.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

Perhaps I'll take your advice and not engage the idle landlord class. Most people I know don't consider me a "not-so-bright."

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 28, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

even though technically it is exempt? Why? Because no developer can be certain the law wont be changed next year, just like it was for 2-4 unit owner-occupied buildings in 1994, or like the OMI rules in 1998 and so on..

That's why the ONLY new build is condo's and single-family homes, both exempt from rent control by State law, so the city is powerless to control them.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 29, 2012 @ 8:04 am

1844 Market Street--113 rental units
1401 Market Street--719 rental units

These are just examples. There are probably more new high-rise rentals under construction.

Recently completed:
The Paramount, 680 Mission--486 rental units (2002)
Argenta, 1 Polk Street--179 rental units (2009)

Again, these are just some of the biggest examples.

An exhaustive survey would find loads more new or recently constructed rental housing in San Francisco

Just the facts, man!!

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 29, 2012 @ 8:54 am

furhished lets, short-term lets, academic lets, vacation lets ot B&B's. and of course they are very expensive rentals which aren't in any way "affordable".

Nobody in their right mind will rent to the kind of "lifer" that you are talking about i.e. people who move to SF because they think it's "cool" but lack the fiscal power to sustain a life here.

And how many of those buildings are for-rent condo's? They are exempt from most of rent control.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 29, 2012 @ 9:20 am

are rentals. None are for-rent condos.

Regardless of who rents these units, the fact that they have been recently built or are currently under construction proves false your statement that "the ONLY new build is condo's and single-family homes."

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 29, 2012 @ 9:44 am

that the fact that post-79 construction is theoretically exempt from RC does not entirely satsify those who might otherwise build new rentals.

The possibility of retrospective changes to that exemption is a deterrance and, where new build rentals do occur then, as I said, they are designed to have a short payback period and target those who are only likely to stay temporarily, e.g. corporate, academic and vacation lets. As such they don't help the low-rent segment at all.

It is estimated that SF loses about 3,000 RC units per year due to all causes, and of course none are being added. The trend is not your friend here.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 29, 2012 @ 10:04 am

"the ONLY new build is condo's and single-family homes."

Or maybe you didn't mean what you wrote.

Posted by Eddie on Nov. 29, 2012 @ 10:13 am

In the time that that handful of new rentals were built, probably 100 times that number of market-rent owner-occupier condo's were built. That's not a coincidence, nor do you see that level of disparity anywhere outside of SF and the dozen or so cities in the US that still have rent control.

So if you want to maintain your orginal point that new build rentals are not discouraged by our RC laws then I would respectfully suggest that you are talking out your ass.

If you really want to know how developers and landlords feel about RC, why don't you ask them? I can assure you they won't be shy, and they'll be happy to explain why they do not replace tenants that move out.

Rents are probably ten times what they were in 1979. If that's a success, many would prefer failure.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 29, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

Also from this author

  • Poll says SF loves tech buses, doesn't ask Spanish speakers

  • Boom for whom?

    Why isn't San Francisco's hot economy creating a budget surplus to address its costly byproducts?

  • A fine dilemma

    Increased citations often hinder homeless youth from finding better life