We thought we'd update you on the latest brouhaha being currently ha'ed about in the city which is the Fairmont's announcement a week ago that they were kind of sort of thinking that just maybe they'll convert some of their luxury suites into condos. This announcement quickly got Aaron Peskin's panties in a bunch and he immediately announced he was going to come down against it and introduce a ban into the Board of Supes. First he played the "landmark" card but then quickly switched to the "jobs" card when he realized that the section of the Fairmont that the hotel wants to convert is not the part everyone thinks of when they think of the hotel, but the ugly stepsister portion of it. The jobs card is an especially potent one because all of this is taking place amidst the backdrop of the still going on hotel workers strike. We can see how announcing a new plan that could result in a loss of jobs while in the midst of a strike could be seen as a bit inflammatory. We can also see, however, the confusion caused by Peskin in that he recently led the charge in preventing a waterfront hotel to be built over a certain height despite the fact that larger hotels mean larger work forces and smaller hotels lead to smaller work forces.
The battle being raged is the same battle being fought over pretty much everything-- housing, jobs, taxes, property owners' rights, class struggle, you name it. The people at the Fairmont are claiming that converting suites into condos is all the rage and a way of taking advantage of the housing bubble. And most importantly, they say they want to do it in the spirit of civic duty because it'll add housing to a city in desperate need of more housing. Call us crazy, but we have a feeling by "housing" they don't mean housing for the poor or housing for the middle-class or even housing for the mildly-rich. Opponents say that the conversions to condos will mean the loss of jobs and as for extra housing, it'll only be extra housing for rich people and they can suck on it. Lost in all this is what exactly kind of impact any of this will have, like in taxes or property values or any of those sorts of economic things that people study in Economics 101 but get largely ignored in San Francisco.