In September 27, 2011, a massive fire broke out at 493 Haight Street, gutting a Walgreens and several businesses and driving residents of the upstairs apartments from their homes. But the fire wasn't all bad news for the building's enterprising owners: Haighteration reports that the newly revamped rental units have been posted on Craigslist to the tune of $3494/month for 2-bedrooms and $3,995 for a 700-square-foot 1-bedroom (the posting has since been removed).
Although the previous residents of the units are legally entitled to move back at the same rates they were paying before the fire, most residents accepted buyouts that waived this right. Haighteration commenter Alexandra Bogorad put it this way:
"I lived in that building pre-fire for over 4 years. As far as I know most people took the buyout money, I did as well. I did have an option to move back in after they are done restoring the building at the same rate, but I needed the money after losing everything in the fire."
The new apartments are advertised as having stainless steel appliances, hardwood flooring throughout, and some private balconies or decks (it should probably be noted that Previously a pet-friendly building, the apartments now are strictly no pets. The posting notes the ample dining and transportation options in the area (and calls out the proximity to "several corporate shuttle buses"), and disingenuously notes a "Whole Foods Market across the street" (yes, the corner store is technically called "Whole Foods," though not part of the national chain. Nicely done.)
As you can imagine, there's an outcry from Lower Haight residents in full swing over on Haighteration, from speculating on the real cause of the fire to denigrating the space's future occupants to generalized "there goes the neighborhood" type commentary. It's an emotional topic for everyone (rents are too damn high!), but it's even more so for Lower Haighters who came together as a neighborhood to support the residents displaced by the fire with fundraisers and donations, and are now seeing their living spaces put out of reach to all but the highest bidder.