The former SRO at 1040 Folsom Street, which was heavily damaged in a three-alarm fire in May 2011, was quietly turned into one of those modern communes we've been hearing so much about, offering private rooms and shared living spaces to tech workers in their 20s for $1500 or less per month. As the Examiner reports, the landlord and the current lessee, Danny Haber who owns other similar "tech co-ops" around SoMa under the name The Negev look like they were trying to fly under the radar when they completed renovations on the building formerly known as The Park Hotel. And now they're illegally displacing six former tenants of the building, who under San Francisco's rent control ordinance had a right to re-occupy the building within 30 days of the post-fire repairs being complete.
Haber, who says he was inspired to open the first Negev (at 6th and Howard) after seeing how hard it was for young people to find housing, sounds like he thinks a deal can be worked out so that he doesn't have to move his new tenants out. The building has been converted in a "tech co-op" that advertises to "young professionals" who are "like minded," and "looking to constantly learn something new (everything from programming to new meditation methods)." [Editor's note: barf]
As the copy puts it on the Negev Sixth Street website, it's for "Like minded group of people who are into entrepreneurship, sales, engineering, and partying. Family dinners on sundays, parties every 3 weeks, yoga on Fridays, and weekly talks from well known people mostly in the technology world."
One- and two-room SRO units at The Negev Folsom have been converted into single bedrooms, with communal kitchen and chill space on the ground floor including an area crammed with 17 dorm couches, most angled "toward a television hooked up to gaming systems ."
So, yes, it's post-college life that looks a lot like college, much like other properties around town like Embassy SF and this big, upscale SRO thing going up at 12th and Harrison.
Meanwhile, former tenants like 63-year-old Patricia Kirkbride, who should legally be allowed to return to the place, are shit out of luck. (Haber tried to give her a buyout of $500 to forget about the whole thing, which is just insulting.) And, as the Ex notes, via Tenderloin Housing Clinic attorney Steve Collier, landlord Nasir Patel took a loan from the city in 2008 that obligated him to keep the building affordable to people making 40 percent of the area median income for 15 years.
Suffice it to say, Patel is getting sued, and all those like-minded young professionals may or may not get to stay.