***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR WEDNESDAY MARCH 4, 2015***
Community to tell developer MAXIMUS: “We need affordable housing, not meager community benefits”
PRESS CONFERENCE: WED. MARCH 4TH, 6PM, 3271 18TH ST. at SHOTWELL, SF
SAN FRANCISCO – On March 4th at 6pm, the PLAZA 16 COALITION will hold a press conference and rally of residents, activists, and merchants from across the Mission District and San Francisco, in response to MAXIMUS REAL ESTATE PARTNERS’ presentation of a community benefits package for the 345-unit market rate project proposed for 1979 Mission Street at the 16th Street BART Plaza. Immediately following the rally/press conference, community members will enter the meeting to issue their demands to Maximus and to reject the project deemed by opponents, the Monster in the Mission.
“The only ‘community benefits’ the Mission needs now are affordable housing units,” said Oscar Grande, community organizer with PODER. “Nothing Maximus offers could make up for the evictions and displacement this development would cause.” He continued, “We are not opposed to housing. We want the kind of housing the neighborhood needs —housing for working-class people.”
Last week, in response to the erroneous listing of Supervisor David Campos as a co-sponsor of the March 4th meeting—something the SF Business Times called the “latest tactical error by Maximus after months of street protests against the project”—Campos publicly rebuked the developer. “I’m very upset with the fact that the flier claims I am co-sponsoring the meeting,” he said. “. . . Frankly I think it raises questions about the developer.” The Plaza 16 Coalition believes this is just one more reason to distrust a developer with a controversial history.
Maximus CEO Robert Rosania (former partner at Stellar Management), was involved in the purchase of Parkmerced (SF) and the subsequent plan to demolish 1,500 rent-controlled units there, as well as a predatory equity scheme that netted him millions in profits, but defaulted and risked the housing of thousands of residents at Riverton Houses in New York City.
With units projected to rent for $3.5–5K/month, the Coalition believes the project would result in increased property values and residential/commercial rents in the traditionally working class neighborhood, exacerbating an already severe displacement crisis by giving incentive to speculators to buy rent controlled buildings and force out tenants through buyouts and evictions.
The PLAZA 16 COALITION consists of more than one hundred organizations and businesses including: Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, Causa Justa :: Just Cause, Dolores Street Community Services, Housing Rights Committee, Jobs with Justice, MEDA, Mission SRO Collaborative, Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, PODER, SEIU 1021, and dozens more. Find a full list of member organizations and more info on the mission and work of the Plaza 16 Coalition at Plaza16.org.
Follow us on twitter at @PlazaSixteen and #MaximusOut.