Fraud in Chinatown Non-Profit Senior Housing

October 22, 2015
Tom A. Hsieh

Democratic Club Uncovers Voter
Fraud in Chinatown Non-Profit Senior Housing
The Asian Pacific Democratic Club (APDC) has been gathering reports about widespread voter fraud in buildings owned or connected to the Chinatown Community Development Corporation (CCDC). In recent days, APDC has encountered multiple statements of stolen ballots from Chinese senior residents. In one instance, a blind woman reported her ballot was taken away and filled out by two female individuals. Those two individuals then told the senior that they had voted for “Aaron Peskin” on her ballot.
Senior citizens in these CCDC non-profit buildings are having their ballots stolen. These seniors are supposed to be protected by their caregivers but instead ballots are being harvested from them on a building-wide scale,” said Tom A. Hsieh, a spokesman of the club, which has been chartered since 1992.
“We should all be concerned about statements released from CCDC, accusing unnamed individuals of masquerading as CCDC employees and stealing ballots in their secured buildings,” said Hsieh. “It sounds absurdly like somebody is trying to cover their tracks.”
Hsieh is referring to a statement made by CCDC that “individuals came into CCDC buildings pretending to be CCDC employees and asked for ballots”. CCDC buildings are guarded by locked entrances and security personnel and entry by non-residents is unlikely.
One senior voter said that every year someone has come to his door to fill out his ballot, and that his ballot was taken in the last three years by the same person. He also stated that this was practiced throughout the whole building, which is managed by CCDC. In another incident, an elderly woman said two women came to her door, asked her to sign a ballot return envelope, and then took her ballot away. She said two women were returning to her building each day to collect ballots from others. The property, known as Chinatown’s Orangeland building, has a long history with CCDC.
Three buildings managed by or with ties to CCDC have had reports of voter fraud. APDC has evidence that a CCDC-owned building called Broadway Sansome Apartments allowed the Aaron Peskin for Supervisor campaign into the building in late September in apparent violation to their tax-exempt, non-profit rules against candidate electioneering.
“This illegal behavior is despicable. We are turning over our evidence to appropriate enforcement agencies in the hopes that they can stop this blatant violation of one our most basic freedoms—our right to vote,” said Hsieh.
Other interviews about ballot tampering are even more detailed and describe a group of people who are systemically committing voter fraud (voter names are withheld to protect them from retaliation):
Voter: Jane Doe, Age 87
Female, voted 4 out of last 5 elections
Consorcia Apartments, Chinatown CDC Building
1204 Mason Street, SF CA 94108
“I am blind, so I barely read and see. Two ladies (one older one younger) came to my place and filled out the ballot, and have me signed after. I was told I voted for Aaron Peskin.”
Voter: John Doe, Age 79
Voted 4 out of the last 5 elections
Clayton Hotel, Chinatown CDC Building
657 Clay Street , SF CA 94111
“Every year someone filled out my ballot, last couple of years the ballot was given to someone to vote. It’s happening in the whole building.”
Voter: Jane Doe, Age 79
Voted 4 out of last 5 elections
Orangeland Building, a property with a long history with CCDC
1047 Stockton St, SF CA 94108
“Two women (strangers) came to my house and filled out the ballot for me, asked me to sign and took it away.”

Luxury Home Sales Surge Past Pre-Recession Heights

In the new San Francisco, the average dollar is a luxury dollar. Paragon reportsthat luxury home values in San Francisco have blown past their pre-recession peaks, lending handy graphic form to the thing we all feel in our gut.

Not only that, but proportion of home and condo sales that fall in the category of luxe has also jumped. Since 2007, the number of luxury dwellings—defined as more than $2M for single-family homes and $1.5M for condos and co-ops—changing hands has increased twofold. That somewhat arbitrary benchmark holds whether you’re looking at a true manse or a Bernal fixer-upper.
The increase is part self-fulfilling prophecy (when prices go up, more properties will beat that luxury benchmark) and part legacy of all the high-end condo construction of the previous decade-plus. Even though condo sales lagged in the downturn, many pre-recession properties are reaching the MLS for the first time as their original owners put them on the market.
Indeed, condos are capturing a larger share of the luxury housing cache. And now they’ve even overtaken luxury home sales in San Francisco. Though the briskest activity is in the predictable places—Pac Heights, the Marina, Russian Hill—historically scrappy neighborhoods like the Mission and Mid-Market are seeing rapid growth. And with the building frenzy back in full force, we should be seeing more of the same.


Source: Paragon

More New Housing Coming to KRON-TV Studios on Van Ness


Back in March, KRON-TV Studios at 1001 Van Ness hit the market asking $25 million. The 25,000 square foot property has now sold for a reported $26 million to a new developer, Oryx Partners, that plans to redevelop the site into new housing. The studio lot is zoned for up to 200 housing units and plans are to create a mid-rise complex after demolishing the current structure. The developer was attracted to the site’s location because it is a block away from the new $2 billion California Pacific Medical Center that will soon rise on the site of the old Cathedral Hill/Jack Tar Hotel.

Much of the action around Van Ness in the past few weeks has focused on the section around mid-Market, but Central Van Ness is also a new housing hotspot. The Marlow at 1800 Van Ness was wildly popular and other upcoming developments in the area include 1533 Pine Street, 1285 Sutter and a proposed condo building at 1688 Pine. KRON will move its studios down to a smaller space on Front Street by the end of this year.

Source: Curbed

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Bay Area ranks as the best commercial real estate market in the country, again!

For the second year in a row, the Bay Area ranked as the best market for commercial real estate in the country, according to a report from the Wells Fargo Economics Group.

The report found that the Bay Area’s strong gains in employment, housing inventory and technology sector push the Bay Area far ahead of other markets in terms of increasing value and potential for more growth.

“The San Francisco Bay Area remains the epicenter of many of the most rapidly growing technology sectors, including mobile devices, social media, cloud computing, data analytics and life sciences,” the report states. “Overall job and income growth have significantly outpaced the nation in recent years and the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in nearly six years.”

The report demonstrates the tight relationship between jobs and real estate, pointing to deals like leasing 714,000 square feet in an office tower under construction. That tower will eventually house thousands of jobs, many of them yet to be created, and Salesforce is just one of numerous tech companies expanding in the Bay Area.

The Wells Fargo report provides detailed analysis of the Bay Area’s submarkets of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Silicon Valley and the East Bay. Here’s a sampling of highlights:

Some industries like financial services are shrinking like in the case of San Francisco-based Charles Schwab & Co. deciding to move 1,000 jobs out of San Francisco to places like Colorado and Texas.

Fortunately, the technology sector is growing much faster than other sectors are retreating.

Tech is booming in San Francisco, but the Bay Area’s true tech capital is still Silicon Valley.

Technology firms have not abandoned the suburbs. Job growth in Silicon Valley remains exceptionally strong. … Technology firms employ about 270,000 workers in the San Jose metropolitan area, which includes Santa Clara and San Benito counties. Total tech employment in the San Jose metropolitan area is 73.4 percent higher than the number employed in the San Francisco metropolitan division.

Still, many tech workers prefer to live elsewhere.

Household employment growth has risen more slowly in South Bay, however, climbing just 3.3 percent over the past year, which implies a significant number of workers are commuting into Silicon Valley from San Francisco, Oakland and other neighboring areas.

Jobs and housing are great here, but transportation connects it all together. You can debate high-speed rail all you want, but turns out strong commuter systems boost the entire region.

A major modernization program is now under way, which will extend service to the Transbay Transit Center being developed in San Francisco’s booming SoMa area and move from diesel-electric locomotives to overhead-electric powered trains by 2019. The growth of the system, which will more firmly connect the major hubs of the Bay’s tech sector, the San Francisco and San Jose airports, and many of the region’s key sports and cultural venues, has become a major driver of residential and commercial development.

Everybody loves a growing economy. Well, not everybody. Growth comes with repercussions.

With employment and population growth exceeding expectations, worries are beginning to surface that the latest boom is showing signs of overheating. Explosive growth in the Bay Area’s creative industries is beginning to crowd out activity in parts of the financial and professional services sector. The boom has also sparked a backlash by some individuals tied to slower growing and lower paying parts of the economy. Home prices, apartment rents and office rents have also increased dramatically, which has significantly increased the cost of living and doing business in the Bay Area. Despite these developments, we still expect the Bay Area to outperform the nation. While costs have increased dramatically over the past year, so has the quality of life.

If any region would be familiar with tech booms and busts, it should be the Bay Area. So when is our bust coming, if at all? Economists expect this cycle to have a smoother landing that the first tech boom.

The dependence on technology has raised concerns about the vulnerability of the Bay Area’s economy to another dot com crash. The prospect has gained increased attention in recent months, which have seen a number of extremely highly valued acquisitions of tech startups and a few disappointing IPOs. While every boom must eventually end, traditional valuation measures are much different than they were during the run-up during the tech bubble in the late 1990s.

Source: Blanca Torres (Reporter) – San Francisco Business Times


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Buyer-Seller Dynamics in San Francisco

This April 2014 analysis was based upon a survey of Paragon Real Estate Group agents regarding their past 12 months of activity: Paragon agents close over 1000 San Francisco home transactions per year; Paragon’s Van Ness office represents more buyers in successful city home purchases than any other brokerage office.

All percentages are approximate: This was not a rigorously controlled survey and analysis, but more an informal poll; still we believe the data below does generally reflect market dynamics in San Francisco.

San Francisco Home Sellers 

60% are selling to relocate outside of San Francisco: The main reasons, in order of prevalence, are schools (and other family-raising reasons) — which ties in with the fact that SF has the lowest percentage of children of any major city in the country — affordability (the ability to buy more home for the money elsewhere), job-related reasons (relocation, commute) and retirement.

15% involve trust, probate or investor sales, or people moving into rentals or retirement homes, and no new home purchase is involved.

25% are selling in order to buy another property within the city, typically either upgrading to a more expensive home or downsizing to a smaller home, or a divorce is involved.

San Francisco Home Buyers 

50% are first-time buyers. This is a very high percentage: In the U.S. the percentage is about 30% (and, of course, the U.S. median price is under $200k, while the SF median is over $950,000).

Average age of SF home buyers is generally getting younger and is currently in the mid-thirties.

47% of SF home buyers are employed in high tech. This is a distinctly San Francisco phenomenon related to the first 2 points above: An influx of relatively young, often newly affluent, high-tech employed, often first-time buyers – who can afford SF home prices – is playing a decisive role in the market.

20% of prospective SF home buyers have become discouraged and given up on buying in the city, due to the competitive environment and rapidly appreciating prices. They’ve either given up for the time being or shifted their home searches elsewhere.

Less than 3% of SF home buyers are foreign – exposes the myth of foreign money playing a significant role in the SF market. What purchases/investments they are making seem to be mostly in new or newer, high-rise condo developments. (There are cities in the U.S. in which large numbers of foreign buyers are having a significant impact on the market – Miami may be the most dramatic example – but SF is not one of them at this time.)

26% of homes are being purchased via “all cash” offers, though many of these offers are structured this way solely for strategic reasons to get their offers accepted in an exceedingly competitive environment. That is, many of these buyers end up getting loans either before or immediately after close of escrow. (This is a different phenomenon than investors paying all cash for distressed homes in other parts of the country – San Francisco has had very few of these sales in the past 2 years.)

Approximately 10% of home sales occur outside of the multiple listing service, i.e. as so-called off-market/ off-MLS/ pocket listings. This agrees with other analyses Paragon and others have performed.

Conclusions: To a greater extent than is probably normal, there is an exchange process occurring in San Francisco, with existing residents moving out and new residents moving in. One of the biggest reasons for selling is to relocate for better public schools outside SF or to save money by enrolling children in suburban public instead of city private schools; high prices are motivating some city homeowners to cash out to buy bigger/better homes elsewhere; frenzied market conditions are discouraging homeowners who might otherwise sell to buy other (larger, better) homes within the city – many of these homeowners are staying put out of trepidation. This last situation is affecting/lowering the supply of homes for sale.

Population/ Employment Growth and Housing

According to the latest U.S. census data, the estimated increase in the city’s population since 2010 is 32,000; over the same period, the number of employed residents has jumped by over 55,000. Per the Planning Department, the approximate number of new housing units added since 2010 is 4200. With 38% of SF’s households consisting of 1 person, and an average household size of 2.3 persons, we’re looking at over 22,000 new residents who have been looking for homes that don’t exist. This is one of the biggest factors behind the huge upward pressure on rents and home prices.

With the market recovery that began in 2012, another 6000 housing units are currently under construction and most should be ready sometime in the next 2 years. Housing units include condos (sales), apartments (rentals), houses (a very few) and community housing projects.

This analysis was performed in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable,
but it may contain errors and is subject to revision.
Source: Paragon
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Warriors Ditch Plan to Build Arena on Piers 30-32, Opt for Mission Bay Site Instead


The Golden State Warriors have abandoned their plan to build an arena on Piers 30-32 just south of the Bay Bridge and instead have purchased a site in Mission Bay to hold their new 18,000-seat venue, sources close to the deal have confirmed to The Chronicle.

The Warriors bought the 12-acre site for an undisclosed amount in a deal that was inked Saturday night. The team plans to have the arena ready for the 2018-19 NBA season.

The shift in location provides the team with predictability, fewer regulatory hurdles and eliminates the need for any voter approval.

It should also assuage the project’s most vocal critics, who opposed building a 120-foot high arena on Piers 30-32 over concerns about traffic, environmental impacts during construction and blocked views of the Bay Bridge.

The Mission Bay site, where Salesforce originally planned to locate its corporate campus, will have a planned waterfront park across from the arena, has a Muni T-Third stop right in front of it, and already has two adjacent parking garages that can hold a combined 2,130 cars.

When the Central Subway opens – projected for 2018, the year the Warriors plan to open the arena – the line will provide essentially a straight shot to the Powell Street Muni/BART station downtown.

The Warriors will own the site outright, rather than leasing it from the Port of San Francisco, and say the arena will be entirely privately financed – perhaps the first sports venue of its kind in the country that uses no taxpayer funds or public land.

The new site does not, however, have the stunning views of the Bay Bridge, instead looking out onto a dry dock, an industrial pier and the rusting old pilings that dot the water.

Source: John Coté from San Francisco Chronicle

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No Anti-Property Ownership Petition AB2405 & SB1439

We need everyone’s help to flight for property ownership rights by collecting signatures on No Anti-Property Ownership Petition.
No Anti-Property Ownership Petition (AB2405 & SB1439): in the past 3 months, there were 6 laws or legislation enacted by 5 politicians targeting property owners of San Francisco, once a piece of property is rented out, owners would have an impossible time getting it back. Among the 6 laws, 4 revoke the ability to remove illegal in-law apartments, or getting both floors of a single family back using OMI. The only way left in many cases is using Ellis Act. However, the rest of the 2 legislation, AB2405 & SB1439, are announced, to restrict property owners in San Francisco to evoke Ellis Act under any circumstance, regardless the needs to sell the properties, cash out for emergency, divorce, close of business, retirement, or inheritance arrangement. Please sign petition to oppose the SF government robbing property owners of property right and value! / 过去三个月,5位政客针对三藩市业主制定了6条恶法,造成大地震: 一旦房子出租,难以收屋。6条恶法中,其中4条法律,使得业主无法拆除非法姻亲单位,从而无法用“屋主自住”的程序把独立屋的上下两层收回自用,唯一的方 法是使用艾利斯法。但是,剩下的两条新提出的法案,限制业主使用艾利斯法收屋,无论是要卖屋、兑现救命、离婚、结业、破产、还是遗产处理,都不能迁出租 客,收屋自用。请签名反对政府严重侵害业权,掠夺财产。(Check out more info at

Small Property Owners:

Preserve the Ellis Act:

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Bay Meadows Unveils ‘Social Street’ Concept

Bay Meadows Delaware St_San Mateo real estate The Registry


The developer of the massive master-planned Bay Meadows project in San Mateo has unveiled the design for a community commons it is calling a “social street,” that it expects will become a regional hot spot of action-filled spaces ranging from a beer garden and bocce ball court to a bandshell for events and entertainment.

Just like shoppers who may window-shop at different retail stores in a mall, those living, working and visiting the San Mateo development will be able to walk Delaware Street and check out the diversity of “park rooms,” said Kevin Conger, principal at San Francisco-based CMG Landscape Architecture, which is creating a comprehensive network of streetscapes at Bay Meadows that connect nearby public transit, homes and other mixed uses to sustainably designed open spaces.


Bay Meadows unveiled Delaware’s “social street” concept and renderings, which were not previously detailed in the burgeoning community’s plan, late last week. This street, with its traditional town square, will be a pedestrian-focused social hub of the likes of San Francisco’s chic Hayes Valley neighborhood or San Jose’s upscale Santana Row.

“It’s a street as a destination,” said Conger, who hopes Delaware can become a draw to those in the South Bay as Santana Row is for those on the Peninsula. “I hope it will become a regional destination.”

The street is “programmed with a lot of outdoor uses that people working and living in the community can enjoy and come together,” said Janice Thacher, partner with Wilson Meany, the San Francisco-based developer of Bay Meadows. “The street will be active and lively. We think it’s an exciting concept that will add a lot to the community.”

As envisioned, Delaware will also augment the future retail environment at Bay Meadows. “If we can invite enough people [to Delaware] … I think the retail will come,” Conger said.

Along one side of this street, five office buildings will add to the area’s vibrancy. For instance, the buildings will feature a long street frontage that can host retail uses, said Paul Woolford, director of design at HOK, a global architecture, engineering and planning firm that is part of the Bay Meadows project team. A large courtyard park will also house retail, he said.

“Some buildings will have arcades so people can walk through them,” Woolford added. Moreover, building lobbies will feature large pivoting glass doors that when open “can erase the boundaries” between outdoor and indoor spaces. So a party or presentation happening outside can spill into the lobby or vice versa.

No timeframe was given as to when construction of the social street would begin and finish, but development of Bay Meadows is expected to last the next three to four years.

Bay Meadows, once the site of an airfield and later a horse-racing track, is now being developed as a thriving, downtown-style urban village to include more than 1,100 units of housing, 1.5 million square feet of office space, 15 acres of parks, bicycle paths and hiking trails. The Nueva School, a nationally recognized independent institution serving gifted students, will also open its campus in Bay Meadows this fall.

Bay Meadows has eight planned residential neighborhoods, and the first ones that have gone on sale are communities by TRI Pointe Homes and Shea Homes. So far, more than 100 of the 156 already constructed homes have been sold with families moving in. More than 100 apartment units are also under way.

Woolford described Bay Meadows as taking transit-oriented development to the next level. “Bay Meadows is the very best example of a new type of work environment where it’s not just office buildings in a parking lot,” he said. “It’s a workplace, live and stay environment where people can work, shop, exercise and get on a train to go anywhere in the Bay Area.”


Source: Neil Gonzales

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Avant Housing Looks For New Apartment Development in Dog Patch

San Francisco-based Avant Housing, a joint venture of AGI Capital Group and TMG Partners together with the California Public Employees Retirement System, is planning to file permits for a 259-unit apartment development in the Dog Patch district of San Francisco. An official name for the project has not been determined at this time.

dogpatch-saloon_s345x230“We are planning to file our approvals for the development in May. Our expectation is that the project will likely be started sometime in the late third quarter of this year”, says Eric Tao, development principal with Avant Housing. He declined to comment on the total development cost of the project. He did say that the overall cost of the project has increased by 30 percent over the past 12 months.

The site for the development covers half of a city block. It is located between 3rdStreet, 23rd Street and Tennessee Street. The site’s official address is listed as 1201 Tennessee Street. The location of the project now includes an old warehouse and a gas station. These facilities will be torn down for the project.

CalPERS will be investing equity into the project and there will be traditional construction financing involved in the development. The expectation is that it will take 18 to 22 months to complete the project from start to finish.

One of the unique features in the project will be what Avant is calling flex space units. “This is to be for live/work units. This could be a situation for people who have design firms, are artists or young entrepreneurs who are trying to start their own business and want to be where they live and work in a single location. These units are designed first as apartments, and we pay schools fees for them just like any other apartment unit. We think that these people are being priced out of San Francisco with the high cost of both housing and office space,” said Tao.

This will be the second time these kinds of units have been planned by Avant. “We first started this idea in our projects at 5th and Folsom in San Francisco that we are developing for Essex Property Trust. We have eight units planned there and they will be available for the first time this summer. At this point we are not sure how they will be received. We thought we would make it part of the design in another project,” said Tao. This kind of housing will make up from six to 10 units for the project on Tennessee Street.

The new development will also have an affordable housing component, which will be around 16 percent of the project. The remainder of the units will be market-rate housing.



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Lennar’s Hunters Point Development Now Has Prices


The Lennar development slated for Hunters Point now has the name The San Francisco Shipyard, and some pricing scales recently hit the Curbed inbox. Based on current market rates, prices are set to begin in the low $500,000s for one bedrooms, and the high $500,000s for two bedroom homes. If all goes according to plan, the first 247 market rate and affordable units will be ready for move-ins by this fall with an additional 3,000 units coming in the next five years. Now that the project got its recent approvals and the 49ers have officially vacated, things are moving along quickly.

Picture & source: The San Francisco Shipyard [official site]

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