Bids Due, Tensions High as Trustee Says Precita Eyes Seeks to “Force Family to Sell to Them”

precitaeyes.aug2015

It’s been a big week for 348 Precita Avenue, the multi-unit building on Precita Park that’s long been home to the Precita Eyes mural studio. 348 Precita is for sale, and Precita Eyes hopes to avoid possible eviction by deterring would-be buyers from bidding on the property. (For more backstory, read Bernalwood’s item about this from  Monday.)

Here at week’s end, let’s catch up on where thing stand.

Neighbor Ledia dropped by Precita Eyes during a Protest Art Class for kids on Tuesday, where she learned more about Precta Eyes, their history in Precita Park, their other property holdings, and their (at times confusing) arrangement with the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA). Neighbor Ledia tells Bernalwood:

Went to the free art class and talked to Precita Eyes today: Now I understand.

So Precita Eyes wants the owners [of 348 Precita] to accept MEDAs offer to buy the building, which has 3 residential units plus the commercial Precita Eyes space, for $1 million.

It’s obviously “worth” more. MEDA would then be the owner/landlord, with the possibly of current tenants being able to buy their spaces in some way.

348 is the original Precita Eyes space. Precita Eyes has been around since 1977, and in this space since 1982. In 1998, [Precita Eyes founder Susan Cervantes] bought the Precita Eyes space on 24th St., so the organization also has that.

The goal of the free art class/gathering is to discourage offers on the building, other than MEDA’s lowball offer.

This provides helpful context. Precita Eyes uses 348 Precita as a satellite facility, and in the comments to Monday’s post, several Bernal neighbors noted that the studio at 348 is rarely occupied. (As a neighbor, Bernalwood can confirm this.) The Precita Eyes branch at 2981 24th Street is the organization’s main office, but we did not know (and Mission Local confirms) that Precita Eyes actually owns the 24th Street building. That means the future of Precita Eyes on 24th Street is secure.

Of course, there are two sides to every transaction, and in the comments to Bernalwood’s Monday post, a member of the family that’s selling 348 Precita shared some details (which are merged here for clarity):

My name is Michael Silva. I am not the owner of 348 Precita (certainly not the only owner), but only the trustee of my late mom’s estate.

I am a member of the family that owns this property. Our presence in SF dates back to before the 1906 earthquake (they camped out in the park during the repairs). It has been in our family for a hundred years. Look up August &Minnie Schmidt in the 1915 online directory.

schmidt.1915

1915 San Francisco Directory, via Bernalwood

One of the owners is the 83 year old granddaughter of August and Minnie. Another is a great-grandson who worked all his life in SF until he had to retire under medical disability, and who has had multiple surgeries to help the back injuries he suffered while working as a printer. His entire life savings consists of $11,000.

These are the owners to whom Precita Eyes is trying to dictate sale terms. This is the one and only commercial property the family owns, in SF or anywhere else. We are not “big investors” by any stretch of the imagination.

I am actually just the Trustee of my mom’s estate (born in SF in 1932). She and her twin sister co-owned the property until she passed away a few years ago. Now my mom’s estate, along with her twin sister, are trying to sell the property. And Precita Eyes is trying to make sure we do not receive fair market value for a property that has been in our family for at least 100 years.

What Precita Eyes is trying to do is to force the family to sell to them, on their terms and on their terms alone, and obviously below market value (or else they would just submit their bid along with any other potential buyers). Who thinks this is moral behavior on their part?

This sets up a curious dynamic. In a town where one’s standing on questions of housing policy and social entitlement often correlates to how long you’ve lived here, the story of 348 Precita now contrasts a nonprofit arts organization that’s been in Bernal for 30+ years with a multigenerational family that’s been in Bernal for 100.

Last Tuesday, there was a open house at at 348 Precita for potential buyers to view the property. Precita Eyes put signs in the windows, brought in some local kids for an ad hoc protest art class, invited a few journalists from around town to drop by, and launched their campaign to ward off potential bidders.

Sarah Hotchkiss from KQED Arts was there:

As toddlers covered in tempera paint plastered their hand prints all over sheets of paper, community members surrounded the building holding their own pieces of paper, printed with the message, “Please do not BUY this building!! This is a community space!”

PEWindow

Photo: KQED

The organization staged the protest after landlords posted a brand-new For Sale sign on the studio center’s exterior the week before. Though Precita Eyes owns its arts and visitors center at 2981 24th St, they have rented the 348 Precita Ave space since 1977.

While impending doom lingers in the air, the building’s residents are not without hope. The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), with advice from the San Francisco Community Land Trust (SFCLT), plans to make a bid on the property, which, if successful, will safeguard Precita Eyes and the residential tenants against eviction by forming a cooperative.

The dispatch from Mission Local’s reporter captured the kabuki-like flavor of the scene, as the participants performed familiar roles:

“We’re hoping to dissuade other prospective buyers from outbidding MEDA,” explained Nancy Pili Hernández, a Precita Eyes muralist.

Several prospective buyers came and went without comment. Some stopped to talk with the activists and neighbors standing outside. In some cases, the exchanges became heated.  Pili Hernández said one potential buyer became incensed when a woman approached him asking his intentions for the building. Pili Hernández said the man told the woman he would put in an offer for $2 million and evict her.

That’s the kind of possibility that makes Randy Odell, an upstairs resident of 30 years, uneasy.

“It’s no fun having your home threatened.” Odell said. “When you have no right to keep people from coming in and looking at your home, and sussing out the value, it’s very hard to keep my dignity.”

Other potential buyers took a more diplomatic approach.

Micheal Zook, a San Francisco native and former building manager who was once evicted from a building he lived and worked in for 20 years, now works as a realtor but was considering the building as a potential home for himself, his wife and his children. He talked at length with community organizers about the property and how displacement could be avoided.

So what happens next?

Although the drama of 348 Precita is playing out in 2015, this story is really a flashback to the proto-gentrification tensions of 1970s Bernal Heights, when a young generation of activist Baby Boomers arrived and set out to transform Bernal in their own image, sometimes to the dismay of the older, blue-collar families who already lived here.

Back then, however, San Francisco’s population was in decline, and Bernal Heights was considered a faded part of town.  Homes were cheap,  rents were cheaper, Precita Park was rough, and Bernal was a funky bohemian backwater. Today, San Francisco’s population has grown by almost 200,000 since 1980, Bernal is a prime location, Precita Park is a four-star destination, countercultural lifestyles are difficult to afford, and the median home price in the neighborhood hovers around $1.4 million. A big property like 348 Precita could obviously fetch more.

But should it? Will it? We’ll find out soon; Mike Silva tells Bernalwood the last bids for the property are coming in today.

PHOTOS: Top, Precita Eyes studio by Telstar Logistics

79 thoughts on “Bids Due, Tensions High as Trustee Says Precita Eyes Seeks to “Force Family to Sell to Them”

  1. “3 residential units plus the commercial Precita Eyes space, for $1 million.” Are you kidding me?! If they don’t get at least $3.5M I will be shocked. MEDA’s bid comes nowhere close to what this property is worth and is insulting, IMHO.

    • Agreed. If MEDA hopes to have any impact on matters such as this they should be prepared to pay fair market rate for properties and not dick over long-time property owners. Also how many unused satellite locations does Precita Eyes really need? I walk by all the time and rarely see anyone in there.

    • They don’t have to. They want community support so they don’t have to feel guilt over ending the tenancy of folks who have paid them for over 30 years. They can sell without saying a word.

      • I would not presume to claim to know their intentions, nor should others. Nor should they feel guilt.

  2. What MEDA could do is to offer a lower amount for the commercial space only.
    That could keep both parties “happier”…

    About “being evicted from your home” which is a recurrent theme, it’s sure not nice to have to move out, but the thing that few seem to understand is that this is not your home forever when you rent it.
    Those who rented a place for 30+ years obviously just made poor choices if their intention was to establish a long term stay.
    The accumulated rents did cost at least the amount of the property since then (cf article).
    It is not your house forever if you rent it, and that’s not what rent control is for either.
    It is usually agreed that even though it may perdure, it is not a lifetime rental agreement.
    If it is, awesome, but I’ve never seen that.

    The problem is elsewhere… stop pointing fingers at the water down the street when the plumbing is leaking please. Much more balance article than the last one btw Todd.

      • Even less I think 🙂
        If they don’t do it at some point it means that it matters few for them…

        Problem with those behaviour is that in 10 years no one ever will agree to rent to such organizations in the first place. I mean, you’d have to be crazy eh.

      • I’m not sure how it works for commercial properties, but I know for condo conversions everything needs to be independent per unit (its own electrical meter, gas meter, etc.). This could be an obstacle to purchasing just the commercial space if it isn’t already setup with those separate meters.

  3. “[C]ountercultural lifestyles are difficult to afford” <== 🙂

    ===========================

    I got money on someone's saying, "This is disgusting; why isn't $1 million enough for the seller?"

    • Do you have money on someone saying that this is the most condescending sentence in the post and comes from a politically moderate mainstream tech worker who clearly has very limited interaction with counterculture?

      • 🙂 I did too!

        Also, I think you got me down to a T: “a politically moderate mainstream [worker] who clearly has very limited interaction with counterculture”.

        I think you meant that to be a negative, though.

      • You don’t really know anything about Todd’s interaction with counterculture, it just makes you feel like you can look down your nose at him. But it sure doesn’t help Precita Eyes or anyone else afford a counterculture lifestyle. However, not sure owning 2 buildings in the Mission/Bernal is a counterculture lifestyle.

  4. Since Precita Eyes only uses this space for storage (the inside looks it) & they own the building on 24th St why are they making such a big stink.
    The building can be made into 3 TICs w/nice storefront, plus there is good sized open space in back.
    Leave the owners alone & let them sell their building in piece.

    • There is an eco art class for toddlers, a spanish language toddler class, a high school urban arts program, ongoing mural design, community meetings are held in the space and an annual arts festival in the park that are all housed out of 348. Thanks.

      • Annual arts festival in the park… you mean the graffiti festival, after which some of the artists go out and tag neighbors’ property? Gee, it would be a shame for that to come to a halt.

    • Even if your assumption wasn’t show false by another response, where do you think you can get storage space between Bernal and Mission for a price they can afford? They provide a service in this community. We need them here, in the neighborhood. Even if you don’t, many of us do.

      • But why do you not acknowledge that this family has a right and–although it is not our business–a need to sell this property? It is not a greedy corporate entity; it can’t control what the new owners do with the building; it is doing nothing wrong. The Silvas are the good guys here.

        The protest organizers, MEDA, and Precita Eyes shouldn’t have wasted community goodwill on this ill-advised attempt to get their way by force. It feels very manipulative when the facts are made known.

      • There are homeless charities that could people in need in your flat too. It would be good for the community.

        Its very easy to offer things that arent yours to give. If you arent willing to offer up your property, youre a hypocrit.

      • Public Storage is 0.7 miles away on Cesar Chavez. My guess is it’s cheaper than renting an entire store front.

      • Um, maybe one of the many storage facilities…such as Stop N Stor on Bayshore. You don’t need to buy a building just to have someplace to store your art supplies.

  5. Thanks to Mr. Silva for providing insight from the seller’s point-of-view. How can anyone fault this family (which is attempting to fund the care for their medically-challenged elders) for asking for fair market rate on an investment that’s been in their family for generations? I don’t think that this reflects well on Precita Eyes or MEDA at all.

  6. I always thought it suspicious that Precita Eyes could have such a “black and white” case 😛

    p.s. it’s currently 2015 (“playing out in 2014”)

  7. Holy mo– $1 Million?! That’s straight-up insulting and pretty much highway robbery. It sounds like this building is the entirety of this family’s trust, and Precita Eyes is well positioned to continue elsewhere (I, too, rarely see that storefront occupied and find it a bit of an eyesore, frankly. But, hey, I get that it’s *our* eyesore.) My gut on this one is with the family that owns the building, so long as they treat the tenants fairly according to the law.

    • I’m still learning on this – but the list price (set by the family I believe) is $1M (actually just under).

    • The list price is a shade under $1 million, so there is no highway robbery being attempted. But sorry that the veneer isn’t pretty enough for you. Like democracy, art and community activism and creativity are untidy.

  8. Interesting to know that Precita Eyes does own their main building. So this is not a threat to their organization, jus to their auxiliary location.

  9. IF you don’t like an owner selling a building and you don’t have to move, there is an easy fix: STOP RENTING AND BUY A PLACE OF YOUR OWN.

    • I’m sorry to say I feel the same way. I’d rented many places that were put on the market and had to deal with showings, interruptions, loss of privacy. So what did i do? I BOUGHT A HOUSE. But then again, that was feasible in the early ’90s.

      • Ugh, your simplifications are insulting. Take a look around you: We can’t all afford to buy and many of us provide SERVICE to the people, land and infrastructure of San Francisco. Our lives are here and telling us to go buy elsewhere when our friends, families and jobs are here is just gross. I agree with Fran: Your privilege is showing.

  10. I’d like to know how often Precita Eyes actually uses that space. In the 100+ times I’ve walked by the building, I’ve never seen anything going on. I’d prefer to see someone actually using the space rather than letting it just sit there.

    • Well, the space is used, just not constantly. Others here have mentioned what does occur in the studio, so I won’t repeat that and hope commenters can read it for themselves, despite their wild surprise that anything is alive there.

      There’s a crucial point: One has to be interested in what is offered there and seek out the chances to benefit, and the majority of such individuals have young kids at home and have time during the day to bring them to the studio for a class. The studio also hosts affordable birthday parties for children in a creative space. Please name another place in Bernal that does that in 2015.

      Precita Eyes, like a like of nonprofits, does not do a lot of advertising for its classes and events (and probably is not even able to staff every activity it wishes it can have). The staff, as I have observed them, are trying to keep many balls in the air at once, and scratching to survive in an economic environment that cannot be less unfriendly to artists. (If they did not own the building on 24th street, one wonders if they could have possibly ridden out the storm of condo-ization along that stretch.)

      This is not the Precita Park Cafe–but its community (not $$$) value is greater, and its contributions to the complex history of the area are unparalleled among arts organizations in the city, much less Bernal and the Mission (sorry to use the “M’ word on this blog!).

      Unfortunately, the perception that they are strong-arming the owners into selling to MEDA at a huge discount–the realtor is just doing what realtors do in the Bay Area with attractive investments (inviting a bidding war)–may end up being a lasting smear on the organization, which is a shame. But yes, Precita Eyes would have been instrumental in painting themselves like this–another way in which its lack of business savvy may be coming back to bite them. If you talk to anyone who works there, it is hard to believe that they are big meanies keen on confrontation–no one seems cut out to join the Weathermen just yet.

      The “protests” that have taken place so far have been characterized by a lot of painting and crafts projects–stuff of great violence and disruption. I attended two of these rallies that went spiraling out of control, with police converging…and not one person talked to me about the situation of the property. They are not really trying to build support not through getting people to rally on their behalf, but to have people see what artistic value the studio (and organization) has. It may be ham-fisted, but what they are are very desperate to extend the legacy and use of the studio in that location, and trying to appeal to sentiments that virtually no one in the real estate biz in the Bay Area shares (such as “community legacy”). As others have said in more hostile ways, it indeed may be the wrong battle at the wrong time–and it is certainly the wrong place (SF circa 2015).

      I think people may want to rethink their wishes of what will happen with the property. When (most likely) the building is sold to an investor-developer, there will be construction for a long time (in an area that is already very congested). We needn’t be reminded what has happened with the Cervantes’ family home–a sad blight on the neighborhood for a decade now, due to a confluence of factors, with greed and speculation and disinterest (and, quite likely, SF zoning regulations) among them.

      Most who own a property in Bernal no doubt are OK with this, as a “reinvention” benefits their home value. Especially someone who does not live nearby will be affected less, if at all. But if you didn’t notice the studio before, I think you’ll notice the trucks, debris, noise, parking spaces taken up about the place, etc. Not chattering birds or the wind through the trees, the most familiar sound I have heard from my flat on Harrison (during the time when Bernal real estate has just exploded) is the whirring of machinery as work is done along Alabama a few hundred feet away, as homes are being flipped like pancakes.

      • Ah, besides other likely errors, a portion above should read: “…scratching to survive in an economic environment that cannot be MORE unfriendly to artists.” The Times regrets the error.

      • you’re not correct about the Cervantes still owning the 398 Precita property bud. Hand wringing works better when it is accompanied by accuracy.

  11. Michael Silva I hope you get top dollar for the building! It is ridiculous that Precita Eyes are behaving like a bunch of idiots!!!!! Good bye Precita Eyes. I had nothing against you until I read about your behavior.

  12. On behalf of the Silva family I’d like to thank Bernalwood for this balanced article. Our family has certainly been disturbed by this show of animosity towards us, as though we were some evil faceless billion-dollar MegaCorp.

    Mike Silva

    • I agree with the posters above. If they were willing to offer even close to what the entire building’s appraisal value, this would be a different story. I hope the Silva Family get and accept a fair bid.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry that you were put in a position to have to share your personal business, but it has helped many of us (myself included) understand what’s happening from both sides of the fence. I do believe that we, as San Franciscans, should take some interest in what is happening to change our city to one with fewer artists, fewer options for artistic expression, etc. But this, like so many cases, really appears to be the wrong fight at the wrong place. Best to you and your family. You are not the bad guys here.

    • Best wishes to you and your family. If you don’t get a price you are happy with today (following a week of this MEDA circus, and in August, you might not), I would try again in the fall and not give in to this crazy bullying. Your family’s situation and ownership deserve respect.

    • Wow. Just looked at the listing. 2,800 sq ft lot is massive by Bernal standards. And almost 4,000 sq ft of interior space?? This place would be worth north of $3M if it was vacant. Sad to see this family get the shaft from a non-profit. If you were in it to maximize the sale price, buy out all the tenants and sell it vacant!

      Also, why do real estate agents in SF always massively underprice properties? So annoying.

      • Greg, they start out low so they can advertise that they got $XXXX over the asking price. It makes them look better. Who would you pick as a realator? The guy who sold a building at $X Million asking or the guy who sold it for $500,000 over asking (even if they both went for the same $X million?

  13. Nancy Pili
    I know that Susan has alot of repect for the family that owns the building and I have never heard anyone at Precita speak badly of them. No one on the board or staff are able to dictate the terms of a sale on the building.

    I did see the real estate agent passing out packets to the brokers with budgets of income from current tenants and projected income if units were moved to market rate.

    She was showing the building to many people who have the intention of buying it and flipping it.

    I volunteered at the kids art class to show the value that I and the community have for this space. There are weekly toddler classes in the mornings and high school classes in the afternoons since 1982. Murals are designed from this space and the Urban Youth Arts Festival has been hosted from here for the last 19 years.

    I talked with possible investors and explained to them that their investments will not be as cut and dry as the real estate agent would have them think.

    None of the current tennants could afford what the real estate agent’s projections of market rate are.

    So we gave them some kids art and asked them to uderstand our investment into this community.

    Im hoping that MEDAs offer is accepted so the family gets their asking price and the tenants can stay and Precita will continue to be a part of the Park and Bernal Hill.

    • Wow. I’m sorry, but you’re so out of ton with reality it’s bordering on insanity. You may hope that the MEDA offer of $1 Million will be excepted, but it’s simply not going to happen. Here’s what will happen. The family currently owning the property will likely accept an offer somewhere between 2.5 and 3 million dollars; that’s a fair price, it’s what they deserve, and if they don’t accept an offer in that range they’re as crazy as you are. In the unlikely event that Precita Eyes insulting, misguided, and offensive campaign to discourage other bidders is successful then the family will probably take the building off the market. A few months later there’ll be a private sale without listing the building on MLS, that sale will be for $2.5 Million or higher.

      Once the new owners take over they’ll wait for the Precita Eyes lease to expire and either raise the rent to market rates or simply evict them; there’s little to no protection on commercial leases. As for the folks living above, I do feel sorry for them, but the realities of renting are that you don’t have ownership. You trade the cost and hassle of maintaining the property, paying property taxes, ever increasing insurance, and other costs for the ability to pay rent, but in return you don’t get to live there forever. If the renters are lucky, the new owners will pay them to leave so they can renovate and rent the apartments at market rates, that would be a good payday for them. If they’re unlucky a family will purchase the buildng for their own home and simply do an owner-movein eviction.

      I know you’d love for everyone to live wherever they want at low rents forever, but that’s not how the world works and it’s not fair to the property owners. What Precita Eyes is doing to this family is disgusting and cruel. I’m confident they’ll fail and I’ll be glad to see such a hateful organization gone from our community.

  14. Thanks for your coverage of this issue. Precita Eyes does not need this building, especially since they own their other space and this satellite office is rarely used. I walk by here all the time and the office is mostly unoccupied.

    MEDA has contributed significantly to the affordability problems in the Mission by opposing reasonable market rate development, so I have no respect for them either. They are now seeking to acquire a prime property at a huge discount.

    Pressuring the Silva family in this way is horrible. Hopefully they will read this blog and see that they have significant community support. They should sell to the highest bidder.

  15. MEDA should have an opportunity which is first right of refusal at the top dollar mark offered. Standing on principle at “asking price,” is not how the SF real estate market functions. It’s too bad, and it’d be nicer if it were more transparent. But that’s the way it is. Agents and sellers price low in order to drive the price high. MEDA should know that, and move accordingly.

    • Kenny, thank you so much for your replies to some of my comments above. I am glad to have fond readers. And I always like to connect with them, even to correct them, as necessary. Your advanced education–no doubt honed at the dojo–came up with this observation: “you’re not correct about the Cervantes still owning the 398 Precita property bud. Hand wringing works better when it is accompanied by accuracy.”

      I made a comment (on the first blog post about this property sale) that noted the Cervantes family does not own the 398 Precita Ave property. It makes for excellent reading, just as you have observed all of my comments do. You flatter me.

      I never said that the Cervantes own the 398 Precita property now. When I referred to the “blight” that is their family home, it was a criticism of the owners/developers/whomever who have done virtually nothing with the property for a full decade. As for 398 Precita, it will always be–to me and many others–the Cervantes’ family home.

  16. Thanks for the report, Todd. Randy Odell, quoted in the article as one of th renters, is a great drummer who has worked with me many times, and his close proximity to my studio on the other side of the hill has been very helpful at times.
    I know it won’t affect any decisions, but having to have a drummer come all the way from Oakland is not always a good scheduling move.

  17. Serious Q for MEDA: if they buy below market value, will they promise to sell at the same discount- in perpetuity? Or is this just a crafty new way to flip?

    • It’s a good question. What about when one of the existing tenants moves out? Would they put in the deed that they agree to keep the units below market? Also, Nancy Pili — no one is saying that providing art classes is disgusting and cruel, but rather attacking the Silva family who has an asset they want to use to care for sick and elderly family members. Staging protests and trying to interfere with someone’s sale doesn’t sound like having “a lot of respect for the family” (at least not with a straight face). If people starting protesting outside Precita Eyes saying “Precita Eyes harms the elderly” would Susan feel respected?

  18. Ahh, both sides are blowin smoke.

    No way is that run down crap worth anywhere near $4 million, and they’ve had $65k per year in income…. not sheep’s snot in my book. The google street view even has sand bags in front (hmmm… why would you need that??). The description sounded so amazing, heh.

    As for Precita Eyes, well, this town has turned cold the past few years – you’re naive if you think anyone is willing to do a nice deed for you on this one. The folks who inherited the estate sound like they could use the dough, and it sure don’t look like they’re willing to do much in the way of maintenance and upkeep on their gift – the place looks like a craphole. Better to move on, and let them move on.

    I don’t see any winners here

    • Unfortunately, the cost of elder care and skilled nursing/facilities is very, very expensive. Medicare basically covers hospital, not long-term care – in or out of home. Private insurance also has similar limits. Patient and families have to pay for the huge gap. My father, a diabetic on dialysis, fell and injured his neck. He required a long-term rehab facility that could also accommodate his twice weekly dialysis treatments, and had an LVN staff and doctor. When I finally found a facility that convered all those important bases, we were told the cost – $30,000 per month. He was there for 3 months. You do math. That rental income may very well be barely covering their out of pocket costs for medical care of his elderly family members, therefore necessitating the sale of their property. There should be no need for the owners to provide a spreadsheet of their costs to prove they need to sell their property. That’s none of our business. They’ve shared enough, and I have great sympathy for them.That’s real life – more than one side, more than one story… I hope you are spared having to make such difficult decisions for your family members. It’s not fun.

      • Why Lupe, thank you so much for your concern. Unfortunately, I know too well about these things. I simply choose to keep my privates private, so to speak, and I don’t assume to know more than I know about someone else’s privates, or to add tragic embellishments to what has been stated.

        I’m simple that way.

        Kind of like lookin’ at an iceberg, I’m more wary of what ain’t been said in carefully pitched comments, than I am impressed by what was said.

        Both sides are blowin’ smoke.

        Yet, it’s only a sign of how messed up this town is that there is so much outrage vented against the idea that someone would offer what the sellers are asking (how insulting!). And heaven forbid anyone would play games to try to beat the competition in a real estate transaction… like aggessive closing terms, or ridiculous overbids, or all cash, or weepy personal letters, or engaging the listing agent to represent the buyer, or the countless other crap that counts as ‘normal’ in the twisted values this towns adopted. Oh no… not children’s art!!

        But as I said quite clearly, it sounds like they “could use the dough”

  19. Another thought: Can Precita Eyes buy Charlie’s Cafe and transform it into a cafe-art education center? It would not have the “atmosphere” of the current place, but it would take on a new life and existence (and purpose perhaps).
    Maybe zoning restrictions would prevent eggs from being stored so close to glue–but in some restaurants one can hardly sense the difference.

    (To the most cynical, this may sound like the Precita Park Cafe being a cafe that now fancies itself a restaurant with 2 Michelin stars. But the haters gonna hate–shame on you all…)

    • Oh, you are such a fool to suggest such a thing. WHY on EARTH would this make sense?!?! Charlie can get a half-mil easily for that place–have you seen the square foot comps, bud?–and I bet Precita doesn’t want to do anything except dig in their paint-stained heels and mope and wail until it gets its way. All they are are a bunch of arm-twisting “community activists” trying to hustle the family with two very old members who have a LOT of medical expenses. How DARE they do such a thing? I hope the Silvas become as wealthy as the Free Market allows, since that is absolutely the way it should be, no questions asked and none answered!!! Good riddance, Precita Eyes! Don’t let the rickety door hit you on the way out!!! (Insert a Rick Flair “woo” here, please.)

      (As we know, the only agreeable manner on Bernalwood is being a contrarian.)

      • Just on a side note, I think Charlie was asking $250,000 for his business. Not sure if that includes the space, but it’s far less than $500k or even a million. Frankly, though, since it’s really just a storage space they could save a few hundred thousand dollars by just renting a storage unit.

  20. Wow. 4,000 square feet in Bernal Heights for $1M?? $250/SF? That’s, like, one THIRD of what houses in Bernal are going for.

    You can hope that someone will give you 70% off of something, but… Well, you can just hope.

    I just know that if my family needed money (and, really, what family living in San Francisco doesn’t need money?), I’d sell to the highest bidder (or something close). But 70% off? Nuh uh!

  21. Bon Voyage Precita Eyes – Good Riddance and take your “Legacy” murals with you. You sure can dish it out – so tired of all your self serving, manipulative PC BS! I’m 100% sure you believe you’re entitled to another lawsuit…

  22. I found many of the comments to be primarily fixated on the numbers and potential profitability of the estate or pointing fingers at Precita Eyes for staging a protest. Another long-standing community organization is loosing their footing in San Francisco. One which provides a needed service to underprivileged youth and their families. Artists and social activists have historically been the heart and soul of this city. The vast majority of whom have already been driven out, which is symptomatic of the culturally homogenizing forces of gentrification and real estate market inflation. These demoralizing economic conditions in which the Silva family have to sell their property are the very same forces which small non-profits like Precita Eyes have to struggle against. I do not believe that they are intentionally acting out of ill will towards the Silvas. Precita Eyes is simply defending their space and their right to CONTINUE to stay in service to their community. If Precita Eyes is eventually evicted, I can guarantee that whatever private enterprise ultimately takes its place will be intending to make a profit, which will in turn will make the neighborhood even more marketable, thus ramping the price of real estate up even further, which will certainly serve those (privileged few) with the buying power to participate in the real estate market but at the cost of alienating everyone else (i.e. multi-generational households who lack the funds to afford arts education).

  23. Pingback: Precita Eyes and Residents Avoid Eviction by Buying Precita Park Building | Bernalwood

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