The cover story of today’s San Francisco Examiner looks at a group of Bernal Heights neighbors who have been living in an unpermitted warehouse space on the 900 block of Peralta, in the southeast corner of Bernal near the Alemany Farmer’s Market. Michael Barba from the Examiner writes:
The artists, who are in danger of losing their home in the wake of the deadly Ghost Ship fire in Oakland late last year, cut windows and a second door into the mostly metal warehouse on Peralta Avenue ahead of a meeting with fire officials Tuesday.
“We did it ourselves,” said Nathan Cottam, a dancer and choreographer who is one of eight tenants living in the vibrant warehouse called the Sunspot.
Cottam is just one of many people who have lived on the lot behind the Alemany Farmers Market for about a decade, he said. But their occupancy only became an issue after a fire killed three dozen people who were trapped in the Ghost Ship warehouse Dec. 2, 2016.
Since then, building and fire inspectors have visited the Sunspot warehouse, and the owner served the tenants with an eviction notice back in December.
City agencies have been on heightened alert for fire safety hazards in commercial spaces where people are living and the SFFD has experienced a rise in complaints regarding the illegal use of warehouses, according to fire officials.
The Examiner adds that the City has issued an abatement order for current tenants to vacate the property because it is not permitted for residential use. Meanwhile, the property owner has been planning since 2001 to build housing on the site, with a proposal unveiled last July that would create 49 units there.