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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Close to my place:

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/12/17/building-collapses-in-san-franciscos-twin-peaks/

The owner was turning a junky little building into something bigger. The way San Francisco housing policy works, it's essentially impossible to get a demolition permit, so if you own a junky little shack you have to build your new, big building around it. The owner had a battle over the demo question, but seems to have given up and gone ahead with the standard way.

It would be easy to suspect some foul play (let's accidentally-on purpose demo the building) but it's likely that the building was mostly just some bits of rotten timber floating on soupy clay. It will be interesting to see what the investigation comes up with. The contractor's name isn't on the on-line permit records.
 

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John the Builder
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Damned termites!
PS: I'd have to take a nap after climbing up to the place every day anyways...
 

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spazman
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Why can't something be demolished? If it is historical I get why but if it is a dump that would be better gone or less expensive to start over then what's the problem? Is it some sort of California tree hugger thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why can't something be demolished? If it is historical I get why but if it is a dump that would be better gone or less expensive to start over then what's the problem? Is it some sort of California tree hugger thing?
San Francisco policy won't allow, except under unusual circumstances, the removal of a housing unit from the city. You could theoretically get a demo permit and permits to put up a new single-family home, tear down the old house, and then not build the new one, which would violate that policy. So builders end up putting up new 4000 sq. ft. homes around a couple of walls of an original 1000 sq.ft. shack. Larger builders who want to get rid of units in one place (let's say getting rid of illegal units or converting some dense housing, e.g. S.R.O.'s) can cut a deal to add some housing somewhere else, often by building new affordable housing.

One can argue about whether it's good public policy, but developers and property owners accept it as a condition of working in The City. Some of the news stories about this accident mention that the owner had unsuccessfully tried to get a demo permit for the property.
 

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spazman
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I know that real estate is expensive there. I have a niece that lives in the bay area and some of the stories she has told me just blow my mind - price for small square footage, parking etc. Looks to me like it would be a tough place to work and make a living. My hat's off to you.
 

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Bob..... This is a SF property.... up around/near the Warf area.... whatta ya think it's worth 500 or 7 figures...?????:thumbup::eek:
 

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Very inneresting. Owned by the former president of the San Francisco Building Inspection Commission.


San Francisco, the BIGGEST pain in the ass city in which to own a business.
 

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[QUOTE="

San Francisco, the BIGGEST pain in the ass city in which to own a business.[/QUOTE]

It may the biggest pain to work in, but I would think the builder that can pull it off is not working for peanuts either.

Any drone can frame a new house in a new construction lot. And can get paid little for it because its easy.

Only a few could take on a complex project under the conditions that SF requires. And since there is less competition they can charge what they feel they need to. Less bottom feeders when the jobs require thinking and expeerice to complete the building.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It may the biggest pain to work in, but I would think the builder that can pull it off is not working for peanuts either.

Any drone can frame a new house in a new construction lot. And can get paid little for it because its easy.

Only a few could take on a complex project under the conditions that SF requires. And since there is less competition they can charge what they feel they need to. Less bottom feeders when the jobs require thinking and experience to complete the building.
I wish it were that straightforward. We have the same hacks, bottom-feeders, etc., as everywhere else. In fact, the high cost of working here, and of hiring someone to work legally, provides a huge incentive for home-owners to hire the un-licensed, un-insured, hack, to work un-permitted if possible. And it's not just San Francisco, it's the situation in California generally.

The only response is the same as for anywhere else - separate your business from those guys, by finding the customers who want and will pay for quality.
 

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Italian Earthquake?

Followed by a flash of Jewish Lightning and that would be all she wrote.:thumbup:


Not far from me a guy bought a property with a historic farmhouse on it that was built around the 1690's. He wanted to demolish it and build his dream house and the town said no. So as the story goes he had the original house drawn into his plans to get the permit approved.

Then he had the excavator completely dig out the foundation around it and surprise! the whole place collapsed.
So he went ahead with his original plans and when the place was finished he decided he didn't want to live there...he wanted to turn it into a wedding hall.
Now of course the place isn't zoned for commercial but it just took a "contribution" ;)to the town's preservation fund or some such thing and now he is good to go.

The place is on a one lane road and I got stuck behind a Greyhound size bus driving to this place. I was just waiting for an oncoming dump truck to come down the road and see who was going to blink first and have to back up.:laughing:

Talk is now the guy is planning to add a heliport to the property for guests to fly in.

BTW, a wedding at this place starts at $80,000 and goes up from there.
 
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