Trinity Plaza

A rally for Trinity Plaza at City Hall

The Trinity Plaza victory was a seminal moment in San Francisco’s history. When property owner Angelo Sangiacomo filed permits to demolish the apartment building (a converted residential hotel with 360 rent controlled units), Trinity tenants, many of who were low-income families and people of color, came together with the help of the Central City S.R.O. Collaborative and other community groups to fight to save their homes. The battle, reminiscent of the 1970’s struggle for the I-Hotel, came to a head in 2004. As a result of the leadership of Trinity tenants and the organizing of the Central City S.R.O. Collaborative and other community groups, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an Anti-Demolition Ordinance to stop Trinity owner Angelo Sangiacomo from demolishing the building. Although former mayor Newsom vetoed the law, the influence of the community organizing on the Supervisors was evident, and eventually Sangiacomo agreed to a compromise. Negotiated by the Trinity Tenants Association and former Supervisor Chris Daly’s office, the deal will allow the owner to demolish and build a 1,900 unit building in its place but it will replace the lost units with 360 units of rent-controlled housing and lifetime leases for current tenants. Additionally, 12% of the new units will be affordable. With this watershed compromise San Francisco bid goodbye to the days when developers could evict tenants en masse at will, and will set the standard for future development in the City.

BeyondChron article

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