San Francisco's newest colossal development, Trinity Place, broke ground last week and its owner, madman-with-cash-in-hand Angelo Sangiacomo has something to say about it: "Who the hell is building buildings today, 440 rentals in San Francisco, and paying all cash? With rents down there at $500 and $700? It doesn't pencil out. I'm trying to tell you, I'm not too smart." Despite his modest claims, Sangiacomo was at one point the biggest
slum lord landlord in the city. He's been scheming on Trinity Plaza for years; Chris Daly and the San Francisco Tenants Union put the kabosh on his initial plans. In 2005, all involved parties came to an agreement that provided for permanent rent-controlled units in exchange for a zoning variance that increased the allowable density of the project by over 35%.
The agreement also requires a specific number of bicycle parking spaces and—much to the chagrin of Sangiacomo— bathtubs in every unit. "Financially," he says, "it's a real, real, real loser." He does, however, offer and important piece of advice for aspiring real estate tycoons. "... [Thank] God it's for sale, buy the son of a bitch and worry about how you're going to pay for it later."
· Sangiacomo's baby [SF Business Journal]
· Trinity Place Finally Breaks Ground[Curbed SF]
· Trinity, More Affordable Units? [Curbed SF]
· More Trinity Plaza [Curbed SF]
· Infilling Market Street [Curbed SF]
· Trinity Place [website]