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Living and Working in Lofts: A Brief History

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is mulling over a plan to impose fees on "live-work" lofts that haven't inspired much "work" after all. What happened, people? Way back in a time fondly remembered as the 1980's, live-work lofts were conceived as a means of insuring that young could remain in the city. Artists! In the city! Imagine. Developer's fees were low and projects tended to be densely packed (and free of the parks and sidewalks that tend to identify an area as an actual neighborhood). Along came the boom of the mid-1990's, and pro-growth Mayor Mr. Willie Brown. Developers became hip to the very loosely-written legislation surrounding live-work projects, easily exploiting loopholes to avoid fees and increase profits. As for Willie & Co., they looked the other way in the name of urban renewal. Now that sounds more like the San Francisco we know and love.
· How S.F.'s live-work development boom began [SF Gate]