Aerial View of Pier 38 [Credit: Google Maps]
The tangled history of Pier 38 took another turn this week as Ports red-tagged the dilapidated structure as unsafe, giving the tenants there three weeks to move out. The tenants were subletting from Carl Ernst, a low-level real estate developer with good city connections who proposed a mega-yacht marina there. The marina never happened, Carl was behind in his rent, and Ports eventually succeeded in evicting him- but not without Carl being arrested for allegedly making death threats against staff at Ports (the charges were dropped.)
Ports had a litany of complaints against Ernst, including using the pier as a parking lot for nearby condo tenants and ball games. So Ports now finds itself with unintended sub-tenants, plus tech/social media tenants who are sub-tenants of incubators, like Dogpatch Labs, and SOMAcentral, which is understandably annoyed. From the Chronicle:Any other city would want to help this jewel of a technology hub that has a worldwide reputation and has produced millions of dollars of investments," said Ken Thom, managing director of SOMAcentral, which rents out flexible, low-cost space at Pier 38 to about 50 small firms and about 200 workers. "It is mind-boggling that they are going to close it down because of small building-code violations that we are perfectly willing to take care of.Of course, there are whispers of some secret America's Cup plot instead of coming to grips with being illegal tenants. Red-tagging? Harsh, but probably the fastest way to end Carl's involvement. SOMACentral is said to be moving to One Market Street, no doubt someone's looking around at Mid-Market. Where's that IPO?
· Pier 38 Deemed Unsafe: Tech Tenants Evicted [SF Gate]
· Judge Throws Wrench in Pier 38 Marina Plans [SF Gate]