As the new 1,900-unit Trinity Place apartment project continues to build, above are photos of the massive teardown of the old Trinity Plaza; an apartment complex associated with some sordid people. The complex was originally built in the 1960s as a motor hotel known as Del Webb's Towne House. Webb may be better known for building a Japanese internment camp during WWII, and later The Flamingo Hotel & Casino for famed mobster Bugsy Siegel. Webb built the Towne House as part of a national chain. The motel was unsuccessful from the start, and later converted to apartments.
Enter Angelo Sangiacomo, who has been called a slumlord and is often referred to as "the father of San Francisco rent control" due to his steep rent increases in the late 1970's that caught the attention of City Hall. Sangiacomo purchased the apartment complex around that time and conditions began to deteriorate. Violations by Sangiacomo management abounded, including reports of turning off hot water and heat to the entire building as recently as 2004.
Today Sangiacomo is tearing down the old Trinity Plaza to make way for the continuing Trinity Place. His agreement with the city to build his new towers included replacing any rent-controlled units for displaced tenants, an agreement Sangiacomo was not a fan off. "If I had had it my way, I would have built a huge, tall, high-rise there," he said. "I bought that thing (the motel) to tear it down and build new apartments 30 years ago."
·Trinity Place Clears Way For Next Step [Curbed SF]
·Trinity Plaza Teardown [Civic Center Blog]
·Del Webb Bio [in.com]
·S.F. landlord Sangiacomo ready for Trinity [SFGate]
·The Sangiacomo Family's Pattern of Behavior [Beyond Chron]