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Longtime Chinatown residents accuse landlord of trying to displace them

As changes come to the historic neighborhood, so do fears of gentrification and displacement

1350 Stockton, via Google Street View. Screen grab via Google Street View

The move to displace Chinese immigrants from Chinatown to make way for affluent residents has begun.

J.K. Dineen’s piece for the San Francisco Chronicle details one jarring incident wherein Valstock Management, a real estate management outfit, are allegedly helping push out Chinese residents from a Stockton Street building. Such tactics include charging a $200 fee for hanging clothes outside windows—one of Chinatown’s most recognizable and charming qualities—to forcing longtime tenants to sign 40-page leases, in English, with “incomprehensible” rules.

The alleged plan is to replace residents with new ones willing to pay—deep breath—“over $1,100 for an 80-square-foot room with no bathroom or kitchen, roughly double what existing residents pay.”

Valstock’s ad for the aforementioned box at 1350 Stockton even boasts close proximity to millennial-saturated joints like Chubby Noodle, Comstock, 15 Romolo, Church Key, and Reveille Coffee.

Clothes drying from windows—a classic Chinatown sight.
Example of clothes hanging outside windows along Old Chinatown Lane.
Photo by Patricia Chang

Since taking control of the Stockton Street SRO, Valstock has reportedly started eviction proceedings against seven tenants. In response, the management company tells the Chronicle, “Evictions happen because of habitual violations.”

However, the close-knit community “took to the streets Wednesday to protest what they characterize as the latest attempt by real estate speculators to drive out low-income Chinese immigrants.”

Read all about it.