SF activists angry over plans to rebuild apartments destroyed in fire with luxury housing

Bay Area

Mission District activists are reacting with anger over plans to rebuild a big apartment building destroyed in a fire.

Those protesting Friday say their neighborhood does not need any more luxury housing developments.

Chants of “Sí se puede” were followed by a moment of silence for the one resident killed in this massive apartment fire.

The activists are fighting gentrification and displacement in the Mission choosing Dia de los Muertos to vent their anger over the plans submitted for what may eventually replace what is now a huge vacant lot on the corner of 22nd and Mission Street.

The fatal fire broke out in the afternoon that January day back in 2015. It raced through the huge building that housed nearly 60 families and several small businesses.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen says the late mayor Ed Lee made a handshake deal with the owner, who owns a butcher shop on 24th Street, to sell the building to low-income housing developers who would build a replacement that the old tenants could move back into.

They say that owner has either rejected or ignored offers from the Mission Economic Development Corporation. Those protesting called what’s been proposed a luxury development that the Mission doesn’t need.

KRON4’s attempts to reach the owner were unsuccessful but the plans submitted to the city for review calls for a nine-story, mixed-use development with 129 units with 24 below-market-rate units as well as commercial space.  

Those at the rally on Friday called on the owner to sell his building to the city.

The activists say if their demands aren’t met, they will call for a boycott of any business that opens up in the new development.

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