Lofts vs. Loaves

root - Posted on 13 February 2001

by Giovonna Willis-Barela staff writer, POOR Magazine

Loaves vs Lofts

Gourmet catering company
objects to being relocated by high priced live work/lofts.

(Part two in an
ongoing series of special reports from "the inside" on gentrification)

Images of Gentrification

by Giovonna Willis-Barela staff writer, POOR Magazine

Design assistance by

Allyson Eddy of

unartistic Productions

If you*re interested in purchasing a loft in
San Francisco, expect to pay $300,000 to $500,000. Between
1997 and 1998, the price of an average three bedroom house
increased 16%, from $311,240 to $361,410 , and these figures
will multiply by the end of the year. Renters, look for a
striking increase also. Gentrification is not only happening
in the mission but also in other parts of town including the
3rd Street corridor. Are we victims of gentrification, if
we can*t afford these prices?

It was the last Tuesday of June, a day I*d rather
be at the beach, when six of us from POOR Magazine went on assignment
for interviews about gentrification of businesses by live/work
lofts. Three of us went to NOW WE'RE COOKING, a catering company,
who not only deals with loaves of bread of all sorts, but all
sorts of all gratifying meals, which is fighting to keep their
location at 2150 3rd Street, between 18 th and 19 th streets,
in light of the encroachmment of live/work lofts.

I noticed an alternate chamber there, which looked
like a dining room, with a large table covered with a tablecloth
and diningware placed on it "I object to it!" Tom Brooker, director
of catering, a man who is in his mid 30's, said in response to
my question about gentrification of the 3rd Street corridor where
his business is located.

Since 1990, 1400 lofts have been built in San Francisco,
and over 1500 more are awaiting approval. He asked me to repeat
these statistics, at which point he jumped in with "...and only
1% was turned down... and that*s bad for rentals".

"We started in Hunters Point about 8 years ago,
but this location is good for our image, plus it works for our
customers and employees."

Between 1991-1998, 70,000 people moved into San
Francisco alone, which makes the population almost 800,000 people.
Is this why our vacancy rate is less than 1%? Should lofts be
banned permanently, because they*re pushing out industry and blue
collar workers?

As we finished our interview , I was pleased to
know NOW WE*RE COOKING catering company wasn*t against moving
to Hunters Point, (which is my neighborhood). They were against
lofts being put in place of their business.

Before, during and after my interview with NOW WE*RE
COOKING I kept wanting to say loaves instead of lofts.

This is Gio Willis-Barela reporting for POOR News

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