Monday, May 07, 2007

LENNAR IN THE NEWS

The Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee unanimously voted to approve and send to the full Board a resolution endorsing a controversial development plan.

The “Conceptual Framework,” adds Candlestick Point land to an existing project at Hunters Point being conducted by mega-developer Lennar Corporation.

Some critics refer to this as a “gift” of public land to a private, for-profit corporation, Lennar.

You can view the resolution here, along with the Conceptual Framework.

There are two elements to the resolution:

1) Expanding and moving forward on the “plan.”

2) Lennar Corporation will be the sole developer.

The affected residents of Bay View/Hunters Point fear that their homes and neighborhood will be stolen from them for the benefit of private corporations and upwardly mobile new arrivals to the City.

And rightly so. My impression of the history of redevelopment in San Francisco is one of shame. Basically it’s: Promise the colored folks and poor folks anything in order to get them out of their homes, then, don’t return their calls.

The residents of BVHP will have their homes and neighborhood taken from them, the only question is what, besides promises, they can get in return.

At the meeting today, public comment divided between “let’s move the project forward,” and, “Lennar Corp is a bad actor and should be dumped from the plan.”

As proof of their contention that Lennar Corp is a bad actor, BVHP speakers hammered on an incident in which Lennar Corporation, already grading at the Hunter’s Point facility, failed to monitor the disbursal of asbestos into the surrounding neighborhood.

Other instances of Lennar’s failure to obey environmental regulations, with possible health effects on the neighbors, were cited as examples of why the community doesn’t trust, and why the City government shouldn’t do business with, Lennar.

Here’s my favorite speaker:


All three supervisors, Maxwell, Sandoval, and Dufty, after public comment ended, expressed concern and outrage about the possible environmental threat, and chided Lennar.

They treated the critics as being concerned about discreet health issues, which they wholeheartedly agreed with. The Supervisors completely ignored the commenters’ assertion that Lennar should be dumped from the project, or at least should be investigated.

Basically, the residents were pleading for a developer that might be less rapacious. The supervisors did not even recognize this plea as having been made.

So the message is clear: Lennar is more powerful than the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, or the voters of SF. BVHP constituents are on their own to negotiate a fair price for their homes.

Good luck.

Lennar Corp has been in the news recently for failing to repair timely gross defects in a new “luxury condo” building in San Francisco. Here’s a recent Chronicle story lead:


When Michael Cullen used the stove at his new $1.5 million penthouse in San Francisco's trendy South Beach, the ventilation failed and his condo filled with smoke. When he filled his spacious new bathtub, it leaked, soaking subflooring beneath bathroom tile and damaging wood paneling.

The entire complex has defects, according to Cullen. The garage walls leak, the water pressure is weak and inconsistent, and the entire west wing of the building experiences temperature swings due to ventilation problems, he said.

The article goes on to explain the difficulty of getting Lennar Corp., the builder, to correct the problems

"It's really disheartening to pay this much for a brand-new home and to have all this stuff happening," said Cullen. "It's been three years of absolute hell fighting ... and I don't see any end in sight."

If a white guy who just paid $1.5 million for a condo finds Lennar unresponsive, imagine what will happen to the mostly black, mostly poor residents of Bay View/Hunters Point.

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1 comment:

sfmike said...

They are a very sleazy corporation out of Florida that act like the villains in a John D. MacDonald novel ("Travis Magee"). Of course, Nancy Pelosi has a nephew running interference for them all over the country, so yes, we're fucked.