tv [untitled] September 13, 2010 10:00pm-10:30pm PST
these three historic buildings. last year, the golden gate theater required, and we did $500,000 worth of maintenance and improvements on that building alone. but also we use the money for production support and to bring bigger and better production to the city of san francisco which is our essential mission. we do propose a handful of exceptions to the proposed legislation that would allow for the net proceedings to be applied to one, pay down the loan if the lender requires such payment in the loan agreement, two, for the maintenance and renovation of different historic buildings that are owned or leased by the same owner, and finally, that the funds be used to assist businesses that are located within the historic building. for example, it could be used to support our production and theater business. again, thank you for listening. supervisor maxwell: i'm going to ask planning to have
comments on this. thank you. >> my name is george williams and i'm speaking on behalf of spur. i was assistant director of planning in the 1980's and was very involved in the creation of the downtown plan and the creation of the t.d.r. scheme. a little bit of background. the t.d.r. scheme was developed as a mechanism for preserving a lot of the nice old buildings in the downtown. the way we did that, we wanted to preclude the office district moving into chinatown and in the tenderloin which it was doing and move it south of market. so we came up with this scheme where we could identify buildings that we wanted to preserve which had greater development potential than the actual building on the lot and set unused development potential could be transferred to another lot.
we restricted it to transfer into the area around the transbay terminal because we wanted to move development south. it worked splendidly and it's time for a comprehensive revision of the whole t.d.r. scheme. my remarks should not be interpreted as in any way in opposition to old st. mary's. they're very worthy of the scheme that has been developed, but this legislation goes far beyond what is needed to take care of old st. mary's. the concern is the t.d.r. scheme worked because we were telling owners of buildings that they couldn't use the development potential of their site, they had to keep the building that was there, but as "compensation," they could sell their unused development potential. we're very concerned that requiring those proceeds to be used for maintenance undercuts
the rationale for the t.d.r. scheme and i think will inhibit the continued workability of the t.d.r. scheme. that provision is not needed to take care of st. mary's, though the preservation mandate applies to those 450 buildings that were protected by the downtown plan. obviously, that goes far beyond what is needed to take care of old st. mary's. so i would urge you to adopt the legislation, but strike the provision requiring that any net pro seeds from the sale of t.d.r. from tfer lots, again, transfer lots of some 450, that that provision be strin. thank you. -- stricken. thank you. >> good afternoon, my name is charles coleman. up until two months ago, i was pastor of old st. mary's cathedral and got transferred
from my religious community in austin, texas. i'm glad to be with you this afternoon. i worked on this project for the last eight years prior to that in terms of getting old st. mary's seismically retrofitted and off the u.m.b. list. i'm here to assure you that regardless of what the legislation states or will state, all these proceeds that come to old st. mary's will basically go into historical preservation and renovation of the building. we have completed the second phase which completed all of the technical seismic work, the exact seismic work. we still owe a debt of $518,468 on that phase, which is completed. that would be the first part that we would use the proceeds for to get ourselves out of debt from doing this. there is another $700,000 to $750,000 worth of work which is needed for required code work.
this is primarily a.d.a. and other life safety systems, putting in an elevator and so forth and then there is the general maintenance plan even beyond that, which the attorney clint cowan had referred to. i don't think we'll have any problem using the proceeds entirely in terms of preserving and maintaining the building. it's important to do this because of its historic importance, because it's such a tourist attraction. we have a lot of tourists there and because of the way it serves the community, one of the largest sites for 12-step programs in san francisco with all of the businesses and offices around there. unfortunately, there was a great need for that. our feeding programs, noontime concerts, all the kind of programs that happen there, the self-help for the elderly and so i hope that you definitely will help us out in making this happen. thank you.
>> stella and then father mccarthy. and then john niehen. >> my name is stella. i'm a volunteer and assistant for seniors. it's a program that provides emergency groceries for low-income seniors in the city. and we provide these emergency bags once a week to close to 1,000 households, low-income households in the city. the church basement is a very critical part of our program. we use that to assemble our grocery bags. every day monday through thursday, 9:00 to 2:00 in the afternoon we do that. so without that space, we will not be able to continue our program. thank you. supervisor maxwell: thank you. john and then father mccarthy and then jim foster.
>> my name is john. i'm executive director of groceries for seniors and also one of the founders of groceries for seniors which was started in 1999 at sacred heart church in the western addition. after five years of being at sacred heart church, they were not able to come up with the renovation money to -- because they had also been affected by the 1989 earthquake. the city gave them three five-year extensions, and still the congregation, which was a very small congregation could not come up with the money. and at that point, one of the co-founders of the program, father and brother jack from u.s.f. was a brother in the jesuit ministry. he was the co-founder of the program. he is since deceased. so i wrote to all of the catholic churches in san
francisco asking them if we could find a home with them and father charles was the only one that responded and came and had lunch with us at sacred heart and now for the past five years, we have been at old st. mary's and we're providing on a weekly basis over 900 households of very poor seniors with free groceries. those households contain about 1,200 people. so we have become the largest pantry program in san francisco, and the only per se senior pantry in the city. so i ask you to please pass the legislation so that they can come up with the money to complete the retrofit so that we can continue serving the poor, hungry seniors here in san francisco. thank you. supervisor maxwell: next speaker, please. all right, jim foster, please come forward.
and then brett gladstone and then jim reuben and then james riddle. >> my name is jim foster. i have been a parishioner at old st. mary's for over 30 years, i started going there in 1977 because my presbyterian friend said i had to go to church on sunday because i was catholic. i walked out of the apartment we were sharing and discovered that if i went uphill i would go to the cathedral. if i went downhill, i would go to old st. mary's. i went downhill. i found out that old st. mary's was unlike any other church that i had been involved with. and i'm a cradle catholic. i found out, for example, that a group, if you will, came to the door to that church every
night. we called them or some of the helpers called them the nights the road, which they actually were. they were homeless men who had no place to go. we gave them tickets which we redeemed with cash at the end of each month. i found out that it was also home to something called the old st. mary's housing committee, which caused a lot of things to get turned around here at city hall in the area of rent control and the area of fiction legislation. i found out also that it was home to beautiful music, that every tuesday now, we have concerts and much like the program for senior food, it was a case of nobody else wanting to work with this group in
perpetuity. and we are and we will. my conclusion from all this and more is that old st. mary's is not merely a church. old st. mary's really is a presence in san francisco community, and it's not a passive presence either, but one that is always ready to act, to respond, to participate in the life of a great city. i think it should and must have have a future. thanks very much. >> next speaker, please. i called father mccarthy, is that you? i have called your name three times. so i wasn't sure. so why don't you come on up. >> i stepped out for one minute. supervisor maxwell: ok. >> my name is father daniel
mccotter. i'm the new faster of old st. mary's cathedral. it's good to be here. thank you, supervisor, for allowinging me to say a word or two. in addition to being pastor, i'm director of st. mary's chinese school of family and pastor of holy chinese mission. i have been for all of these years very familiar with the u.m.b. ordinance back when it was enacted. a group of us got together to talk about how we were going to be able to comply with the ordinance that the city had imposed on reinforced masonry buildings. my concern is that as a nonprofit, we exist to serve the community as pointed out old st. mary's program with the grocery blowing, with music program. we have many a.a. meetings that go on every day monday through
friday. the work that i have been doing in the china community, old st. mary's is responsible for raising $10 million to comply with the codes of the city and is a nonprofit. we are not allowed to get public funding for it. and st. mary's chinese school and center, when we finish our project on the old hotel site, we would have invested $28 million. and that money comes from us going out and finding ways to raise the money in order to continue our services to the community. what is unique about old st. mary as and st. mary's chinese center, we serve the community regardless of their religion. even in our school. most of them are noncatholic. we are there to serve the community. i am hoping that this legislation moves forward so that old st. mary's and as
pastor can see that everything is completed and that we continue to do our ministry. nonprofits have a difficult time complying many times with city ordinances, but we do the best we can and moving this legislation along would be so helpful to us to continue serving the community since we have been there since 1854. thank you. supervisor maxwell: thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is bret gladstone and i represent the theaters and i want to follow up on some of the comments that my client, greg holland, gave you a little bit earlier. this is a great piece of legislation for st. mary's, and we hope that part of it can go through. it's also a great requested to be more flexible in the areas to which landmark buildings can donate their t.d.r.s.
however, i, too, have some concerns. as my client stated, we're concerned about the loan obligations we have to pay down the loans with proceeds from the sales of t.d.r.'s. we have a concern about the other issues. i would like to suggest that perhaps to allow st. mary's to go forward quickly that we bifurcate this legislation into the portions that st. mary's needs to go forward. and the portions dealing with use of proceeds that we can discuss a little bit further. in particular, i have some ideas on how some compromised language could be reached and discussed with the city attorney. regarding the use of the loan proceeds, many of these buildings are under contractual obligations to maintain them. first, under their loan documents. secondly, many of the buildings
have tax credits and tax arrangements with the federal government, state and local, which obligate them to maintain them very carefully. it is a very good idea, perhaps, to allow or force money to be spent to cure notices of violation. after all, the loan documents i'm sure provide for curing notices of violation. certainly the lenders demand that and that could be something that is kept in a new language in the legislation. thank you very much. if you have any questions, let me know, i would be happy to work with your staff on some new language. supervisor maxwell: thank you. >> good afternoon, chair maxwell, supervisors mar and
chiu. i thought i was going to be alone in this portion of the presentation. like george williams, greg holland and brett gladstone, i'm completely supportive of the portions but everything except in the use of the proceeds. i'm here solely on behalf of beacon capital partners, but i do agree with the others that have addressed that issue. beacon capital is the owner of the rincon center. our position is that draft ordinance should not transfer to the t.d.r.s to the in an area. it would be redundant and excessive. unlike the city generally, t.d.r. from redevelopment project areas only becomes eligible when the redevelopment commission has expressly determined by resolution that the eligibility of those t.d.r.'s will remote the goals of the redevelopment plan and enable the preservation or the maintenance of the building from which they come.
in the case of the rain come center, the redevelopment agency commission unanimously determined that the project area plan and owner participation agreement had already insured the preservation and maintenance of the rincon center. at the same hearing, the commission required that $171, 308 square feet of the t.d.r. created which was 35% of the total be transferred immediately to the redevelopment agency. the resolution which i have given you a copy of expressly states in its text that they estimate the value of that transfer at $5 million to $6 million. in early 2009, those 171,308 square feet of t.d.r. were transferred to the city along with the western addition muni substation. at today's value, which is depressed, at say $20 a foot, that would be $3 million to $4 million of public benefits coming directly from beacon and the rincon center.
it continues to be owned by beacon, the residential piece was sold years ago, a few years ago. the o.p.a., owner participation agreement, continues to contractly required that all of the preservation, maintenance be continued to be performed by beacon or any subsequent owner. the center is in pristine condition. because the center is in the unique position of being in a redevelopment project area, the creation of the existing t.d.r. required the same findings that are proposed in this ordinance. the redevelopment commission additionally required that the center provide what turns out to be millions of dollar worth of value to the public benefit. the provisions in the new ordinance, the sections that the others have spoken to, should not apply to the rincon center. i kind of agree with the suggestion that maybe we sever that portion and spend a little more time with it. there are many other problems that i won't be able to recount
in three minutes. thank you. supervisor maxwell: next speaker, please. >> and thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak on behalf of old st. mary's cathedral. i'm here to urge you to pass the legislation before you because old st. mary's serves a broader community than just the catholic church. i am executive director of noontime concerts and noontime concerts began at old st. mary's in 1988. we offer classical chamber music concerts to the entire bay area for free. the music is performed by members of san francisco symphony, opera, orchestra. we have developed a reputation and a cultural destination in
the 22 years that we have been affiliated with old st. mary's. the grants for the arts, san francisco grants for the arts recognizes our contribution to the economic, cultural economic development of the area and city of san francisco in general. it is essential that you pass this legislation for old st. mary's to continue to represent the entire community in this wonderful way. so thank you very much and thanks again. supervisor maxwell: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon. my name is andrew, i'm with architectural resources group. i'm the project member for the renovation effort. i would add my voice supporting all of the efforts to help old st. mary's. we have been involved with them since i believe 1992 in this
process working through the construction to renovate the building. i'm certain i can answer any questions about the specifics going on if there are any questions for that. beyond that, i just wanted to sort of add my voice as a historic preservation architecture firm. we see lots of historic properties that always have trouble coming up with the money to renovate their buildings and keep them under compliance with current codes, deal with the seismic, deal with the a.d.a. issues. it's always a problem when you have a historic building that the building needs to have an economic reason for being. it needs to be an economically viable proposition to keep going. that's what maintains a building over its lifetime. so the t.d.r. process here certainly is a great tool to help these properties maintain that economic viability. if that viability goes away, it doesn't matter how culturally
wonderful a building is, it will always be at risk of demolition or bad remodeling or being torn down in some other way. anything that can be done to keep these historic properties economically sustainable is always for the good. thank you. supervisor maxwell: thank you very much. gloria tan. if there is anybody else, please come forward. those are all the cards that i have, so if anybody else would like to speak on this item, please come forward. >> good afternoon. my name is gloria, i'm the executive director and i'm here to support old st. mary's. we have partnered with old st. mary's to do many community events for our family and due to our limited space that we have in our building, we're not able to do that in chinatown, so in order to have -- to host
many of our big family events, we need to partner with them very often because they are able. many of our families will not be able to come to our events due to not having enough space to host the activity. now, i work for a nonprofit and we're having to retrofit our building too,. i know how difficult it is to raise money. so i urge you to support sold st. mary's especially in helping them preserve the community space that we partnered with the chinatown neighborhood. thank you. supervisor maxwell: you're welcome. any further public comments? seeing none, then public comment is closed. supervisor chiu, may i ask some questions from the planning department? president chiu: i was going to ask that as well. supervisor maxwell: you have heard from a number of
speakers, in particular, i believe greg holland, jim reuben, and mr. brett gladstone regarding their concerns. could you speak to those concerns and if the planning department or the planning commission has had any input on those? >> thank you, chair maxwell. yes, i do want to point out that the provision that everyone is referring to on page 15 first starts by saying any net proceeds from the sale of t.d.r. sold after july 1, 2010 shall be first used to pay for or finance the preservation, rehabilitation, and maintenance of the building as well as to correct any overviews on the property. this is not a requirement that all of the money has to be put back into the building. that was never the intent. the planning commission understood that. the historic preservation understood that. i think there is an inherent, one of the few last speakers i think put it accurately in that these historic buildings, there may be private contracts out
there between the lender and the developer or something, but that, the planning department has no control over that there are numerous properties that are landmarks that are worthy of being landmarks that are in severely deteriorated condition. no matter what we do to them, no matter what the city does to them in terms of n.o.v.s, i can think of a few church examples, that the city cannot make that building or make that property owner maintain or upkeep the building. it is really important that as a policy matter athat the buildings, the individual landmarks and the significant buildings have at least some sort of teeth that the planning department can use down the road to say, hey, you need to put money back into this building. supervisor maxwell: and so the planning department and the commission has, their intent was not to prohibit anybody from using that money toward paying off their loan. it was simply to say that one
of the things that they must do, and i would consider that is probably what they would have to do for a loan as well, was to maintain their property? >> you're correct, supervisor. supervisor maxwell: so you all, i'm sure you heard their concerns and felt that they were appropriately dealt with in this? >> we did. it was considered at both of the commissions. the historic and planning commission heard it. we have vetted this out, we feel. we investigated several other methods to try and take care of this problem, setting up an escrow account. the department didn't feel the need to go into that type of detail. it didn't belong in the planning code. we wanted some assurances that money would be used to maintain the buildings, that there would be money. supervisor maxwell: they could easily prove that they are maintaining the building and use the money for something else. >> yes. supervisor maxwell: before you leave, supervisor chiu may have some questions. president chiu: you may have got into it. i have heard what the various
counsel for various projects are saying. i do think that the language does take into account the possibility that obviously net proceeds can be used for my other purposes, but they should be first used for the purposes enumerated in the legislation, particularly around seismic strengthening, disability access, etc. we don't want owners to get some sort of lottery like windfall from being able to sell t.d.r.s, that they should make at least some initial investment for necessary work that happens and then after that, it's up to the owner to decide how to use those funds. supervisor maxwell: yeah, that is my concern that we are giving them a value. and for that value, we are simply asking that the property be maintained. and i think that that's only right since it is public money and the public is doing that. so thank you very much. all right, colleagues and supervisor chiu. president chiu: as a said at the beginning, i want to make