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Activists Storm Offices of Maximus, LLC,
On June 6, 2014, over two dozen activists stormed the offices of Maximus (https://antievictionmap.squarespace.com/maximus/) at 345 Vidal in ParkMerced, San Francisco. A video of the action can be found here: http://vimeo.com/97600545. At the same time, activists in New York arrived at the office of Robert Rosania in New York City, the man behind Maximus. They attached the same letter that we read at ParkMerced to his door (photo attached). The letter is below:
'Maximus LLC, the developer behind the proposed 16th & Mission Plaza Condo in San Francisco, is poised to profit upwards of $1,000,000 per unit for their 351-unit development, a staggering sum totaling over a third of a billion dollars. This massive, multi-story projet would totally transform the neighborhood around 16th & Mission, including depriving the nearby Marshall Elementary School of sunlight for most of the year. This development would attract and accommodate increasingly richer and whiter populace in the Mission, accelerating the wholesale displacement of those who don't stand to benefit from the on-going tech-industry-led “boom.” The ridiculously lowball figure of 12% inclusionary affordable housing units would not be enough to mitigate this, let alone make up for it. The project at 1979 Mission would leave an impact lasting for generations and no amount of short-term bribes and kickbacks, sometimes euphemistically termed “community benefit agreements”, comes close to making up for the aggregate total damage on the lives of the most precarious Mission residents.
As part of this development, Maximus LLC has been behind the so-called “Clean Up the Plaza” campaign which has worked with the San Francisco Police Department to increase policing, surveillance, and harassment of the many low-income and homeless people who have nowhere else to go and use the plaza at 16th & Mission as public space. To this end, Maximus has hired notorious San Francisco political operative Jack Davis as a political consultant.
The principal behind Maximus, Robert Rosania, was previously co-founder and CEO of Stellar Management, who extracted millions in profits taking over Parkmerced while letting the property go into default. Rosania, who likes to spend his wealth collecting rare champagne, has made much of his money by leveraging formerly working-class properties and transforming low-income neighborhoods. Stellar Management was also behind the takeover and default of the massive Riverton Homes complex in Harlem, New York. Deals such as these were a major component of the housing market collapse. Now Rosania and former Stellar executives Seth Mallen are at it again with Maximus.
While we are not directly affiliated with the Plaza 16 Coalition, we stand in solidarity with their following demands:
* That the planning commission and the City of San Francisco reject all market rate housing developments in the Mission until housing needs for the poor and working class are fully met. Additionally, we demand that the San Francisco Planning Department abide by the community planning and land-use process outlined in the Plan Popular, specifically the guidelines outlining community planning for “people not profit,” for any future developments.
* That the owning partners of 1979 Mission (Maximus Real Estate Partners and the Jang Family Trust) transfer the land to community hands.
* That there be a stop to the harassment and criminalizing of low-income people and people of color that use the Plaza as public space by the SFPD under the guise of “cleaning up the plaza.”
We chose to target the local offices of Maximus because we want them to receive a taste of what it feels like for someone to invade your space. The investors and developers behind 1979 Mission, as well as similar gentrifying projects in San Francisco, should feel targeted. We encourage other residents to target the operations
responsible for transforming San Francisco into a playground for the rich.' At the same time, our allies in New York are targeting Robert Rosania's New York office at 156 WILLIAM STREET, 10TH FLOOR, NEW YORK NY 10038.
The development of 16th Street, Park Merced, and Harlem are all rooted in the same conglomerate of money. Together, we will fight back and not allow further displacement of longtime residents.