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In tech-dominated Mid-Market, arts center beats the odds | SF Politics

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"Three-quarters of the project space that TEDP had long set its sites on is located at 970 Market, and was initially owned by Lone Star, a Texas-based hedge fund. The remaining project space, at 950 Market, was under the ownership of the Thatcher family, known for philanthropy.

Initially, TEDP “had a deal with the hedge fund,” says TEDP director Elvin Padilla, but after property values rose, “they basically walked away from the negotiating table. The crisis moment was, who’s going to control the land – and will they collaborate with us?"

Padilla credits Gladys Thatcher, founder of the San Francisco Education Fund, as “the reason we decided to make the attempt [to acquire these spaces for the 950 Center] in the first place.” "

In the end, it was only through the efforts of wealthy and connected individuals that plans for the center were nailed down rather than extinguished. “Mid-Market is going through a very rapid transformation,” says Dr. Sandra R. Hernández, Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Foundation. “We’re just lucky that Group I, the developer, shares this vision with us for an arts center.”


"The mainstream press often allows private individuals to hide behind a business name, whether it be a partnership, trust or corporation that is used to hide the actual inividuals controlling the business activity. The SFBG should be digging deeper to find out who the actual individuals are behind the business organizations regardless of their supposed civic mindedness. The various individual ownership interests behind Group I would be a good start. Where the individuals got their wealth in the first place would be a good follow-up as well.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

Group I is owned by Joy Ou

While the article glorifies Group I (owned by Joy Ou) as helping to save the arts in San Francisco, it should be noted that Joy Ou/Group I evicted 150+ artists from earlier this year from 340 Bryant Street, one the last large industrial spaces for artists studios in San Francisco. Ou is building tech offices.

The article also neglects to mention that Group I/Joy Ou underpaid their workers "renovating fancy mid-Market offices" as reported by SFBG on 3-18-13:

Finally, the article neglected to mention that Joy Ou is the girlfriend of Elvin Padilla, the Executive Director of the Tenderloin Economic Development Project."

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