UPDATE: Through cooperation between the San Francisco Small Sites Program, the Community Land Trust and Mission Economic Development Association, 5 of the 6 buildings undergoing Ellis evictions by the Iantorno family have been transferred, and the tenants are staying safely in their homes. This was the result of 3 years ofresistance and direct action community support.
Sergio Castellucci Iantorno is the owner of Peninsula Realty, LLC, Realty West, LLC, and Golden Properties, LLC, and San Francisco Developers, LLC, is President of 421 Arguello Boulevard Homeowners' Association, and is affiliated with Vanguard Real Estate and DBA Realty West. He is notorious for his real estate speculation, numerous TIC conversions via OMI evictions, Ellis evictions, and capital improvement evictions.
Iantorno, who gained infamous landlord status by 2000, is currently evicting the well-known and loved artist Rene Yañezfrom his home of 35 years in the Mission at 380 San Jose St. Yañez 's former wife, artist Yolanda Lopez, and his son, the artist Rio Yañez, are also being evicted. Yanez's former wife, artist Yolanda Lopez, and his son, the artist Rio Yañez, are also being evicted. His partner Cynthia is as well. Yañez is the founder and curator the Mission Cultural Center and Galería de la Raza, amongst other Latino arts organizations and projects. His friend and artistic colleague Guillermo Gómez-Peña articulated, “It’s an outrage, it’s tragic, and sadly, it’s all too common in this merciless city that seems to care nothing for those who’ve helped make it what it once wanted to be.” Iantorno offered Yañez and Lopez around $13,000 and $11,000, respectively, as a means of relocation fees, not enough to enable them to remain in the Mission or San Francisco for that matter. Rio Yanez explains: “Rent control is what afforded my parents with the opportunity to live in this city and make art. Being an artist means they have no savings, no retirement, no health care. They live check to check. For their dedication to art, that’s where they are. With elderly people like them, with limited income, this essentially makes them homeless. . . Cynthia could be in the process of dying or dead while they are in the process of moving,” he [Rio] said. “They were kind of at peace and mentally prepared that this would be their home when they passed away, being in the community where they’ve put so much into. That’s the toughest thing for me: trying to find new spots for them to pass away in.”
One of Iantorno's tactics is to evict people temporarily while repair work is being done on a building. To get people to move out for a short time, he tells tenants they have the right to return. Once the tenants are out of the building, he tells them that hes going to evict them if they do come back, and pays them small settlements to convince them not to return. He then turns the building into TICs.
Iantorno has a reputation of harassing and intimidating his tenants. He reportedly once pulled up outside of one of his buildings and sat in a limousine glaring up at tenants all day long.
Ellis Act Petitions served on 12/30/2013:
630-636A Guerrero St. (6 units) by Peninsula Realty, LLC. 19 people will be evicted. A couple of seniors live there, as well as many family members. Someone has lived there since 1978.
1353-57 Folsom St. (3 units) by Golden Properties, LLC. 17 people will be evicted. Someone has lived there since 1979. A 72-year-old also lives there. There are also two large families that have lived there since childhood. Home of Ricardo Samaniego.
642-646 Guerrero St. (4 units) by Golden Properties, LLC, where 5 people will be evicted. One has resided there since 1966, for 47 years.
In July 2013 he Ellised:
380 San Jose (4 units) - Home of artists Rene Yañez, Yolanda Lopez, and Rio Yañez. Ellised by Golden Properties, LLC. Petition L131068.
70-72 Belcher St (2 units) - Ellised by Golden Properties, LLC. Petition L13T075.
Iantorno also bought out a tenant in 2008:
2027-B Oak St. – Tenant had been living there since 1975.
In December 2013, Ricardo Samaniego and his family were served with an Ellis Act eviction notice by Iantorno at their home at 1353 Folsom. It was the fourth Ellis eviction notice they have received in their 22-year residential tenure. The building was constructed in 1912. Ricardo attended high school in San Francisco and lives with five family members, including his 72-year old mother. Two floors downstairs is the Dulalas family, who have lived there since 1979. Teresa Dulalas’ parents have passed away and she and other family members remain in the childhood home.
The property received its first Ellis Act notification in 2001. Each Ellis Act over the next thirteen years followed the same pattern: a new owner would buy the building and shortly after “go out of business.” The purchase price appeared to be a bargain because of low expectations of rent from long-term tenants. After lengthy court battles, when the owners lost, they had no interest in being landlords so sold the building. The owners were different but the lawyers, Zacks & Freedman, P.C., remained the same.
One tenant currently being evicted recently described their situation on our survey:
"I received a letter in early December '12 from the landlords saying I had two options: I could either be bought out of my rent controlled flat or be forced out through Ellis Act proceedings that would begin in January 2013. Their stated intention was to renovate the 2 flats in the building then sell them as condos. At first I thought I might be forced into taking the buyout. But after going to the SF Tenants Union, it turned out that many tenants in other Iantorno owned buildings had received the same letter around the same time. I felt empowered after meeting with other tenants a few times (SFTU facilitated meetings and was great!!) In the end, I decided that taking the buyout offer would would be a big mistake: it wouldn't be enough to cover the sure to be highly inflated rent I'd have to pay for another SF apartment (IF I could even find one) and in addition, I simply didn't want to be bullied out of my apartment by landlords who has shown at every turn that they care about absolutely nothing except the almighty dollar. As of July 2013 I am still in my flat. They have yet to follow through on their Ellis Act threat. It may be that the landlords sent the letter to many tenants seeing who would bite and didn't necessarily intend to evict right away. It's hard to know. Nonetheless, I go to my mail slot every day wondering if there will be some kind of eviction letter waiting forme. It's had to have that hanging over my head, but at least I'm still in my flat for now."
Peninsula Realty, LLC is an active LLC. Its jurisdiction is in Delaware. Michael G. Schinner is the registered agent.
San Francisco Developers, LLC is also active, and also with a Delaware jurisdiction.
421 Arguello Boulevard Homeowners' Association, also active, lists Margaret Berlese as the registered agent.
Michael G. Schinner
96 Jessie Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
414 Gough St. Ste 5
San Francisco, 94102
Zacks & Freedman, P.C.
235 Montgomery St., Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94104
Iantorno was President of the now inactive: 3690 17th St. Corp., 19 Rausch Street Homeowners' Association, 3299 Mission Street Corporation, 734 Fourteenth Street Corporation, and 2261 Bush Street Corporation.
Iantorno was member of the now inactive Dolores Terrace, LLC, Peoria Street, LLC, 2734 Bush Street, LLC, Pine Street, LLC, 766 7th Avenue, LLC, 3440 16th Street, LLC, Mission Dolores, LLC, and 7th Avenue, LLC.
His son Paolo owns shoe store here:
PAOLO, RETAIL SHOE STORE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 941024214