Elon Musk’s latest tussle with San Francisco’s authorities, a new life for two “Jersey Shore” landmarks and a realtor whose thirst for milk landed him in hot water. From the wild and woolly world of real estate, here are the hits and misses for this week.
Miss: Elon Signs at the X. Last Friday, Elon Musk erected a giant flashing sign shaped like an “X” on top of the San Francisco headquarters building of his social media company that was previously known as Twitter and is now called X. On the following Monday, city officials in San Francisco forced Musk to take down the sign – in part because he failed to get the proper municipal permit for its installation. This is a double Miss: to Musk for arrogantly thinking that city zoning rules apply to everyone but him and to the City of San Francisco for responding immediately to this installation while still failing to respond with an intelligent solution to the rising crime and deteriorating quality of life issues that have forced businesses and residents to leave the once-glorious city.
Hit: Life After Snooki. The sites of two now-defunct New Jersey clubs that achieved pop culture immortality for being among the recreational locations in MTV’s brilliantly egregious “Jersey Shore” are getting a new sober lease on life. According to coverage from Mix 94.1, the site of the club Karma (which shut down in 2018 following a liquor license revocation) is being positioned for a proposed mixed-use housing complex. And the club Bamboo (which went bankrupt, was sold at auction in 2020 and was later demolished) is now being marketed as a mixed-use development with 48 apartments. While the wild nightlife scene was amusing back when Snooki, The Situation and their loud pals were cavorting about for the MTV cameras, today’s Jersey Shore is marketing itself as a home for respectable, rent-paying grown-ups.
Hit: Addressing a Serious Problem. Praise is given to KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment for providing $46.4 million to construct a supportive 85-unit housing in Los Angeles, with 42 units set aside for individuals exiting homelessness and earning no more than 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The sponsor of the project is The Prime Company, a vertically integrated multifamily development firm which is building this property with Domus Development and Kingdom Development. KeyBanc Capital Markets Group sold $20.7 million of tax-exempt bonds through a public offering and the proceeds will be used to support financing of the project. While this doesn’t solve Los Angeles’ housing and homelessness problems, it is a start in the right direction and will make a positive difference for people who need a new lease on life.
Miss: A Dairy Debacle. A big “Ouch!” arises from the actions of Canadian realtor Michele (Mike) Rose, who was alone in a client’s home and helped himself to their refrigerator, drinking their milk directly from the carton. Rose didn’t tell the client what he did, but their surveillance camera caught him in the act. The British Columbia Financial Services Authority enacted a C$20,000 fine plus a C$2,500 fee for enforcement expenses against Rose. Even worse, Rose’s behavior was picked up by news services around North America, making him the least respected realtor on the continent.
Miss: Hurricane Hunter. A new scandal emerged this week related to the never-boring Hunter Biden, and this had a real estate angle. DailyMail.com reported the president’s son and his wife Melissa rented a $4.2 million luxury home in Venice Beach, California, in 2021 but departed after only six months. One anonymous source claimed the Bidens “left the house in terrible condition” and did not pay their last three months of rent, thus owing their landlord $80,000. The unnamed source added that Jonathan Neman, the property’s owner, “decided not to take Hunter to court for the arrears. It’s not that he needed the money and frankly it was embarrassing.” Well, Neman has one thing in his favor – at least he doesn’t have 51 former intelligence officers signing a letter claiming his unpaid rent invoice is Russian disinformation. (Too soon?)
Phil Hall is editor of Weekly Real Estate News. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Photo courtesy MTV