“We don’t know what to do. Some people don’t know where to stay,” resident Andrew Lynch said.
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Lynch is one of them. He was evacuated from the building, along with hundreds of residents, after a water main broke on the top floor.
Hines, the property development and management company, has placed tenants in nearby hotels – but last night several residents like Lynch were asked to vacate the hotel.
“The hotel told us that Hines refused to pay for the week and that they only paid on a day-to-day basis,” Lynch said and added, “We had nowhere to stay. So we were at the middle, as you can imagine 8, 8:30 p.m. in the Tenderloin, just walking into hotels and trying to find somewhere.”
Tyler Patterson says he has a hotel room for the week, but many like him are growing frustrated with what they say is poor communication from the company. Hundreds of people keep each other informed through a social media app.
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“I think there are about 200 residents in the group,” Patterson said and added, “At the moment I know three people who don’t know where they’re staying tonight.”
We spoke to Paul Paridis, Senior Managing Director of Hines. He said the building remained uninhabitable and hotel rooms were in short supply.
“You are right. Due to the pressure on hotel rooms due to conventions in San Francisco, we are finding limited situations where hotel rooms are available for multiple days in a row. So we are taking this day by day” , said Paradis.
Paradis said they are working on deploying several company ambassadors who will work directly with tenants while the building is being repaired.
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“We have dozens of engineers and construction experts walking through the building right now. At this point, the electrical system is down. The elevators are down. The building is closed due to flooding,” Paradis said. .
Shanti Signh of Tenants Together said these tenants have the right to take legal action.
“For a landlord to not be able to house all tenants in hotels and not house them until they resolve the issue is unacceptable and also a potential violation of the law,” said Signh.
Hines’ senior general manager did not say when the building will be repaired and said that, at this time, tenants are not allowed to move in again.
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