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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Market Watch: Real Estate Division Feeling Heat over Alemany

Posted By on Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 5:36 PM

With great produce comes great responsibility
  • With great produce comes great responsibility
We reported this week that the city's Real Estate Division, roughly 10 months after engineering a hostile takeover of the United Nations Plaza antiques market, had fallen a cool half-million short of its revenue projections from the new business. This was a vindication for Mary Millman, who built up the market over the past decade and had argued that the city shouldn't be in the antiques business. More and more, it's looking like there's reason to question whether Real Estate should be running any sort of market.

One of the argument's made by division director Amy Brown in the power play for UN Plaza was the success of the Alemany Farmers and Flea Market, which Real Estate had previously taken over. But in a column yesterday and follow-up brief today, San Francisco Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius reports that the Real Estate Division is facing a minor revolt at Alemany after it tried to boot out long-time vendors and institute a competitive bidding process for space.

Now it looks like Real Estate officials are being dragged before the Board of Supervisors' Land Use and Economic Development Committee on Monday at the behest of Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, a patron of the Alemany market.

"I'll be there," Millman said when we reached her this afternoon. (Millman was given the boot on the pretext of a rent dispute prior to Real Estate's takeover at UN Plaza.) If

Maxwell decides to turn up the heat on city officials with

regard to UN Plaza as well as Alemany on Monday, Real Estate just might find

itself facing one big market mutiny.

Photo by NatalieMaynor.

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Peter Jamison


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