EXCLUSIVE: SF luxury apartment executive calls contractor theft in vacant unit 'unfortunate'

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ByLuz Pena via KGO logo
Thursday, August 18, 2022
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In an exclusive interview with ABC7 News, 33 Tehama San Francisco luxury apartment executive calls contractor theft an unfortunate incident.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 News has been reporting for months on San Francisco's luxury apartment building 33 Tehama. Over two months ago, 600 residents were displaced due to flooding.

Since then, we've brought you exclusive video of theft inside a unit and questionable incidents that are making residents who still have their belongings inside the building feel unsafe.

Hines Senior Managing Director Paul Paradis agreed to speak to ABC7 News to address these incidents.

EXCLUSIVE: Video shows contractor stealing from vacant SF luxury apartment

"All of the people that come into the building to do the work are insured, bonded and professionals so that is really the best course to have legitimate vetted contractors coming into the building," said Paradis.

Luz Pena: "The one that was fired was also vetted and he was stealing."

Paul Paradis: "Exactly and unfortunately that is a person that slipped through the system and it's unfortunate. As I said we have terminated that person."

Hines said they keep records of every person who goes inside each unit. In a statement Tuesday they said they had "temporarily removed all contractor access to resident units while we work on a solution to increase security measures."

We asked again Wednesday:

Luz Pena: "Are contractors still allowed inside apartments?"

Paul Paradis: "Yes, we need to have people access the units from time to time to deal with the damage from the flooding and to make repairs."

RELATED: Residents at SF luxury apartment displaced after pipe bursts, flooding all 35 floors

Paradis said they have increased security and video surveillance.

Luz Pena: "When you are talking about video surveillance, are you saying just video surveillance on the hallways?"

Paul Paradis: "I can't give you all the specifics of the video we are putting in place, but I can get back to you on that."

Right across from 33 Tehama is a lot with storage pods. Hines said this is where they will store belongings from any resident who wants to move out.

Luz Pena: "There have been so many questions regarding safety inside 33 Tehama and now we are talking about many residents having their belonging outside of the building inside these pods."

Paul Paradis: "Sure, and we will have great security here. So no one will be coming into this area that isn't supposed to be here."

Hines also confirmed, "33 Tehama is paying for the movers to pack and place items in the pods for resident pick up."

RELATED: Residents at flooded San Francisco luxury building may not be able to return home until 2023

For the past two months since flooding displaced residents, Hines has been paying for their housing. However, on Wednesday that support ended.

Within the group of residents impacted are 137 from "below market rate" units. Hines said they will keep helping those residents until the end of the month. We spoke to one of them who didn't want to be identified by name and said the hotel told her the hotel room was not extended. She said a Hines representative told her not to worry.

"What do we do? We had to check out and she said don't check out but don't come down. You are stressing people out. You are stressing me out. Fussing at me for checking on the extension of the hotel. They only got it extended until tomorrow and it's supposed to be extended until the 31st. So we are supposed to sit here and just let them do whatever they want," said the resident.

We questioned Hines' senior managing director about the break in communication some residents are reporting.

RELATED: Residents report 2nd water leak, presumed theft at luxury SF apartments

Luz Pena: "Hines has had a month to prepare for this deadline. So what would you say to those BMR residents who are waiting for temporary housing?"

Paul Paradis: "We are providing options in the residents are looking at the options that we are providing. We are working very closely with the city so there is a process in place."

ABC7 News contacted San Francisco's housing department regarding the 137 below market rate residents who've been displaced. The city said they implemented an emergency authorization plan to utilize existing vacant below market rate units in buildings across the City.

The city also confirmed Hines is negotiating with five buildings across San Francisco to secure housing for these residents.

Regarding safety when contractors go back inside apartments, Hines followed up after the interview and said "We removed access yesterday, deployed the new plan to video all entry into homes and have security accompany access. We have units with water intrusion that require immediate attention. We've deployed enhanced security measures that include security escort and video when entering these homes. We will continue this practice during remediation work in occupied homes."

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