Precita Eyes, a 38-year-old mural arts nonprofit in San Francisco, hosted a combination free toddler art class and rally against the speculative real estate market Tuesday afternoon.
As toddlers covered in tempera paint plastered their hand prints all over sheets of paper, community members surrounded the building holding their own pieces of paper, printed with the message, “Please do not BUY this building!! This is a community space!”
The organization staged the protest after landlords posted a brand-new “FOR SALE” sign on the studio center’s exterior the week before. Though Precita Eyes owns its arts and visitors center at 2981 24th St, they have rented the 348 Precita Ave space since 1977.
While impending doom lingers in the air, the building's residents are not without hope. The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), with advice from the San Francisco Community Land Trust (SFCLT), plans to make a bid on the property, which, if successful, will safeguard Precita Eyes and the residential tenants against eviction by forming a cooperative.
“MEDA is in touch with property owners and they’ve said verbally that they will consider our bid,” said Jean Yaste, an SFCLT board member present at Tuesday's rally. The property, located at the corner of Precita and Treat Aves, is listed at $995,000 and comprises three residential units in addition to Precita Eyes’ storefront space.