Mission Tenants Win Chance to Stay in 'Pigeon Palace'

A band plays during a rally supporting tenants of the Mission's Pigeon Palace.  (Daniel Hirsch/Mission Local)

Residents of the so-called Pigeon Palace, who have been resisting its sale for fear of a massive rent increase or eviction and out of respect for what they say are the wishes of its owner, scored a huge victory today when the Community Land Trust won the $3.28 million auction for the property in probate court.

Judge Peter Busch, presiding over the proceeding on the multiunit, three-story building at 2840-2848 Folsom St. earlier this week, called the case “probably the most spirited I have seen.”

That’s because tenants and neighbors have been objecting to the sale of the property for more than a month. They say its owner, Frances Carati, never wanted the building to be sold and planned for it to go to her tenants. When approached by the tenants, Carati even signed an Intent to Sell form.

Unfortunately for the tenants, she did so within 30 days of failing a mental aptitude test, making the document legally worthless because she has been deemed incapable of understanding her legal and financial situation.

Busch dismissed all objections against the sale, saying the tenant and neighbor objecting had no standing in the case and that a 2006 care directive indicating her unwillingness to sell the building had already been superseded.

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