Bay Area developer Haber touted, criticized at Oakland meeting

Friday, October 27, 2017

East Bay Times – By Ali Tadayon

OAKLAND — Bay Area developer Danny Haber gets both praise and criticism from the public about several of his Oakland projects.

Haber and his associates gutted and redeveloped a live/work warehouse at 1919 Market St. in West Oakland that was deemed unsafe by the city in 2016, purchased and is remodeling the Hotel Travelers single-room occupancy building at 392 11th St., and purchased a fire-damaged warehouse on 23rd Street in West Oakland.

The Oakland Planning Commission directed city staff to compile a status report on six of Haber’s current projects, as requested by Oakland Warehouse Coalition co-founder Jonah Strauss. The report was presented to the commission during its Oct. 18 meeting, and more than 50 speakers responded. Most supported Haber, but some tenants of his developments said they were treated unfairly.

“You heard 40, 50 people on how we’ve added affordable housing, adding sustainable housing, there are many positives here,” Haber said in an interview after the meeting.

Haber said he and his company oWow have given relocation options to previous tenants of their Oakland developments.

The other projects covered in the report include a warehouse at 671 24th St. converted to 24 live/work units, a warehouse at 2400 Filbert St. being converted to 52 live/work units and 66 residential units, and a three-story, 15-unit apartment building being constructed at 8024 Rudsdale St. that a previous developer left unfinished.

Peter Howe, who used to live at the Hotel Travelers, said he enjoyed his life at the SRO until Haber took over and informed tenants he was going to invest enough money into improving the building to avoid rent control. The tenants were offered buyouts, Howe said, and many took them. Howe said that since he refused to take the buyout, he was driven out.

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