Prior to Urban Green, Sergio Ianturno and other serial Ellis Act evictors, there was the North Beach team of WB Coyle and Gary Rossi. Dean Preston wrote the first major story on the two back in 2004 (“Wave of Ellis Evictions Hit North Beach”), and I wrote about their economic terrorism against longtime tenants back in 2005. The Tenderloin Housing Clinic’s attorneys represented tenants ultimately evicted by Coyle and Rossi at 426 Francisco and 744 Union, which were the Lee family evictions of their time. Today, Coyle is in involuntary bankruptcy, along with his Telegraph Hill Properties.

The Coyle and Rossi game was exposed by Dean Preston of Tenants Together in a January 2010 Beyond Chron article:

“Never mind that Coyle’s companies (including Telegraph Hill Properties) utilized an illegal business practice to evict tenants, or that Coyle’s evictions directly violated recorded deeds of trust in which he agreed not to evict without lender consent, or that Coyle repeatedly waived the right to evict under the Ellis Act by continuing to accept rent after supposedly “removing” units from rental use. Even where tenants had clear defenses, San Francisco judges went out of their way to deprive tenants the right to a jury trial.”

Then D3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin used every political means at his disposal battling Coyle and Rossi, resulting in a ban on condo conversions for Ellised-buildings. Coyle was ultimately sued by the many buyers of the rental housing now converted to TICs, showing again how the true dregs of the real estate industry are those involved in Ellis speculative evictions.

If you want to get the latest on Coyle’s bankruptcy status, his cases will be heard on January 16th 2014 at Federal Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco, 235 Pine Street at 2PM.