citisky.jpgDo you have a tale of CitiApartments life? If so, we want to hear it.

I have been living in a CitiApts building for a year, since August 2008. The first couple of months that I lived here, the elevator would go out occasionally but usually be fixed within a couple days.

Well, in February 2009 the elevator broke, and has been broken ever since. I live on the 6th floor, and there are many older people in my building, so you can imagine the disaster that it has been here. There has been numerous complaints, but they haven’t even tried to fix it.

A couple weeks ago I went into the disgusting basement, and there was garbage covering the floors because nobody had been paying the garbage company / taking out the garbage.

I called and complained and thankfully it was cleaned up within a week.. but the building has been covered in gnats, and the floors smell like rotting garbage really bad, and I have no idea where it’s coming from.

I have had cockroaches for months, and supposedly they have sprayed but I haven’t noticed a difference. But I can’t afford to move, and now it sounds like it wouldn’t even matter anyway, because I wouldn’t get a security deposit check back! Our building was just taken over by a new company this month, called Urban Pioneer Property Management. We will see how it goes….

Besides the obvious reaction of GROSS, two things in this reader-sent letter jumped out at us. First, just who are these “Urban Pioneers” — are they a result of a foreclosure action, or is this another example of The Many Names (and, possibly bank accounts) of CitiApartments?

On that point, we emailed Brian Devine, the lawyer responsible for the class action suit filed on behalf of former tenants who were being denied a timely return of their uncontested security deposits. He’s confirmed through the Secretary of State’s office that: Urban Pioneers was incorporated less than six months ago; that the address listed for Urban Pioneers is the same address used for many of the Lembi-controlled companies, and that the person Urban Pioneers designated to receive documents for it is CitiApartments’ lawyer.

Therefore, it does seem likely that this is, indeed, a case of the name changing but the folks behind it remaining the same, perhaps in an effort to funnel money from company to company in order to avoid payment of debts. As Devine investigates, we’ll keep you posted.

The second thing we were wondering about is how on earth, in San Francisco, the land of Rules, Laws, and Regulations, can there not be an imprecation against a six floor apartment building sans elevators? Doesn’t this seem ADA-iffy, if nothing else? On that point, we’ve called several City agencies and left messages — again, we’ll get you that answer when we have it.

See all our CitiApartments coverage here.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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