Couple 'owns' posh SF hood?

By Lia Zhu in San Francisco | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-08-22 11:00

Couple 'owns' posh SF hood?

Tina Lam and Michael Cheng bought a neighborhood in auction. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A Chinese-American couple said they will stand by the city of San Francisco and defend their ownership of a street in one of the city's richest neighborhoods, where the homeowners are seeking to have the purchase negated.

Michael Cheng and Tina Lam, both real estate investors based in San Jose, bought Presidio Terrace, a private oval street, for $90,100 in 2015, when the city put the property up for sale in an online auction as a result of the homeowners association's failure to pay property tax bills for three decades.

After learning of the sale of the street and sidewalks recently, the homeowners have sued the couple and the city. Last month, they petitioned the Board of Supervisors for a hearing to rescind the tax sale. A hearing is schedule for Sept 5.

"The only thing we are going to do is stand by the city because they did everything correctly and we did everything correctly, according to the law," Cheng told China Daily. "He will make a presentation at next month's hearing."

The couple was named in the lawsuit but they were not directly being sued. "It's them (homeowners) against the city," said Cheng, who was born in Taiwan and has lived in the Bay Area for 34 years.

Couple 'owns' posh SF hood?

Presidio Terrace, the tony piece of San Francisco that Michael Cheng and Tina Lam bought for $90,000. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The block-long gated street is lined by 35 multi-million-dollar mansions. Past homeowners have included US Senator Dianne Feinstein and her financier husband, Richard Blum, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the late Mayor Joseph Alioto.

Homes at the exclusive Presidio Terrace used to be sold to whites only until racial covenants were banned in 1948.

During the past two years, Lam and Cheng have been studying options to make the property sellable.


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