Author: veritasinv

Loma Prieta Quake Anniversary: Staying Safe in San Francisco with Veritas’ Soft-Story Retrofits

This week’s rumbles and the anniversary of the big 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake are timely reminders for earthquake preparedness, with these safety tips provided courtesy of our Red Cross partners. In an effort to enhance safety of its apartments from the prospect of earthquakes, Veritas is on its way to completing well over half the required soft-story retrofits set out by the City of San Francisco for all property owners.

50-Foot Butterflies, Migrating Mural to Adorn Veritas Building

In a city known for eclectic public art, work on one of San Francisco’s most ambitious pieces begins this week.

By the end of the year, Veritas’ 11-story apartment building at 455 Hyde Street will be adorned with pterodactyl-size murals of California’s famous — and fragile — monarch butterflies. The purpose is two-fold: to promote awareness and education of the declining monarch population and to make the elegant Hyde Street building look even more lovely.

The Migrating Mural project is the brainchild of Ink Dwell studio, founded by artist Jane Kim and Thayer Walker. Ink Dwell is known for its ambitious outdoor and oversized art projects that feature lifelike depictions of wildlife, but Hyde Street will be the largest of its kind and the first to wrap a building on three sides. The Monarch Migrating Mural, launched in 2017, now has butterfly-mural iterations in Florida, Utah and elsewhere.

Over the last 20 years US monarch populations have dropped more than 90 percent. The federal government is currently considering the monarch butterfly for endangered species status. Found throughout the country, monarch butterflies are famous for their multi-generational migrations from Canada to Mexico. Tracing the path of the monarch across North America, the Migrating Mural drives support for habitat conservation and restoration while beautifying public spaces with monumental art.

“Every schoolchild in California learns about the migration of the monarchs and the population decline,” said Yat-Pang Au, founder of Veritas, one of San Francisco’s premier apartment operators. “We thought this would be a magnificent way to underscore these stately butterflies and further enhance 455 Hyde Street as a world-class building.”

Said artist Jane Kim, “When I moved to San Francisco in 2003, I lived in the Tenderloin for four years, so it means the world to me to have the ability to brighten the neighborhood with Ink Dwell’s public art.”

Ink Dwell creates art that explores the wonders of the natural world. Merging classical techniques of science illustration with modern fine art, Ink Dwell creates public and private commissions, illustrations and exhibitions.

With work getting underway in coming days, passers-by will get to see the painters on lifts on the sides of the building and watch the progress of the murals. 

In addition, Ink Dwell is designing a monarch-themed archway for 455 Hyde’s exterior entryway.

Veritas is also exploring ways to complement the mural and extend the awareness of the monarch population decline, as well as protecting other pollinators in San Francisco. The company is pursuing initiatives with San Francisco Recreation & Parks as well as community and school groups to advance projects by the Xerces Society, whose core program focuses on habitat conservation and restoration, species conservation and protecting pollinators.

Veritas Announces New Hardship Waiver Program for San Francisco Renters

Veritas, San Francisco’s Premier Operator of Rent-Controlled Housing, works with Board of Supervisors to expand rent-relief program for most vulnerable residents citywide

SAN FRANCISCO — Veritas Investments today announced the launch of the Expedited Hardship Waiver Program, which immediately waives passthrough charges resulting from Operating & Maintenance expenses (O&M) as well as from Capital Improvements (Capex) and voter-approved bond initiatives for Veritas residents with a particular hardship or situation that makes such increases difficult or impossible to absorb. In addition to this new program, Veritas is also voluntarily waiving all accumulated O&M charges up until the Rent Board certification for petitions filed after December 11, 2017.

While San Francisco regulations allow owners who repair and improve their properties to seek increases to offset a minority portion of those costs, this new Veritas program waives that increase at Veritas properties citywide for those residents with a qualifying hardship.

The rollout of this new citywide program follows a smaller test with several Veritas properties within District 5 and District 3.

“As the largest operator in San Francisco, we understand our responsibility to our residents and communities. Veritas is committed to the well-being of our residents and especially to those who are most vulnerable in this tight housing market,” said Yat-Pang Au, CEO of Veritas Investments. “We recognize the potential impact these expenses might have on residents and we will continue to find ways to help residents who need additional support and preserve affordability in San Francisco.”

Residents who feel they cannot afford an O&M, CapEx, or bond related increase and may qualify for hardship exemption may first contact GreenTree to put a hold on any eligible charges. Next, the resident should file a hardship application with the Rent Board.

Even though passthrough expenses may cause rents to slightly increase, they do provide significant benefits for residents, ranging from urgent and required items like earthquake retrofits and life-safety repairs, to ongoing repairs such as water, electrical, infrastructure and general maintenance to revitalize and restore aging properties.

Residents for whom these increases pose an economic hardship should either reach out to GreenTree, Veritas’ property management operator, at 415.968.1806 or to place a hold on any related charges. The waivers will be immediately granted, subject to later verification.

Over 11 years of Giving Back in San Francisco

The new hardship waiver program is the latest in a series of commitments Veritas has made to its residents and community. Recently, Veritas’ employees volunteered over 500 employee hours and collected more than 3,500 gallons of trash while working to clean up the Mission District. Veritas has also joined Pledge 1%, a national social impact initiative, in which the company gives back 1% of its time and resources, integrating philanthropy into its corporate DNA. As part of its Pledge 1% investment, Veritas’ employees will volunteer over 3,000 hours in the coming year to support causes and non-profits in the San Francisco Bay area and beyond.

Are you a resident who may qualify for the Expedited Hardship Waiver program?
Click here for more details.

San Francisco-based Veritas Investments Strengthens Leadership Team, Appoints Jeff Jerden as Chief Operating Officer

Veritas Investments, one of the largest operators of multifamily, urban retail and mixed-use properties in the San Francisco Bay Area, has added to the firm’s leadership ranks with the appointment of Jeff Jerden to the position of Chief Operating Officer. This appointment reflects the ongoing growth of one of California’s premier real estate firms providing high-quality workforce housing to a broad cross-section of residents.

In his role, Jeff will oversee operations, marketing, property services and leasing for Veritas’ portfolio, including the firm’s growing divisions in Oakland and Los Angeles. Jeff will report directly to the CEO, Yat-Pang Au. Justin Sato, previously COO, assumes a new role as Chief Strategy and Portfolio Officer.

Most recently, Jeff came to Veritas from Atlanta-based Centennial Holding Company where he was an Executive Vice President responsible for over 9,000 apartment units. Jeff has robust experience in property management, asset management, and portfolio management from his time at Centennial as well as his previous roles in Williams Asset Management. He began his career as an analyst at KBS Realty Advisors. Jeff was educated at Brown University for his undergraduate degree in International Relations and Harvard University for his Master’s in Urban Planning and Real Estate. He is also a Marshall Memorial Fellow, a program of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a preeminent transatlantic think tank created after World War II to strengthen relations between the United States and Europe. This prestigious international fellowship provides a unique forum for incumbents to spend time with thought leaders from around the world and was bestowed after a highly competitive process resulting in 50 fellows being selected from across the US and Europe. Jeff also serves as a board member of a non-profit group, For All the Kids in All of US, benefiting underprivileged children in the Atlanta area.

CEO Yat-Pang Au said, “We conducted a thorough local and national search interviewing candidates with diverse experience and capabilities to support Veritas’ growth, and our ongoing focus on residents, partners and employees. Jeff’s ability to think strategically and foster cross-company collaboration, as well as his deep, insatiable curiosity and positive demeanor make him a great addition to the team.”

About Veritas Investments

San Francisco-based Veritas Investments, Inc., founded in 2007, is one of the largest operators of multi-family, urban retail and mixed-use properties in California. Veritas’ assets include more than 5,000 apartments and ground-floor commercial retail space. Vertically integrated, the firm provides property management, leasing, project management, redevelopment, accounting, asset management, financing, and investment management services. For further information:

Veritas’ Cleanup Drive in the Mission: 100 Staff, 3,500 Gallons of Trash, 1 Mattress

More than 100 Veritas Investments staff members swarmed San Francisco’s Mission District on August 22 for the company’s annual volunteer day, picking up dozens of bags of trash, not counting what they dumped in trash cans.

“We come together today as a company to work together for the common good of this beautiful neighborhood,” said Veritas founder and CEO Yat-Pang Au in a pep talk to start the day in sun-dappled Dolores Park. Au reminisced about when he bought his first building just blocks away, noting that the park was a family destination.

Au also announced the creation of Veritas Spark to formalize the company’s charitable efforts. “We chose the word ‘spark’ because it represents change. One small spark can ignite a wave of positive change,” he said.

Armed with trash pickers, orange bags and blue gloves to match their teal “Veritas Spark” T-shirts, the group broke into 10 teams to spiff up the area bounded by 15th and 24th streets and Dolores Street and Potrero Avenue.

The Veritas team was the largest of its kind to date, said Jeff Winkle, an organizer of The Clean Mission, which organizes such clean-ups around the City. Everything — except dangerous items — was fair game for the clean-up, and everything else was out there. One group found the leg for a mattress frame; another scored big: an entire mattress.

In the end, Winkle reported that 3,587 gallons of trash vanished from the streets of the Mission, thanks to Veritas Spark.

“It’s awesome,” said Diana Sonn, who lives on 15th, as she watched the Veritas staff at work. “You don’t want to live in filth.”

Giving back to the community has been a core value for Veritas, Au mused as he scooped up a pair of pants discarded in the middle of Dolores, about three blocks from where he acquired a building in 2007. The firm is now one of the largest apartment companies in the city.

“This means giving back to the unique and diverse neighborhoods where we live and work. It also means supporting the people who make the city so unique and diverse,” he said. This year alone, the company’s Spark campaign has:

  • Supported the American Red Cross’s Home Fire Safety campaign with our time and donation to the “Sound the Alarm, Save a Life” program.
  • Embraced LGBTQ diversity and history with the reinstatement of 324 Larkin Street as the Rainbow Flag Apartments.
  • Supported important cancer research of the City of Hope.
  • Purchased and packaged hygiene kits for at risk-youth at the Larkin Street Youth Foundation.
  • Made Clothing donations to Casa de las Madres and Larkin Street.
  • Dished up monthly lunches at St Vincent’s.

“This is what a caring-company does,” Au said. “And this company really cares.”