S.F. Landlord Legend Angelo Sangiacomo Dies at 91
Angelo Sangiacomo, a San Francisco native who devoted his career to buying and building local real estate, died this week. He was 91.
Those who knew Angelo remember not only his love and dedication to the City of San Francisco (he refused to deal with properties outside of the city), but also to his family and his business, which were sometimes one and the same. Angelo built Trinity Properties and Trinity Management Services, where all seven of his children now hold roles.
Trinity Properties CFO Walter Schmidt worked with Angelo for 24 years. He remembers him as a "beloved leader and a visionary."
Angelo's family wrote a tribute to him remembering how he, as a first-generation American born to Italian immigrants in San Francisco's Richmond District, worked his way through college at USF and joined the US Navy during World War II. When he returned home, Angelo began a career in real estate, starting with a small brokerage firm. His first apartment purchase was a four-unit building, which he and his sister renovated. He founded what would become Trinity Properties in 1949.
His family noted he refused to buy property unless he could walk to it or sell any property that he ever built or acquired. His family referred to him as "one of the most hands-on, innovative, creative and visionary property developers" in the city. Trinity Properties owns and manages 43 apartment buildings in San Francisco.
A signature project underway in San Francisco is Trinity Place (rendering above), a four-building, Mid-Market high-rise development with 1,900 apartments. Angelo had purchased the former Del Webb Townhouse motel at 8th and Market streets 30 years prior with the intention of tearing it down and building a new complex. At a time in his life when many others would have retired, his interest in seeing the project move forward led to him self-financing the $175M project during the very height of the recession.
While he had been criticized for rent increases in the 1970s that many saw as the trigger for the city's rent control regulations, Trinity Properties reached an agreement with the City of San Francisco to make 360 units in the development rent-controlled and 261 below-market rate to get the project approved in 2007.
The first two phases of Trinity Place are complete and the third phase is expected to open in early 2017. The family refers to the project as "a transformative neighborhood center whose football-field-sized, art-filled piazza will dazzle and serve as Angelo's lasting gift to his beloved San Francisco."
Known for a great sense of humor, operating on gut instinct, hard work and determination, Angelo is remembered by those who knew him best for his dedication to his family, friends and employees.
Angelo is survived by his wife of 59 years, Yvonne Giuntoli, seven children and 13 grandchildren. The family asks that anyone wishing to contribute in his memory make donations to Little Sisters of the Poor or Meals on Wheels.