Just to remind Cal students who live the the Gaia Building, Berkeleyan, and other apartment buildings owned by Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell’s Equity Residential, their landlord was the man who bankrupted the Los Angeles Times.
That paper’s up for sale again [as noted yesterday, even the Koch brothers may offer some cash], and a timely piece in LA Weekly on the latest buy offers provides a nifty little vignette about Berkeley’s number on private sector landlord.
Hillel Aron writes about what happened when. . .
the spoils went to Sam Zell, the real estate mogul who looked like a character from Tolkien’s Middle-Earth dressed for a night at a disco.
Zell’s nickname was “Grave Dancer,” and his crassness disgusted many journalists — he once suggested that Tribune papers allow X-rated ads because “everyone loves a good blow job.”
“He was the most vulgar, repellent rich person I’ve ever met,” says Tim Rutten, a journalist at the Times for 40 years, who was laid off in 2011.
Any journalism students who reside in one of Zell’s apartments must feel a bit of shame every time the rent check is signed.
But Haas students can rejoice that they’re living a place that made a very tidy fortune for David Teece, one of their plutocratic profs, who put up cash and clout to get them built, then made a pile selling to Zell at the peak of the market.