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In San Diego’s East Village, six blocks from Petco Park, two towers (one red and one yellow) represent the tallest residential building in the city. The luxurious 45-story high-rise apartment offers picturesque views of Coronado, the city skyline and the East County Mountains.
However, the yellow tower named Pinnacle on the Park is known as a party building. This is where enthusiastic people went to cool off after receiving a relaxed stay-at-home booking in May.
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The skyscraper has Instagram-worthy devices, including a 2,000-square-foot Louis Vuitton penthouse and another apartment with a private hot tub on a 1,000-square-foot rooftop terrace.
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More than 750 people have died from coronavirus in San Diego County, and officials continue to emphasize social distance to limit the spread. But that did not stop the partygoers.
But these plague parties are not fun for other tenants in the two towers, or for those living in less affordable housing construction that connects the two towers. There are a total of 956 apartments.
Several residents have woken up and found used condoms in window sills or on doorsteps. A woman and her 12-year-old son watched nude photos and porn scenes from the balcony on the other side of the tower.
Local news media in recent months have covered stories of people jumping off the roof of Pinnacle with parachutes and at other times throwing water balloons from high-rise buildings and smashing the windows of cars parked on the street.
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Extravagances pay the price. Calls to the San Diego Police Department about loud parties and related bustle from skyscrapers nearly tripled in the first eight months of the year compared to all of 2019, most of them in the last four months when the county began reopening.
Police calls are staggering compared to Pinnacle’s neighboring red tower, the Spire San Diego. A San Diego police spokesman declined to comment on the story, but said the department is aware of the problem and that a criminal investigation into Pinnacle activity is underway.
The City Attorney’s Office recently took action against the owners of the Airbnb party house in Bankers Hill, but Pinnacle received no information from police about noise complaints or violations of public health orders, the spokeswoman said. The office also saw no information linking the increase in police activity to short-term vacations in high-rise buildings, she said.
We’ve found that several short-term rental companies use Airbnb, Vrbo, and other sites to rent dozens of units at Pinnacle on the Park. The online listing suggests that the company is aware that these devices are causing problems for long-term renters, and if they have a question, they tell guests “I’m visiting family friends or business associates :)”
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More than a dozen people stand outside the entrance to Pinnacle on the Park in San Diego’s East Village on the night of Friday, September 4, 2020. (Zoë Meyers /)
“If you’re having a party here, you’ll literally be notified and thrown out. But short-term rentals can do a lot of damage,” said Robyn Spencer, a mother who lives with her son in the Spire skyscrapers.
It is unknown if the coronavirus outbreak was caused by a guest in a high-rise building because San Diego County officials refuse to release the information. However, KPBS analysis showed that 92101, which includes East Village, led the county with at least 14 community outbreaks until the end of July.
The five-story building that connects the two towers is home to those who are struggling financially. Locals say it is not uncommon to find broken glass and bottle caps outside their homes after partying at Pinnacle. Occasionally vomit from above is in their yard.
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Current residents and recent settlers in the building, where rents are limited to low-income tenants, have poor views and feel forgotten by some, he said.
Carlos Garcia, 39, has lived with his wife and three children in an affordable apartment block for three years and has found Pinnacle’s short-term rental “totally out of control”. He said he moved last month to find peace.
“I can do no more, madam. I had no more privacy.” “It was a really, really bad experience for me,” Garcia said later.
Representatives from Pinnacle Bayside Development, including Vancouver-based property manager Carlos Inzunza and parent company Pinnacle International, did not respond to repeated calls and emails requesting interviews. A local Pinnacle representative contacted by phone declined to comment.
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71-year-old Barbra Blair said she remembers seeing the construction of Pinnacle in the park. As the tower climbed higher and higher into the sky, she said to her friend, “I think I want to live in that building.”
She filled out an application as soon as the Yellow Tower opened in August 2015 and said the Red Tower would not open for four years. And we moved to a 16th floor unit overlooking the Coronado. she liked it
So, at some point in 2018, people started showing up in large groups for short stays, she said. On the weekends, often with large crowds, we had to wait 30 minutes for the elevator to get in or out of the house.
Blair eventually learned that these crowds came from Airbnb or Vrbo. She said she had a friend in the same building who apparently lived on the floor with “a lot of parties, a lot of garbage, a lot of noise”.
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At least four companies – Striv Rentals, Namastay, Searchastay and AvantStay – have published at least 24 listings on short-term platforms, including Airbnb and Vrbo. The average price for an overnight stay is between $ 150 and $ 599. According to Apartments.com, long-term renters pay between $ 1,900 and $ 11,400 a month.
Searchastay has at least 9 listings on Vrbo for devices that all appear to be in Pinnacle on the Park. The post boasts of the views, including: “I almost definitely get a ‘wow!’ Every time a guest comes to one of our apartments.”
Ben Sherman, marketing manager at Searchastay, said the company announced the listing in the tower on behalf of Pinnacle’s management. However, he said many reservations have been canceled since COVID-19 and that Pinnacle has suspended short-term rentals.
Pinnacle lists from Namastay and Avanstay highlight modern furniture and “hotel-quality amenities” or promise “the ideal East Village San Diego living experience.” Striv Rentals’ sales pitch features floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor patio to entertain guests with an urban backdrop.
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However, Striv Rentals offers Pinnacle customers a to-do list. Do not gather in the lobby, ask the building staff for help, and do not mention Airbnb during your stay.
People walk through the entrance to Pinnacle on the Park in San Diego’s East Village on the evening of Friday, September 4, 2020. (Zoë Meyers /)
Up to 10 other hosts, including a guy who goes by the name “Danish” on Vrbo, also have 15 posters. Dane is the registered manager of the Louis Vuitton penthouse and apartment with private hot tub.
He agreed to short-term lease of units with the Pinnacle management, but received a “six-digit number” that returned all 13 of his units to the management on 31 August.
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He did not confirm his last name, but “I do not want people to party. Do you know how hard it is to clean?”
In terms of telling people to “gather your quarantine friends,” Dane said staff make lists and don’t support those kinds of messages.
Last year, the company banned party houses or places that caused ‘repeated disturbance to the neighborhood’ and established a system to report abusive neighbors. She said Airbnb removed 12 posts from Pinnacle on the Park this year for “policy violations,” but did not elaborate on what happened.
“As we have done in hundreds of other jurisdictions around the world, we are committed to working with elected officials in San Diego to enforce fair and inclusive rules that capture the benefits of subdivision and address societal issues,” the spokesman said. name.
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Blair, who lived on the 16th floor of Pinnacle, considers himself lucky. The only problem she had was waiting for the elevator and navigating through the crowds, but I understand that other tenants have had other experiences.
“They’re not like bad people,” Blair said, referring to short-term tenants. “They’re coming to the party, so it’s a great place in San Diego with the weather and everything.”
In November, Blair moved to the Spire Tower shortly after opening. She said she moved because she wanted new countertops and hardwood floors.
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