Redstone tenants came together in September 1999 to save the Redstone/Labor Temple from the building’s sale to a Texas developer that wanted to turn the building into a dot.com server farm. The dot.com boom was an attempt to drive artists and low-income people out of the Mission District and supplant them with wealthy computer techies.
The tenants formed the Redstone Tenants Association (RTA) whose immediate goal was to preserve the building for its non-profits, artists, and other low income tenants. The tenants were able to stop the sale, but also took steps to purchase the building.
The RTA’s “Save the Redstone” campaign generated media attention and funding to hire an organizer by the end of 1999. The campaign had several goals, to buy the building and slow down possible sale of the property by getting historic status for it.
The RTA obtained a grant in March of 2000 that eventually led to historic landmark status in 2004.
With the help of the Mission Economic Development Association (MEDA), tenants secured a grant from the Mayor’s Office of Community Development on the feasibility of the tenants purchasing and preserving the building. The RTA explored the potential of the city purchasing the building but decided against such an option.
In May of 2001 the Financial Feasibility Study was completed. The study suggested that with the partnership of a non-profit developer it would be possible to do. Sadly, the owner’s asking price was far above the Market estimate made by the RTA.
The RTA’s next goal was to obtain non-profit status which it did, but changed its name the Redstone Labor Temple Association (RLTA) as part of that process.