EDITOR: In reading about Occupy's reaction to the changes planned by Hotel Petaluma's new owner ("Activists rally for evicted tenants," Tuesday), I'm thinking that Terry Andrews probably did not purchase the building with the intent of becoming a slumlord — continuing to provide shabby, poorly equipped, low-rent shelter and possibly losing the building to the bank. It's more likely that his idea was to renovate the old, unsafe, deteriorating building, enhance the beauty and value of the entire area and, hopefully, see a return on his investment.
Rehabilitating an old building is expensive, complicated and lengthy, requiring an appreciation for the original architecture. In the end it makes a positive mark on the community.
Solidarity Network's contention that Andrews is trying "to make a killing off this building" seems unlikely. The costs involved in a project such as this are too great.
The state, county and city all have laws that protect the rights of the renters. It sounds as if Andrews is attempting to act according to these laws. Many people, including Andrews, have stepped forward to assist the displaced renters. The renters have needs and rights. But so does the new owner as he attempts to create a reputable and viable business.