Ocean Beach’s Largest Landlord Adds 10 More Units to Empire – Immediately Raises Rents

by on December 13, 2016 · 8 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

ob-mills-voltaire-4876-2Michael Mills Buys Complex of Studios on Voltaire – Notifies Tenants of 20% Rent Raise

The largest landowner – landlord in Ocean Beach, Michael Mills, just purchased a complex of 10 studios on Voltaire Street – and immediately notified the tenants of a rent raise.


4876 Voltaire St.

Mills can now add this property to his OB empire – an empire that the OB Rag has been chronicling – which we calculate at 241 units within Ocean Beach – not including this most recent purchase.

The 2-story, cream-colored older complex at 4876 Voltaire, has 10 units – all studios. All the tenants were notified of a rent raise by fliers – a rent raise that is a 20% increase. The studios were being rented for $870, and the new rent will be $1,050.

A reliable witness informed the OB Rag that he had seen and read the flier handed out to the tenants, a person familiar with the status of the complex development.

On September 27, 2016, we published this in our research summary of Mills’ properties in OB:


Mills’ properties in the War Zone, northwest OB. Each red star represents a separate property.


What we came up is astounding. We put together a long list of his properties in OB and surrounding neighborhoods. And we tallied them up and found he and his trusts own 241 units. They are scattered all over OB and parts of Point Loma, but Mills has focused on the old “war zone” area of northwest OB.


Here’s the list – which, again, does not include the recent Voltaire property:


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mara December 13, 2016 at 3:02 pm

This Mathew Mills is one stinker. Maybe all his tenants (see list above) can collectively raise a ruckus. And, just maybe, San Diego will finally institute some form of rent control. It would be a good thing for commercial businesses as well – isn’t there some guy that has a big monopoly on Newport Ave.?


john December 13, 2016 at 7:33 pm

All of Mr. Mills tenants on this property list might form a renters union, hire an attorney and collectively make sure all building code issues are in compliance, all civil right renters rights are followed, etc… Just as the landlord accumulates profit through multiple properties, tenants accumulate bargaining through numbers. 241 unit rents due every month. That is a lot of money. If one was to withhold that flow of money based on legal issues, it would be significant statement.


OB John December 13, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Now we’re talking…not a difficult bit of organizing as addresses are posted and bottomlines involved.


RB December 14, 2016 at 5:34 am

Yeap, sounds like a good plan for motivating landlords to convert their units to condos……..


john December 14, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Go ahead and waste your $$. The condition of those units will receive a negative declaration from city staff. Lets have some compassion for people, instead of greed. People have the power here, remember that.


Christo December 13, 2016 at 10:30 pm

The property last sold in 1994 for $340,000.
10 units at $870 per month is $104,000 per year, or 31% of the purchase price of $340,000.

Mills purchased for $1,600,000
10 units at $1,050 per month is $126,000 per year or 8% of the purchase price of $1,600,000.

If Mills was charging the same rent at a % of purchase price (31%), rent would actually be $4133 per month.

What I don’t understand is why would you sell the place if it was generating that kind of ROI.


triggerfinger December 15, 2016 at 1:42 pm

How do co-ops work? Does anyone reading this have experience with one? What would it take for a group of renters to purchase a building like this and form a co-op? These are popular in NY and some other large east coast cities with high housing costs.


colleen dietzel December 16, 2016 at 9:22 pm

For the fifth time…. Millsmay be an asshole, who knows? he tends to buy “rundown” units & then jacks up the rent somewhat. he allows pets at all of his places (which some OB landlords do not} He buys properties and does not tear them down & build something new and yuppify the neighborhood. OCEAN BEACH IS THE BEST IN THE WEST RUNDOWN LITTLE BEACH TOWN—A we like it like that!!!


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