Coming Soon! And, Coming Later!

Realtor Kevin Gueco writes a very sunny review for the coming soon Mosiaica 601 condo project (pictured above) in his SFNewDevelopments blog. There’s definitely some room for pleasant surprise in the announced price  (pleasant to me, anyway, since I selfishly find all condos I cannot afford to be unpleasant):

“Mosaica 601 announced last week that it plans to start pricing of its 3 bedroom / 2 bath condos in the low $600s!  This is an incredible value considering each home is around 1400 square feet.”

Of course, putting aside Gueco’s near-by  restaurant list, the area (where Mission meets Potrero) is a little rough, but the price still seems all right to me. Perhaps the developers see the price cuts so many other condo developers have had to make recently, and are starting lower to begin with?  

Also coming soon (but not as soon) are a more mysterious set of housing units. Just off West Portal and 16th Ave., in front of Arden Wood, you can see the pushed-up dirt, huge bulldozers, and thin wood skeletons that signal housing to come, and their sectioning looks multi-unit. Thus I suspect these are the long awaited condos that were subject of news and speculation in 2006. In fact, that’s still the only information I can find on this construction: 2 years old, via SFHomeBlog and J.K. Dineen. Someone has to have a more updated scoop here. Anyone?
Meanwhile, still a pipe-dream (ha ha! Really, Haight Street, how many pipe stores can one street support?), but with the supervisorial green light is the Whole Foods/condo complex, slated to replace long-dead Cala Foods at the corner of Stanyan and Haight. The Chronicle outlines the plan here:

 “The large, four-story project, which also includes some 60 high-end, market-rate housing units, was expected to be controversial, but the commission voted 6-0 to approve the conditional use permit – a result supporters think had a lot to do with their organized turnout.”

Right, agreed: Haight could use a face-lift and perhaps a gentle reminder that THE 60′S ARE OVER. Also, I like Whole Foods, but I’m saving for one of those condos, so I’ll stick to Trader Joe’s (with a new one also coming soon!). I’m curious what “market rate” will be when those units go up, since so many new developments are struggling to sell out units already. The Frontstep’s own banker/blogger, aptly known as “The Banker,” says: “We are overbuilt. . .and it is next to near impossible to get financing!”

What do you say?


Construction photo via SFNewDevelopments

New Developments Face a New Reality in SF


I’ve heard from multiple sources that SF real estate is, for the most part, immune to the havoc wreaked on other parts of the US. But sales at our most recent condo complexes show that happy-smile-don’t-worry line of rhetoric is about as reliable as the clown’s was in Poltergeist (Happy Halloween!).


Socketsite reports that Symphony Towers, with only 55% of its units sold, has recently reduced prices 30%. The “Tower One Close Out,” advertised on the building’s webpage, demonstrates:
T-907 Penthouse studio w/built in Murphy bed & views $515,000 $419,000
T-602 1-br, Quiet courtyard location $565,000 $449,000
You have to wonder if those buyers among the 55% sold group are perhaps a wee bit upset. You might also wonder if you can’t, given the hint of desperation (“close out”= we really, really want to sell these goddamn condos!), get one of these units for even less than the advertised price.
Plus, Symphony Towers is not the only recent development cutting prices. The Hayes is also making cuts, despite its central location and uber-hip marketing (including requisite “ambient” track playing over your web tour of the property, a photo from which appears below). #610, for example, is a 1 bed/1 bath down now from $599K to $499K.  
inside "The Hayes," life is fabulously vogue


The Arterra, our newish “green” building at 300 Berry St. is also offering reduced prices, (such as #904, a 1 bed/1bath down from $649K to $599K), as is The Potrero.  
More good news for people who love bad news is that, according to the San Francisco Business Times, construction has been suspended at 535 Mission St: “The $100 million HOK-designed tower was put on hold earlier this month in response to worsening market conditions.”   
Well then. Seems like if one wants to buy right now, one should take these worsening conditions to the negotiating table. Don’t invite the clown.
Photo credits, respectively: Scary ass clown: Brain; The Hayes staged unit: The

2801 Lake returns, new price, new look

In case you don’t get sfnewsletter:

All it takes is to remove the clutter (before shots)

adjust the price (sold in Dec ’07 for $2,580,000 after some massive price reductions) to get it sold, call in the contractors and voila…the after:

2801 Lake Street (after shots), a 5 bed, 4 bath remodeled home in Sea Cliff hits the market a mere seven months after last selling and this time they upped the price a hair to $4,995,000. (They also took out a few sunflowers and stuffed animals.) Any takers?

St. Regis, 188 Minna #33D, Back on Market!

So you heard me complain, and cry, and moan that my clients missed out on unit 33D at the St. Regis. Well, now it’s back on the market, still $3,695,000, still spectacular, and still available. The buyer, which just so happened to be represented by the seller’s agent as well, has walked (the wife claiming the space just didn’t work).

My clients have determined that they aren’t quite sure South of Market is happening enough to purchase at the St. Regis, claiming it to be a bit “dead”, and now 33D awaits the next person looking for an A+ unit with spectacular views, floor to ceiling windows, an outdoor terrace, and a great floorplan. Comps will quickly point to unit 23D selling at $3.3M, but I’d like to point out that was an off-market deal and the buyer and seller were represented by the same agent (think not necessarily market price). So now that the dust has settled, 27D (at $3,475,000) and 33D (at $3,695,000) are both available, things could get interesting.

There is still one other unit “available”, but not yet on the market in the “F” stack, should you be interested.

-188 Minna #33D [Pacific Union Listing, $3,695,000]

-188 Minna #27D [listing detail $3,475,000]

188 Minna #33D (St. Regis) in contract (~$3.7M) after one week…are you kidding me!?

[Update: As of 6/13/2008 at 8pm, it is again available. The buyers in contract pulled out, my buyer has had a change of heart feeling SoMa is a bit "dead", so we won't be writing an offer at this time, and now we wait to see what happens.]

I can’t believe what I’m writing. Months ago I tried to tell all of you and some clients about some pocket listings (off market deals) at the St. Regis.


After playing phone tag a few times and finally getting a commitment from some clients to fly out and see unit 33D a 2 bed, 2.5 bath ~1800 sqft condo at the wonderful St. Regis, asking $3,695,000, I find out today it is in contract! (I find out after practically pleading for them not to ratify and give my clients a look.)

Are you kidding me! Why am I so upset? Because, in every other world class market in the world, when you have some clients that are ready to plunk down close to $4,000,000 it’s not much of a problem to find them a suitable home (forget personal tastes, we’re talking availability). When you live in San Francisco, it’s not so easy.

I’m disappointed, and of course had you been watching my new morphine habit (Twitter) you’d already know this. Silver lining…I know of more pocket listings at the St. Regis, so I’ll live to fight another day.

We would have taken it for the garage (2820 Pacific: a done deal ~$16M)

In another sign of the times at the high end, 2820 Pacific closes escrow with that damn little asterisk next to the price $16,000,000 (*), which can only tell us the sales price was close.  Not too close to the original $17,500,000 asking, but up there nonetheless.

Like we said, we would have taken it for the garage. Man is 2008 high end real estate starting off with a bang, or what?

[Update: According to a reader, the sales price is closer to $15M.]

-2820 Pacific [MLS]

-$17,500,000 and no picture of the garage [theFrontSteps]

6 units in Alamo Square: an update

Not too long ago we reported on some properties that were near and dear to our wallets, literally. True to our word, we report the good, the bad and the ugly.

So we again, bring a sad story on what can happen in this market.


The property is 869-879 Grove, a 6-unit building in the Alamo Square district, and the story (shortened) is as follows:

Actually, we’ll make it really short. Hit the market 9/6/07 for $1,695,000, had tons of activity, some very serious buyers circling, but none that wanted to take on the daunting task of the tenant issues associated with this building in order to be able to maximize the use of the property. So… it is still available, and on the Fast Track to Staledom. For the savvy buyer that would like to owner occupy this building, you might like to take a look. For the developer looking to evict and flip, maybe not.

-What Happened? Redfin got it. [theFrontSteps]

-Nothing Special, Just $421,000 over asking, that’s all (1809 Diamond) [theFrontSteps]

-Reasons for my Absence, Market Activity on Three Levels [theFrontSteps]

One Rincon Hill: Time Capsule and Construction Update

We get a few inquiries as to what exactly went inside the so called “time capsule” that will be placed on top of One Rincon Hill. Well, according to One Rincon Hill’s Fall Newsletter, in which theFrontSteps actually has a couple photo credits:

[The time capsule] will be installed in an electrical room on the 61st floor of One Rincon Hill’s Phase I [tower one], more than 600 ft. above the City, with instructions not to be opened for 50 years.

[Inside the capsule is] …everything from a packet of Propel vitamin water to Eclipse gum, Clif bars and South Beach diet bars, to the City’s own Distillery 209 gin, the chief ingredient in ORH’s signature drink, The Gincon.

Also added were local magazines and newspapers, as well as gossip tabloids [,...] a signed copy of the latest book by noted San Francisco storyteller Armistead Maupin, a photo of the current Board of Supervisors, a baseball from Mayor Newsom and a beanie baby from the San Francisco Giants.

The shovel from the groundbreaking, as well as San Francisco Chronicle writer Carl Nolte’s series on ORH (a.k.a. “The Building of a Skyscraper,” rounded out the archive.

For the other questions we get wondering if Tower Two is a go, we provide a quote from the developer, Michael Kriozere:

One Rincon Hill was designed to be two towers, [...] We look forward to completing that vision, and for the second tower to reach its topping off in the San Francisco skyline by 2009, with completion in 2010.

And for the questions regarding sales and Interior development of Tower One:

Closings of floors 8-27 will commence in January 2008. The framing of the interiors has reached the 54th floor, the drywall is to level 36 and the finishes soon to [be] completed. [We have a hunch they must be close to the 55th floor due to our tardiness in posting this.]

There you have it.

-One Rincon Hill’s Fall Newsletter [One Rincon]

-“The Building of a Skyscraper,” [San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate]

Noe Valley wins, Pacific Heights loses … BIG!

Way back when on July 3rd one of our readers, “Eddy”, sent in a post pitting two districts against each other titled “A tale of two districts”.

We showcased two properties:


689 Douglass, which absolutely flew off the shelf, and ultimately sold for $2,050,000 from the $1,895,000 asking price (Close of escrow was 8/15/07).

The other property being 2679 Sacramento, was withdrawn from the market at $1,550,000, and is now back on with a new price ($1,515,000), and a new lease on life, as it is only 2 Days on the Market (We guess, they’re not counting the 48 days on the market from the last go-round).

Let’s cross our fingers that it sells this time, but honestly our hope is fading.

And as Eddy pointed out, “Still no parking or back yard.” Not easy to put those two items in either. ;-)

For more of these types of neighborhood battles, we now have something similar that we call the Battle Royale, which you should check out and chime in on. We’re working on our next, Inner Sunset vs. West Portal. Stay tuned!

-“A tale of two districts” [theFrontSteps]

-689 Douglass [listing detail from sfnewsletter]

-2679 Sacramento [listing detail from sfnewsletter]

-Battle Royale [theFrontSteps]

Various Updates (Alhambra, Sea Cliff, 22nd, Sacramento, Douglass, 27th, and more)


Our readers have been asking in various places about some properties we featured as of late. Since so many have asked so nicely here you go:

3280 22nd St @ Valencia, the “green” building that all the blogs were all hot about and many claiming wouldn’t sell. Guess what? Last week, in the middle of all the mortgage market meltdown drama, all three condos had offer dates (very ambitious) and all are now in contract. The two bed, two bath units were priced at $849,000 and $899,000. The top floor, two-level, three bed, two bath condo was asking $1,399,000. Photos.

318 27th St featured in Greg’s “Sittin’ on the deck by the Bay” was indeed apparently a good find. From what we can tell, it went into contract within the first weeks of being on the market, fell out, then went right back in. (Unconfirmed and according to MLS.) Photos.

689 Douglass is still “pending”, but flew into contract. 2679 Sacramento is getting stale withdrawn (possibly to avoid staledom and thanks Pete and Eddy for the tip).

245 Alhambra…no tengo nada! Lo siento “Boomtime”!

In case you missed it, all the properties in this post are as follows: 1330 Chestnut (pending); 2255 Washington (active); 2249 Washington (pending); 2745 Laguna (pending); 3042 Jackson (in contract); 2865 Jackson (sold for $1.7M asking $1.59M); 2130 Beach (pending).

25 Sea Cliff sold $4,550,000, asking $4,095,000.

In summary: 13 of these 15 properties are on track to sell, and sell quickly, if they haven’t sold already.

If we missed any, or you have any questions about our market or real estate, just drop us a line.

“A Tale of Two Districts”: Update

On July 3rd, “eddy” sent in a great post (A Tale of Two Districts) comparing two similar properties in different locations, and whether or not one would sell faster than the other. The answer is clear, and not surprising.


689 Douglass, a 4 bed, 3.5 bath, single family home in Noe Valley asking $1,895,000 set an offer date, received multiple offers, and is in contract for over asking. We’ve been asked by the listing agent not to disclose any more information than that, but from our experience in this market, it was a highly competitive situation, and we’re guessing it is substantially over. No surprise, it is a beautiful home in a great location.


2679 Sacramento, a 3 bed, 1 bath, single family in Pacific Heights asking $1,550,000 on the other hand, is starting to get that Stalefish ™ smell, and as far as we can tell, may be looking at a price reduction in the not so distant future. No surprise. It needs work, has a funky layout, and seems priced to high.

However, as “eddy” recently pointed out in an email to us, perhaps 2030 Scott, a 3 bed, 1.5 bath, single family home in Pacific Heights asking $1.7M, is a better comparison to Douglass. It just hit the market and spent nary 10 days there before going into contract. Also, no surprise. Great, unique home, great location, tons of light and outdoor space. Priced right.


The moral of this story? We leave that to you.

-A Tale of Two Districts [theFrontSteps]

-689 Douglass [mls]

-2679 Sacramento [mls]

-2030 Scott [mls]

3130 Pacific, Priced to sell at $12,495,000 and sold at $14,000,000

A little update on the little house on the Hill, 3130 Pacific that spent a whopping seven days on the market…It is sold, multiple offers for $14,000,000, or roughly 12% over, and a healthy price per square foot of $1,697.  [Update: We almost forgot...CASH!] You heard it here first. [Second Update: The lots were sold in August 2003 for $3,850,000, so this $14MM, combined with the next door $15MM, makes for a pretty good flip, we'd say.]


-3130 Pacific [mls]

1771 North Point: A done deal…and no price! :-(

It’s another one of those damn “non-disclosure agreements” that is going to spoil our ability to accurately track sales around the city in real time for homes, and especially trophy properties. Yes indeed, 1771 North Point is scheduled to close escrow tomorrow (July 13th, 2007), and they’re not sharing the price. Oh well…it sold, and it sold pretty darn quick, if that’s any indication of life in the world of San Francisco real estate.


-1771 North Point [mls]

The Potrero (451 Kansas) South Building Now Selling

Just a quick little note letting you all know the Potrero has begun selling homes in their south building. They also appear to be offering the same limited time offer as they were on the north building back in May. That offer being 2 years of HOA dues, a refrigerator, washer and dryer at no charge. [Update 7/16/07: According to a reader, that deal has ended.]

We’re just excited to be able to throw out the sweet renderings from zūm llc again:




As soon as we can get some pricing and details on these units for you, we will post what we find out.

[Update 7/5/07 12:23pm:

The South Building will be a mix of units with views of the bay and downtown (select units).

-Studios from $459,880

-1bed, 1 bath from $628,880

-1bed + den, 1 bath from $689,880

-2bed, 2 bath from $795,880

This release also includes the last of the remaining Town Homes.

-ONLY three 3bed, 3 bath Town Homes remain: priced from $955,880 – $988,880

The 2 years paid HOA, Refrigerator, Washer & Dryer are only good for one final weekend July 6 – 8th. After the 8th of July the current incentives will no longer be part of any offering. That's what we know, as that's what we've been told.]

-The Potrero [website]

-the Potrero [theFrontSteps]

“boomtime” on 1771 Northpoint…an update

We won’t even come close to taking credit for this catch. All credit goes to “boomtime”, who, if he/she would like, definitely has a seat at the Stammtisch.

1771 North Point is in contract after 2 weeks on the market for public showing!

Wagers? I guess $4.65 mil.”[asking $4,995,000]


-MLS Statement

-1771 North Point, a quick follow up [theFrontSteps]

-1771 NorthPoint, a “first look”… [theFrontSteps]

610 Rhode Island: my take

By Alexander Clark

Okay, so I had the chance to nose around 610 Rhode Island (asking $2.3MM) yesterday, and I gotta say, it was impressive, but I was not impressed. In our previous post I was practically frothing at the mouth to get in there…and I’m glad I did.  This is not to say I didn’t like it, I was just going in there with certain expectations based off of the fabulous photos, but came away feeling something entirely different.


(photo taken from property site, Jacob Elliot photographer)

I may be opening up a can of worms to some hate mail, but what the hell. I’m a huge fan of all things modern as you soon will see, and love all types of property, but this felt industrial and cold. It felt very metallic (especially the metallic pinging going up and down the spiral staircases, I think there were at least 4), small, dark, and just a bit too silver. Of course coloring can be changed, as well as “warming” the place up, but I gotta say, those pictures on the site make it look much larger than it actually feels (kudos to the photographer).

There were some great views from different parts of the property (thinking the peek-a-boo window in the office), the terrace was nice and warm (a bit dangerous if you have kids and don’t want them falling in the fountain), it was an incredible use of space with some very unique and interesting lines, the brownies Gregg Lynn was serving up were tasty, and it will be a great house for the right buyer.  That buyer just won’t be me.

This is only my opinion.  If you at all have an interest in properties of this caliber/type, you owe it to yourself to go check it out, and don’t take my word for it. Anybody else get in, and what did you think? 

-Oh Kronos! [theFrontSteps]

A done deal in Lower Pacific Heights (2901 Pine)…sold UNDER asking!

We knew it was just a matter of time before 2901 Pine, was snatched up. It apprears the time has come. Listed for $2,350,000, this property was/is truly unique, and stating that it sold under asking ($2,300,000) doesn’t necessarily imply the market is tanking like many people would lead you to believe. Maybe it was just fairly priced….gasp!


Now about that other $55,000,000 home at 2901, we’ll just have to wait and see.

-Unique is an understatement (2901 Pine) [theFrontSteps]

-2901 Pine [mls]

-Huge auction shows boom in housing going, going, gone [sfgate]

-Comparison Shopping on the sfnewsletter [theFrontSteps]

Done deal in Pacific Heights for 2243-”A” Green

2243agreen.jpg“boom” commented not too long ago in one of our posts about 3130 Pacific (priced to sell at $12,495,000): “Anybody know about 2243 “A” Green St asking $1.395 mil?” First open was last Sunday, and now it’s not on MLS anymore?” [This is a 3 bed, 2 bath, 1546 square foot condo with booming views in Pacific Heights.]

our answer then: [editor's note: contract, no contingencies, 7 days on market.]

That was then, this is now. Sold for $1,560,000 (roughly 12% above asking), and that puts the price per square foot at a hefty $1,009. You might get to 1009 if you count the steps while you’re climbing…don’t forget the crampons and caribiners, oxygen mask is optional.

2340 Larkin #2…an update, and $296,000 price reduction.

We’re slowly getting back into the swing of daily posting about real estate and still very much a construction site over here at theFrontSteps, so what better way to kick things off with a post about how utterly and completely wrong we were, and it isn’t the first time.


The update for 2340 Larkin #2 is a massive $296,000 price reduction from the original asking price of $2,295,000. The new sleaker price of $1,999,000 should certainly attract some attention (no we’re not bettin’ on that.)

Don’t haul off and panic and think the market has tanked. A big price reduction like this often brings buyers out of the wordwork and more often than not, the price gets driven right back up to where they started. Strange…we know…but true. Again, we’re not bettin’ on it, but we’ll certainly keep you posted and let you if it is officially a Stalefish. (We got permission from sfnewsletter to use the Stalefish term, because we know them. ;-) )

-Tuesday Tour: Liked [theFrontSteps]

-2340 Larkin #2 [mls]

-Stalefish [theFrontSteps]

3130 Pacific, priced to sell at $12,495,000.00, and almost sold


We almost can’t keep up with some of the brisk sales we’re seeing. 3130 Pacific is “pending”, after 7 days in MLS. Remember 3100 Pacific (next door), the $15,000,000 home that never made it to MLS, received two offers and is sold.
A quick explanation of “pending”. In MLS, and real estate in general, there are four steps to tracking the sale with MLS data. First a property is “active”, meaning on the market and very much for sale. Then, if/when an offer is accepted and there are contingencies (loan, inspections, appraisal, etc.) the property will be listed as “active contingent”. Once contingencies have been removed a property will be listed as “pending”, and this usually means it’s as good as sold, but not quite there. Then, of course, it is “sold” (no explanation needed).
With a property like this that basically goes from “active” to “pending” (skipping “active contingent”), it could mean any number of things, but generally there were no contingencies, meaning the buyers are comfortable with the home just the way it is, and nothing else is really negotiable. It is also a pretty good bet that the sale will be a cash sale. Not always, but basically obtaining financing is not a problem.
So, it’s a good day for everyone involved with the two newest homes on Pacific that have sold in practically the blink of an eye.

1326-28 15th Avenue: A Done Deal in the Inner Sunset

We showed it to you first, and before and after, then we bet on it, and now it’s closed…1326-28 15th Avenue is a done deal, and none of our readers guessed the sales price. In fact, we didn’t even come close, either. It might not actually be marked sold in MLS yet, but we know the scoop, and unfortunately we can’t give you all the dirt. What we can tell you is that they were asking $1,385,000, it went for over $1.6MM, received 11 offers and was only on the market 5 days.

-Some makeup (a little), some elbow grease (a lot), some action (a ton) [sfn BLOG]
-99 Surrey, A Done Deal in Glen Park for UNDER ASKING [sfn BLOG]