Category Archives: Updates

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?

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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.
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Photo credits, respectively: Scary ass clown: Brain Handles.com; The Hayes staged unit: The Hayes.com.
 
 
 

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.

stregisdrive

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.

2820pacific
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.

869grove.jpg

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 Hill.com]

-“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:

douglassacto.jpg

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]