Category Archives: Financial District

Luxury Condos Downtown , Yerba Buena at 16 Jessie

“Best Agent, Bar None, In San Francisco”

Recently, I had the pleasure of representing my client in the sale of his condominium in one of the most sought after locations and buildings in downtown San Francisco. Many people refer to this area as SOMA, some refer to it as FiDi (Financial District), some as the Barbary Coast, and others still as Yerba Buena. Regardless of what you call it, I call it a sale that far exceeded my client’s expectations and set a new price per square foot record in his building of $1233 per square foot. In the end, we received 16 offers, all over asking, and settled 31.31% above asking, and well above any recent comparable sale.

My client was so thrilled, he sent me this wonderful testimonial:

Best agent, bar none, in San Francisco

I had the good fortune of working with Alex Clark of Paragon Real Estate on the recent sale of my condo. Alex is extremely professional yet very personable and possesses a keen knowledge of the San Francisco real estate market. My unit was listed for only 11 days and received 16 excellent offers all well over the asking price.
If you are contemplating selling or buying in San Francisco, Alex Clark is a must in your strategy.

A VERY satisfied client.
-Peter

Many people will chalk this up as simply a sign of the times, but there is an art to garnering tremendous interest, multiple offers, and ultimately a successful, new high water mark sale. It also helps to have your property listed here on the most popular San Francisco Real Estate blog, so it can get press on the more most popular Curbed SF real estate blog. Buyers are online, that’s where I am, and that’s where your property will be.

Congratulations on your sale Peter, and all the success and good times in New York City. I’m definitely jealous of that one way ticket.

-Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City, If You Had To Choose (Over 100 comments on the matter) [theFrontSteps]
-More Testimonials [theFrontSteps/Alexander Clark]
-Recent Transaction [theFrontSteps/Alexander Clark]
-1 Ecker (16 Jessie) Hits The Market, Monday Open House Was Packed [theFrontSteps]
-A Slice of 1 Ecker Can Be Yours For $495,000 [Curbed SF]

“You Know Me I’m On The 333…”

I know of another unit at 333 Grant Avenue that is not on MLS and hardly being marketed. If you have interest in living downtown, a stone’s throw away from Union Square, give us a shout. This is a two level (loft style) unit, and it’s awesome.

I know of a a few other epic off market opportunities as well in case you keep missing the boat.

-Hipster Hilarity on the 333… [theFrontSteps]

Live Amongst History On Hotaling Place

I’m in process of securing a pied-à-terre for a client in 25 Hotaling Place*, and I was reminded of not only what a great building it is, and how rich it is with history, but also what an incredible location!

The best of San Francisco right at your doorstep
Located in San Francisco’s historic Jackson Square District, 25 Hotaling Place is surrounded by four of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods—North Beach, The Financial District, Chinatown and The Embarcadero Waterfront. Intimate cafes, sophisticated restaurants and colorful watering holes are just steps away and a stone’s throw from the city’s spectacular waterfront.

A little street with a big past
Originally called Jones alley, the small street that runs between Jackson and Washington Streets started life as an alley servicing the warehouses of old San Francisco’s bourgeoning waterfront. In the early 20th century it was given its present name—Hotaling Place— commemorating one of the Gold Rush-era’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Anson Parsons Hotaling arrived in San Francisco in the mid-1850s and founded A.P. Hotaling & Company, a distributor for Cutter’s Bourbon Whisky. During the 1906 Earthquake and ensuing fire, sheer luck and a change in wind spared Hotaling’s warehouse. This led to one local commentator to pen the following lines that are now etched in the city’s folklore:

“If, as they say, God spanked the town for being over frisky, Why did he burn the churches down and save Hotaling’s Whiskey?”

To put it in my words: the location is BUTTER!!! One of the best spots in San Francisco. Right smack dab in the thick of it all, yet quaint enough to feel like you just stepped into a small part of history, lore, and a European side street. One of my favorite restaurants (Bix) is just around the corner, you can purchase any number of SWEET espresso machines and grinders around another corner at Thomas E Cara, Ltd, and for those of you that love a little late night entertainment, you’re stumbling distance to all that jazz too. It is quite simply, awesome.

Guess what? If you missed out on getting into this building before, your chance may just be coming around again. There is talk of another resale unit hitting the market soon (maybe not on MLS), and I have the inside scoop. So if you’ve been looking for a place in and around Union Square, Financial District, North Beach, Embarcadero, have I got the property for you! Oh…if you like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera you’re really going to want to contact me.

Since we’re on the subject of Hotaling, you might like to try some of Hotaling’s Whiskey, produced by San Francisco’s own Anchor Distilling Company, while you ponder the possibilities of owning a slice of San Francisco history.

*25Hotaling.com is from the original marketing of the property and is NOT the current unit for sale, or necessarily an accurate depiction of the unit coming for sale. The finishes, exposed brick, and location are indeed accurate.

333 Grant Avenue #501: Simply Union Square, Simply a Shopper’s Paradise, Simply A Perfect Pied-A-Terre, Simply $629,000

If you like coming to, or living in, San Francisco, and shopping is your thing, 333 Grant is quite possibly your nirvana. A chip shot away from Prada, Banana Republic, North Face, Nike, Neiman Marcus, Levi’s, Macy’s, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Burberry, Chanel, Maiden Lane, American Apparel…you name it…it’s all here, it’s all around San Francisco’s Union Square, and 333 Grant is in the heart center.

If a San Francisco shopping experience is secondary to your exploits as a dining connoisseur, the location of this Landmark Building is sure to delight! Walk out your door and across the street to Cafe de la Presse, round the corner to Le Central, have a pint (perhaps this weekend) at the Irish Bank, stumble over to Belden Place and take your pick of cuisine, enjoy a stroll on over to Bix for an elegant cocktail and mellow jazz, perhaps try some oysters and fresh seafood at Farallon, get some dim sum in China Town, or simply sit at Starbucks on the corner and watch the people go by (I would recommend Cafe de la Presse over Starbucks any day, but that’s me.)

Built in 1908 and declared a landmark in 1981, the Historic Landmark Building (333 Grant) is in the Union Square section of San Francisco’s Financial District. Converted in 2004, The Landmark Building contains 39 condominium homes & lofts designed with preservation of history and architecture in mind, while paying attention to details suited to modern day living. These homes are designed to accentuate urban elements, while providing a tranquil and inviting city retreat.

Visitors to your home will be greeted by the impressive neo-Renaissance façade with towering 40 ft columns. Unit #501 contains one bedroom, bonus room, one bath, has one (leased) parking space, beautiful brick accents, wood floors, mahogany kitchen cabinets, contemporary features, modern kitchen with Bosch appliances and Amana refrigerator, stackable washer & dryer, extra deeded storage, and a location to die for. Entertaining is easy with the bright, open and spacious layout of the living, dining, and kitchen areas, and guests can easily park in the Sutter-Stockton garage just around the corner.

Almost directly across the street from the Famous Chinatown Gate, The Landmark Building is truly a wonderful property, in an excellent location, right smack dab in the middle of the nation’s best city, San Francisco.

It has a perfect 100 Walkscore, is a short walk to FiDi, SOMA, and BART. The area has excellent gyms (Sports Club LA, Equinox), and did I fail to mention is a stone’s throw away from Rick House? Well…

Asking price is $629,000, it’s easy to show, and if you don’t love it, I’ll buy you an espresso across the street at Cafe de la Presse.

HOA fee: $753/mo.
Parking: $309/mo.
Contact Alex Clark (the owner/editor of this site) for details.

-333 Grant #501, 1+bed, 1 bath, 1 park, $629,000 [MLS listing]

Winner: The Best Coffee (House) In San Francisco, And The Rest

Congratulations to Philz Coffee! You have been voted Best Coffee (House) in San Francisco by the people of the internets. The competition was linked to around the world, and we have to say Philz not only got tons of nods during the first round of nominations, but they also swept the voting when thousands more hit the polls.

It’s all good stuff and we can’t wait to get a cup. We appreciate everyone’s participation and the countless links that sent people this way.

The Rankings:

1. Philz Coffee
2. Bernie’s
3. Blue Bottle Coffee
4. Four Barrel Coffee
5. Martha Bros Coffee
6. Contraband (Coffee Bar)
7. Ritual Coffee Roasters
8. Farley’s Coffee
9. Java Beach
10. Sightglass Coffee
11. Peet’s Coffee & Tea
12. Caffe Roma
13. the Beanery
14. Intelligentsia Bar (In Specialty’s)
15. Caffee Trieste
16. Stumptown (Ma’velous)
17. Henry’s House of Coffee
18. Simple Pleasures
19. Barefoot Coffee (Epicenter Cafe)
20. Café La Taza
21. Starbucks (Really?)
22. Caffe Puccini
23. Trouble Coffee (De La Paz)
24. Velo Rouge Cafe
25. Caffe Greco
26. Verve Coffee Roasters
27. De La Paz Coffee (Trouble)
28. Hearth Coffee Roasters (Brown Owl Cafe)
29. Graffeo
30. Bello Coffee and Tea
31. Quetzal Coffee
32. Jeremiah’s Pick Coffee
33. Coffee to the People
34. Piccino Cafe
35. 7-11 (Humoring you)
36. Progressive Grounds
37. Showplace Caffe
38. Castro Coffee House
39. La Boulange
40. Matching Half
41. Wicked Grounds
42. Farm:Table
43. Blue Danube
44. Cafe Reina
45. Toy Boat
46. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
47. The Summit SF
48. Curbside Coffee
49. Rancho Parnassus (Thanksgiving Coffee)
50. Tully’s
51. Capricorn Coffees
52. Cavalli Cafe
53. Equator Coffees & Teas
54. Muddy’s Coffee House
55. The Coffee Roastery
56. Cup of Blues
57. Cafe Encore
58. Ecco Caffe
59. Stella Pastry & Cafe
60. Coffee Roaster
61. Manning’s
62. Dash Cafe
63. Javalencia Cafe
64. Cafe La Stazione
65. The Grove

We’ll just go ahead and stop there. There were another 25-30 one vote coffee (houses) that came in, but we gotta stop somewhere. Thank you everyone!

San Francisco Giants Win World Series: Bedlam Ensues, Brian Wilson Calls In…

Last night the San Francisco Giants clinched the World Series Title and they did it with authority, routing the Texas Rangers four games to one, in the best of seven series. What made it all the more sweet was continually seeing George W. lean over to his wife and ask her just exactly what was going on. You know she said the same thing to him as she did during his entire presidency, “Honey, we’re getting our asses kicked.” That was sweet. But what about San Francisco?

As expected, the city erupted. Fans and non-fans came out on the streets to partake in the celebration, which (did you have any doubt) quickly escalated into borderline rioting. There were reports of cars being set on fire, overturned, and vandalized. Multiple neighborhoods in the city saw streets blocked and “block parties” erupt. Valencia Street in the Mission was shut down, Chestnut Street in the Marina blocked, 9th & Irving in the Inner Sunset stopped, Market Street downtown packed, King and 2nd/3rd Streets in SOMA/Southbeach flooded, and those are just the areas we saw pictures of on our Facebook page.

As soon as the game was over sirens were blaring on firetrucks and police cars, “bombs” (read: very large fireworks of the M-80 variety) were going off, fireworks shot into the sky, and countless numbers of people driving and honking, and hanging out their windows and sunroofs were waving flags and screaming, “GIANTS!” as they raced through the San Francisco streets in celebration. Surely, many people are waking up today and wondering what hit them, and many more are wondering what is all the fuss…”they’re not ‘World’ Champs after all.”

Phew! It was awesome, it is awesome, but it’s that time. Put your Halloween costumes away (you had an extra day to wear it, you expect two?), go check out the parade tomorrow, high five everyone you know, kiss a stranger, show your support, bask in the glory, but for chrissakes….put your head back on straight will ya! You gotta work, and Brian Wilson called…he wants his f*cking beard back!

GO GIANTS!!!!!!

Ignorance Is Bliss When Buying At The Ritz

Live below the big red curvy arrow!We know there are many of you out there sad at the fact you may have missed out on Ritz-Carlton Residence #2203 when it came on the market at $2,600,000 over two Stalecades ago. You may have been sad then when you missed out on the price reduction after price reduction down to the most recent list price of $1,998,000. We know, we know…more than $1300 per square foot to live in the same building as a YouTube founder, or Crocs founder just sounds so cheap and you missed your opportunity. The two bedroom (we’re calling it one bedroom with a sliding wall to make two), two and one half bath luxury residence in the sky is something to behold, but it’s gone. Off the market.

Psyche! It’s coming back! It’s gonna be back on the market and you, dear luxury buyer, best do your homework, because we’re told it is coming back on the market around $2,225,000 (give or take a couple thousand bucks)! Yes, that’s right. Your chance is here to buy it for more than the previous list price in a down market where high end luxury is getting hammered. Home Owners dues are low, only $2400/month, and the price is climbing on this listing to be, so give us a shout and we’ll get you in there before the rest of the masses clambering for an over-priced slice of pie in the sky.

For the record, it is a beautiful unit in a great building and there are other great units for sale (and motivated sellers), we’re just not so sure bringing Unit #2203 back on the market at a price higher than the previous list price that didn’t sell is such a good idea. (Good way to get a listing though.) Of course, if someone is not doing their homework and they don’t check the property history (think Shady Agent tactics), there will be no harm done (ignorance is bliss, really). Otherwise, consider yourself educated, and tell your friends we almost always have the inside track to San Francisco real estate, and we’ll make sure your ass is covered.

-[Editor's Note: One Stalecade is equal to one property that has been on the market 100 days or more. Stalefish + Decade = Stalecade. Therefore, a property on the market over 200 days has survived two Stalecades...a stretch in terms, but we're running with it.]

Reduction, Ad Nauseum

I’m not a Realtor, so I’ll tell something I’m more qualified to comment on: buyers’ perspectives. For instance, I can tell you how buyers looks at a property that’s been reduced more than twice. We feel sorry for them. They’re like awkward teenage boys at their first dance, pretending to be terribly busy with their shoe laces to avoid eye contact. We all know these boys can’t really be too picky; they have to take what they can get.

This analogy might not totally work for reduced priced properties. I’m just saying that as a buyer, we tend to feel a lot more powerful when we notice a home’s asking has come down not once, but twice– a feeling that multiplies with each subsequent reduction. That’s why, as a seller, I’d really hope my agent were savvy enough to price my home right. Of course, we can’t, unless we are Dione Warwick, know what the future holds, and some of the current meltdown has caught us by surprise. Still, the writing’s been on the wall awhile. Most literate people, I’d think, would have read it.

Case in point the next three properties, whose reduction history goes from bad to worse.

1. Studio TIC at 1059 Leavenworth St #5 San Francisco, CA 94109. Current price: $325,000. In over 120 days on the market, the list price has come down thrice:

Jul 02, 2008 $399,000
Jul 03, 2008 $329,000
Sep 09, 2008 $325,000 

2. 532 Clipper St #B San Francisco, CA 94114, currently at $539,000 is a 2 bed/1 bath TIC flat. In over 170 days on the market, it’s suffered 5 reductions, each one not very big, but the conglomeration of so many price cuts is pretty damning:

May 14, 2008 $679,000
Jun 11, 2008 $659,000
Aug 13, 2008 $639,000
Aug 28, 2008 $599,000
Sep 25, 2008 $570,000
Oct 28, 2008 $539,000

3. 3630 22nd St., San Francisco, CA.  A 2bed/1bath detached cottage TIC, this one I’ve saved for “worst” because though it has not been cut as often as the above property, the overall slash down is quite dramatic. In over 100 days on the market:

Jul 18, 2008 $749,000
Sep 05, 2008 $649,000
Oct 06, 2008 $589,000
Oct 29, 2008 $499,000

In this last case, the current price seems a lot more fair. I went to the open house yesterday and the listing agent informed me the place needed about $250K in repair and pest control. I have to wonder who would have ever, ever, ever paid the original list price.

I also wonder what other SF real estate agents or buyers or sellers think of these reductions overall, so I’m serving this blog up on the Front Steps for commentary. Take it easy on those awkward teen age boys though. Everyone, and everything, is fragile right now.

Quick Flip at 733 Front Street

[Update 10/20/08: Sold, $1,725,000]

On the other side of the equation, let’s take a look at 733 Front #605.

One of the first resales at this conversion building down in the Financial District, #605 was sold through the sales office for $1,600,000 only about three months ago. The unit directly below it #505 was sold for around $1.7M and received three offers (floor plan was a bit different, but not by much). Unit 605 recently listed at $1,695,000 and boasts one of the few corner views, (not to mention 4 storage spaces), it is now in contract a mere 6 days after hitting the market.

This market is anybody’s guess, because it sure is making my head spin.

-733 Front #605 [MLS listing detail]

Incentivizing for the holidays at 733 Front Street

Okay…so I’m addicted to posting stuff for you, but this was something I couldn’t pass up. One of my favorite new developments, 733 Front Street spreads the holiday cheer a bit early.

zum_733front03.jpg

“Own your piece of Jackson Square at 733 Front – and you will not have to pay anything, including the mortgage, property taxes and HOA, until 2008*! Enjoy Jackson Square’s many restaurants and cafes, discover treasured boutiques, and meander through the Ferry Building without worrying about your mortgage.733 Front will cover the mortgage, property taxes and HOA on select junior one- and one-bedroom residences for three full months from your close of escrow date.* No payments until 2008 presents a fantastic opportunity to own a contemporary new home in Jackson Square. Combined with the Fed’s recent rate cut, now is an ideal time to purchase at 733 Front.”

Happy Holidays!  Back to vacation.

* First and Second Lien mortgage payments are based on any Interest Only or Fixed Rate loan product. Incentive to cover three months mortgage payments, taxes, and HOA dues. Buyer responsible for full mortgage payments, taxes, and HOA dues following the three month incentive. Offer expires 11/30/07. Buyer must pre-qualify and be approved for a loan program to qualify for the incentive program. First loan amount assumed to be 80% of purchase price, or less. Second loan assumed to be 10% of purchase price, or less. Minimum down payment of 10% of purchase price. Full documentation of assets and income are required. Interest rates are subject to current market conditions and may change at any time. Valid only for owner-occupied homes. Valid only with Triton Funding Group / The Murray Team. Other terms and conditions may apply.