DECEMBER 2013 SAN FRANCISCO CONDOMINIUM PRICES INCREASE 18 PERCENT OVER PREVIOUS YEAR

San Francisco condominium prices rose 18 percent in December 2013 over the previous year, according to the Condominium Pricing Index released today by The Mark Company, a leading urban residential marketing and sales firm.

The Mark Company Condominium Pricing Index for December was $1,034 per square foot, which is up 2 percent from November. New construction inventory was 78 percent lower than a year ago, and down 26 percent from the previous month, with 92 units currently available.

“With fewer than 100 new condominiums now for sale in San Francisco, price appreciation is likely to continue in 2014,” states Erin Kennelly, senior director of research, The Mark Company.

The Condominium Pricing Index, part of the firm’s monthly Trend Sheet (available at www.themarkcompany.com), represents the price per square foot of a new 10th floor, 1,000-square-foot condominium. It is based on recent sales data, and uses a proprietary quantitative method to measure trends in market demand. It tracks the value of a new construction condominium without the volatility of inventory changes.

The Mark Company Penthouse Pricing Index, which applies the same methodology to a new 30th floor, 2,000-square-foot condominium, was $1,776 per square foot, up 18 percent year over year.

The condominium price per square foot was $868 for resales, up 26 percent over December 2012, according to The Mark Company Trend Sheet for San Francisco. In addition, there were 229 condominium resales in San Francisco in December, 134 active condominium listings representing less than one month of inventory, and 123 pending condominium units, the Trend Sheet found.

That’s some pretty insane growth and is not surprising. Thanks Mark Company for the info.

Millennium Tower, San Francisco California, “Top 10 Residential Buildings In The World”

There’s been a lot said from yours truly about Millennium Tower in the past. I’ve watched her grow and shared my stories and photos with all of you over the years. Millennium Tower was erected, sold like hotcakes during the pre 2009 boom, sold not like hotcakes during the bust…but she’s back, and buyers are gobbling up her remaining inventory at breakneck speed.

Recently named as one of the Top Ten Residential Buildings In The World by Worth Magazine, and featured in the Wall Street Journal in an article about Penthouse (not the magazine…the top floor residence) owner Tom Perkins (of Silicon Valley Fame), Millennium Tower sits alongside locations like One Hyde Park in London, Linked Hybrid in Beijing, and One57 in New York as an address many of the who’s who of big money and luxury proudly call home (or second home). Not impressed with that lineup?

Some other noteworthy residents rumored to have roamed the Club Level Amenity floor: Carmen Policy (San Francisco 49ers); Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers); Peter Thiel (PayPal Co-founder); Russell Coutts (America’s Cup Skipper – legend in Sailing), and that’s just to name a few…

One bedroom units are completely sold out (from the sales office, you can occasionally grab a resale), 85% of the entire inventory has been sold, and your entry level price point is going to be around $1,600,000, but you gotta trust me when I say, you definitely get what you pay for (except deeded parking…in some cases, but that’s a different story).

The building is swank, debonair, and delightful in every sense of the word, and it’s certainly an address in San Francisco you can be proud of owning.

-Top Ten Residential Buildings In The World [Worth Magazine]
-A Penthouse Fit For A King [Wall Street Journal]
-All things Millennium Tower [theFrontSteps]
-Contact me if you’d like a private tour of any of the residences [alexclark@gmail.com]

88 King Street #106 Hits MLS…I’m Claiming Best Unit Currently For Sale At The Towers At Embarcadero South

[Update: Sold for $790,000]





You all had your chance to nab this amazing condo in the heart of South Beach when I first signed the listing and shared it as a pocket listing. Now it’s on the MLS, and I’m claiming it’s the nicest unit currently for sale in the building (Towers at Embarcadero South). True, that is my opinion, and this is my listing, but I consider myself to have good taste.



The unit itself is loft style, 1293 square feet, updated (modern) kitchen, two bedrooms, two baths (both updated), bonus room perfect for office or extra storage, street entrance with southeast facing patio, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Spa/Hot Tub, and so much more. It is truly a unique property in arguably one of the city’s best locations.

Price is set at $799,000. HOA dues are $839/month, and include: High Speed Wireless Internet, 24 Hour Doorman, Garbage, Grounds Maintenance, Homeowners Insurance, Outside Management, Security Service, Water, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Spa/Hot Tub use.















Don’t miss your chance to get yourself or your friends into this property and live the South Beach life!
[UPDATE: Property is in contract.]

-88 King Street, Unit 106, 2 bed, 2 bath, 1 pk, $799,000 [MLS]

Opportunity To Be On South Park…No Not The Cartoon

I have come across another great opportunity for all of you one bedroom buyers that would love to be in one of San Francisco’s best locations…South Park.

This unit has been marketed off of MLS for a fair bit, and I’m surprised to hear it still available.

Details are here, the listing agent is here, and I am here to help you make this your new home (or city pied-a-terre) where you can enjoy all the South Park reruns from the comfort of your South Park home.

…and how can you deny yourself such easy access to the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen literally out your door!?

-One bedroom, one bath, one car parking at One South Park, $659,000 [PocketListings.net]

For San Francisco Giants Fans, It Doesn’t Get Much Better (88 King Street #106 Is For Sale)


I have just signed up a listing at 88 King Street (The Towers at Embarcadero South), unit 106 here in San Francisco, California. If you’re not familiar with the city, or you happen to be a San Francisco Giants fan, this location doesn’t get much better. It is smack dab in the heart of all the recent action happening in and near the Embarcadero, AT&T Park, SOMA, South Beach, and so much more. You can walk to tons of great restaurants and shops, job opportunities in the immediate vicinity have never been better, the sun shines more in this neighborhood than most other in San Francisco, and this building is one of a few in the city that has a pool to enjoy it!

The unit itself is loft style, 1293 square feet, updated (modern) kitchen, partial wood floors, two bedrooms, two baths (both updated), bonus room perfect for office or extra storage, street entrance with southeast facing patio, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Sauna, Spa/Hot Tub, and so much more. It is truly a unique property in arguably one of the city’s best locations.

It is not yet “officially” listed on the market, it is currently a pocket listing, but can be shown by appointment, and is very much available for purchase right now. Price is set at $849,000. HOA dues are $812.14/month, and include: High Speed Wireless Internet, 24 Hour Doorman, Garbage, Grounds Maintenance, Homeowners Insurance, Outside Management, Security Service, Water, BBQ Area, Club Room, Exercise Course, Gym, Roof Deck, Sauna, Spa/Hot Tub use. Interior pictures coming soon.

It’s an awesome unit, in an A+ location, and definitely worth a look.

-88 King Street, #106, San Francisco, CA, 2 bed, 2 bath, 1 parking, 1392 sqft, loft style condo in South Beach, $849,000 [PocketListings.net]

200 Brannan #328 Hitting MLS for $2,495,000, My Jaw Hits The Floor


Would that be considered industrial chic, modern, or just plain awesome? Perhaps all three.

It’s nearly 2400 square feet, with 17 ft floor-to-ceiling windows, is light filled and has a top of the line remodeled gourmet kitchen, bay & bridge views, 3 large bedrooms, 3 remodeled luxurious bathrooms, 2 car deeded secured parking, 24 hr security, concierge services, lush landscaped garden courtyard, and full fitness center. Oh, and it is steps to AT&T park, Cal-Train, world class restaurants, the farmers market, and did I mention it will be ideal for the coming America’s Cup?

Two Hundred Brannan #328 is on the MLS asking $2,495,000. Is that a fair price you ask? Well, considering a very similar unit directly above hit the market about one year ago at $2,800,000, and found itself in contract shortly after and closed for $2,700,000, I’d have to say yes, and I’d love to come to your house warming party.

As always, if you’d like more information about this or any San Francisco property, you know what to do.

-As soon as it hits MLS, I’ll put the link right here. Deal? Poof! Here it is.

SOMA – South Beach Loft Condominium Steps From AT&T Park


Previously listed on MLS at $659,000, times have changed, but this A+ unit at 200 Townsend has not. Currently not listed on MLS due to reasons I’m happy to share if you’re a serious buyer or buyer’s agent, this loft is available for immediate purchase and now asking $499,000! Talk about a hair cut. Two hundred Townsend has one of the best locations in SOMA/South Beach, and this unit has hardwood floors, one loft bedroom, two baths, parking, granite counters, stainless appliances, gas burning fireplace and is located in a quiet portion of the building off street.

Please do your editor a favor and tell your friends. Use any number of “sharing” features below to email, Facebook, Tweet, or Digg this property. It is currently tenant occupied, but will be delivered vacant and is easy to show, and ready to be sold. If you’ve wanted to live in this building for a while, or anywhere in the area, this is the one.

-200 Townsend #47, 1bd, 2ba, 1pk, $499,000 [PocketListings.net]

St. Regis Penthouse Was $70,000,000, Now $35,000,000. Yes, That’s Correct – $35,000,000 Less.

The original “asking” price for the 20,000 square foot St. Regis Penthouse (188 Minna), was $70,000,000, and at that price it was only slightly ambitious. Now at 50% less or $35,000,000 and still not officially “listed” on MLS, I expect all but one of the buyers in San Francisco to be able to qualify for this property.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this penthouse is “likely the most expensive bank-owned, single-family residential real estate listing in the country.” If that doesn’t get all of you first time buyers looking for a deal and to purchase foreclosed property to jump at this opportunity, perhaps the description will: Six bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, four fireplaces, a library and a home theater. The living room has 22-foot-high ceilings and an entrance foyer with a two-story waterfall feature. There’s also a 2,500-square-foot master suite with a gym, sauna and steam room and 3,000 square feet of terraces with views of the city and the bay.
Because you always ask…and I’m always happy to share, “The apartment was built by real-estate investment manager and developer Victor MacFarlane, who purchased three apartment shells then combined them into one large finished unit. He sold it back to the bank in a deed in lieu of foreclosure after it failed to sell after several price cuts. The unit is now owned by Second Step Asset Management, a subsidiary of Bank of America.”

And it could be yours for $35,000,000…chump change.

-Schedule a Private Showing
-Deluxe San Francisco Penthouse to Relist for 50% off [Wall Street Journal]
-On Top Of The World At The St. Regis San Francisco [theFrontSteps]
-St. Regis Penthouse Marketing Details [Sotheby's]
-Both Millennium Tower’s Grand Penthomes Are Sold, Thanks To A Yacht [theFrontSteps.com]

What Makes A Room A Bedroom?

What is it exactly that makes that room a bedroom? The question has come across my email enough, and actually I think I even posted on it at some point. Well, it’s resurfaced and maybe time to hash it out, as the opinions on what makes a room a bedroom are anything but concrete.

The initial question:

A few months ago an email was circulated as to what defines a bedroom. There were several responses, but if I remember correctly a bedroom does not have to have a closet to be a bedroom…

And the varying replies from various real estate agents:

-My understanding is it technically must have a window – ideally with a means of egress
-My understanding is two methods of egress. A door, and another door or a window or some way to get out in the case of an emergency. No closet necessary.
-Operable window, that a person can fit through AND the minimum size is 70 square feet, where the minimum for one of the dimensions is 7 feet.
-I believe that HUD requires a closet in order to count it as a bedroom for financing purposes. A lender could probably clarify that.
-I’d suggest using the International Uniform Building code that refers to a specific size of window based on square footage of BR. It needs to have a door and a window and the window has to be the right proportion. Read More.
-The Building Code requires an operable egress window with minimum size requirements as [the other agent] indicated. In addition the window needs to be sized for light and air requirements. If I remember correctly it is 10% of the floor area. A closet is not a requirement to satisfy the building code, but it may be a HUD requirement for financing, as [another agent] mentioned.

Perhaps the most accurate answer?

1. The first bedroom must be at least 120 square feet.
2. If your first bedroom is at least 120 square feet, you get to call your second bedroom a bedroom if it’s at least 70 square feet with 7’ on a side.
3. Required natural light and air: 8% of floor area of natural light, and 4% of floor area of air (operable window). A traditional double-hung window can cover both bases, because when it is open, it provides half the air as natural light.
4. Minimum clear headroom of 7’-6”
5. You need two means of egress. One may be a window. If the second is the window, fire department requires minimum area for personnel access of width 20”, minimum height 24” with net clear opening minimum of 5.7 square feet.
6. A closet is required.

And the first comment from that thread:

What you’ve written here is not entirely correct – I believe you may be conflating Realtor’s rules-of-thumb with actual Code requirements.

1) Sort of. Any habitable room (Living Rm, Dining Rm, etc) can be larger than 120 SF (2007 CBC SEC 1208.3)
2) Correct. Minimum Habitable room size (includes bedrooms) is 70 SF, 7′ minimum width (2007 CBC SEC 1208.3 & 1208.1)
3) These are correct window areas for required natural light (8% floor area) and ventilation (4% floor area), but neither is required if sufficient artificial light and mechanical ventilation are supplied (2007 CBC 1203.4.1 & 1205.3).
4) Correct – Minimum ceiling height for Habitable rooms is 7′-6″, however it is 7′-0″ for bathrooms, storage, kitchen, laundry (2007 CBC 1208.2).
5) Sort of. Only one exit (Means of Egress) is required, the other is an Emergency Escape & Rescue requirement. This is not a Fire Department requirement, it is a California Building Code requirement (SEC 1026.1)
6) Wrong. No closet is required by any State or Local code (Building, Housing, Health or otherwise).

So there you have it…the jury is clearly still out on this one. My advice, get used to living in closets if you’re living in San Francisco.

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!

Hey San Francisco! Do You Know How Much Opportunity Is Not On MLS

We were asked a while ago to tone down our promoting of the newest, best, and fastest growing network for “off market” or more precisely termed “not on MLS” real estate opportunities, but we can only hold back so long. If you are a real estate professional, if you are a home owner on the fence about selling, if you are a buyer that can’t find what you’re looking for “on” the market, or if you simply like to see what else is out there, you should absolutely be a part of the growing site that is PocketListings.net.

We launched on July 4, 2010, quickly realized we were on to something, but also quickly realized we needed to completely overhaul the site, which is exactly what we’re doing. As a result, we stopped marketing and just let word spread, and spread it did. Here is a quick rundown of San Francisco properties and buyer needs that have recently showed up on PocketListings.net.

Russian Hill TIC for $1,275,000:


South Beach Condo at the Lansing for $575,000:


Sunnyside Multi-Unit for $1,475,000:


Liberty Hill Single Family for $2,285,000:


Should you decide on moving to Palo Alto, check out this Palo Alto Pocket Listing for $6,500,000…you could be neighbors with Zuckerberg:

…and all of those are just opportunities with photos (clarity of photos is a theFrontSteps issue)! There are so many more pocket listings than you can possibly imagine. Oh, and we forgot to mention the buyers out there looking for homes:
-Buyer looking for Art Deco in Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, or Telegraph Hill (We’re working on the price bug).
-1031 Exchange buyers looking for 3-4 units anywhere in San Francisco.
-Buyer looking for Condo in Pacific Heights for $900,000…only criteria…large exclusive use patio.
-Two Million Dollar buyer looking for doorman building in Nob Hill, Pacific Heights.

…and the list goes on and on.

What does this mean to you? If you’re a buyer, it means there is a now a place for your agent to post your buyer need, and there is a place for you to look for “not on MLS” property to purchase.

If you’re a seller, there is a place to “list” your home for sale without all the hoopla of MLS (no Days on Market, and no price history), but as much (or more) exposure. You can also browse buyers, and if you see one that might want your home…contact your agent to do the deal.

If you’re an agent, you can now market your pocket listings across brokerages without spamming email inboxes, your post is searchable on our site by a myriad of criteria, we put your post on our Twitter Page, we’ll happily spread the word about your post on our Facebook Profile, you control the transaction, information, showings, and price of that property, AND you can still list it on MLS if it doesn’t sell on our site first.

There are so many more benefits to using PocketListings.net, we’ll spare you the details. Just note, our next version is already under construction, and if the success of our beta launch is any indication of how things will go in the future, you’ll definitely want to get in before we go live with our next version (think free account for life).

If San Francisco is not your thing, don’t worry, we’re steadily growing in markets like Los Angeles, Marin County, Albuquerque, Portola Valley, and so many more. Wherever it is you drink your cup of tee, we encourage you to be a part. It’s a good thing, and getting better.

-PocketListings.net [Off Market (Not on MLS) Real Estate Network]

(Potential) America’s Cup Race Route For San Francisco Revealed: Realtors Frothing

Well…it’s official (sort of). There is a route sketched out for the 2013 America’s Cup planned for San Francisco and every Realtor in the city wants you to get front row seats (living rooms, balconies, and even bathrooms). While many agents have always been touting their listings as marvelous places to live and own a piece of San Francisco real estate, now they’re claiming views of the course, and One Rincon Hill is first out of the gate today Tweeting that, “Americas Cup draft route released! Many at One Rincon Hill to enjoy spectacular views of the race from home.” Let’s just hope they don’t decide to build Tower #2 all of a sudden.

Every agent in the city that has ever sold a home in or near SOMA, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, Pacific Heights, and/or South Beach (to name a few) is already on the hunt, sales centers are ramping up their marketing, and the real estate community is buzzing. There are big bucks in sailing, and what agent wouldn’t want a piece of that action.

But the fact remains, watching a sailboat race is free, and if you can find a view of the water, you’ll likely have a good view of the race. We find it hilarious that the map above shows only one “Public Viewing Area”, as San Francisco is full of hills with amazing (FREE) water views. However, should you happen to desire protection from the elements (think howling San Francisco wind), we happen to know a good Realtor or two who’d be happy to help you find that room with a view. ;-)

-2013 America’s Cup Race Route [SF Gate}

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!!!!!!

Tasty Views, Cool Beers, And Designer Living, 600 Feet Above Ground At One Rincon Hill

Sometimes you just need a little real estate photo porn to get you through your day. Below are some images from One Rincon Hill (for those wondering, One Rincon Hill is the gigantic tower…some would say phallic symbol… that kisses the west end of the Bay Bridge off/on ramps), which were recently provided to us from the Design Above All Event (something we HIGHLY…no pun intended…recommend you go experience) that is currently taking place on top of the San Francisco skyline (~600 feet up to be more precise).

The views are incredible and the two & three-bedroom condominium homes (ranging in size from 1880-1957 square feet, and price of $3.1 and $3.6 million), which were designed by Carver+Schicketanz, of Carmel; Eugene Anthony and Associates, Ltd., of San Francisco; Labexperiment, also of San Francisco; and Donald Joseph Inc., of Sacramento, are quite nice, to say the least.

To see what the building looked like before, have a look at our photos from the topping off ceremony, but don’t forget to have a look at the photos below.

Living Room Design by Carver+Schicketanz or Carmel, California:
DAA_Carver+Schicketanz_LivingRoom1

Unit 5301 Living Room Design by Labexperiment of San Francisco:
DAA_labexperiment_5301_living1

Unit 5302 Family Room by Eugene Anthony and Associates, Ltd., San Francisco:
DAA_EugeneAnthony_5302_familyrm1

Unit 5304 Living Room by Donald Joseph Inc., Sacramento, California:
DAA_DonaldJoseph_5304_living1

Unit 5904 Living Room by theFrontSteps red tape ducking photog dawg prior to completion of the building (notice the Bay Bridge in the background), and post sucking back a tasty lager:
photodawg

Unit 5904 Views captured by the photog dawg and his cohort that night! (That’s Millennium Tower in the foreground, not yet topped off.)
orh5904view

Beers on the balcony too…the balcony that didn’t have a railing (blurry image suggests shaking in fear of falling 600 feet to our death like idiots!):
orh5904balconyview

And the elevator we took back down…duh! Obviously not that night!

———–
“Design Above All,” inspiration for luxury high-rise living 2009, is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., and Saturdays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. through Nov. 1, at One Rincon Hill, 425 First St., San Francisco. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.sfdesigncenter.com. Admission is $20 (includes valet parking) and benefits three local charities: PAWS (www.pawssf.org), Food Runners (www.foodrunners.org) and At the Crossroads (www.atthecrossroads.org). Group rates available and must be arranged in advance. For more information, call (415) 490-5820 or visit www.sfdesigncenter.com

Comment Du Jour: SOMA Gets Dissed

somaview

From “anon” on our recent post, “Battle Royale: San Francisco’s Infinity Tower Versus Some Peninsula Townhouse”:

SOMA would the be last place I’d buy in SF. It lacks any sort of SF feel, there is no personality nor night-life.

We don’t live down there, so can’t speak to daily life in the area, but we gotta ask…you SOMA folks gonna take that!?

[Update: In case you don't read comments or care to add insight, this is what you're missing:

This is probably from some [person] that rents in the Marina with his loose Armani Xchange Jeans on and a tight Ed Hardy T Shirt that tries to be hip and parties at Medjool on Saturdays, giving high fives to stangers at the club. . Is this a correct, assumption?

We’ll go ahead and throw an LOL in for that one! Don’t know about the assumption and don’t know the original commenter. Generally we shy away from, and don’t agree with, personal attacks, but since you don’t know each other either, we thought it a funny, stereotypical generalization about residents of the Marina. You Marina peeps gonna take that!?]

City And Media Pounce, Developer Responds (Mike Krozier, Think One Rincon Hill)

Hullabaloo, hullabaloo, hullabaloo. That appears to be what everybody loves these days (especially when it seems to highlight more economic hardship for anybody…we’d think it easier to claw out of a recession if we shifted our focus elsewhere), and so it is no surprise the city (we’ll call it more the real estate obsessed readers) were up in arms over Robert Selna’s Chronicle Article stating (among other things):

The developer of the new condominium tower that dominates San Francisco’s southern skyline has told The Chronicle that he does not plan to pay the $5 million in fees that were central to obtaining city approval to build the high-rise.

orh

Apparently the Chronicle didn’t get it exactly right…shocker!

From the developer of One Rincon Hill himself:

An open letter to the leaders of the city of San Francisco, Rincon Hill residents, our project partners, and the media:

While it is unfortunate that my discussion with the San Francisco Chronicle was taken out of context and thus reflected inaccuracies, it does provide me with an opportunity to share what has been and continues to be our commitment to both the project and the City. As such, I share the following.

Not only is One Rincon Hill more than 70% sold*, but sales once again are brisk; in fact, sales traffic has been above the pre-crash level (60-100 tours) every week in 2009. We are pleased to report that we have almost fully paid our construction lender and contractors, have no liens against the building and appreciate the unwavering support of our partners. We have not received any funds from the City in any aspect of the development of this project.

We have every intention to complete Tower II, but, as I said publicly months ago, we are waiting for the economy, and the residential real estate market in particular, to turn on the upswing. There is no rush to proceed at this time.

In specific response to the reporting in the San Francisco Chronicle that “he does not plan to pay the $5 million in fees that were central to obtaining city approval to build the high-rise,” this is not my plan. In fact, to date we have paid more than $16.6 million in fees:

Affordable housing in lieu fee (offsite) $11,026,146 (Dec. 2005)
S.F. public school fee $858,448 (Feb. 2006)
Rincon Hill Community Improvement fee $3,162,889 (Sept. 2006)
SOMA Stabilization Fund fee $1,268,306 (Dec. 2005 and Sept. 2006)
Total: $16,615,789

The sole remaining fee to be paid is the balance of the SOMA Stabilization Fee of $13.75 x 393,884 square feet or $5,415,905. This payment is not yet due. The payment becomes due when we obtain a final Certificate of Occupancy (which has not yet occurred); or, alternatively, we can post a letter of credit at that time to delay the payment by 6 months. In other words, we are not in default nor do we intend to be. Furthermore, the developer will not receive any distributions from the project before the SOMA Stabilization Fund fee is paid.

In my typical candor, I shared with the Chronicle the realities of today’s economy on our project – no different from what most every project is the country is experiencing. As we are in the most egregiously difficult financial environment of our times, I am realistically concerned with the burden of this fee. This was the intent of my discussion with the Chronicle, and I am disappointed it was not more clear. That said, we plan to pay the fees when due and proceed onto Tower II of this project which will provide a very singular living experience in a world class city.

Thank you for this opportunity to update our project and our vision.

Michael Kriozere
Urban West Associates

-City fees for One Rincon unlikely to be paid [SFGate/SF Chronicle]

[Editor's Note: No, the tower is not tilted...it's trick photography. ;-) ]

Pictures, Pricing, Scoop, And Rumors Squashed For The Infinity Tower II San Francisco

Coming on the heels of our recent jaunt down to The Infinity, there were a couple questions that needed some clarification. Let’s get through those first, and then we’ll share our experiences of the much-hyped Tower II.

From “anon”:

What’s the price on those lovely midrise units? Are they willing to deal and if so, how much? Looking at deals for a 1 bed.

The answer: The mid-rise pricing for 1 bedrooms starts at $699,000. There are two studios, which are priced at $599,000 and $600,000. These are the last studios remaining. The sales office is happy to present any (reasonable) offer to the developer (so contact us).

From “Romeo Espedido”:

“Does tower 2 (T2) have the same floor plans as tower one (T1). Number of units per floor? Tower 2 looks skinnier than T1. Thanks.

The answer: Tower 2 does have the same floorplans and the square footages are pretty much the same as T1. Exact # of units per floor varies. Tower 1 is adjacent to the mid-rise building versus T2, which is more stand alone–as a result it may look skinnier than T1, but it is not. Also, as a result of the design of T2, they have several different floorplans in the lower floors including a 1 bedroom corner plan and several smaller 1-bedroom plans that start from $535,000.

From various readers around the blogosphere:

Are they going to forego selling the units and instead go the rental route?

Answer: No

Questions answered, now the pictures from the 27th Floor of T2:
Looking West from the balcony, T1 in the foreground, Millennium Tower in the distance, and ground breaking on temporary Transbay Terminal below:
infinity27thview

Looking NW from the kitchen:
infinitylrviewt2

Looking NE from the living room, thats the Bay Bridge folks, and Treasure Island:
infinityviewt2

Apparently, theFrontSteps carries some weight, as we were privileged enough to go to many other floors than the 27th (like the penthouses), but we swore to keep the camera in the pocket and details zipped behind our lips (except the ~$7M price tag for one of those penthouses we’d gladly mix you a margarita in).

Needless to say, the views from Tower II on the North side of the building are hard to beat, and of course those are the units we were shown. Get on the south and you’ll definitely have some peeps looking in your windows, but that’s part of the fun, right. ;-) The details and finishes in the building are nice and clean, the floorplans work quite well, and the Infinity’s amenities (included in the HOA) are truly remarkable. The building is still very much in demand, and the place was buzzing with activity (yes, some contracts have already been written for Tower II). The pool area is great, the fitness room is huge (and was totally empty when we were there during business hours), and location is top-notch. So, if we had all the money in the world and could buy one unit at the Infinity, it would have to be one of the penthouses on the North East side of the building in Tower II, because we got beat out by another buyer on the second penthouse at The Millennium Tower. Damn!

As for pricing at The Infinity:
1 bedrooms from the mid $500,000s, square footage 700-1020
2 bedrooms from the high $700,000s, square footage 1160-1600
3 bedrooms from the high $900,000s, square footage 1630-1740
Penthouses…contact us

We have the deets, so don’t be shy getting in touch if you’d like a tour, or if you have any further questions. As always, thanks for hanging out on theFrontSteps, and happy housing!

The Infinity Gearing Up For Tower II Release, We’re Going In!

theinfinity_large

The day is near for the Infinity to offer luxury condominiums in their second tower to the public and we’re heading in to view some units and ask questions today. If you have questions you’d like answered, ask them in the comments below and we’ll see what we can dig up, including some pricing. If you’d like answers in confidence, you’ll have to shoot us an email (thefrontsteps@gmail.com).

Que Sera, Sera: One Rincon Hill’s 60th Floor Penthouse Residence ($14M)

We’ve all heard about the latest craze to talk about what buildings aren’t selling what, what price reductions happened where, what incentives are being offered here, and which penthouse condos are selling for what. If you’ve been reading up on your bay area blogs, you’ll likely already know that the entire 60th floor of One Rincon Hill is again available, but not presented as an opportunity to purchase yet another excellent slice of pie in the sky, rather a failure to close contracts due to the recent national recession (half full, half empty).

So, should you only be in the $2+ Million buying range, you could take your pic of one of the four residences on the 60th floor (at least one on the 59th too):

The views from up there are nothing short of extraordinary.

Or, should you be walking around with roughly $14 Million burning a hole in your pocket, you could chop down a few of those walls and take the entire 60th Floor (5900 square feet) all to yourself (okay, maybe you could share with your honey….or us).

Opportunity knocks, and we’re dying to come to the parties. We’re not sure if when you purchase the entire top floor you’d have exclusive access to swim in the seismic water tank on top, but it never hurts to ask.

Millennium Tower, San Francisco: A walkthrough, a few photos, a little scoop, and my opinion

For those of you that read this San Francisco real estate blog on a regular basis, you’ll know I’ve been watching the progress of many of the new developments around town. One of my favorites happens to be Millennium Tower (301 Mission). Not because I’ve sold many units there, but because it truly stands out (and above) from the others.

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(Yes, that is the Infinity you see way down there, and this shot is only from the 26th floor.)

Don’t get me wrong, I love the other new developments (towers) as well, and I’d love to show any of you around all of the buildings, because they all have their attractions, but Millennium Tower just seems to have that vibe. That…je ne sais quoi…It seems like it will have the same high end/high net worth residents (at least one penthouse in contract at +$10 million and….damn I want to tell you more, but promised not to) as those in the St. Regis, but twice as many amenities at half the dues…not to mention a Michael Minna restaurant. The Infinity feels much more Hard Rock Hotel meets San Francisco (not a bad thing at all), and One Rincon Hill with the dazzling views, just doesn’t have the location (trust me, I’ve had several clients turn away from the location) to put it in the same class as St. Regis and Millennium Tower, not to mention the uncertainty of Tower Two.

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I must say I am a bit disappointed with the ranges, and islands in the kitchens at the Millennium, and that some units don’t have deeded parking, but those are easy enough to remedy. The building is solid, and the finishes are very high end. The views are extraordinary, the location is getting better, and the amenities are through the roof. The units are still selling very quickly and many owners losing their money in the stock market have bought multiple units here, so all signs still point to a successful development by Millennium Partners, and I can’t wait until they start moving people in.

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(Penthouse terrace views.)

There are still some very choice units available at the Millennium and several at many other developments around town. I haven’t heard of any negotiations or price incentives at Millennium Tower, but I know some of the other developments around town have been offering them up, and the “off market” trading that is going on at many of them is nothing short of extraordinary.

I have more photos, and a lot more details, but you’ll have to contact me if you’d like to learn more.

Is the Infinity Condo SF Built on Bedrock?

We get all kinds of good search words driving traffic to theFrontSteps, but “MonsterTruck” still leads the pack for consistency. Recently we had quite a few people find the site searching “Bedrock SF” and more specifically “Is the Infinity condo sf built on bedrock”? For exact details, we’d suggest you contact the folks at the Infinity directly, but should you care to browse some of the bedrock maps we alluded to previously, by all means, don’t let us stop you.

bedrockinfinityj

From what we can tell, the Infinity is located on the block where Folsom and Spear intersect (highlighted in green circle) and there is a chance it is built on a little bit of both (landfill and bedrock). We would still suggest you consult the experts.

[Update: From "Henry" who makes an excellent point, "It doesn’t matter. Any building that size will have piers all the way down to bedrock, even if the material above it is landfill."]

-Ask Us: A Map of Bedrock vs. Landfill (SF) [theFrontSteps]

-USGS Seismic Site

We talked fast cars, now we’re talking VB, who’s listening?

Back in November, we advised Luxury High Rise Condo/hotel developers… to take note about a new car club in town and apparently One Rincon Hill did, with the addition of DRIV into their “One Club”.

“Your One Rincon Membership grants you 75 points and 900 miles (up to 11 reservation days) which are debited for each vehicle outing, giving you autonomy based on your personal preferences.”

You also get vehicle delivery to the One Rincon Hill property!

Yes, we know, the Fairmont Heritage Place at Ghirardelli Square beat them to the punch, but One Rincon Hill is the first High Rise to get the hint. We hope Millennium Tower is next, especially with the little parking situation they have there. Now if any of these developments would just start stocking residents’ refrigerators with Victoria Bitter on move in day, we’d all be a lot better off, hopefully be invited to a few house warmings, and be able to inform Ghirardelli Square that they’re setting a few trends other than chocolate. (In case you didn’t know Cellar 360 at Ghirardelli square is apparently the first place in the city to sell Victoria Bitter…yes, slabs!…and they’re f*cking good mate!)

-Inside the Fairmont Heritage Place Ghirardelli Square [theFrontSteps]

-Luxury High Rise Condo/hotel developers… take note [theFrontSteps]

-One Rincon Hill’s Driv page [clubdriv.com]

-“One Club”

-Millennium Tower [theFrontSteps]

A done deal at 200 Brannan (#109)

Oh it’s just so awful when a property sells for under asking.  The world of San Francisco real estate has certainly come to an end when we start to see this.  We can all pack our things and head for more affordable, greener pastures.  That is, of course, unless you love yourself some loft!

After 32 days on the market, 200 Brannan #109 sold for a whopping $10,000 below list price, or more correctly stated, it sold at market value.

This is a fantastic property in a great building, and these buyers got a great price, and a great outdoor patio! They should be thrilled.

We doubt you’d find anything like this in Kansas.

-200 Brannan #109 [MLS]