Great Highway Remodel, Not On MLS, And Certainly A San Francisco Surfer’s Dream Home

I have word of a house, on the Great Highway at Noriega (the best sandbar on the beach right now), that is very much for sale, and very much not on MLS radar. Price hovering around $1,050,000 and $1,100,000. That is the view above, and here are the details below. As always, I am here to help get you in.

3 Story SFR taken to the studs and beyond in 2008
2BR 2.5 BA + Office
3 car tandem parking
LOTS of storage
Dog wash station
Hot/Cold water hookups for outdoor shower in the backyard
Ipe flooring throughout
Open layout with 8′ wide sliding birch pocket doors separating living/dining/kitchen
8′x15′ Blomberg window in living room
Custom cabinetry throughout
Spark brand fireplace in living room with flat screen TV mounted above
Half bath on living level
Huge dining room
Gourmet kitchen
Wenge cabinets
Subzero fridge
6 burner Wolf Stove with a grill and 2 ovens
Stainless sinks
Island with prep sink
Ceasarstone counters
Bosch dishwasher
Walk-in pantry
2 person office with built in Wenge desk and cabinetry
Baths all feature custom bamboo cabinets, modern Italian tile and Italian fixtures
Laundry room
Rear bedroom with attached bath has shower over tub
Master bathroom has walk-in 2 person shower with seat
Soaking tub with river rock surround
2 sinks
Separate room for toilet and bidet
Master bedroom has his/hers closets + walk-in closet for shoes (most closets in the house have storage by california closets)
Also has Spark brand fireplace with flat screen TV mounted above, cathedral ceiling, built in Wenge headboard with nightstands, plus built-in bed (plus a platform for a dog bed)
Expansive deck overlooking the surf
Ocean views from living and sleeping levels

From what I know, this is a home built for entertaining, hanging out, and enjoying all that Ocean Beach has to offer.

Contact me to go take a look. Principals Only.

Inner-Sunset Sprouting Condos

Inner-Sunset, home to much good food, a few good bars, a few bad bars, the prohibitively expensive Andronico’s, and UCSF, will soon be home to new condos. On my block alone (9th Ave., past Moraga St.) there are two sites going up or planned to go up. One is adjacent to my deck, where I once saw the Bay, and now see the back of someone’s bedroom to be. I have no idea if this very tall building will be apartments for rent or condos for sale, but it will have several units, a garage, and a penthouse. On the other side of the street, where a long defunt Moraga Market has been little more than place to try out graffiti tags and dump unwanted sofas, construction is also in the works. The lot has sold, a hearing has taken place. All that’s left is to break ground.

Finally, quite done are the condos on 7th Ave., near Irving St. The photo above is from before the facades were placed. Now they are gorgeous Art Deco looking things with burnished copper and huge windows. The agent, Gary Small of Zephyr, tells me that the units are luxury one and two bedroom condos with underground parking, and that the two free-standing cottages that stood in a lot behind the building that sits on the street have been revamped. Some lucky millionare can thus own a little house all his or her own!

It’s the most action the Inner-Sunset has seen since a bunch of drunks from the Mucky Duck tried to scale a MUNI train. Sadly for we middle income buyers, the luxury condo lable means these new homes, exciting though they are, will not be ours.

Oh well. Drinking at the Mucky Duck is always an alternative.

PHOTO: Socketsite

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.


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's trick photography. ;-) ]

The Scoop: Seven Arden Estates Have Risen from the Earth

Some time ago, I noted the construction in West Portal and asked around the Front Steps for the scoop. Those folks on the steps always know a lot, and more importantly, they like to argue. We had ideas that the construction would yield five- no, six- no, seven- no,  eight homes. They were to be made of the cheapest- no, the most luxuriant materials. They were to be a blessing to- no, a curse, on San Francisco housing.

One thing we all seemed to agree on was that a stand of less than ten single-family homes was not the way to maximize that open space in West Portal. A larger building  project, sized to maximize density, would have been a better call.
Still, the call was made; and without much of the NIMBY drama that normally plagues construction, Arden Estates are here.
Well, almost. The now live website’s photo gallery so far boasts one photo (seen above). Such dearth is logical since the homes aren’t done yet; however, the location is awesome for families, and the units back up onto a thick mass of trees that completely belie an urban setting. Plus,  their plans look pretty sweet (see below: Click to enlarge).

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

And to the Front Steppers who argued over units, there are to be seven stand alone homes here. Each will have three bed rooms + a bonus room, three baths, high end finishes, attics, 2-car garages, fireplaces…. and geez, more, more, and more. Frankly, I’m getting light headed. You can see the list yourself by visiting the amenities link on the website.  
Price is, unsurprisingly, not advertised on the website. However, rumor has it these homes will run in the $2 million range.
So that’s me out of the running for one of these beauties, unless you’ve all been fooling me and there really is a Santa. If so, Santa, if you’re reading, I’ve been a very good girl.

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

An “Apple” in Noe Valley?

An interesting property was pointed out to me today. I hadn’t noticed it because I don’t have any clients in this range unfortunately. It’s weird that I didn’t notice it anyway because I actually lived at the place for a period of time. That’s a whole ‘nother story.

It’s 4545 25th street. Purchased in February of 2007 for $2.725M. It was basically brand new construction at the time. Not having seen the pictures yet, I cannot confirm that this is a true apple.  I do know that the property was done, done, and done when it was last on the market. So I doubt a remodel happened in the interim but I could of course be wrong about that. It’s on the market now for $2.895M.

What’s interesting is that it sold in Feb 2007 after a price reduction, a change of listing agents, and it sold for under asking. Now they are out at more than it was initially listed for.  I’d link you guys to it but there aren’t any pictures yet. I’ll edit this when they come out.



–Kenneth Kohlmyer a k a der fluj

Millennium Tower: A “First Look” inside

If you’ve kept up with this site, you should be getting a grasp of what’s happening with Millennium Tower. Sales have been brisk, construction is moving along, the views are incredible, and now the inside:

Anyone fancy a bath (insert British accent here).

Very nice finishes.

Views from a corner 1 bedroom unit.

Of course we have more photos! But that’s all you get right now. If you can’t wait, or have more questions, you know what to do.

-All things Millennium Tower [theFrontSteps]

Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Brutal! (74 Neptune, triple ended)

Adding fuel to an already hot fire of us Realtors making too much “easy money”, I came across this listing in MLS at 74 Neptune in Silver Terrace (yes, it is still San Francisco).


Sold in January of 2007 for $498,000, buyer represented by Realtor TZ. “Tastefully renovated” recently, and listed May 2007 for $599,000, also by Realtor TZ. It just sold for $735,000 (22% over asking or $136,000), buyer again represented by Realtor TZ. (I can see the wolves lining up now.) Sometimes this happens, and we don’t know the entire story, or how much work this Realtor put into this, but it is a great deal for the Realtor, that is for damn sure! And it’s an interesting find nonetheless.

But what I really want to know is, what’s going on with the new construction next door?

Holloway and Bixbee: new construction find

There’s just something about seeing naked wood in San Francisco that gets us all giddy.



Maybe it’s the prospect of something entirely new being built in the neighborhoods where we live. Or maybe it’s the fact that when we see something like this, it is clear somebody had the persistence and patience to push their dream (or development) through the city’s red tape. Either way, this home on the corner of Holloway and Bixbee in Merced Heights gives us that funny, good feeling, and it looks to be coming along quite nicely. (Guess that’s why we blog about real estate.) They even spared the white picket fence and arched trellis entrance.

What is perhaps more interesting about this single family construction…it appears to have been torn down to the ground. Not too easy to do in this city. Remind us to update you on this one when it is complete…or maybe you can update us?

-Merced Heights: sfnewsletter Tour de San Francisco (real estate) [sfnewsletter]

-17th & Clayton, pics of new development and some “luv” [theFrontSteps]

Is San Francisco still a Seller’s Market?

Without even asking the Realtor members of our Stammtisch what they thought, we could bet that all of them would consider our market very much a seller’s market. It appears from this recent article, we’re not alone in thinking that. And based off of his/her comments, we’re guessing “boomtime” would as well. (Thanks for the link!)


Some quotes worth noting:

“The best way to judge a buyer’s vs. a seller’s market is a simple supply vs. demand analysis of housing stock: At the current rate of sales, how long would it take to sell off the inventory whether single family homes or condos?”

“In the case of San Francisco, which ranked second on our list, it’s an issue of geography: There is little space for growth or new development and the local government doesn’t do much to incentivize new construction.” [We bolded that for you...think Daly, McGoldrick, Ellis Act restrictions, the growing number of TICs, etc.]

But damnit! Why aren’t we #1? Losing sucks! Good thing at least one of us has some rental property close to Raleigh, NC.

If you have something to contradict this article, please share it. If it is an entire link/post, just email it to us and we’ll gladly post it for you.

-Top Home Sellers’ Markets []

17th & Clayton Pics of new development and some “luv”

Following up to our post regarding the new construction on the corner of 17th & Clayton, our reader “luv” sent us these pictures:


What this will be is four, 4-level town homes, around 1500-1800 square feet each. Three of the homes will be 3BR/3.5BA, the fourth will be 3BR/3BA. Each home will have two decks, a backyard, parking, high ceilings and superior finishes.

Construction is expected to be completed early 2008; pricing has not yet been determined.

We luv our readers! You keep us going, and you saved us a trip. Thank you!

New Construction: 17th & Clayton

Just as soon as we remember the camera next time we drive by 17th & Clayton, we’ll snap a photo of what this once vacant lot looks like today. For now you have to deal with a satellite photo. Maybe some readers could give us some love, and we’ll definitely give you credit for the photo.


What this lot will be is four, 4-level town homes, around 1500-1800 square feet each. Three of the homes will be 3BR/3.5BA, the fourth will be 3BR/3BA. Each home will have two decks, a backyard, parking, high ceilings and superior finishes.

Construction is expected to be completed early 2008; pricing has not yet been determined.

If you live in the area, have a camera, and feel like helping us out, please send the picture to Muchas Gracias!

Clarification on McGoldrick Proposal

Regarding my recent post, McGoldrick Strikes, well not gold that’s for sure it seems there is a bit of confusion regarding whether or not the proposed legislation applies to single family residences.  Yes, the confused includes me. 

The answer I received from McGoldrick’s office, is that the intention is not to include single family homes. HOWEVER, the verbiage, according to the attorney I consulted, DID imply single families. Furthermore, after speaking with Betty Chan in Jake McGoldrick’s office, it is not clear whether the legislation will apply to certain remodels or new construction of 2-unit buildings intended as single family homes, but retaining a second unit for the sole purpose of avoiding any necessary zoning conversion from 2 units to single family.   I see this kind of remodel and new development a lot, where developers just gut the place, keep a kitchen and bath down, and call it a single family, which technically and functionally it is, but legally it is still two units.  

So to summarize, if this concerns you, you should contact a qualified land use attorney, and/or Supervisor McGoldrick himself or one of his staff members.   It extends beyond my area of expertise. 

If you ever have questions regarding any future McGoldrick proposals, or this one for that matter, give Betty Chan a shout, (415) 554-7413. Well…don’t shout, because she probably wouldn’t like that, but chat, and she’d gladly answer your questions. 

Michael, does that help? 

Ask an Expert, New Development Condo or Pacific Heights (Sally Rosenman)

“I’m thinking of buying either a condo in one of these new high-rise buildings like Infinity, One Rincon, or Soma Grand, but I love Pacific Heights. Where do you think I would get the best appreciation?”-Jacki

As answered by Sally Rosenman of Hill & Co. Real Estate,

Dear Jacki,
Thanks for asking about the difference in value between South Beach (and one would have to include Mission Bay) and Pacific Heights.  This is really like comparing apples and oranges.  Pacific Heights is an “old” neighborhood with eclectic styles in homes and walking distance (depending) to Lafayette, Alta Plaza or Julius Kahn Parks and the various stores & restaurants on Union, Chestnut and Fillmore Streets.
South Beach & Mission Bay are a hot “new” style of neighborhood -a more edgy, less of a true neighborhood feel to them and most of the buildings are mid- to high-rises with not a whole lot of difference between their facades.  But there are a lot of differences, in my opinion, between the finishes and the care in which the various buildings are built. Many high-rise units have views of Downtown SF, the Bay or The Channel southward. More and more of the Developers are putting in berms and green areas between their buildings giving the areas a bit of a park-like feel. Starbucks, Safeway, Whole Foods, Border’s Books, Acme Chophouse, MoMo’s, Azie  plus the AT&T Ballpark, The Metreon, Embarcadero, Ferry Building and more coming in to the area are helping to give it a more “neighborhood” feel but not like  that of Pacific Heights.  Also there is easy access to the Bay Bridge and Highway 101 for commutes to jobs outside the City. 
In the past 6 months, 71 condos (not TICs) have sold in Pacific Heights ranging from the smallest studio to the largest multi-level flat, with or without parking from $398,000 to $9,000,000 for 2320 Broadway.  5 sold at the asking price, 33 sold under asking and 32 sold over.  5 sold at an unpublished price.
In the past 6 months, in Mission Bay, using the same parameters, 19 condos sold. 1 condo sold over asking, 10 at asking and 8 under the asking price.  Most were resales with perhaps a few new sales at 260 King (and I am not sure because I do not follow that complex.)  All of the new Developments like 235 Berry and the Arterra in the 300 block do not show up as Developers try to sell them without using the MLS.
In the past 6 months, in South Beach, 99 units sold as resales, 68 under asking, 19 over, 10 at asking and 2 with non-published prices.  Again, this does not include The Infinity or One Rincon or The Watermark, etc. It is hard to say exactly what with all the new construction because their sale prices are not published in the MLS. Many Developers are offering rebates of some kind to help spur sales. Is there a glut of units in these areas?  Hard to say b because the area appeals to many people who not only love new construction but like the various amenities and proximity to various areas I mentioned.
As you can see, both areas are showing an uneven market in sales. I believe there will always be buyers for both areas because of the two different lifestyles.  It remains to be seen how South Beach and Mission Bay fare over the next ten years. I suspect it will always be an area of choice for many people.  Frankly. both areas will rise and fall with the real estate cycle.  I would pick the area that you like the best and go with that.  I do not think you can make a mistake with either one.