Battle Royale: San Francisco’s Infinity Towers Versus Some Peninsula Townhouse

We haven’t done a Battle Royale in a while, but we thought this recent email could not only shed some light on the steals and deals being thrown out by The Infinity to get their Towers sold, but also a bit of debate as to whether it’s better to put your money in San Francisco, or Peninsula real estate.
infinityt21
From the reader (edited slightly for syntax):

Hi,

Love your blog!

I would like your opinion…

I’m looking to purchase either a new 2 bedroom townhouse in the peninsula or else a 1-2 bedroom condo at The Infinity. I will be purchasing with 4-6 other people for The Infinity (volume discount, we each get our own place, 3 people will be in the $800K -1.4mil range so i think we will have a lot of bargaining power), or trying to find a good discount for a new townhouse in the peninsula. Which would be the better investment?

I’m [f*cking young!], make $110K a year, first time home buyer, would probably rent out a room at either the condo or the townhouse, and prefer not to do any remodeling.

Thanks!

Go Giants or go home! San Francisco all the way. Way better investment in our eyes (we are biased), way better location, and at your age, you’ll likely have a helluva lot more fun. Just make sure we get an invite to the housewarming party (have you heard about our fresh lime margaritas), and there is no lifeguard on duty when we cause a ruckus in the pool! Marco…Polo…Fish Outta Water!.

Thanks for the email, glad you like the blog. We like you.

Ask Us: The Infinity Condos San Francisco Top Floor Upgrades (And Pricing)

infinitytower2up

Where readers ask and we (the community) try to answer:

Any idea on the price to get into the top 12 floors [of the Infinity Tower II] that have the upgraded cabinetry?

That’s a good questions and we did a bit of digging. This reader has already received their answer via email, but we promised not to publish price online, so if you’d like to know the pricing, you’ll have to contact us.

The answer:
The top 6 floors (not 12…it was the top 10 on Tower 1) have the different cabinetry, the lowest price would be $1,XXX,000 for the North, 2 bd, terraced unit with 1,280 square feet.

And the follow up question:

What are the differences in appliances in the top 12 [remember it's 6] floors?

The answer:
The top 6 floors of the Infinity Tower II have Poggenpohl Kitchen cabinetry (upgrades), as well as a Viking Stovetop, as opposed to the Bosch. In addition, the Bosch dishwasher (standard in all units) will have matching front that blends into the cabinetry as opposed to the stainless look.

[Updtate: It is the top 12 floors that have upgraded appliances (Viking Stovetop, Convection Microwave, and treated Paneling on the Dishwasher). It is the top 6 floors that get the upgraded Poggenpohl kitchen cabinetry.]

More questions about the Infinity or any other new developments in San Francisco? Drop us a line, or better yet, let’s schedule a tour.

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!

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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).

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

A failed flip at One Rincon Hill, and what we know about high rise “resales”

Truth be told, I recently had a client in contract to “take over” a unit above the 50th floor at One Rincon Hill from a “seller” that had purchased their unit via the sales office on the very first night said sales office opened. Yes, that means it was an attempted “flip”, a “cancellation”, a “pocket listing”, and the list goes on. The deal has crumbled (for various reasons), so now I can talk (a little).

The Lobby at One Rincon Hill

[That's the lobby.]

It’s funny to see all the chatter online about one person (okay maybe many people) listing their One Rincon Hill unit for sale on Craigslist and looking for someone to “take over” their contract. First of all, it ain’t that simple to just “take over”. If you think you can go it alone without some third party advice, just post to Craigslist and all of your problems will suddenly vaporize, think again.

Secondly, it should come as no surprise that many people will not be able to go through with their purchase, but it doesn’t mean the sky has fallen. Actions of a few individuals in one building do not represent the well being of an entire group (the market). For every one person attempting to flip or find someone to “take over” their purchase, there are 10 others that aren’t.

Finally, there are more of those transactions going on than you know at every new development in San Francisco (at least those with residents moving in), and many of those units are changing hands to ready and willing buyers (I lost a client to one such agent who had a client “transferring” their unit at the Infinity), so the focus on One Rincon Hill, and this type of activity at all, is blown way out of proportion.

What we know is that although the market has changed significantly in the past year, it is by no means down and out (surprisingly), and using anecdotal bits of “resale” activity at One Rincon Hill to paint a picture of the entire landscape of San Francisco real estate is nothing short of loony!

As for which units at One Rincon Hill are “available”, or how great the views from the top floors are… you’ll have to come back, because I just went on a tangent. For now, I can tell you, there are several units above the 50th floor “available”, should you be interested.

-Foreclosures Quadruple in State, Bay Area [sfgate]

Glassing Off: Downtown and a Bottle of Windex

Following on the heels of our latest post on Millennium Tower, today’s Chronicle/SF Gate provides the latest on all the glass going up on many of the other buildings we’ve featured. Have a look at this audio slideshow by John King of the SF Chronicle.

san francisco chronicle

And of course, feel free to share your thoughts.

-One Rincon Hill Posts [theFrontSteps]

-The Infinity Posts [theFrontSteps]

-Millennium Tower Posts [theFrontSteps]

-audio slideshow [SF Gate]

-Newest Towers Will Give SF Skyline a Touch of Glass [SF Chronicle/John King]

Comment du Jour: Does sold mean sold?

Sophie on Millennium Tower…”:

Close of Escrow [for units at the Millennium Tower] is scheduled for Spring of 2009.

I have a question. Close of escrow is when title is given [for] a big chunk of money. Right?

So if they advertise “58% sold” what does that mean? That you can buy an “option” lasting about 18months? What is the cost of an option in % to the total price of the unit?

Is the “option” money in the builder’s pocket in the mean time (I would guess so as he needs money to build the thing).

Please explain – risks, advantages, or anything else related to that type of new development (same goes for the Infinity etc).”

Anyone?

-Millennium Tower going up…” [theFrontSteps]

San Francisco as retirement destination? Huh?!

I just had to put this up. My favorite quote: “Ten years ago, when he retired, he and his wife migrated south to a bedroom community in Cary, N.C., where it was quiet and green–everything retirement is supposed to be. But ‘I was bored out of my gourd, frankly,’…”

Guess where he’ll be living? The Infinity.

[Update: another article on SF as top retirement destination: U.S. News]

-Yahoo Finance Article

Second tower at One Rincon Hill going up…soon.

J.K. Dineen of the San Francisco Business Times (highly recommend getting a subscription if you haven’t already) reported in their latest issue, “Developer Michael Kriozere plans to begin construction on the second tower of One Rincon Hill by the end of the year…”

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(photo credit: sfcondo.org, this is a view from The Infinity to One Rincon Hill Tower One…not bad, eh?)

-Work to start on second Rincon tower this year [San Francisco Business Times]

Learning Something about BMRs for Infinity and 888 Seventh

888andinfinity.jpg

Recently, we reported about the brisk selling of the BMR (Below Market Rate) units at 888 Seventh Street, and how they were snatched up in a matter of seconds. Thanks to a reader’s inquiry in the comments of that post, we dug a little deeper and learned that of those 170 BMR units, only 27 are the BMRs for 888 Seventh, the other 143 are the BMRs for the The Infinity. Translation: The Infinity has put all it’s BMR’s off site in 888 Seventh Street. Certainly didn’t know this, but now we do, and so do you.

-Mayor’s Office of Housing [website]

-1 Part Infinity, 1 Part Dwell, 2 Parts You! [sfn BLOG]

The Infinity vs. One Rincon Hill 29th Floor Smackdown

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A reader kindly pointed out the following:

-One Rincon Hill- 3 bedroom, 3 bath on 29th and 30th floors with just under 2000 square feet. It is 200 feet up the hill with un-obstructed views for $2,190,000.

-The Infinity- 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2-story home on 28th and 29th floor with approximately 1,679 square feet. It has two private 36′ wide Sky Terraces and breathtaking views for $2,400,000.

The rest we leave up to you.

In other One Rincon Hill news, they are on their 53rd floor of construction.

The picture is ours, and so are the horrible photo shop skills. ;-)

-One Rincon Hill [website]

-The Infinity [website]

-1 Part Dwell, 1 Part The Infinity, 2 Parts You [sfn BLOG]

-Tower of Power [sfn BLOG]

-The Skinny on the Grand (Soma Grand) [sfn BLOG]

1 Part Dwell, 1 Part The Infinity, 2 Parts YOU!

dwellinfinity.jpg 

So you think you’ve got what it takes to design a la modern.  Here’s your chance:

“Dwell™ invites [their] readers to submit design proposals for one of three varied floor plans for homes in The Infinity. A panel of industry experts, including Dwell owner and founder Lara Hedberg Deam, will review designs. Winning designers will see their vision materialize in cooperation with the development’s designers.”

We were wondering which of the new developments was going to be the first to partner with Dwell. It’s a totally natural fit and we can’t wait to see the results.

More info and entry details [www.dwell.com/theinfinity]

The Infinity [website]

[picture and logos taken from dwell.com/theinfinity]