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]

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]

San Francisco New Development Sales Report

We recently got our hands on a massive downtown/highrise/new development report provided by the Mark Company (they happen to do most, if not all, of the new development marketing), and we thought we’d share a tiny summary with you. If you’d like detailed numbers and more commentary on the market/sales, feel free to contact us.

According to The Mark Company’s report:

* The number of closings in new developments in SF decreased by 19% month-to-month with 29 closings in Oct. vs. 36 in Sept.
* The average price per square foot for condos sold decreased by nearly 24% with an average of $685 psf in Oct. vs. $897 psf in Sept. Meanwhile, the average price decreased by nearly 22% to $639,588.
* The number of currently selling market rate condominiums reached 945 in Dec., a nearly 5% decrease from Nov.

It clearly took a while to get this report done and the numbers might be considered a bit “old”, but we’ll make sure to get it out to you in a timely manner the next time around. But for the most part, it’s right on the money.

Can We Get A Sale In 2010 At The St. Regis For Chissakes!

Having recently received a few (yes, more than two) inquiries as to both rentals, and sales activity at the St. Regis Residences here in this lovely city of San Francisco, we thought it high time to give you an update.

First off…not one closed transaction in 2010 (according to MLS). Second, there are currently eight, yes 8, active listings in the St. Regis and none of them are moving (average Days On Market of 105). Finally, …..well, we won’t go there.

Here is a nice little spread sheet of the recent comps (had to go back to 2008 to get anything good) for the St. Regis Residences in San Francisco. Enjoy.

We’d have to say, it’s a pretty damn good time to be a buyer at the St. Regis, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a question about the St. Regis, or any other high rise gem punctuating our skyline.

BFD Price Reductions

A post wherin I look at price reductions that seem to be pointless.

1. Courtesy of SF Schtuff, 1001 California St., #3 is a super lux condo in the old Hitchcockian San Francisco splendor. (MLS gallery offers house porn to die for, here.)

The original price here was $7,250,000. Now it’s $6,950,000. Indeed, one could argue a $300K price break is nothing to sneeze at. But really, the person who can afford the new price could also afford the old price, especially since this home includes an HOA of $5886 per month. So, $300,000? Big  ****ing deal. The monthly payments are still going to top the GNP of certain third world countries.

Here’s another reduction I don’t think makes any difference. 2421 Clement St. This is a 10 unit building, “fully rented,” originally priced at $1,435,888. More than 50 days later, it’s reduced to $1,398,000.

In this case,  it’s not so much the amount of the reduction. I just wonder who would ever want to buy a 10-unit building in SF when every other day a law here makes being a landlord a bigger headache than it already was. In fact, this Examiner article highlights the dubious joys of landlords who are currently suing the city to block such laws. Good luck.

So I wonder, in the world of real estate, if price reductions aren’t sometimes just not that much of an incentive after all.

—————

Photo of 1001 California, #3 via listing agent Betty Brachman, Brachman Group.

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.

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 Handles.com; The Hayes staged unit: The Hayes.com.
 
 
 

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.

img_6363

(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.

img_6373

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.

img_6377

(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

43% over (asking) on 2190 Broadway 9W ($5,000,000)

Just a bit busy, so this from today’s sfnewsletter:

“Hi Alex,

I just heard a rumor that 9W at 2190 Broadway asked for $3.45M and closed for $5M. An overbid of 43%?”

Rumor mill says…TRUE! Also true: that puts the price per square foot of this condo that “needs updating” at $1,562.50; HOA dues are $2254.50; Days On Market 39; built in 1973; 3200 square feet; and one parking space.

Happy Friday!

-2190 Broadway 9W [listing details]

Ask Us: “Should structural concrete be included in the condo square footage?”

Where readers ask, and we try to answer:

Hi -

I read your article [about calculating square footage in San Francisco] and had a quick question on measuring square footage in a high-rise condominium in San Francisco. Do you know if the structural concrete should get included in the condo square footage? The condo I am looking to buy has about 100 square feet of structural concrete behind some walls, mostly along the edges, and the builder is including it in the square feet measurements. This is not “air space” nor do I own it. I can’t occupy it or modify it. I can see the reason to include partition walls, because these can be knocked down and the space can be occupied. But not so with concrete. Any advice?? The rules seem vague with respect to this.

Also, would you have the name of the individual at the Assessor’s office that replied to your email? They seemed very informative. I called the office and the person I talked to didn’t know the answer to my question (and she was an appraiser).

Thanks!

David

We tried contacting you directly, but received no reply. We’re putting this up here (as always) in hopes that the community comes back with some good answers. As for the “individual at the Assessor’s office”, we’ll leave that up to them to allow us to release their email. (We’re big on privacy. Hence the reason we allow Marina Prime to comment under a zillion different aliases. ;-) )

Please have a look at the comments for some replies, or to reply to this question.

-Calculating square footage in San Francisco [theFrontSteps]

St. Regis, 188 Minna #33D, Back on Market!

So you heard me complain, and cry, and moan that my clients missed out on unit 33D at the St. Regis. Well, now it’s back on the market, still $3,695,000, still spectacular, and still available. The buyer, which just so happened to be represented by the seller’s agent as well, has walked (the wife claiming the space just didn’t work).

My clients have determined that they aren’t quite sure South of Market is happening enough to purchase at the St. Regis, claiming it to be a bit “dead”, and now 33D awaits the next person looking for an A+ unit with spectacular views, floor to ceiling windows, an outdoor terrace, and a great floorplan. Comps will quickly point to unit 23D selling at $3.3M, but I’d like to point out that was an off-market deal and the buyer and seller were represented by the same agent (think not necessarily market price). So now that the dust has settled, 27D (at $3,475,000) and 33D (at $3,695,000) are both available, things could get interesting.

There is still one other unit “available”, but not yet on the market in the “F” stack, should you be interested.

-188 Minna #33D [Pacific Union Listing, $3,695,000]

-188 Minna #27D [listing detail $3,475,000]

188 Minna #33D (St. Regis) in contract (~$3.7M) after one week…are you kidding me!?

[Update: As of 6/13/2008 at 8pm, it is again available. The buyers in contract pulled out, my buyer has had a change of heart feeling SoMa is a bit "dead", so we won't be writing an offer at this time, and now we wait to see what happens.]

I can’t believe what I’m writing. Months ago I tried to tell all of you and some clients about some pocket listings (off market deals) at the St. Regis.

stregisdrive

After playing phone tag a few times and finally getting a commitment from some clients to fly out and see unit 33D a 2 bed, 2.5 bath ~1800 sqft condo at the wonderful St. Regis, asking $3,695,000, I find out today it is in contract! (I find out after practically pleading for them not to ratify and give my clients a look.)

Are you kidding me! Why am I so upset? Because, in every other world class market in the world, when you have some clients that are ready to plunk down close to $4,000,000 it’s not much of a problem to find them a suitable home (forget personal tastes, we’re talking availability). When you live in San Francisco, it’s not so easy.

I’m disappointed, and of course had you been watching my new morphine habit (Twitter) you’d already know this. Silver lining…I know of more pocket listings at the St. Regis, so I’ll live to fight another day.

We tried to tell you, 188 Minna #33D at the St. Regis hits the block

We did try to tell you, and a couple of people responded, with whom we might be writing an offer on this unit at the St. Regis , but for those that missed it, you’re day has come too. Unit 33D at the St. Regis hits the block for $3,725,000 and it is sweet! Glad to see the price has been nailed down, as we’ve been told several prices were in consideration prior to hitting the market (think 3 agents competing for the same listing/off market sale with us.)

33d

If that picture looks familiar, it’s because you’ve been swimming in our Flickr pool and might have been wondering which phat pad that was.

img_5115

It’s 33D and the most recent comparable is 23D, which sold off market for $3.3M, a full 10 floors lower! Of course it was a “dual agency”, and an “off market” deal, so it is always hard to gauge whether those prices make for an accurate indicator of market value. Nonetheless, that’s the best comp and that’s what everyone will be looking at.

-Life at the St. Regis is Pretty Damn Good [theFrontSteps]

-188 Minna #33D [sfnewsletter listing detail]

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]

Life at the St. Regis is pretty damn good *

You know that when I talk “life”, I talk real estate, because real estate is my life, and therefore life (real estate and living) at the St. Regis is pretty damn good. However, there are a few exceptions…the “B” units and one “F” are getting a bit stale!

stregisdrive

I was fortunate enough to sell Unit 38 B for my clients 5 days after I put it on the market (full disclosure, another agent had it on the market for 8 months prior…started at $2.8M, we listed at $2.395, sales price *). But the other units that were also on the market at the same time (March 2008 ) are still there. What gives? It’s pretty damn simple, pricing. Those sellers need to get a bit more realistic about their prices, and their agents need to counsel them to get there (they probably already are). I know what price is going to get you 25 F, and kudos to the Realtor for getting their client closer to reality, but 22, 34, and 37 B…time to start chopping.

Just like at One Rincon Hill, I also know of a few properties at the St. Regis that would be available off market, so if the St. Regis is your thing, feel free to drop me a line. If any of the new developments are your thing for that matter, there are more units “available” than you might think.

Views from the 5*th Floor of One Rincon Hill

We took you to this very floor a long, long time ago before it had walls (right after an earthquake mind you), and we took you there again just recently. This time, we’re bringing you a taste of what life will be like on top and from a North East corner unit…at night…and guess what? If you missed your chance to get one of these trophy units at the sales office, you might want to give us a shout, because there are more opportunities than you could imagine.

And yes, if you bought above the 54th floor your views should not be impacted by the second tower (build date still t.b.d.), and you can, without a shadow of a doubt, see all three bridges (Golden Gate, Richmond, Bay).

-One Rincon Hill: Topping off at 631 feet [theFrontSteps]

-I Spy [theFrontSteps]

-

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]

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]

Millennium Tower, Topping off again (we’re talking mid-rise)

Again, we posted this on the new .org and we’re ironing out the kinks. There are soooo many more ways to get involved than this typical top down (we post, you comment) structure of the blog here. There is a forum, each member can have their own blog, you can upload photos, files, video, and do so much more. It’s intense. But if you insist on reading your tFS porn here, this is an example of what you’re missing there:

Yes, we said it…topping off, and you’re probably wondering, “What the heck (f-bombs okay too) are they talking about? Millennium Tower topped off a long time ago. Right you are, but we’re talking about the mid-rise building.

Floorplan (pdf)

There are only 53 of these units total, we’re told they’re “selling well”, and we can’t figure out why they haven’t sold out (hold your cooling market comments). These are very large, open, high ceilinged units that (in our opinion) offer something unique from the rest of the developments in town. We heart all the new devs, but there is something about these units in particular that caught our eye.

If you happen to be browsing their website, plan on ~$1000/square foot for these units (if memory serves correctly), and go for the corners, they’re sweet!