Stump the Stammtisch: What do you think of the Potrero (451 Kansas)?

In another test of our growing amount of knowledge via new members to our Stammtisch, a reader asks our opinion. Hopefully, he/she’ll get an answer.

“Hi there,

What do you think of the Potrero development? Do you think housing prices in this area will appreciate, since it is considered up and coming?




Please feel free to help this reader form an opinion on the development and area, and look for some expert opinions from some of our Stammgäste, by checking and contributing to the comments.

The Potrero, South Building now selling [theFrontSteps]

The Potrero [website]

8 thoughts on “Stump the Stammtisch: What do you think of the Potrero (451 Kansas)?

  1. I feel so strongly about the success of this development that I decided to buy one of the units. That’s putting my money where my mouth is. A lot of Realtors can talk a property up (myself included) and quite honestly, we can’t invest in every offering that comes along, but right now the Potrero is offering some incentives that make this development very attractive!

    Janis Stone

  2. a.s.,

    great question.

    i’m not sure that the north slope of potrero hill is still “up and coming.” i feel as though it has arrived. this year, the average price per square foot for a single family home (on both slopes of the hill) is $690 and $647 for condos/lofts. the north slope is a highly desirable part of town–you have sun, parking, community, a business strip (with destination restaurants), unbelievable city views and soon–a large new development with whole foods as the anchor tenant. i feel as though the prices of the units at “the potrero” are pretty much in line with the comparable properties on the north slope of the hill. not necessarily a mind-blowing deal, but i see value. it’s rare that a new development comes to potrero hill (sierra heights was the last one and it’s in a significantly inferior location and the resales are already supporting higher prices than the original release). victoria mews, just up the street from the potrero has steadily appreciated over the years. my two cents–get a unit that can differentiate itself from the others. in other words, get views, get a townhouse, get a great location within the complex or a “special” unit. also, ask yourself what the investment is for. are you going to hold onto it for 2 years? 5 years? 25 years? are you going to live in it or rent it? both of those questions will help answer your question (if you plan to hold on to it for many years to come, i don’t think you can go wrong)

  3. The location is okay. This is away from the projects but there is a school couple of blocks away with tons of kids from the projects. People get mugged around that area a lot. You should check the place out at night or when these kids get off. I wouldn’t want to walk around the area at night. It looks pretty dead and not safe. Plus, there is a Whole Floods below; you will get tons of traffic and it is going to be noisy for sure. Heck, you will have a hard time getting in your garage to park. For the price that you are paying for a unit, you might as well get a unit in near SOMA, example.. Infinity, 1 Ricon.

  4. I’d disagree on the area being safe. I lived in Potrero Hill for 9 years — both the North and South slope and I never ran into trouble. The school that is close to the Potrero is a great charter school and public school that services kids from all over the city and the Potrero community. It’s a 12 month school offering some great services in the summer.

    Let me preface this conversation by saying I’m not a huge fan of large complexes — I prefer 2-4 unit buildings that offer more vintage San Franciscan character.

    That said – if you told me I had to buy in a large complex, I’d happily select the Potrero over units in SOMA, Rincon, etc. In my opinion, there’s no comparison when discussing parking, safety, noise, etc. Potrero Hill is a great neighborhood and while Whole Foods is going to cause a spike in traffic, we won’t see the clogged streets that are Rincon Hill at 5:15pm on a Friday popping up in Potrero any time soon.

    Keep your eyes out for the Esprit condo project — looks like a winner!

    Keep in mind, in larger complexes you are slightly beholden to your neighbors. If one of them falls on hard times and HAS to sell — this will ultimately effect your profit margins.

  5. I bought a unit in The Potrero. Like Greg, I prefer the older 2-4 unit buildings, but after being outbid several times, I decided to look at this new construction. It’s the only new building I’ve liked, partially because it’s not a high rise or a loft, it’s in an established community/neighborhood, and the Whole Foods is a bonus. And you’re actually much more tied to your neighbors in a small building — you all have to agree on common repairs and get along. In response to No4Me, I lived in New York City for 6 years, and the only place I’ve ever gotten mugged has been in the supposedly safe Cow Hollow neighborhood in SF.

  6. Ann — I hope you enjoy the Potrero – you are in the heart of an incredible neighborhood and as more and more amenities pop up along the 3rd St corridor and Mission Bay area, the values in the heart of Potrero Hill should continue to rise.

    Best of Potrero Hill — find a way to join the Baker Fitness Center – best pool in the city and an amazingly clean facility!

  7. A.S,

    Okay…I’ll chime in. Typically, as the Editor, I like to sort of take a back seat on questions like this and let the community respond. However, I have done a couple deals with clients on both the buy and sell side in Potrero Hill (condo and single family), so I thought I’d add my two cents.

    I can’t speak of the safety of the neighborhood, because I don’t live there, but I can tell you the same thing I tell all my clients/friends. Before you buy a property, take a walk around the neighborhood at 6am, noon, 6pm, and midnight….at least. In fact, make a day of it, and check everything out.

    As for the property, it is very nice, and I could see it as a solid investment. There were some units, which probably aren’t available anymore, that were very small and narrow. I did not like those. I think they were the 1 beds on the east side of the north building. I wouldn’t buy those. I would agree with Garret, buy something that will separate it from the others. Something with views, or a townhouse.

    You cannot compare these units to something at One Rincon or Infinity, so I won’t even go there. Completely different neighborhood, and type of property.

    As for the million dollar question “will this area appreciate”…if the market continues like it is, yes. But anything can happen, so don’t think short term. Think long term and you should do just fine. Think also about the worst case scenario of buying now, then having to move next year. What happens then? Can you rent it out? Will the rent cover your mortgage? Will you need to sell? If you had to move from SF to say…Kansas, you’d probably be able to keep the Potrero condo, rent it out, take $10k and buy a Mansion next to Dorothy and Toto, break even and sell when the market comes back.

    Hope that helps. If not, feel free to contact any one of us directly.

    alex (the editor)

  8. i think this complex is very nice in a great area of potrero. i agree with some of the other posters who said that potrero is past the up and coming and is already here. pretty pricey area but i’ve always loved potrero hill because of it’s central location and neighborhood feel. would i prefer to live in a more charming place than the potrero, of course…but you take what you can get and in my opinion to look at it as an investment of where you live instead of something to invest in. if we knew what the market would do next or how it will pan out in the next few years we’d all be psychic and making a lot of money :-)

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