Adios Coronet!

16121.jpgIt took them ages to get there, but they’ve finally destructed the Coronet Theater on Geary St. “This Streamline Moderne cavern is San Francisco’s Church of the Big-Budget Blockbuster. Both “Star Wars: Special Edition” and “Phantom Menace” made their debuts here, with people camping for weeks in the dumpster-strewn parking lot. Despite its massive appeal, gigantic screen, and state-of-the-art sound system, the Coronet was closed in March 2005 and is slated to be razed for a senior-care facility.”

The facility, the Institute on Aging is now officially under construction and doing some heavy destruction:



If you hurry, you might still be able to project a few hand shadow dogs and bunnies, maybe even a butterfly, on the big screen.


What it will be (photo from SFgate):


Thanks to our reader, AC, for sending the photos!

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]

Heritage Marina Hotel going Condo! (2550 Van Ness Avenue)

“An investment group comprised of Canadel Development in Canada, and Polar Investments, an Israeli company controlled by Ziel Feldman, paid $25 million for the hotel. They plan to convert it into 100 luxury condominiums and add additional space. The conversion is expected to take 18-24 months, and cost $54 million.”


“Proceeds from the final sale of the apartments are estimated at $122 million.”

Hats off to Damion Matthews for not only posting this on his site, but quickly sharing the tip with us. In case you didn’t know Damion is a member of our Stammtisch.

I would have to add that anything to improve that eye-sore is a welcome development…well, maybe not anything.

More New Development News [theFrontSteps]

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!

Church of Skate?

Having driven by this construction project on the corner of 14th Ave and Clement countless times, I finally stopped, shot, and unfortunately couldn’t roll. And now I’m forced to quit dreaming. According to the construction crew, it is going to be a synagogue, and the vertical sides perfect for a frontside air, or McTwist, will hold seating like a “theatre” and they are “going to put a roof on it”. Imagine what Tony Hawk, or Danny Way could do on this thing:

[Danny Way pulling a 360 OVER the Great Wall of China…on a skateboard.]

Anybody else have any insight on this project?

In record time a reader comes through. It will be the Beth Sholom Synagogue, and the Architect is Stanley Saitowitz. Here is a link to their site, and here are the renderings:

[images pulled from Stanley Saitowitz, Natoma Architects, Inc. website (]

2901 Broadway, a Google drive-by

We had so much fun comparison shopping with 2901 Broadway (the $55,000,000 listing we have here in San Francisco), we thought why not do a drive by and scare the ___ out of the Gettys and Ellison, and Trainas, who live on this block? Not that kind of drive by, but a Google drive by, with Google’s new “street view” mapping technology that promises to take up hours of your time once you discover it.
In a nutshell, you can search an address, move this little icon onto the map, and voila! You’re street level. Take a stroll down the street by clicking the N,S,E,W arrows, do a 360 degree turn, and zoom in insanely close. This is a Peeping Tom’s delight.
As for real estate, it could mean us Realtors won’t actually have to put you in a car. We’ll just direct you to Zillow, Redfin or for all the listings and the comps, send you the link to this street level mapping so you can check out the area, put a Starbuck’s Frappucino (yuck!) coffee card in the mail to you, and consider our 6% made. ;-)
Do the “drive by” by following this link to the corner of Broadway and Baker. Just make sure to stop at all the STOP signs. The neighbors might complain.

Comparison shopping on the sfnewsletter [sfn BLOG]
60 minutes, 60 billion, and one Redfin lurking in the waters [sfn BLOG]
Google Maps on Broadway and Baker

The Skinny on the Grand (Soma Grand)


There’s been a lot of chatter about this property and all the new developments popping up in SoMa, Mission Bay, South Beach, Rincon Hill, etc., so we’re going to tell you what we know about the Soma Grand.  We actually know A LOT more than what we’re printing, but we’ve promised not to disclose certain information.  We are not the media, and we don’t care about “breaking stories”.  We just want to educate everyone on the TRUE San Francisco market. 

In no particular order or prose:

  • 246 Units
  • “Lifestyle Condos” thanks to Joie de Vivre Hospitality (check their website)
  • Located at 1160 Mission b/n 7th & 8th Streets (sales center at 1085 Mission @ 7th)
  • 2 restaurants at street level
  • 22 stories, 245ft.
  • lot size: one acre
  • 504 parking spaces
  • 2 retail spaces totalling 5,000 square feet (4,000 and 1,000)
  • Developers: AGI Capital,,  and TMG Partners,, San Francisco
  • Contractor: Webcor (good cycling team too),
  • Architects: Architecture International,, Mill Valley
  • Landscape Architect: Royston Hanamoto Alley & Abey, Mill Valley
  • Sales Team: Pacific Marketing Associates,
  • Move in: October/November
  • First release in April at which point they will accept 3% deposit
  • Junior 1 Bed- $400,000+ (there’s only 4 so don’t get excited)-618 square feet
  • 1 Bedrooms (some plus den)-$500,000-$700,000, 650-848 square feet
  • 2 Bedrooms-$750,000-$1,000,000, 1126-1172 square feet
  • 3 Bedrooms-$950,000-$1,400,000, 1300-1528 square feet
  • The primo unit looks to be the 3bed, 2 bath on the S/E corner of the 22nd (penthouse) floor with a wrap-around terrace priced around $1.4MM or $750-$800/square foot
  • Everybody will get parking (how is tbd)
  • HOAs: 1bed high $500s, 2 bed low $600s, 3 bed mid $600s-700s
  • HOAs include (please verify with sales team): House Keeping (twice monthly), Concierge, Gourmet Tea and Coffee service, Wireless Internet, DVD lending Library, Restaurant Reservations, Monthly wine tastings, Virtual community bulletin board, Exclusive community value card, Friends and Family discount to local Joie de Vivre businesses
  • Units start on 5th level, which is 60 feet up (read below why this is a factor)
  • South East View will be the money views
  • Apartment Building on West side is in city Planning, nothing is set in stone but views to the West could be blocked at some point in the future and those units will most likely be sold for less.  The designer of the building is the same as for the Infinity, so it could look sweet.
  • There is a lot across the street from the Soma Grand that is approved for development of condos.  That’s the bad part.  The good part is that the height limit is 60ft (the case for buildings south of Mission), and remember the Soma Grand doesn’t have units below 60ft.  So there should be no effect on the views to the south.   [Update:” There is a 65′ height limit which extends along the south side of the

    mission street corridor from 6th street to 9th street. Going further

    south the height limits drop off into 50′ and 40′ zones. East of the

    project, on both sides of 6th street, is a zoned as 85′ height limit.”


  • Here’s the other thing nobody really points out, but is obvious if you just go by.  Soma Grand is right next door to the newly built Federal Building.   Could that affect value?  Definitely, but we’ll have to wait and see how.  There could be around 3000 people in and out of the Fed Building on a daily basis


  • What a “Banyan” has to do with selling condos is besides us, but we can always appreciate good art (subjective!)


What about the neighborhood?  It is no secret that 6th Street is anything but prime location, and Soma Grand is close to it, but things are looking up.  There is a ton of development planned in the area, and the only way to make a bad part of town good is to bring the good in.  This is a good way to do it, and the Soma Grand looks to be promising, and a fresh approach (“lifestyle condos”) to an old concept (high-rise condos).  There are no guarantees in life and we certainly have no clue where the market is going (get the sfnewsletter for more info on that), but it is safe to say that the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward can be.   If you plan on purchasing at Soma Grand, make sure to do your due diligence, have someone represent you (costs you nothing!),  and at the very least, tour the ENTIRE neighborhood in the morning, noon, evening, and late at night before handing over your deposit.