September 13, 2006
Watermark Update: 85% Sold
Once again, these are not “official” numbers, but as best we can tell another twelve units in the Watermark have sold (leaving around 18 units available or 85% sold). In addition, two new resales have hit the market: 501 Beale #8C ($912,000) and #16B ($1,150,000).
Unit #8C offers the same spectacular views of the Bay Bridge (
and potential cruise ship terminal see UPDATE below) as unit #6C (which was briefly on the market for $899,000), but with the added benefit of being high enough to preserve the views once a seven story (height restricted) building is built next door.
UPDATE: The force must have been strong last night. As a reader notes, the “potential cruise ship terminal” has been “scrapped due to skyrocketing costs associated with retrofitting its rotting piers.”
UPDATE (redux) (again): According to J.K. Dineen at the San Francisco Business Times (and the Port report), it's probably closer to 80% sold with 80 units sold, 29 under contract, and 27 still for sale. And while we definitely waffled, right or wrong, we’re now reverting back to our originally reported 18 available (and 85% sold). It’s quite possible that the nine unit difference between our numbers is in part due to the accounting for the 16 BMR units in the building, a time lag between reports, or quite simply the sales office getting the best of us…
∙ Watermark Update: 78% Sold (And Discounting) [SocketSite]
∙ Listing: 501 Beale Street #8C (1/1) - $912,000 [Legal One Realty Via Pacific Union]
∙ Listing: 501 Beale Street #16B (2/2) - $1,150,000 [Urban Bay]
∙ Soaring costs sink cruise ship terminal plan [Examiner]
∙ Watermark Signs Of Weakness? [SocketSite]
First Published: September 13, 2006 12:10 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
$912k for 1 bd/1 bth 801 sq ft unit on the 8th floor? Good luck.
Posted by: Anonymous at September 13, 2006 12:46 AM
Article in todays Examiner says that the cruise ship terminal has been canned over rising retrofit costs.
Posted by: Anonymous at September 13, 2006 8:23 AM
Was just going to ask about that. Anyone out there have the full scoop on these big projects slated for SOMA/Mission Bay? Is the cruise ship terminal officially nixed then? And what about the huge Transbay retrofit?
Posted by: Dude at September 13, 2006 9:21 AM
I'm sure that the shortcomings of The Watermark have been discussed ad nauseum here, but has it occurred to anyone that the building basically looks like a 1980's office building from the outside? Who in their right mind would pay $1MM+ for a "luxury" mid-rise cond that looks like it belongs in downtown Dallas, Texas (other than those persons that were basically sleeping while all of these other beautiful developments now going up were originally green-lighted)?
I mean, let's get real. It's not like there is a great mystery as to why the developer is having problems filling this building.
Posted by: Confused at September 13, 2006 9:41 AM
Any idea on what type of units are left that are not moving? Curious to know what people beleive is not worth the price in that building...
[Editor’s Note: As best we can tell, about half the remaining inventory are lower floor (4-11) two bedroom units priced around $1M, there are a couple of units on floors 14-16 (one bedrooms around $700K and two bedrooms around $1M), and there are a few three bedroom units ranging from around $1.7M (19th floor) to $3.3M (penthouse level).]
Posted by: Anonymous at September 13, 2006 10:02 AM
Let's not forget that, as high as prices are here in SF, there are still flippers thinking they'll get rich on these condos. Saw ads on craigslist today for people looking to sell their interests in new SOMA condos for like $75K. So often "sold" is not really sold.
Posted by: Dude at September 13, 2006 10:16 AM
I agree with Confused. The Watermark has an absolutely incredible site, and is such a painful missed opportunity in terms of its architecture. Several people should be shot, including the developer, the architect, and whoever at the city was reviewing the project.
Every building does not have to be great...but this one is such a piece of public architecture, as the only real tower in South Beach. It should have met a very high standard, and doesn't come close.
Posted by: curmudgeon at September 13, 2006 11:39 AM
What are you talking about, that building is a work of art. -- Fred Flinstone
I like it too. Ahhgugugugug. - Popeye
Posted by: tipster at September 13, 2006 12:34 PM
SF is well known for it's dull and safe public architecture. Watermark fits right in. Let's hope the new Federal Building can change some minds in this sleepy town.
Posted by: etslee at September 13, 2006 1:54 PM
Ugly building. And now with the cancelled cruise terminal, it'll be facing an ugly concrete parking lot for years and years!
Posted by: RinconFan at September 13, 2006 2:05 PM
Ugly? That's putting it mildly. At such a prominent location, the architecture of The Watermark is like a thorn in one's eyes. What a shame and what a waste of an otherwise great location (aside from the view of the sad parking lot).
Posted by: Sexy & Sassy in SF at September 13, 2006 4:56 PM
Why always so much jealousy over people who are able to buy 1 million 2/2 condos? If you can't afford it, deal with it... or try and work harder and make more money.
80% of THAT building sold? That's crazy. I thought we were going to see a housing armageddon? Oops, guess not.
Posted by: Anonymous at September 13, 2006 5:02 PM
Actually I find the Watermark building to be quite handsome. Much better, in fact than the tricky, trendy One Rincon or Infinity. But then, I like minimalist modern buildings with clean lines.
It's all a matter of personal taste. Reminds me of when, eons ago, the Chronicle ran a poll of everyone's most favorite and least favorite buildings in SF. When the results were finally tallied, big surprise to all, about half the buildings that were on the top 10 favorites list were also on the top 10 least favorites list.
Posted by: Susapix at September 13, 2006 7:40 PM
..and furthermore, there won't be an armageddon. While the market top was in January of this year we are in the market trough as we speak. From this point on we will have a period of consolidation for the next year or so, where there will be minimal up or down price movement.
Posted by: Anonymous at September 13, 2006 7:42 PM
I spoke to some sales people this weekend. It looks like socketsite numbers are a bit old. they mentioned that they only have 15 units for sale left.
[Editor’s Note: Perhaps we should have stuck to our originally reported 18 (and 85% sold)...]
Posted by: DesignGuy at September 14, 2006 11:49 AM
Is there any reason to believe/doubt what the Watermark sales team says about the number of units remaining? Without any hard, impartial facts, maybe the numbers should be taken with a grain of salt?
Posted by: Anonymous at September 14, 2006 8:41 PM
I have a friend that bought there a few months ago. $1200/sq ft! Unbelievable. Of course, he's probably lost 200K already.
Posted by: Mike at September 15, 2006 9:41 AM
$1200/sq ft at the Watermark is armed robbery!! How is your friend coping??
Posted by: RinconFan at September 15, 2006 4:51 PM