November 2, 2006
Coming Soon: Another Possibility In Potrero?
Two months ago we gave 2130b 24th Street two thumbs up (“A Possibility In Potrero?”) and provided our readers with the inside scoop: 2130a (the top two floors and ~1,800 sqft) would hit the market in a couple of months.
Well, according to a tipster, 2130b sold after just 15 days on the market and at a contract price of $965,000 (slightly under the list price of $979,000). And yes, 2130a should hit the market within the next few weeks at a list price of ~$1.3M.
Also noted, the “Architect/Developer is Michael Levitt.”
∙ A Possibility In Potrero? [SocketSite]
First Published: November 2, 2006 12:15 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I would like to be really optimistic about the possibility of Potrero Hill becoming one of SF's really well regarded neighborhoods, but something in the back of my mind tells me it just won't happen.
It's a shame too, because it looks like there is some really potential there.
Posted by: Anonymous at November 2, 2006 10:00 AM
Potrero can and will be a great area, I think. At least the parts near the bay. Give it a few years, until the big Mission Bay projects are fully built out and the public transportation is a little better. Just takes time.
Posted by: Dude at November 2, 2006 11:25 AM
That's a good point. Mission Bay may be able to bridge the gap if it keeps developing towards Potero Hill.
So what portion of Potero Hill has the most potential to be a really nice vibrant place to live once that Mission Bay development is complete (i.e., what would the street boundaries in the area roughly be, I don't know the area that well)?
Posted by: Anonymous at November 2, 2006 12:09 PM
This home is on a really interesting street - cobblestone! At the uphill end of the block is Starr-King park, but at the downhill end is Rhode Island Street and its noisy #19 Muni (diesel, a screamer), and then the 101 Freeway. So living here you're going be in short range of auto exhaust and freeway roar.
Potrero has some really interesting homes on it, but it's a tough neighborhood to really enjoy as it's hemmed in by highly noxious areas: the hooker/junkie/gangbanger streets across the 101 (16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th) to the west; the barrens of post-industrial SOMA to the north and the waterfront to the east; and the Potrero Hill projects and concrete freeway hardscape to the south.
There is simply no pleasant way to walk or ride a bike away from Potrero Hill; every route out feels like you're risking your life. I get the sense that everyone on Potrero uses cars almost exclusively to get around the 'hood and especially to get out of it. (This observation comes after 10 years of living here.)
SF's better neighborhoods are easily walkable; Potrero literally has too many hills for most people's everyday comfort; hardly anyone walks around here (though they should). And SF's better neighborhoods aren't so isolated, surrounded by zones of upper-middle-class discomfort.
Posted by: le blog exuberance at November 2, 2006 2:32 PM
That was sort of the impression that I had even though I have no personal experience from living there. Like I said, it's a shame.
Posted by: Anonymous at November 2, 2006 2:39 PM
I bike around Potrero every day. I think living here (for the last ten years) has had the effect of getting me more fit. On the weekends we bike to the Ferry building and have a nice breakfast.
When you say 'nice neighborhood' you may be comparing Potrero to say Cole Valley, and no, the neighborhood will never be that. It's eclectic and filled with creative entrepreneurs. It's dynamic and full of change. It's more connected to Silicon Valley than any other SF neighborhood.
I think there is only one problem with Potrero: the projects. They need to be torn down and replaced with mixed income housing.
The weather here is also the very best in the city. The streets are wide and there's relatively little traffic. Neighbors know each other. All that is great!
Posted by: minka at November 2, 2006 7:57 PM
I think if you compare Potrero Hill to a prime area in SF like Nob Hill, don't ever expect PH to be like Nob Hill (or any other district in SF for that matter). It's just a totally different type of neighborhood from all the other types in SF and that's what I like about it. I'm not too worried about PH bordering bad areas in SF because every area (Nob Hill) borders bad areas that I wouldn't walk around either.
The best part of PH is the weather and the fact that there is a lot of open space (the views and nice restaurants help too). That's what makes this area unique to any other area in SF.
My biggest concern is what Minka mentioned, the projects. I live relatively close to the projects and have not felt threatened yet, but I do know there is a lot of violence in the projects and that it should be torn down.
If you tear down the projects, I guarantee that PH's status in SF would increase. Having said that, I do believe some of the crime in PH is blown out of proportion and that there is a lot of crime in "prime" neighborhoods that don't get talked about as much just because it doesn't have a public housing project.
So basically, there's a lot that needs to be done in order to make PH a prime area in SF to live in.
Posted by: Potrero Resident at November 3, 2006 12:13 AM
Not to put a damper on anyone's parade, but....as wonderful as it would be to tear down projects and replace them with mixed use housing (lets assume for the moment this would be wonderful for BOTH the current residents and their neighbors)....Bush and the Republicans have gutted HUD and the Hope VI program, so there is essentially no federal support anymore for doing just that. San Francisco has several completed Hope VI projects...North Beach is one of the best, also Hayes Valley, Bernal Dwellings (on Caesar Chavez) and the just completed Valencia Gardens.
For better or worse, SF used Hope VI money to reconstruct smaller projects in good to middling neighborhoods in the northern part of the city....and the resulting "projects" are clearly less of a blight on their surroundings. But they didn't tackle the biggest and most difficult projects, like Potrero Hill, or Sunnydale, or anything in Hunters Point. And until things change in Washington, they probably won't be able to.
Posted by: curmudgeon at November 3, 2006 8:41 AM
I think the comparison between Potrero Hill and other SF neighborhoods is off point. PH has its own identity and therefore any comparison between it and Cole Valley, Nob Hill, etc, is silly.
The real issue (which curmudgeon was getting at) is can PH (as a whole) become a safe enough neighborhood for people to want to move to and thereby build up its reputation and quality?
It's somewhat of a politically sensitive topic because it would no doubt involve some amount of gentrification, which seems to be a taboo subject for discussion.
Posted by: Anonymous at November 3, 2006 10:16 AM
Potrero has single family homes and sunshine, that’s the main draw. It is also much more like a suburban neighborhood then a city neighborhood, good or bad. For me, the isolation was the main problem; it’s like living on an island. When I lived there I likened the psychological effect to Alcatraz, you can see downtown but you can't get there, at least not on public transit. And if you want to go for a walk or a jog, you won’t get very far before the scenery degrades. If you work downtown, it is far easier and faster to take BART to Berkeley (or Pleasanton for a tie) for your sunny suburban experience. If you work in Silicon Valley, Potrero gives you the freeway at your doorstep and the ability to say you still live in SF.
Posted by: Anon at November 3, 2006 1:28 PM
Just a couple of tidbits which could possibly affect Potrero Hill in the near future:
• In Newsom's state of the city address he touched upon a plan he called Hope SF:
"In an ambitious plan, he said he would tear down The City’s existing public housing and rebuild it. Dubbed “HopeSF,” the plan would rebuild 2,500 public housing units, which would be paid for with 2,500 new units of market-rate housing."
• Chronicle 9/9/06
"Fifty new security cameras will be installed in public housing projects around San Francisco over the next 18 months in an effort to make some of the city's most crime-ridden neighborhoods safer."
"The 50 federally funded cameras come from the Housing Authority's capital budget and will be placed in housing projects serving families; the Housing Authority has in previous years set up cameras in projects designed for seniors and the disabled.
The first wave of new cameras for family residences will come from this year's Housing Authority budget and will be installed in Sunnydale, Bernal Dwellings, Yerba Buena Plaza, Alemany and Plaza East. The second batch will come from next year's budget and will be installed in Potrero Hill, Hunters View, Hayes Valley, Fritz Plaza and Westside Courts. "
• You may have heard about the City Attorney Herrera filing a gang injuction in the Bayview. Potrero Hill is on the list of future gang injunction areas.
SF Examiner 10/23/2006
"Gang members who loiter, trespass or go out after 10 p.m. in a four-block area of the Bayview could be arrested for misdemeanors under a civil court order being sought by The City.
In a rare move, the Office of City Attorney Dennis Herrera, which normally handles civil, not criminal law, filed for an injunction last month against 80 alleged Oakdale Mob gang members and their associates. The notorious Bayview-based street gang has been linked to 12 murders, assaults, car-jackings, rapes, drug dealing and robberies, police and attorneys said."
Posted by: mike at November 3, 2006 1:29 PM
I didn't mention Newsom's effort, and should have. I am a bit skeptical that it will pencil out. Hope VI depended on a big chunk of federal funding to reconstruct the projects. Newsom's plan appears to depend on private money (basically: Mr/Ms Developer....rebuild the public housing and you get to build private housing too). That's a plan that's difficult to make work even in an up market, and that's not where we're headed. I don't know all of the details on Newsom's plan, and there's obviously got to be public money on the table too, but I still wouldn't hold my breath.
Posted by: curmudgeon at November 3, 2006 1:40 PM
That's pretty funny. So here's the message that that plan sends. Uh, hey there low income area...while we don't think you belong in prison exactly, the next best thing for commerce is that we install video surveillance in your neighborhood, sort of along the lines of what you would see in a prison if you were actually there.
Don't misunderstand what I am saying to mean that I don't think it's a good idea as a practical matter, but it seems like such an insult to the people that have to live in that area that are not otherwise engaging in criminal behavior.
Like I said, that's probably why gentrification works better than merely putting an "eye in the sky" on those communities. I still wouldn't want to live in PH even if that plan were put in place. Great, so there's cameras.....that way my mugging, beating, etc. can be caught on tape and the police can come by afterwards.
Posted by: Anonymous at November 3, 2006 2:26 PM
Until the gangbangers take bats and knock down all the cameras. Which should take about 12 minutes. Great use of taxpayers' money.
Posted by: Dude at November 3, 2006 4:27 PM
Note that several of the rebuilt projects (Hayes Valley, Bernal Dwellings, and Plaza East) are in line for the security cameras. It makes you wonder how successful Hope VI has been at reducing crime in and around the projects, even if they're less of an aesthetic blight on the surrounding neighborhoods.
Posted by: nk at November 3, 2006 10:09 PM
Cool. Stolen cameras can be fenced for 50 bucks a pop. 50x50 is $2500. Not bad for a couple nights work.
How soon before they get installed?
Posted by: tipster at November 3, 2006 11:01 PM
SF is not the first city to get these cameras. They have been used in projects as least as bad as ours in a number of cities to good effect. So perhaps the attitudes could stop until the results roll in.(Oh, I know that is too much to ask!)
Posted by: camille roy at November 4, 2006 6:20 PM
As someone who works in the criminal courts in SF and has done murder trials and hearings for the past four years, I can definitely tell you I would NEVER live on Pot Hill. The projects are more of a problem than the general public can even guess at. In terms of noteriety the PJs on Pot Hill are second only to the PJs in Bayview.
I once participated in escorting a group of jurors to view a murder scene smack dab in the middle of the PJs on Pot Hill. Even with all the uniformed officers with guns around I did not feel safe. It boggled my mind to see the row of condos and expensive looking homes right next to the PJs. Who the hell would want to live in an area with gangbangers as their neighbors?
There are some beautiful homes there and there's a lot of potential up on the Hill. But the PJs on Pot Hill will be a major obstacle to the Hill becoming a neighborhood people could feel relatively safe in.
Posted by: fogfan at November 5, 2006 12:25 AM
I do hope the projects eventually get torn down. I know there's a lot of reasons why we shouldn't do anything to the projects but the positives far outweigh any negatives. I guess that will never happen since it doesn't seem like our mayor really cares about the projects in PH.
On a positive note, I heard that the city is no longer accepting applicants to reside in the projects in PH. Don't fully know if that true (if someone can confirm) but I do think that will at least help control the population in the projects........
Posted by: PotreroResident at November 5, 2006 1:51 PM
Well, first observations: Newsome didn't say anything about the projects being torn down on Potrero Hill...PH is always the last to get anything - new playgrounds, new rec center, new projects. Why? It has been proven time and time again that 'for rent' housing does not work - people need to HAVE A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP then they will take care of it. So, the projects should definetly be torn down and turned into mixed income levels. Also, the projects were built in such a shabby manner that, no wonder people from there have no self esteem and turn to lawlessness. How depressing! The City revamped the northpoint housing and the mission/valencia housing - how about the poor peopleon potrero hill?? Sophie???? With our great weather, great views, and easy access to the freeways and south, PH could really be an amazing neighborhood, envied by all.
Posted by: new to the hill at November 14, 2006 12:19 AM
I've heard murmurs for years about environmental issues in Potrero, such as abnormally high levels of childhood asthma. Anyone else heard this?
Posted by: anon at September 19, 2007 9:25 PM