The Californian on Rincon Hill (375 Fremont): Rendering
A tipster notices a placeholder website for The California on Rincon Hill (375 Fremont) as well as a few new renderings (at least to us) over on the developer’s site.
Once again: 41-stories; 393 luxury units (averaging 1,048 square feet) with 24-hour valet parking for “approximately 393 cars”; and construction beginning November of 2007 (and sales in early 2008).
The Californian on Rincon Hill [375 Fremont]
The Californian on Rincon Hill: 375 Fremont St. [SocketSite]
The Californian On Rincon Hill Construction/Sales Pushed Back [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by ex SF-er

    I’m excited to see what Rincon Hill finally looks like when The California and the other towers are all built. It will certainly extend the skyline!
    At this point, I think ORH looks a little odd all by itself. But someone else posted pics of what it may look like with all the other towers up there. Much more integrated look.
    I hope they all get built. This would help give SF a “modern” neighborhood and would help relieve housing pressure…
    The best way to help relieve SF’s housing crunch and sky high COL is to build more housing. Plain and simple. More supply=lower prices.

  2. Posted by GoatseMan

    Interesting how their “renderings” conveniently omit One Rincon Hill.

  3. Posted by martin

    ^and the infinity

  4. Posted by Trip

    I’m with ex-SFer on need for more housing in SF. Many pluses — more supply eases price pressures, and downtown housing (close to work) is good for the environment. My biggest beef is the low % of all the new construction that is suitable for families with kids. A city with no kids is no fun, and more middle class families would improve the schools.

  5. Posted by SFhighrise

    Trip,
    I agree with you regarding the need for more housing for kids. However, I also think the developers are building what the market will bear. I think another reason why more and more families are moving out of the city is because they cannot afford to raise a family here. If we were to build a large 3 bedroom + den in the Californian (in my opinion, minimum suitable size for a family of 4), it would cost around what, $2MM? You are probably look at around $15,000 per month for mortgage + other home expenses. If you add on top of that the fact that most people who are raising kids here in the city may want to send them to private school ($30,000 per year each), how many families can actually afford this type of lifestyle?

  6. Posted by SFperson

    I love kids, as long as they go home to the east and south bays….and with the tourists.

  7. Posted by anono

    Californian, Rincon, Infity, etc… are not going to ease housing pressures here at all. These units will be (and are) very expensive. Are there any two bedrooms in any of these buildings for less than 850K?

  8. Posted by Trip

    Agree that it is a tough nut to crack. But some of the problem could be solved with different layouts. I have friends in New York, Paris, and London who live in tiny places (1000 sf or even less) with 2 kids, but the apartments are well-laid out with 3 small bedrooms, living room, and a decent kitchen with space for a small table. It can be done at the same prices we’re seeing on 2-BR places.
    There are other problems in this city driving families out (notably lousy schools), but a city with no kids resembles an old-folks home a decade or two later. We’ve seen a little of that in SF just since I moved here in the early ’90s. SF is still a magnet for young adults, but you don’t want them all to move away as soon as they have kids or you get a not-fun city of blue-hairs.

  9. Posted by blahhh

    I’m almost certain that this rendering is NOT a good representation of the final result. If it were, then it’s just one disappointment after another on Rincon Hill. This is probably one of the very first iterations at early design stages, the building doesn’t seem to address any of its site conditions at all. Compare the midrise level in this rendering with the ones on the developer’s website. It’s completely different how the street level and the traffic condition are being responded. Anyone with more renderings to share?

  10. Posted by will_h

    Can’t wait for them to demolish the decrepit former homeless shelter on that site. This will do wonders for the neighborhood.
    Knock down Transbay next!

  11. Posted by anonymon

    I’m almost certain this building is NOT going to be that color. This color just doesn’t address the site conditions of Rincon Hill at all so that means we must be looking at a first iteration. I mean, architects always get it right so this must be a mistake.

  12. Posted by Jamie

    If I remember correctly (check it out for yourselves as my brain is overloaded), Mission Bay may have some new school buildings in the works. That would probably be the better spot for families to look.

  13. Posted by SFhighrise

    Well, I’m holding out hope that the homeless shelter and other buildings on that block will be demolished within the next month. I did see a 90-day demolition permit placed on these buildings at the end of May. A couple weeks later, folks were surveying the site, but no activity since then. Does anyone have any additional knowledge about this?

  14. Posted by ex SF-er

    “Californian, Rincon, Infity, etc… are not going to ease housing pressures here at all. These units will be (and are) very expensive. Are there any two bedrooms in any of these buildings for less than 850K?”
    It doesn’t matter… Either:
    1. so many “luxury condos” will be built that ORH and Infinity condos will fall in value as new units come online
    OR
    2. ORH/Infinity, etc will be really awesome, so San Franciscans will move there, vacating their old places. These other places will then become cheaper.
    Simple math of supply and demand.
    The thing that keeps SF so expensive is the artificial restriction of supply. remove the artificial restrictions (i.e. allow for higher building height) and supply will increase. Increased supply will mean lower prices.
    Before you say “there’s no more land to build on” consider this:
    Paris has 2.2 million people living in only 33.56 square miles.
    SF only has 750,000 living in 47 square miles.
    Paris density is: 24,783/km²
    SF density:6,111/km²
    The MOST EXPENSIVE neighborhoods (Like St. Germain-Des-Pres) in Paris go for about 9,000 Euros/sq meter. This roughly translates to $1100/sq ft (and this has more to do with current exchange rates than anything else… more typical in the posh neighborhoods is around $800/sq ft).
    (sorry, not many english RE sites I can link to):
    http://matrix.millersamuel.com/?cat=61

  15. Posted by anono

    I’m not sure what Paris real estate has to do with prices in S.F. You’re forgeting that a substantial portion of S.F. will never increase in density- Sunset, Richmond, Ingleside, Russian Hill, Marina, Pac Heights. No tall, or even taller, buidlings are going up in most of the city. It’s really only downtown- and a little in the Mission though there are 40-50 foot height restrictions there.
    I just don’t see lots of San Franciscans giving up their comparable value condos elsewhere in the city to move to Infinity, etc… They would probably take a huge tax hit, and though these neighborhoods will likely improve, some of the locations for these new towers do not have the S.F. “feel” that exists in the neighborhoods where people would be moving from. I could be very wrong, but my understanding is that many of these units are being bought up by out of town owners and financial district renters (who could always have afforded to own), not by people leaving their Pac Heights condos to move to SOMA.
    However, if ex Sf-er is right, the only way these new units in SOMA/Mission Bay etc… will impact the price in the rest of the city is if other people in S.F. are selling to move there in droves. Though, their ability to occupy these new towers would seem dependent on being able to sell their current units at the price they want.
    I don’t know, obviously, but I am quite skeptical that a couple of thousand luxury 1 and 2 bedroom condos in SOMA coming online over the next several years will result in price declines in the rest of the city. SOMA/Mission Bay/Rincon Hill would have to turn into a much more lively and interesting neighborhood than they are now. Though I was near 177 Off Third recently and was blown away by how much the neighborhood has changed in the last few years- I actually found myself thinking that it might be cool to move there so I suppose you never know.

  16. Posted by notaneconomist

    “Simple math of supply and demand.”
    For prices to go down demand must stay the same. I dont believe this is going to happen. These new lux condos are appealing to a market that would not otherwise buy in SF. So, my guess is as lux condo supply goes up, lux condo demand goes up. Prices stay the same or go up.

  17. Posted by cb650

    Demand may be flat or even decline in the short term (who knows), but in the long term demand is going to dramatically increase. The bay area population is forecast to grow by a couple of _million_ people over the next 20 years. And there are several _thousand_ new units being built in SF.
    SF is an unfortunate place for families to live. Seems like SF families are either poor or very rich. There are not many middle class families, and the only way that would ever change is to improve schools, and that’s not going to happen when a few thousand students leave the district every year. Anytime someone I know in SF has a kid, I can start a countdown clock on when they are going to leave The City!

  18. Posted by zig

    Schools are actually getting better. They were horrible in the 1980-1990s
    I have an uncle making a go at this now and is sending his daughter to public school. Until High School there are some good ones. For High School pray they get into a magnet school or is 15-20K per for private
    With regard to the simple supply and demand equation the housing issues are really a regional problem. The idea that people are vacating houses in the Sunset to move into these luxury condos is simplistic. Lots of these people work in the Silicon Valley, are buying second homes or are empty nesters
    Not that I am against luxury housing or rich people. I do think that with all the fees, mandates and Byzantine planning process this is all the market can produce here. Of course other issues are the job housing mix and zoning in established neighborhoods. Very complicated problem but one we could help some if we had the political will

  19. Posted by zig

    Not and economist either but from what I have read between 10-15K units have been developed in SF last 10 years while the census indicates that the population declined and prices tripeled
    It is more complicated than simply building luxury condos

  20. Posted by Dan

    “census indicates that the population declined…”
    Federal estimates are that the population has declined, but the state of California disagrees– the state Dept of Finance estimates that SF’s population is now at an all-time high of about 808,000.

  21. Posted by Jamie

    I would think that folks who are doing well at their jobs and who currently commute from the middle of nowhere (anything east of Oakland in my book) would consider transplanting to Rincon Hill (unless they have kids, like mentioned above)

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