October 4, 2007
Sales Office For Esprit Park (888 Minnesota) Opens Tomorrow (10/5)
It’s a few weeks later than first (or even last) announced, but no matter. The sales office for Homes on Esprit Park will officially open its doors at 888 Minnesota (at 20th Street) this Friday (10/5) with an inaugural release of half (70) of their 142 condos. First occupancy is expected in early 2008 (about a year later than planned) and rough pricing is as follows:
∙ 1 Bedroom / 1.5 Bath (835 to 1,173 sqft): Upper $600,000's to the Low $900,000's
∙ 1 Bedroom + Den / 2 Bath (1,070 to 1,246 sqft): Mid $800,000's to Upper $900,000's
∙ 2 Bedroom / 2 Bath (1,221 to 1,887 sqft): Mid $900,000's to $1,500,000+
∙ 2+ Bedroom / 2 Bath (1,517 to 1,811 sqft): Low $1,200,000's to High $1,400,000's
∙ 2 Bedroom / 2.5 Bath (1,226 to 1,671 sqft): Mid $900,000's to $1,400,000+
∙ 3 Bedroom / 3 Bath (2,114 sqft): Price TBD (only one)
Homes on Esprit Park will feature a mix of flats, lofts, and townhouses with 168 indoor parking spaces; an established (think A16-ish) 130 seat restaurant with al fresco dining; a café with outdoor seating; exercise facility and “two lushly landscaped courtyards.”
And although we’re featuring the rendering for S508 above (which seems to be missing the door if you compare it to the floor plan below), we remain partial to N516. So if you manage to snag it before us, do the right thing and at the very least invite us to the housewarming. You know we'd do the same for you.
UPDATE (10/5): And we now have six exact prices:
∙ 888 Minnesota #N107 (2/2) 1,243 sqft - $983,752
∙ 888 Minnesota #N209 (2/2.5) 1,659 sqft - $1,180,133
∙ 888 Minnesota #N517 (2/2.5) 1,586 sqft - $1,273,800
∙ 888 Minnesota #S202 (1/1.5) 835 sqft - $675,000
∙ 888 Minnesota #S322 (2/2) 1,333 sqft - $1,105,450
∙ 888 Minnesota #S507 (2/2) 1,517 sqft - $1,281,556
And yes, S507 (at $1,281,556) looks to be a mirror image of S508.
∙ Esprit Park (900 Minnesota): The Website (Sales Office This Summer) [SocketSite]
∙ Esprit Park (900 Minnesota): Interior Renderings [SocketSite]
∙ Worth The Wait: 900 Minnesota (An Update) [SocketSite]
First Published: October 4, 2007 3:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
I've been under the impression that the developers of this project have agreed to help with the maintenance of Espirt Park. Is this correct? I'm hoping so, because it looked kind of neglected when I went by there recently.
Posted by: zzzzzzz at October 4, 2007 9:24 AM
These are nice, mostly functional floorplans in an attractive building. I wonder though, if there's still a market for 700k+ 1 bedrooms and million dollar 2 bedrooms for a midrise development...
Also, these prices seem 20-30% higher than The Potrero a few blocks away.
Posted by: missionbayres at October 4, 2007 9:29 AM
"these are nice, mostly functional floorplans in an attractive building. I wonder though, if there's still a market for 700k+ 1 bedrooms and million dollar 2 bedrooms for a midrise development...
Also, these prices seem 20-30% higher than The Potrero a few blocks away."
I completely agree with this post. One caveat. I expected these to be 20-30% lower than the Potrero because the location is not as central and the crime is quite a bit higher in this location.
IMHO, the Potrero ahs a B location and this has a C location.
Posted by: Spencer at October 4, 2007 10:03 AM
Spend 1 mill for 2 bedrooms condo, right into the industrial area and high crime, you kidding me....
Posted by: Homrisk at October 4, 2007 10:37 AM
I like the look of this building and the floor plans so I will probably go and take a look. Otoh, the prices seem far too high for this location. I guess they are hoping people will buy on "potential". It'll be interesting to see how it sells in the current market.
Posted by: Amen Corner at October 4, 2007 10:41 AM
888 is a great address for Chinese buyers. But I don't think the real superstitiuos set is going to want lofts.
Posted by: will_h at October 4, 2007 10:44 AM
This looks like an amazing building, but a couple things I noticed while walking around the area..
Esprit Park is basically a dog patch. There is nothing to offer except for a nice dog poo laden green. Its actually alittle depressing compared to other parks in the city, I really hope the developers plan to fix that park up with their new development.
I noticed that the Esprit building was tagged (graffiti) during construction. Hopefully this won't happen when people move into their $1M+ condos.
Some things I noticed while taking walks through this neighborhood...
A couple puddles of throw-up and uncleaned dogpoo lining the streets (22nd near 3rd) kinda strange for a $1.3m+ 2br/2ba neighborhood.
There seem to be huge swarms of flies everywhere. (I guess there are gobs of dog poo stashed behind bushes, houses, etc.)
Right past 3rd there is this huge junction power grid of transmission lines. A real eyesore and possibly a health hazard for children, but Dogpatch is basically a "Children-of-men" stage set, so it doesn't matter anyhow.
Isn't this the gateway to Bayview/Hunters Point?
The new UCSF campus is 5 blocks away. If you're a wealthy stem cell researcher this will be the place for you!
The place is pretty quiet at night compared to other parts of S.F.
There are a couple quirky reasonably priced cafes and restaurants in the area.
Easy access to 280/101
Posted by: ryan at October 4, 2007 10:59 AM
This floor plan has bad Fengshui, so I doubt that many Chinese buyers are going to touch it. The front door takes you directly to the living/dining space, and, through the kitchen, all the way to the bedroom. In Chinese folklore, ghosts only know to walk in straight lines. And this layout is perfect for them.
Would have been better if the entrance is underneath the staircase, so when you enter you have to turn to get to the bedroom or the living/dining room.
Posted by: anon8mizer at October 4, 2007 11:14 AM
From the picture, the unit looks very nice, but from a pricing perspective, the developer must either be ignorant of the existing RE market or it's just a serious case of wishful thinking. $900K - $1.4M to live in this neighborhood? I don't think so.
Posted by: S&S at October 4, 2007 11:25 AM
"The new UCSF campus is 5 blocks away. If you're a wealthy stem cell researcher this will be the place for you! "
I am in scientific research. Believe me, we don't make enough to buy this type of property. Stem Cell researchers are renters.
Posted by: Spencer at October 4, 2007 12:01 PM
For this neighborhood (and Mission Bay and probably most SF neighborhoods), renting is the way to go. I would not buy a condo now at these prices. There is way more upside to waiting.
Posted by: anon at October 4, 2007 12:33 PM
Oh thats unfortunate. I was always under the impression that scientific research was where the money was. Anyhow, I heard somewhere that the new campus will also house a new hospital for Women and Children, maybe they're targeting high paid, non-family oriented doctors and nurses who want to walk to work? If the developers are not targeting the UCSF staff who else would want to live here for that much $$$?
Posted by: ryan at October 4, 2007 12:40 PM
I doubt the developers are targeting UCSF staff. I think we've had this research discussion before. Paychecks in the academic research community follow the same iceberg distribution that is found in wider American society. A small cadre of senior workers (e.g. senior investigators) make six figure incomes. The rest of us make below SF's median income, in some cases far below.
Different rules apply to the industrial research community, but there is no medical research corporation of any significant size in the city limits. Those folks commute down to South SF.
Posted by: David at October 4, 2007 12:57 PM
anon8mizer: I am Chinese, I ever heard about Ghost going straight line (non-sense superstitious), I only know the floor plan is extremely terrible in "feng shui" perspectively speaking.
1. Living room and dinning room shouldn't be right next to the main entrance, people in the house will never have a peaceful mind.
2. Main entrance shouldn't point straight to the bedroom, it is bad to the health of the people who live there.
3. Mezzanine shouldn't be built above the kitchen, is bad for relaxtion, concentration and focusing.
Looking for 1 mill. Wow, it is not 2001's market, rite ?
Posted by: homrisk at October 4, 2007 1:23 PM
Not sure who's setting these prices, but they need a new calendar: apparently their's is stuck on August 2005.
Anyone else been paying attention to other new developments in market? I've heard radio spots for the Hayes and the Fillmore offering incentives - that's new. I've also seen CL listings for the Citrino and the RoyalSF quietly advertising modest price reductions.
Posted by: Dude at October 4, 2007 1:23 PM
The problems with the feng shui were solved when they glassed in the door (as shown in the photo). There is no longer any door at all.
That will keep out evil spirits, ghosts, nearby Hunters Point residents, all those flies, stem cell research protesters, etc.
The whole thing is really meant to be a time capsule. A calendar on the wall will be stuck at August 2005 to make the pricing seem appropriate.
Ordinarily, not having a door would be a problem for the owner. But exactly in the opposite fashion that Denny's restaurants don't have locks on the doors to emphasize that they are always open, these units will not have doors to emphasize that no one would be silly enough to buy them in that C location at these prices.
Besides, if you are a *really* great stem cell researcher who wants to live here, you'll just clone yourself, with one clone living inside these pretty units and the other clone remaining at work. This will save on commuting time, and, obviously, eliminate the need for a front door.
Posted by: Tipster at October 4, 2007 2:27 PM
"Anyhow, I heard somewhere that the new campus will also house a new hospital for Women and Children, maybe they're targeting high paid, non-family oriented doctors and nurses who want to walk to work? If the developers are not targeting the UCSF staff who else would want to live here for that much $$$? "
I don't think you will find any nurses buying these properties either, and the only doctors who can afford them will most certainly be specialists.
It takes more than 6 figures to buy a million dollar home. a good guideline: If you have 20% to put down, you should be spending no more than 4 or 4.5 times your annual salary on the price of your home.
So, to buy these properties, you need at least a $400K downpayment and $200k/yr salary.
If we all agree to stick to these standards, then prices will adjust to fit our needs.
On the other hand, if you have an inheritance or a trust, as seemingly all the homeowners in SF do, your salary doesn't matter too much.
I am actually one of those Sr. Researchers that makes 6 figures, but there is not a single condo in SF that I can afford that I would actually wan to live in.
Right now, i pay $2100/ month with parking for 2 bdroom in Pac Heights. I think i will be staying there until I can buy a nice 2bdroom condo in a good neighborhood for $600K. I am thinking Q1 09
Posted by: Spencer at October 4, 2007 2:47 PM
I was really looking forward to this development. My wife and I are always looking for a brick and timber conversion. We were priced out of anything comfortable enough for 2 people to live in at 310 Townsend, and we "knew" 900 Minnesota would be cheaper due to location. Let's see, first e-mail I got from 310 Townsend says "Homes from the high $400s." First e-mail from this place, "Homes from the mid $600s." So much for a price break on location. Although, it does look like these units have windows, so that may account for the extra $150k.
Posted by: Brad at October 4, 2007 2:50 PM
"On the other hand, if you have an inheritance or a trust, as seemingly all the homeowners in SF do, your salary doesn't matter too much."
I doubt it's inheritance...I think the only people still buying are those rolling $400K of bubble equity. Once that pool dries up....we'll be down to relying on the Rich Foreign Investors....
Posted by: Dude at October 4, 2007 2:58 PM
Right on Spencer! Sit tight until 2009. Your analysis is spot on.
Great post by Tipster - the Denny's angle was hilarious.
Posted by: anon at October 4, 2007 3:17 PM
Double Right On Spencer! Every time I get the itch to buy, I keep looking at the numbers and renting is working for me too. I am in the same situation, six figure income, about 100,000 in savings, renting at 1,900 a month (2bd) in Marina with parking, and cannot afford more than 600,000 for a condo. I am on the 2009 schedule myself. My other option is to take a similar paying position in Chicago or Miami where I could afford to buy.
Posted by: anonrenter at October 4, 2007 3:29 PM
Hey, you renters at $1900 and $2100 a month - is that with rent control? I don't know if you could duplicate that today. Thanks.
Posted by: fred at October 4, 2007 4:29 PM
apparently, you can't duplicate it today. I got my apt in apr 06 at this price and am now rent controlled.
Posted by: Spencer at October 4, 2007 4:32 PM
I concur. I'm in the position to buy right now, and would love to own for the first time - but I can't bring myself to get in a place like this and watch it lose 20% in the next 2 years. Actually, I imagine this place will lose more than that if you actually buy at that price. It's ridiculously priced for that area. I love mid-rises and want to end up in a building like the Clock Tower or 1 South Park - but even those are priced too high for the current market (not taking into account the decline that's about to happen). The only reason I'd ever consider a place in a much crappier neighborhood and further away from downtown is for a discount - and it looks like they're wanting a premium.
Posted by: sideliner at October 4, 2007 4:56 PM
Lot of people I know got money from families to buy a place. Terrible that we live in a place that causes ready buyers to postpone due to high prices. We'll see what happens, of course misery loves company, thus all the bearish posts.
Posted by: anon at October 4, 2007 7:40 PM
About to happen? The decline is here. Go back and look at the last few postings under 1307 Bay Street on Socketsite - they just dropped the price today and so it's now over 10% off comps in the same building last year. Everywhere I look, 94123 is down by 10% from last year. Same with 94105. The only things that haven't dropped is a smaller and smaller number of trophy properties.
People are *spending* more or about the same, but they are getting way more. But when you compare very comparable places, things have dropped by 10%.
These places will be way down. But there is no harm in trying to price high at first to capture anyone who really wants to live there, then slashing the price. That's how new products are usually launched like ipods. I have no idea why that is an unacceptable practice in real estate.
Posted by: tipster at October 4, 2007 7:46 PM
I get MLS listings for $1M properties and below for Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, Redwood Shores, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Woodside, Woodside Hills. Out of 203 listings, 91 have had price reductions (~45%), with the oldest active listing as far back as January.
Although it may be slower to affect San Francisco, the city faces the same fate. I've been ready to buy a second for the past couple of years, but seeing where the market was headed with all the creative financing, I knew this day would come, so I decided to postpone my search and wait and see.
Interesting that a couple others here mentioned that '09 would be about the time they're going to buy. I just recently told my agent I still see a declining market and won't begin actively looking in SF again until late summer/winter of next year. :)
Posted by: S&S at October 4, 2007 8:19 PM
Nice building, but the neighborhood is still a ways off from charging those asking prices. They can't sell the units at the Potrero at crazy levels and they won't here either. The units a few blocks over at Sierra Heights were a much better deal and very different neigborhood. The builder will figure that out pretty quick.
Posted by: Potrerodweller at October 4, 2007 8:54 PM
S&S...I recall that as early as the beginning of '06 you were gloating about the imminent implosion of the SF market and how you were going to snap up some great deal from some builder as he was going belly up. I see you've gotten your sexy self a nice comfortable chair!! By any reasonable measure we have a very strong market in San Francisco. That however does not mean that there will be great appreciation. In fact I do not believe that prices will rise appreciably for several years to come. There are inflationary pressures on our economy and while the present trend(albeit short term)is for lower rates from the fed, the overwhelming liklihood is that rates will be a full point higher at the end of '08. Our market in SF will nor rise very much but neither will it drop very much.
Posted by: wayne at October 4, 2007 9:37 PM
and S&S chimes in as another unfortunate person who has to postpone a normal passage of life in buying a home, hope you have rent control.
Posted by: anon at October 4, 2007 9:46 PM
'very strong market in San Francisco'
uh..prices may not be crashing down in SF as they should be, but don't mistake stubborn & unrealistic sellers w/ a "strong market". Sales are down over 30% in SF, and as each month passes and more people like myself realize that such a large drop in sales must lead to an equally large drop in price, the # of sales continues to decline.
and this goes back to what i meant by 'about to happen'. From what I've seen, asking prices have remained the same in the central part of SF. But aside from the decreasing # of trophy properties, the only way sellers can unload is to drop the asking or throw in massive comps. The next stage is for sellers to drop the facade and start listing at a reduced rate rather than let their properties sit for months.
In my opinion, prices have already dropped at least 20%. Sellers have too much vested and are too stubborn to admit it. Soon the pool of dolts still paying asking or more will dwindle to nothing, and the even larger pool of peole who think getting 5-10% off asking is a heck of a deal will be chopped into a small fraction. When this finally happens and prices are listed 10-20% less than today, they'll actually be worth 30% less and the cycle will continue until the bottom hits in Q1 of 09.
I saw this all through my magic crystal ball.
Posted by: sideliner at October 4, 2007 10:27 PM
Hope you have rent control? No one is going to need it for very long. The number of vacant homes has shot up and is now at 2.8% or 17 Million homes vacant. The homes are vacant because no one will buy them, increasing demand on rental properties.
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/qtr107/q107press.pdf (See the top of page 3)
As these homes are finally reduced in price and sold off, the demand for rental properties will drop substantially. There is too much supply of houses of all types and yet more and more comes on line every day. The only thing keeping that supply from being evident is the fact that a big chunk is vacant - highest amount since records were kept.
Too much supply is how bubbles always pop. Trust me, there will be a glut of rental properties on the market within a year or two. And in the meantime, an extra $100-$400 per month is nothing compared to losing your life's savings in a real estate crash. Look at the guy who bought at 1307 Bay street 94123 last year. He's down over a hundred thousand dollars. Methinks he would have been better off renting at a couple of hundred dollars a month extra.
Posted by: tipster at October 4, 2007 10:39 PM
How is the rental market in SF right now, going up? Losing a life savings in "the crash", or losing your life slandering random properties, citing national non-specific stats and obsessing every day on a blog.(what is worse?) Unless someone is forced to sell, then that is life, but not every one bought in 05/06, so get on and enjoy yourself. Keep slandering, whatever makes you happy. I am sure your fellow sideliners will support you.
Posted by: run at October 4, 2007 11:22 PM
sideliner......"In my opinion, prices have already dropped at least 20%". This is just not so. There ar plenty of buyers across all segments of the SF market and this is what makes it a strong resilient market..low rates, smaller seller pool and solid buyer pool. Now, if two of these variables were to change.......back to you S&S!
Posted by: wayne at October 5, 2007 6:43 AM
Quiet neighborhood? The pools of vomit are from Cafe Cocomo. Enjoy the loud bass levels and fighting, car break-ins and theft, drunken disorderlies wandering down the street shouting at 3am, sideshows and club promoter postcards littered everywhere. I live about the same distance away from that place as this new building. Oh and don't forget the Hell's Angels clubhouse down on 20th. They like to go roaring by most nights too.
Posted by: bevel at October 5, 2007 8:01 AM
I support you tipster!
*gets pom-pom's out and does a cheer for tipster'
Posted by: sideliner at October 5, 2007 8:36 AM
"Quiet neighborhood? The pools of vomit are from Cafe Cocomo"
Good point. I forgot about the coke and meth den that is Cafe Cocomo.
Didn't know about the Hell's Angel's Club. Can you get a discounted memebership to the club if you buy this property?
Posted by: Spencer at October 5, 2007 9:33 AM
Wow, after reading all this bad stuff about my neighborhood, I have to defend! I absolutely love it here -- I've lived in Russian Hill, North Beach, Inner Sunset, and this is my favorite neighborhood. I can say that *I've* never seen a "pool of vomit" in two years; although there are definitely issues with Cafe Cocomo, people living in RV's, Burning Man overflow, it's certainly no worse than the local problems in any of the neighborhoods I've been in. Most importantly, I actually know virtually ALL of my neighbors -- I've lived in plenty of apt buildings where I didn't even know the name of the person across the hall. Crime stats here are comparable or *better* than many other neighborhoods -- trust me, I checked it out before i bought. It may not be for everyone, but for me, it's become hard to imagine living anywhere else in the city.
Posted by: dogpatch defender! at October 5, 2007 2:07 PM
Six exact prices from the MLS:
∙ 888 Minnesota #N107 (2/2) 1,243 sqft - $983,752
∙ 888 Minnesota #N209 (2/2.5) 1,659 sqft - $1,180,133
∙ 888 Minnesota #N517 (2/2.5) 1,586 sqft - $1,273,800
∙ 888 Minnesota #S202 (1/1.5) 835 sqft - $675,000
∙ 888 Minnesota #S322 (2/2) 1,333 sqft - $1,105,450
∙ 888 Minnesota #S507 (2/2) 1,517 sqft - $1,281,556
And yes, S507 (at $1,281,556) looks to be a mirror image of S508 (discussed above).
Posted by: SocketSite at October 5, 2007 4:15 PM
dogpatch defender - don't take the opinions on here too seriously. It's not worth it. Enjoy your place in Dogpatch - it's a great neighborhood, and as long as you are happy and love it, that's all that matters.
Posted by: movingback at October 5, 2007 7:07 PM
Thanks Socketsite for the exact MLS prices. But can I say I just don't get it -- the pricing, that is.
Virtually every post re pricing has these at over to way over.
Is anyone else seeing a huge dichotomy of pricing developing between new construction and existing? The gap just seems to be widening over time. Why?
Posted by: AnonN at October 5, 2007 7:08 PM
Why? Because that's what they think the market will bear, presumably. Plus, as these units won't be ready for occupancy until '08, what's the harm in pushing the envelope on prices for at least a while?
Posted by: Amen Corner at October 5, 2007 8:00 PM
Actually, the reaction to prices here on SS has a much simpler and more logical origin: frustration.
People who desire to own in SF but cannot use SS to vent their frustrations. They tend to be unanimous in their predictions of imminent - and utter - collapse in SF real estate values.
Before I get flamed (and I will), the converse is true of most of the homeowners on SS. They have a fundamental need to believe that their big purchase was fiscally sound and won't lead to ruination.
This being a blog, it's an opportunity to opine with great frequency and intensity and feel "published", whatever your point of view. Despite the strong protestations of many here, there are no conclusive numbers for SF. It's not armageddon (yet), it's not safe (yet). It is entertaining, however.
Personally, I think this project has a lot of appeal. The weather in Dogpatch is SO much better than Pac Heights it's nearly immeasurable. It cuts 20 minutes off of a commute to anywhere on the Peninsula. The park will be restored by the presence of vocal homeowners. The T-Third line will drive a renaissance. The restaurants being planned will be top-notch.
As ever, people who value these properties will buy them for what they think they're worth. Impotent rage at current pricing is quite pointless. But it makes some people feel better, so that's OK, too.
Posted by: amused at October 6, 2007 9:34 AM
"People who desire to own in SF but cannot use SS to vent their frustrations. They tend to be unanimous in their predictions of imminent - and utter - collapse in SF real estate values"
Huh? I just read all of the posts myself, and from what many are saying, some CAN afford to buy, but are sitting on the sidelines right now until things become more stable. Is there anyone who posts on this site over 40!? For those of us over 40, we have seen a time like this twice before, prices DO go down (short term), and most people do not own a condo for more than 5 years, so what is the advantage of buying immediatly?
As for this project, I love it! As for the neighborhood, no thank you! What's the point of a 20 minute journey to my office when I moved to the city to avoid that kind of commute time? If your office is down on the new campus, I would go for it.
Posted by: anon2 at October 6, 2007 12:34 PM
OK, I have to get into this discussion. I live in a nearby complex (Sierra Heights) and can't wait for these units to go online. It will be great for the community. Here are my thoughts.
Brick building and design. None like any other in the city. These units are truly unique and demand a premium (see comments below).
Local establishments within 2 blocks - To name a few: Piccino (they serve blue bottle coffee!), Hard Knox (authentic Soul Food), Sundance Coffee, Yield Wine Bar, Just for you Cafe (best breakfast in town), and the soon to be open Slow Club (or whatever they decide to call it). That's not including all the stores on 18th st a few blocks away. Also ATT Park is just a few bus stops away.
Esprit Park - OK, not the greatest park but it's still decent. BTW, didn't they just refurbish this park last year? If you guys think it's bad now, you should have seen it a few years ago.
Price, I agree with everybody here and think the units are priced a tad bit high for this market, but not by too much. I guess there's no risk to the developer for this strategy as soon-to-be residents can't move until 2008 anyways.
Posted by: PotreroResident at October 6, 2007 12:47 PM
Even simpler still: they're overpriced for the area. I like the project and have the means but I agree that these are priced too high considering the current condition of the neighborhood. I also agree that the neighborhood will get better but would expect to benefit from that upside rather than paying the developer for it today. If it's easier for amused to simply assume I'm frustrated, I guess that's OK too.
Posted by: Anna at October 6, 2007 12:51 PM
"Actually, the reaction to prices here on SS has a much simpler and more logical origin: frustration."
Ok, maybe I am frustrated. But it's because I'm an owner and an investor and I know from studying comps that I couldn't list my properties at these prices without the risk of a very bad outcome in today's market. So can we cease with the owners are bulls and renters are bears based debate and consider the questions orginally presented:
"Is anyone else seeing a huge dichotomy of pricing developing between new construction and existing? The gap just seems to be widening over time. Why?" Thanks!
PS Note to Editor: If this doesn't get any traction here could you possibly consider some feature investigative reporting?
Posted by: AnonN at October 6, 2007 3:02 PM
Isn't this really close to the power plant that various people have been fighting unsuccessfully to shut down? The argument for shutting it down is higher asthma rates among kids growing up in Potrero and Bayview. I don't know if any proof has been established, but if there's no link, then why bother to shut it down?
Posted by: LC at October 6, 2007 6:36 PM
Wow, this definitely seems like 05/06 pricing! I just don't see how that neighborhood can support 1.2 million dollar 2 bedroom condos. And if some people do think it's a fair price, does anyone really think there's any appreciation left in these units?
Not only are these much more than The Potrero, which is in a nicer location, but even more than the Mission Bay developments (Alterra, Pk Terrance, Off Third, 235 Berry) and are comparable to Infinity Treetops and the lower tower units...
Posted by: missionbayres at October 6, 2007 10:20 PM
A unit at 993 Tennessee recently sold for >1m. While these prices do seem high they may not be that far off. Just a cabernet influenced thought!!
Posted by: wayne at October 6, 2007 11:16 PM
I really do like these units but live on the other side of the universe from here (The Marina) so I do not have a clue about what a reasonable price would be. For everyone talking about how out of line this pricing is, I would be curious what they think the prices should be?
Posted by: anon94123 at October 7, 2007 8:06 AM
Propertyshark: 993 Tennessee #5 sold for $1,000,000 on 6/29/07 and is 1,834 square feet. Website: 3 bedrooms 3.5 baths on four levels with a balcony. Socketsite: listed at $1,029,000:
Posted by: Anna at October 7, 2007 9:28 AM
If we use that comp - $545/sqft, then I estimate EspritPark is around $200k overpriced for the 2 bedrooom units. I don't know where the developer gets the comps for it's pricing, but to me the 2 bed units should start in the high 700's and top out around 1 million.
The area is in the less desirable part of Potrero Hill and a stone's throw from Bayview. I'm guessing the developer is testing the waters with these pricing and will have lower them when reality hits them in the mouth when nothing sells...
Posted by: missionbayres at October 7, 2007 6:41 PM
"Actually, the reaction to prices here on SS has a much simpler and more logical origin: frustration."
Not everyone who thinks SF real estate is overvalued is a "bitter renter" who "missed the boom" and is now "priced out forever."
Per the SS reader survey, most of us make pretty good money. I could buy any number of available properties, yet I remain on the sidelines because the ability to make a purchase doesn't make it a wise one.
I could also pay $40 for a hamburger or $250 for a bottle of wine. But it's not a good value when I can get a comparable burger for $8 and several 90 point wines for under $25. So why would I pay $850/sq. ft. for a dogpatch condo when nearby properties are going for under $600/sq.ft.? Especially now that the boom is over and the cycle has clearly shifted?
Posted by: Dude at October 8, 2007 10:28 AM
Thanks for isolating half of the relevant quote from my post and adding your own personal perspective. You'll note that I also referenced current owners. As for your quotation marks (bitter renter, missed the boom, priced out forever), I have to ask: who, exactly, are you quoting? Certainly not me.
Your hypothetical comps (burgers and wine) are no more relevant than one nearby condo. I have taken a look here, and I think they'll set a new benchmark for the area. The quality of the construction, the low HOAs and the amenities all look pretty good to me. I'm not planning on buying here, however. I have converted to pure conversions, and now it's all I want. No impure motivation in my perspective.
...also worth noting is that sometimes a $40 burger and $250 bottle of wine is exactly the right call. In fact, that's how I'd characterize much of life north of California Street.
Posted by: amused at October 8, 2007 12:18 PM
Amused - I was not quoting you, as most of your posts are balanced...usually. My point was that it's unfair to assume that people complain about price levels just because they can't afford them. People who are owners and investors made the comment that this property is overpriced in this market.
If food isn't a good analogy, let's use the investment angle. I think equities are a great long-term investment (like real estate), but I also think the Dow is greatly overvalued at 14K given economic fundamentals. Like real estate, I'm sure the market will go up over the long haul, and the Dow will hit 18K someday. San Francisco will see $2,500/sq. ft. someday, too. But if so many economic indicators point towards near-term recession, I may be better off waiting for a dip to jump in.
And I don't think anyone here is predicting an "utter and imminent collapse of values." Real estate, as an asset class, doesn't behave that way. But there's a good chance we could see a 15-20% drop over the next few years, which is a considerable amount of money to anyone.
Posted by: Dude at October 8, 2007 1:20 PM
Fair enough, and your points are understood.
I actually like the food analogy better than an investment analogy. Food is a fundamental human need, same as shelter. And it can be utilitarian (El Norteno Taco Truck) or luxurious (The French Laundry). I happen to enjoy both.
Investments are cold abstraction. You can't have a dinner party in your mutual fund. You can't transform your IRA into a place that brings you peace.
I paid one-point-something for my place. I then put more money into it to transform it into something that I love. I bought it a few years ago, and will have it for a few more. Will it provide the annualized return of a Dow index fund? I guess not. Do I care? Not particularly. I didn't buy it to obsess over a spreadsheet. I bought it to provide a beautiful haven for friends and family. On that level, it's been a resounding success. One that I couldn't replicate without ownership (I didn't spend the $200K on paint and a couple of Nagel prints).
I guess that's why my commentary on SS is almost exclusively about design rather than investment. I come here for the RE porn (and, I guess, the articles).
As for Esprit... I have no interest in how it goes down, but I think the strong naysayers here are going to be surprised. I have (very cynical) friends who went on Saturday and fell in love. They're in a hurry, too, because they saw people putting deposits down. Not my words, theirs.
There are lots of projects around town that are getting nearly everything wrong. This one appears to be getting most things exactly right.
Posted by: amused at October 8, 2007 1:56 PM
I went by this property this weekend and was sadly dissapointed. The views are ok from the penthouses, but the neighborhood is really dumpy and traffic noise from 280 is a constant, annoying drone. On top of all that, the prices are way too high.
There are many better options in and around SF, particularly for the price.
Posted by: anon at October 8, 2007 10:02 PM
I toured this property as well and have to agree w/ anon. There is a constant hum from the freeway and at this price point, there is much better on offer.
Posted by: Mystery Realtor at October 9, 2007 5:42 AM
Surprised by the comments about pricing compared to the prices at The Potrero (almost identical on a price per square foot basis around $800 and the finishes and outdoor space at Esprit seem very nice) and the comments about Esprit Park. Haven't seen a better maintained, green, accessible park in the city. I live by Dolores Park and THAT can be overrun with crowds and fests and worn to a nub. Esprit was just completely redone with new irrigation, trees, shrubs, paths and I always see people hanging out on the grass with dogs and kids. Also, gotta check out Piccino cafe (22nd and Tennessee..fab pizzettas and Yield wine bar 3rd @ 22nd.). Heard Slow Club was coming in across the street as well.
Posted by: Scott at October 9, 2007 2:56 PM
This is an interesting project stimulating an interesting discussion. Every project has pros and cons, the same with this one.
I work in the neighborhood, and have observed the Esprit project de-evolve from its last use as offices then evolve into what appears to be a safe and comfortable residential community.
Its appears that the developers have made a genuine effort to create a community based on the historic elements of the buildings, maintaining maximum open space/ light, recycled pre-existing materials, etc. Restoring brick buildings is expensive, so this choice shows a real respect for preservation. It would have been cheaper to tear them all down.
I have been looking for a home to buy, and have come to realize that SF has a severe supply problem- which causes price stability completely independent of the national market. We live in a beautiful city, in which affordable housing is important, which translates into higher development costs, all of which are passed on to us, the buyers. With $750 to $800 a ft. prices common throughout the city, the pricing at Esprit Park seems very fair given that the Potrero is double loaded corridors, less expensive finishes, minimal outdoor spaces, and in my opinion, a far less cozy neighborhood than Dogpatch.
I prefer this neighborhood: great weather, great food between Dogpatch and Potrero Hill, easy access to downtown on the T line, to the peninsula from 22nd St.station, beautifully restored homes,
all of which make it a true neighborhood.
About Esprit Park, the city just spent over a $1mm redoing it from the ground up- it is spectacular!
After looking at almost everything available in the city, and weigh the inevitable pros and cons, I feel that Esprit Park offers real value in a very up and coming neighborhood, with all the amenities I could want, at a very fair value.
And, I earned it.
Posted by: pamh at October 9, 2007 4:39 PM
Strange that so many men and women post things that are so derogatory without confirmation! Sad little people that derive pleasure from the intimidation of gloom and doom prophecies. I like the Dog Patch, with its little shops and restaurants, warmer weather, and ecclectic crew. Reminds me of the City in the old days, before it was too cool for school. Too cool being the SS shit parade. F*^ck the SS nay sayers. I'd buy in a heart beat since the crime here is half of what it is on Nob Hill, Chestnut, or Pacific, and the streets are calm and smoothe. Flat, warm, and hip. Can't beat the Patch!
Posted by: elephant man at October 9, 2007 9:03 PM
Elephant Man, You write about "men and women post things that are so derogatory without confirmation".But then you go on to say " ... the crime here is half of what it is on Nob Hill, Chestnut, or Pacific.." Where can we confirm that?
Posted by: wayne at October 9, 2007 10:08 PM
If the sad little doom&gloom prophesiers are correct, maybe the next project will be "Homes on Esprit Outlet".
Posted by: emmett_brown at October 9, 2007 11:06 PM
" I'd buy in a heart beat since the crime here is half of what it is on Nob Hill, Chestnut, or Pacific, and the streets are calm and smoothe."
Accordign to SF Crime stats, you are incorrect. THe crime stats here are about 2.5x as high as they are in the Marina, Pacific Heights or Russian Hill
Posted by: Spencer at October 10, 2007 11:03 AM
The best place to check out stats is this location:http:
Posted by: Elephant Man at October 10, 2007 5:01 PM
I will go to the sales office this weekend to see if the developers are smoking the whacky tobaccky. The property looks great but the prices are too high for an area that is "promising" but still looks and feels gritty. Also, there is lots of inventory in the surrounding area and no one is at their pricing level (particularly for 1/1.5 bed). My question to them is "where are the sales incentives"?? HOA paid for 2 yrs or Plasma TVs are always welcome
Posted by: Anon1977 at October 10, 2007 5:52 PM
Elephant guy is correct. Marina and Pac Heights crime rate is double vs 888 Minnesota (1/2 miles radius). Lots of larceny and theft. Maybe the thieves are targeting the affluent there, who knows...
But I'd still choose Pac Heights and upper Fillmore over 888 Minnesota. Too industrial and run-down for my taste. That's just my opinion...
Posted by: missionbayres at October 10, 2007 5:54 PM
According to this crime map, this areas has higher crime than the others you stated.
elephant man. thanks for call me "miss." I am a mister, but you showed how childish and sexist you are.
Posted by: Spencer at October 11, 2007 9:58 AM
I've owned a place just across the street from Esprit Park for a few years and yes, the neighborhood definitely has its ups and downs...sometimes big downs. On the positive side, it's not very popular YET, so it's quiet and removed, but close to the city, which is why I bought there in 2004. It was the only area I could afford. Plus, the new Third Street rail line is helping to turn the area around Esprit Park into more of an "acceptable" neighborhood. On the negative side, it's an industrial wasteland, although it is beginning to turn around, but that will take years and years and years. They have cleaned it up a bit in the past couple of years, but there's always still trash everywhere, it seems, especially along Indiana, and the posts below about the dog poo in the park and the dog poo on the streets in general are true; there are also weird piles of stuff that pop up, like a pair of pants and shoes, a pair of underwear. Oh, and yes, condoms in the park. This area is definitely on the fringe and people come from the projects up on Potrero and from Bayview to break into cars. Look around: glass everywhere, all the time. There are shady characters (yes, right along with the normal, respectable people), walking around here all the time. I would never walk around here alone at night...in fact, that's mainly because I got mugged, big time, a couple years ago right on the corner of Minnesota and 19th, right in front of the other nice brick residential building there. The cop on the case was the one who said I was crazy to be walking around this area alone at night. Cafe Cocomo is definitely a pain when it's going full force at night. I don't even go down Indiana, where it's located, to get home because of all the traffic and all the people walking around in a drunken/drugged-out stupor. Plus, there was actually someone shot and killed outside the place one night a year or so ago. I think the flower tribute is still there on the corner. (There was also a dead body found a couple of years ago between two cars under the overpass on 20th and Minnesota, right across from the new Esprit Park building.) Possibly the biggest negative, however, is the proposed helipad for the new children's hospital at UCSF, which will be located just two to three blocks from 900 Minnesota. They did a test helicopter run at 9 a.m. yesterday morning (Sunday) to check for noise levels, etc. Trust me...it was as if the thing was landing right on my building. It not only woke me up, it jolted me up. If this is going to happen at least once, maybe twice a day, which is what they're saying the average number of flights would be here: http://www.community.ucsf.edu/UCSF_MBHospHelipadInfo051407.pdf...it's not going to be pretty. And then, of course, there will be the ambulance sirens.
Bottom line: as a local owner in the know here, this new building at Esprit Park looks really cool and attractive from the outside, but for these way, way over-the-top prices, you're better off going to an established neighborhood that's already been built out. You never know what's going to happen in Dogpatch or the Central Waterfront area, the last part of the city to be developed. While it seemed like a good investment a few years ago, all I want to do now is move out of Dogpatch. Yes, I want property values to rise in the area where I own, but the prices at Esprit Park are ridiculous, really. They're prices that I could imagine here in maybe 10 years, when it actually IS an attractive, funky, million-dollar neighborhood. You get what you pay for, as they say, and we all know that in SF, that isn't much, except in this case, a big headache, literally.
Posted by: citylife at October 22, 2007 3:20 PM
"Why? Because that's what they think the market will bear, presumably. Plus, as these units won't be ready for occupancy until '08, what's the harm in pushing the envelope on prices for at least a while?"
Simple, credit access. If you're a cash strapped builder (let's be honest, who isn't these days) and you need capital to finish phases 2 and 3 of your projects, you need to start showing some contracts and "pre-sold" agreements to get them to loosen the purse strings. That's always been how it is and how it always will be. Builders never use their own money, they borrow it. When they can't borrow....
That's why the early phases of larger towers go at reduced prices to the later phases. They need to show demand and bookings to get the fatter margined properties built.
Posted by: scurvy at October 29, 2007 5:53 PM
Don't you think it is misleading for this development to continually show "photos" that are computer-generated projections but are not identified as such? I know personally of several people who have gone over there to "see the models" only to be told that they do not exist yet. Other builders include this type of disclaimer in their advertising. Esprit Park: Time to shape up!
Posted by: Robert at January 14, 2008 11:37 AM