January 31, 2008

Barriers Going Up, Building Coming Down, 165 Condos Coming Soon

645 Howard (www.SocketSite.com)

The barriers are going up, the building is coming down, and the word on the street is that J.K. Dineen at the Business Times has the scoop on the 165 condominiums that will soon rise at the corner of Hawthorne (One Hawthorne) and Howard (645 Howard).

First Published: January 31, 2008 1:49 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

When does this stop? Just wondering.....

This board has been doom and gloom recently (and not without reason). Yet developers are still starting projects. Ever the optimists? Or will this have passed in the two-ish years it will take to get the condos to market?

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 31, 2008 2:15 PM

Just a little more info....this project would be a 250-foot tall, 25-story building containing between 135 - 189 dwelling units, approximately 4,078 square feet of ground floor retail space, and an underground garage with 78 stalls that can accommodate up to 135 parking spaces using mechanical stackers and valet service.

Posted by: Scott Pierce at January 31, 2008 2:20 PM

just across the street from the Gold Club. Perfect Pied a Terre for strippers who fly in from LA and Vegas

Posted by: spencer at January 31, 2008 2:23 PM

Isnt this right across the street from the Gold Club?

Posted by: pastie at January 31, 2008 2:24 PM

Yes, many market bears have predicted a strong price correction (aka 'doom and gloom') in SF but no one is saying that people can't and won't make money on SF RE.

In a city where 3 months supply is consider a lot there is plenty of room for additional development.

Posted by: Badlydrawnbear at January 31, 2008 2:26 PM

Even if prices on new condos were to fall by 40% the profit margins for developers would remain very high. Down from today's stratospheric levels, but very profitable.

Posted by: anon at January 31, 2008 2:37 PM

While i'm generally supportive of higher-density developments.

I'm not supportive of tearing down 'older' classic looking buildings in favor of highrises. This building is handsome and should be spared the wreckingball, IMO

Posted by: Gabriel at January 31, 2008 2:41 PM

Keep in mind builders, investors need to get ahead of the curve so it is wise to start before the rise.....can control cost better....

Posted by: Michael L. at January 31, 2008 2:42 PM

Most developers could probably cut their prices 10-20% and still make money, just not as much.

On the other hand if you recently bought and prices around you drop 10-20% you have probably lost 100% of your investment and are many years away from being back in the money.

Posted by: Michael at January 31, 2008 2:43 PM

I'm not supportive of tearing down 'older' classic looking buildings in favor of highrises. This building is handsome and should be spared the wreckingball, IMO

Agreed...I'm sure what will replace this is going to be some glass monstrosity.

Posted by: anonSF at January 31, 2008 3:09 PM

"Keep in mind builders, investors need to get ahead of the curve so it is wise to start before the rise.....can control cost better...."

Michael, if I am interpreting your post correctly, you think we're at the bottom and that by the time this project would be done, the units would be worth more than they would be now? If that is correct, I'll respectfully disagree with you. I think we're going to see values continue to drop over the next two years, so if a builder bought now, at today's prices, they'll most likely lose money or have very little margin based off of what those units will be worth by the time the project is complete.

Posted by: appalled at January 31, 2008 3:21 PM

I want to be the first to predict the death of Roe nightclub on that same corner once occupancy starts. The future residents will no doubt complain about the noise and 2am drunks spilling out of the club. It will be a fun place to live though with the W accross the street, 2nd street corridor a block away with Zebulon, 111 Minna, and John Collins nearby and easy Transit options.

Posted by: loudnclear at January 31, 2008 3:38 PM

The builder might have lower costs if there is less competition for labor and supplies.

Posted by: fred at January 31, 2008 3:40 PM

I'm not supportive of tearing down 'older' classic looking buildings in favor of highrises. This building is handsome and should be spared the wreckingball, IMO


Ha!....only if you admire the architecture of Santana Row. This one overall is an eyesore to me. I say tear it down quickly!

Posted by: someone at January 31, 2008 3:58 PM

Its ugly! Tear it down. The only "good" it serves at the moment is for the homeless who are camped out there everyday. I hope it is glassy. Glass makes sense in san Francisco given our drastic weather patterns and unique lighting. Walk down and look at the Millenium tower's glass after a good rain...its beautiful.

Posted by: dest at January 31, 2008 4:19 PM

i don't mind glassy structures. what i'm worried about is another concrete/stucco boring boxy condo ala mission bay going up here.

this building is in no way an eyesore. in fact, with it's big windows it's perfect for a loft conversion, much like the mint collection buildings.

Posted by: Gabriel at January 31, 2008 6:08 PM

the big parking lot on the corner of this block would be a better option for developing. not tearing down this building -- which fits in with the architectural styles of other buildings around it.

Posted by: Gabriel at January 31, 2008 6:27 PM

Faux-tana Row

Posted by: Tweety at January 31, 2008 6:42 PM

I agree this is a gorgeous building. What a shame it will come down to make some rich guy richer.

Posted by: Doodahman at January 31, 2008 7:05 PM

this is a horrendously ugly building.

Posted by: spencer at January 31, 2008 7:29 PM

The existing building is awful. This is a great location, and the mix of uses sounds well chosen. Making money is a matter of knowing the markets and getting and executing appropriate designs. Even in a steep downturn there is still demand, especially at that spot.

Posted by: Mole Man at January 31, 2008 8:01 PM

the existing structure is an adabdoned dot com office building. i believe i remember seeing this project at the planning commission 2 years ago. if i am corrct it is designed by EHDD, which is a great, aia gold medal firm, and sophisticted designers i.e. it is NOT anothr heller mc manus / concrate stucco box, etc.

Posted by: louis at January 31, 2008 8:33 PM

Anyone know who's the developer on this project?

Posted by: dotcomer at January 31, 2008 11:26 PM

The existing building on that site is a real dog - it might have been ok 80 years ago, but it has been so mucked up (including the stucco top floor addition, cheap aluminum windows, etc.) not to mention a floor plate that results in unpleasant dark interior spaces. This is exactly the kind of building that should be torn down and replaced by a new one. And as been said, EHDD are subperb architects.

Posted by: Jim at February 1, 2008 5:21 PM

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