January 8, 2008

Infinity Update: Construction, Tower Two, And Possibly Even Sales

Infinity View

As a plugged-in reader points out, Webcor has updated their website with regard to the construction of Infinity:

December has been a momentous month for the Infinity project. The City of San Francisco has issued the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) two weeks ahead of schedule. Unit owners are expected to begin moving in on February 1st, as the final touches are completed in the plaza, fitness center, and pool areas. Sidewalks and sitework were completed ahead of the TCO inspection and units on the upper floors are completing the punchlist process with owner upgrades following close behind.
The 42-story, Phase 2 tower continues to progress as the curtainwall is installed through level 7. Concrete continues its steady pace of 3-days-per-floor and is complete through level 32. The tower crane completed its final jump on December 22nd and now has a staggering 526 foot hook height.

And if you're in contract and looking to trade notes on how to prepare for (or what you eventual see on) your walkthrough, might we suggest: Walkthroughs At Infinity: A Chance To Share Your Impressions.

UPDATE: Photo above snapped by a plugged-in reader on hard-hat tour a few weeks back with a walkthrough scheduled soon.

UPDATE: "I was just there yesterday, and they said that 20% was still available."

Webcor Construction Update: The Infinity (300 Spear Street) [Webcor]
Walkthroughs At Infinity: A Chance To Share Your Impressions[SocketSite]

First Published: January 8, 2008 12:27 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

What % of the units are reserved at this point? I checked 3 months ago and 20% was still "unreserved" which can't be much better now. When those actually go to close I wonder how much will have actual financing. If anybody is in the know please provide info.

Posted by: cooper at January 8, 2008 10:11 AM

It's about time Webcor updated their info site, but it looks like a good update. Just as the site says, I've been told move in will start on Feb 1. They originally planned to work from the bottom up, however, I now understand that they have finished far more than the bottom units and will allow higher units to move in early if there is availability. I think they are shooting for 25-50 units in Feb and 50 units a month after that.

They are also building temporary barriers and stairs to devide the property from the contruction still in progress. The second tower should top out just after first move ins, but, based on the last tower, it may still take a few months after that to get the glass up and the crane down.

Posted by: Cabrewolf at January 8, 2008 11:30 AM

they've been building that second tower as fast as possible. it's been very impressive to watch out one of my windows. they seem to work almost all the way through the night.

Posted by: james at January 8, 2008 11:39 AM

I was just there yesterday, and they said that 20% was still available.

Posted by: someone at January 8, 2008 12:50 PM

I feel sorry for the construction staff who have to work around that "staggering 526 foot hook". Sounds dangerous.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 8, 2008 1:52 PM

It is quite remarkable that Webcor has been able to move ahead so quickly without delays. Hats off to them!

The building is turning out way better than expected and will be a fine addition to an already great area. Very exciting to live in a neighborhood that gets better and better each day, rather than neihborhoods like where I used to live (e.g. parkside) where it is totally identical today to what it was twenty-plus years ago.

Posted by: anon at January 8, 2008 2:26 PM

Webcor and Tishman Speyer are giants in their industry. Combining the two gets you one efficient, talented and professional team!
Webcor is also building Millenium, the Intercontinental Hotel, the new California Academy of Sciences, and Avalon complex.
Tishman is constructing the tower at 555 Mission and has hundreds of buildings in their portfolio around the world.

If I had to pick a team to build Infinity, it would have been Webcor and Tishman. They just know how to get things done right...

Posted by: missionbayres at January 8, 2008 3:01 PM

Question: will the second tower be taller or shorter than the first? The Webcor site says it'll be 42 stories, which seems higher than the first tower. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: zzzzzzzz at January 8, 2008 3:32 PM

Yes the second tower is the taller of the two.

http://www.webcor.com/auto_images/large/spearrender1137482713.jpg

Posted by: sj at January 8, 2008 3:35 PM

Thanks for the update on when folks will move in to The Infinity! I'm looking forward to the new neighbors in the Rincon Hill neighborhood ... and hopefully some additional service businesses at the base of The Infinity towers.

Posted by: Jamie at January 8, 2008 5:17 PM

@ cooper: I've mentioned this in a previous Infinity post, but an agent told me that, in his experience, 27 - 30% of contracts fall out at closing.

Posted by: S&S at January 8, 2008 6:24 PM

And given today's tighter lending standards, I suspect those numbers will be (much) higher. In any case, the next several months will certainly prove to be very interesting as closings begin (or not).

Posted by: S&S at January 8, 2008 6:28 PM

"@ cooper: I've mentioned this in a previous Infinity post, but an agent told me that, in his experience, 27 - 30% of contracts fall out at closing."

I could see that in standard purchases, but when a buyer has 5% on the table that he will loose, he will likely make it work. Whether delaying the move in to insure he has funds, hitting up a family or friend, or getting a second job, people are not going to want to throw away their $40k-$80k. And, don't expect anyone to get it back from the developer.

Posted by: Tom at January 8, 2008 6:37 PM

Tom - We walked away from a property in Washington, DC last year and lost our deposit (5% of purchase price). Needless to say, a considerable amount. Although we sweated over it for a while, it turned out to be a great decision. Many, many others walked out just like we did. (Which actually made it easier for us to decide.) Had we not, we would have lost approximately twice our deposit amount in property value (up to this point) and been stuck in a place that wasn't going to appreciate for a long time. Buyers shelling out close to a million (or more) for a property, especially those that are sophisticated enough to work out the math (i.e. carrying cost, etc.) will walk away if the numbers no longer work. People would rather lose 50K than sit on a potentially greater loss, which becomes more and more likely every day.

Posted by: FromDC at January 8, 2008 7:30 PM

There's bound to be fallout at all developments, 30 percent is way on the highside though, especially for highend projects like Infinity.
As someone with a couple SF agents as friends including a soma agent, I have some insight on the state of the market. Based on what I hear, the fallout rate will be highest at One Rincon Hill as they have the largest proportion of investors. Infinity will be less impacted as the percentage of investor and 2nd home buyers are much lower. Personally I believe Infinity will hold its value better than its competitor. It just seems like a premium product quality and location wise compared what else is currently out there.

Posted by: anonsf at January 8, 2008 7:55 PM

well if 20-30% are still unreserved. And normally there is 30% fallout normally---say 2x the fallout because of the lending crisis. Then nobody will be left to move in.

Posted by: cooper at January 8, 2008 9:15 PM

"well if 20-30% are still unreserved. And normally there is 30% fallout normally---say 2x the fallout because of the lending crisis. Then nobody will be left to move in."

Funny comment, but check your math. You can't have no one unless you have 100% fallout. You can't have people fall out if they have not reserved, so you need 100% fallout of the 70% of reserved units. Anyway, I could see some people pulling out, but the truth is, there are no numbers to run, just predictions. And, in my opinion, most people will likely not be so confident that their Infinity home will loose so much value that walking away is smart. But who knows, we'll start to find out soon. Although, I have to imagine the sales center will allow people to delay move in that are thinking about pulling out, so that could delay us finding out and allow many people to move in before they hear of the massive fall outs. Again, who knows.

All I know is that I will be living at the infinity in just weeks.

Posted by: Tom at January 8, 2008 10:34 PM

I have 26 escrows open between One Rincon Hill and the Infinity. Maybe one or two are going to fall out, but I have someone to immediately take their place should that happen. I mean really, ~1300 sf 2 br 2 ba with water views for less than a million. Is that going to fall out? Only kicking and fighting. I think your 20-30% may be accurate overall, but I would say that the people that made good decisions will have a much lower fall out rate.

Posted by: Paul Hwang at January 8, 2008 11:39 PM

Congrats Tom, I think the Infinity is a nice development. Enjoy your new home! I have some friends that are moving in as well, in March.

Posted by: movingback at January 9, 2008 12:04 AM

Well say the 20% that have not sold--plus say another 30% fall out. That's half vacant. How does the HOA pay for stuff? Can the HOA even function if its half vacant? just seems a little scary to me. I think it's a great development...especially the second tower which I will look hard at. But I think prices need to come way down (20% or more) to both 1) attract buyers and 2) generate the numbers that make a mortgage work.

Posted by: cooper at January 9, 2008 9:49 AM

Cooper, craigslist is advertising 1 BRs at the Infinity at 2800/mo rent. That is a heck of a lot cheaper than buying the same condo if you want to test out the place (why anyone would close and then rent it out at such a steep loss is a mystery to me, but may as well take advantage of it . . .)

Posted by: Trip at January 9, 2008 9:57 AM

Since all my friends are bugging me..has any buyer renegotiated their original price due to the downturn in overall real estate?

Posted by: rickrocket at January 9, 2008 9:58 AM

"(why anyone would close and then rent it out at such a steep loss is a mystery to me, but may as well take advantage of it . . .)"

That would of course depend how much down payment these buyers put down. If the payment is low enough, then there may be profit instead...

Also, all this talk of Infinity being 50% vacant is ridiculous. Yes the market is weak and not improving anytime soon, BUT believe it or not people are still buying. There will be fallout at Infinity and others developments, but I think the fallout will be higher at places like One Rincon, Arterra, Radiance than at Infinity...

Posted by: missionbayres at January 9, 2008 10:41 AM

"Well say the 20% that have not sold--plus say another 30% fall out. That's half vacant. How does the HOA pay for stuff? Can the HOA even function if its half vacant?"

Good questions. Yes, the HOA is set up to work just fine. It is actually funded by the builder until each unit is sold. So, even if the unit is not sold, it is still contributing the appropriate amount to the funds. Also, as for the members, as is usually the case in these types of developments, the leadership consists of residents appointed by the builder until a set percent of units are sold and seats are handed over to elected individuals. I think the amount is 70%, but that could also include the second tower.

In short, there are no HOA issues with poor sales. But, seriously, I really don't think The Infinity will have any trouble moving the units. I also know of a huge number of people that are clammering for the second tower.

Posted by: Cabrewolf at January 9, 2008 10:51 AM

does anyone know if the Infinity BMRs on 7th street are complete?

I heard that completion of those units was a Pre-Requisite before anyone can move into the Infinity?

I'm in building C, but i haven't received any calls about walk-thrus yet...

Posted by: jdk at January 9, 2008 11:19 AM

I found out they are closing from top to bottom--which is the opposite of ORH. So the higher your unit, the sooner you'll get a call. Whether your phone is on when you get the call or not, is entirely up to you:)

Posted by: cooper at January 9, 2008 1:06 PM

I also think that if there is fall out at the Infinity, there will be people in line to pick up the units. I have a some friends that don't like what the Infinity has left in their inventory (no views, weird floorplans, etc) and are waiting to look at the fall out units and potentially purchase one of those.

Paul Hwang- "~1300 sf 2 br 2 ba with water views for less than a million" are these One Rincon prices or Infinity?

Posted by: anon at January 9, 2008 5:35 PM

"I also know of a huge number of people that are clammering for the second tower."

Me, too. Really, huge, huge numbers. So huge in fact that they are already planning a 3rd tower.

Posted by: anon at January 9, 2008 8:47 PM

There is some demand for the 2nd tower. My agent alone has 3 clients waiting for units to be released. There really isn't any good units left in the 1st tower and most of the remaining inventory are in the treetops. So it really shouldn't be a surprise given the positive reaction to the 1st tower.
Also the 2nd tower is in the unique position of being last waterfront tower built in SF so the views will be pretty spectacular.

Posted by: anon sf at January 9, 2008 9:47 PM

My wife and I are very interested in any fall-out units - if you have a unit with a spectacular view and are interested in getting out of your contract, contact us at infinitytowerbuyer@gmail.com with details.

Posted by: David at January 10, 2008 8:32 AM

David,
Infinity's contract forbids assigning contracts. So the only way for you to get a reserved unit is if someone falls out and loses their deposit.
Do you know of any other way?

Posted by: missionbayres at January 10, 2008 2:39 PM

There are plenty of ways to get out without "assigning" the contract. One example would be a delayed purchase agreement where the purchaser lives in the condo and pays money for it, but the ownership does not transfer until after the period specified in the Infinity contract.

Posted by: tom at January 11, 2008 2:40 PM

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