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A “Bitter” Renter Reports: Repossessed In Lower Pacific Heights

1944-48 Buchanan: Map

The listing for 1944-1948 Buchanan, a three-unit building in Lower Pacific Heights, notes “Nice building in good condition with good rents” (which add up to $6,425). The listing also notes “REO [bank owned], will entertain all offers” (apparently the good rents didn't cover the good mortgage).

And it’s actually a tipster who’s responsible for a portion (at most $2,825) of those rents.

I’m one of the tenants there and sold my condo 2 years ago to wait for the pending crash before getting in the market again. Now I find myself potentially having to rent again for higher rent OR buy before I’m ready and before market hits bottom, BUT of more interest to your readers is WHERE this happened and is it a harbinger of many more to come in the hood?
And also, what should I do? Stick it out ‘til evicted under Ellis? Or get back in market again?

Questions, questions, questions.

∙ Listing: 1944-1948 Buchanan - $1,795,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:30 AM | Comments (56)

A Few More Renderings For Seawall Lot 337 As Seen By The Giants

Proposed SWL 337 running path (Image Source: smwm.com)

A plugged-in tipster directs us to a few more renderings for the Giants/Farallon/Cordish proposal for Seawall Lot 337 (and Pier 48).

Projects: Mission Rock District [SMWM]
The Rendering And Additional Details For The Giants SWL 337 Proposal [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:15 AM | Comments (8)

February 23, 2008

Wet Weekend Special (And Scoop): The Designs For 680/690 Folsom

680/690 Folsom

A plugged-in tipster brightens our weekend (and hopefully yours) with a current shot of 680/690 Folsom (above) and the scoop on what’s to come via a redesign (below).

690 Folsom: Redesign Rendering

As out tipster notes, “this is the two-story old Pac Bell service garage on the 3rd & Folsom corner and the office building next to that,” and it's the “greener view in the works for some at BLU” (and Museum Parc) that we pointed out last year.

Credit goes to TMG partners for the (re)development vision, and SOM for the (re)design.

A Greener View In The Works For Some At BLŪ (And Others) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:31 PM | Comments (14)

February 22, 2008

Millennium Tower San Francisco (301 Mission): Sales Update/Facts

Millennium Sales Office Model (www.SocketSite.com)

While you’ve probably already heard that one of the two top-floor (60th) penthouses is in contract for $11,000,000 (unfinished), and in total hard contracts have been written for roughly 60 condos (15% of the development), we offer up a few more sales facts about San Francisco’s Millennium Tower that might ring new.

∙ Hard contracts have been written on units ranging from $670,000 to $11,000,000.
∙ Majority of contracts for Grand Residences with an average price point of ~$2.5M.
∙ 98% of the contract holders are from the Bay Area (which doesn’t include France).
∙ 70% of the contract holders are planning on making Millennium their primary residence.
∙ The vast majority of contract holders plan on paying cash.
∙ No other penthouse units on the 59th or 60th floors are yet in contract (despite rumors).

The sales office remains “by appointment only.” And our favorite feature within said office, the scale model which lights up each individual unit to show its exact location in the building (along with virtual views and finishes projected overhead) as you navigate the development via a touch screen display.

The Millennium: A Few Things You Might Know (And A Few You Don’t) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:57 AM | Comments (29)

Conversion Of 140 New Montgomery Moves To Environmental Review

140 New Montgomery: Aerial

It was nine months ago that the news broke about Meany Sullivan’s purchase of the 26-story Pacific Telephone Building at 140 New Montgomery with plans of converting it from an office building to “a five-star hotel and condominium tower, with a spa, restaurant and bar.” And according to a plugged-in tipster that lives nearby (and in the picture), the project's environmental review notice is making its rounds.

The proposed project is a seismic retrofit and a conversion of the approximately 377,000-square-foot, historic Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co. Building from office to residential use. The proposed project would contain approximately 135 residential units on the 2nd floor to the 26th floor of the building for a total of about 368,000 square feet of residential space, and an approximately 8,500 square foot restaurant on the ground floor. The height of the building would remain unchanged. An existing below-grade parking garage, accessible from Natoma Street, would be used to accommodate up to 70 valet-parked cars. The proposed project would also include construction of a single-storey horizontal addition to the building on an existing parking lot on the south side of the building to support the residential use.

Also noted by our tipster: "There's no mention...if this is a watered down version of the 5-star-luxury hotel residence that was mentioned last year, but it's good to hear that the building will hopefully eventually move away from being derelict!"

Now about that "You didn't hear it from me...The Waldorf-Astoria, San Francisco" comment a reader left last May...

Another Office To Hotel/Condo Conversion: 140 New Montgomery [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Comments (11)

Some Hints At What’s In The Design Works For 555 Washington

555 Washington: Landscape

We still in need of a rendering miracle (tipsters?), but some hints at what’s in the works for the proposed 38-story residential tower at 555 Washington adjacent to the Transamerica Pyramid and by way of a tipster (and neighborhood circular):

A slender and distinctive cylindrical structure that respects the Pyramid and blends into the backdrop of taller, existing towers as seen from North Beach and Telegraph Hill.
A variety of transportation options including proximity to public transit, 75 bicycle spaces, and new underground parking to avoid burdening neighborhood parking resources.
Upwards of 250 quality new homes, including approximately 115 family units with two or more bedrooms.

248 Condos (and 38 Stories) In The Shadow Of The Pyramid [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 AM | Comments (1)

February 21, 2008

The Community Delivers Once Again: 1536 Pacific Drawings/Details

1536 Pacific: Front

The community good karma continues to flow as illustrations and additional details for what’s rising at 1536 Pacific promptly arrive via our tip line (tips@socketsite.com):

Six more or less identical units (around 1600 sf) with the top two set back six feet along Pacific.

1536 Pacific: Typical Floor Plan

65' height limit, 40' building, around 3500 sq ft street level commercial, [basement garage with parking for seven cars]. Construction underway.

Design by Stephen Antonaros. And as always, thanks for the tips (and for plugging in).

The Proposed Design For 1355 Pacific (And Request For That Of 1536) [SocketSite]
Stephen Antonaros, Architect [antonaros.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:08 PM | Comments (3)

Infinity And One Rincon Hill: Comments On Closings And Walkthroughs

One plugged-in reader in contract at Infinity needs a new lender (“my loan provider citibank is dropping Infinity as an approved project”) and seeks some other readers’ thoughts on choosing between Wells, Chase or Countrywide.

While another plugged-in reader in contract at One Rincon Hill offers some tough love and thoughts on navigating your walkthrough (and closing).

Infinity Update: Closings, Move-Ins And Even Kitchen Cabinetry [SocketSite]
RandomRumors: One Rincon Hill Walkthroughs Without An Agent? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:40 PM

JustQuotes: Get Past The Politics, What's It Mean For Permitting?

"Debra Walker, a tenant advocate and artist who was active in the fight against dot-com boom era live-work loft development, lost her position as president of the San Francisco Building Inspection Commission on Wednesday, as commissioners appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom voted her out.

The commission voted 4-3 to replace Walker with Frank Lee, a Newsom appointee and the assistant to the director of the city Department of Public Works. The vote divided along lines of commissioners appointed by Newsom and those chosen by Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin.

The commission sets policy for the Building Inspection Department, which enforces building-related and housing codes and issues permits for virtually all construction activity in the city."

S.F. Building inspection panel's president out [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:25 PM | Comments (6)

The Proposed Design For 1355 Pacific (And Request For That Of 1536)

1355 Pacific: Proposed

Currently a two-story industrial building (and former home to LeeMAH Electronics), developers have their sights set on razing and rebuilding 1355 Pacific as a four-story, 23 unit building with 24 parking spaces. Design by Sternberg Benjamin Architects and once again brought to us via a plugged-in reader who has most excellently mapped all of the aforementioned developments along Pacific (and 1650 Broadway).

And then there’s 1536 Pacific, another car shop that’s slated to be been demolished and will be reborn as a four-story, six-unit mixed-use building. “No photo available” according to our reader’s map, but perhaps a plugged-in tipster can keep the community karma flowing by passing along a rendering (or at the very least a lead on the architects). You know we’d do the same for you.

A Reader Asks (And We Can’t Answer): Corner Of Pacific And Polk [SocketSite]
Now And (The Future) Then: 50 Condos Coming Soon At 1645 Pacific [SocketSite]
The Designs (And Declaration) For 34 New Condos At 1650 Broadway [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:50 AM | Comments (4)

Too Beautiful To Describe (Except By The Architect): 270 Castenada

270 Castenada (Image Source: Vernacular Language North)

While the listing for 270 Castenada (a.k.a. 1916 Erlanger house) notes “Too beautiful to describe!” (and as of this morning, apparently “too beautiful to photograph”), that didn’t stop architect Bernard Maybeck (think Palace of Fine Arts) from offering these words:

The house is our attempt to suggest the idea of an English character in California. Although this house would never happen in England, it yet has an English feeling. The lower wing is a chapel form living room greatly used in an early period, the ceiling of this room is very similar to one in Sainesbury Hill Lancashire. The second story windows are of iron like their English prototypes. The building and its setting among the trees loudly proclaims the good taste of Mrs. and Mr. Erlanger from whom the suggestions came.

Or a few others from offering these:

“The owners had selected as a prototype an English medieval manor, Samlesbury Hall, in Lancashire, but Maybeck's creative interpretation of English Gothic dissolved into details and proportions peculiar to him. In his design, Maybeck piles room on room in casual abandon to form three stories burgeoning with polygonal bays, protruding dormers, and open decks. It is a large, shingled house with steep, gabled roofs. While its overall form discourages classification, its articulated living room pavilion, tall, trussed and raftered, echoes Maybeck's Gothic designs.”
“Maybeck complied with the Erlangers' wishes for an English effect by giving their house a Tudorish exterior and a "chapel form living room" that occupies a wing by itself on the north side (plate 147). The low eaves of the living-room roof create a horizontal emphasis along the street side of the house. The rest of the rooms pile up on the south side in a gable-roofed block set perpendicular to the living-room wing. A bank of dormer windows across the northern slope of the roof lights the third-floor bedroom, which has a view over the living-room roof.
On the southeastern corner is a polygonal sleeping porch (plate 146) that has the best exposure and a panoramic view. Where the porch projects over the brick walls of the entrance below, Maybeck has given it a tiered base of boldly scaled moldings that cuts into the walls and swells out above. The fanfare of the base suggests that a weighty element like a tower is bearing down on this important corner of the house, yet the transparency of the porch above contradicts this suggestion. The resulting composition is a trope on the whole idea of a castle keep.”
“In the Erlanger house a heavy beam on ornate consoles forms a secondary entrance arch over a short flight of steps that mount from the front door to the stair hall (plate 148). On the right side of the hall the stairway continues to the second floor; on the left is the living room, a step lower than the hall. The changing levels of this warm redwood entry contribute to the drama of the entrance sequence. So does the window behind a balustrade on the left wall just inside the door, which offers a preview of the grand hall that will come into full view around the corner.
The Erlangers' living room is as theatrical as the Rooses' but composed in a different key. A great medieval barn is suggested by the exposed structural system of curved laminated arches set against horizontal, vertical, and diagonal boards woven together in a wooden brocade. Its effect recalls the sentiment Ruskin expressed in his 1853 "Lectures on Architecture" that the expression "beneath my roof" was more descriptive of the idea of hospitable shelter than its counterpart "within my walls." At the northern end of the room is a loft occupied by the master bedroom, from which casement windows open to permit a close view of the ceiling, as well as the room below (plate 149). Underneath it is the dining room in a low-ceilinged alcove. At the other end of the living room is a twelve-foot-tall bay into which sunlight streams through three tiers of windows on its three sides (plate 150). The space within the bay, large enough for two chairs and an occasional table, provides a place for intimate conversation or for contemplation of the garden. Like the Rooses' living room, the Erlangers' balances intimacy with grandeur by incorporating the elements--the monumental hearth, the high-peaked ceiling, and the bay--that Ruskin and his followers, particularly Richard Norman Shaw, considered sacred to the house.”

It's open this Sunday (2/24) from 2-4 PM. Don't forget the camera.

∙ Listing: 270 Castenada (4/3.5) - $3,890,000 [MLS]
Bernard Maybeck: California Architect [harvardsquarelibrary.org]
Vernacular Language North: S. Erlanger house [VLN]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:40 AM | Comments (19)

February 20, 2008

The Designs (And Declaration) For 34 New Condos At 1650 Broadway

1650 Broadway: Design

By way of the tipster who brought us the designs for 1645 Pacific come the designs and Declaration for 1650 Broadway.

A proposed merger of two surface parking lots (1622-1650 Broadway), the new building would rise eight stories and a little over 80 feet into the air and consist of 34 condos (1 1-bedroom, 25 2-bedroom, 8 3-bedroom; 4 below market rate) and 49 parking spaces.

There are no existing street trees along Broadway in front of the project site. There are two poplar trees at the rear of the project site and one large tree on an adjacent property to the north, which would not be categorized as protected trees as defined by the Public Works Code Article 16 Sections 802–811. The proposed project would, however, retain and protect these trees during construction, as well as add up to four street trees to the front of the property.
According to the project architect [Forum Design], the building would be rectilinear in form, with a contemporary design character. The Broadway façade would be set back four to ten feet from the property line with landscaping in the intervening area. Exterior finishes would consist of a combination of stone cladding, cement plaster, and darkened zinc.

Construction is estimated at approximately 20 months from groundbreaking, and required approvals (Conditional Use for the portion over 40 feet, etc.), floor plans, and other details are available via the Planning Department's Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration.

1650 Broadway: Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration (pdf) [SFGov]
Now And (The Future) Then: 50 Condos Coming Soon At 1645 Pacific [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:58 AM | Comments (11)

Only Eight Five Six Left At The Palms (555 4th Street)

Six months ago the sales office at The Palms (555 4th Street) was advertising “Only 8 Left!” and 3.875% financing. Two months later five new condos magically appeared on the MLS. And since then, four more units (#705, #814, #833, and #907), 2.875% financing (no details on the terms), and a few reductions (from $39,200 to $56,200) have come to be as well (along wih the words “BUILDER CLOSEOUT!!”).

Apparently Only Eight Condos Left At The Palms (555 4th Street) [SocketSite]
The Palms Finds More Inventory And A Resale Hits The Market [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:55 AM | Comments (12)

[Insert Reader Headline Here]

455 28th Street: Kitchen

It's "remodeled." We're "speechless." You're responsible for the headline (seriously).

∙ Listings: 455 28th Street (3/1) - $949,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Comments (55)

JustQuotes: Will San Francisco Get What It Deserves?

“Many qualified and experience developers took a pass on [Seawall Lot 337] because of the perception that the Giants have it tied up -- And the Giants are encouraging this perception in order to keep down the competition. For a project of this size the experience and talent brought to the table so far is very modest - both on the lead-developer side and on the architect side.

Having a small cast of bidders with some weak members will also greater depress the potential land value offered. The Giants may be hoping for this; others have to hope the Port understands this dynamic, and can get the value the city deserves.”

The SocketSite Scoop: The Build Inc. Proposal For Seawall Lot 337 [SocketSite]
The Rendering And Additional Details For The Giants SWL 337 Proposal [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Comments (3)

JustQuotes: From Twenty To Seven In A Little Over One (Billion)

San Francisco Subway Extension Map (Image Source: sfmta.com)

“The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve a route change for the proposed 1.7-mile Central Subway, which would act as an extension to the newly constructed T-Third line.

Under the route change, the subway line would go underground after the Fourth and Brannan streets station. Previously, the plan called for the train to go below ground a few blocks south at Fourth and King streets, but MTA officials said residents in the South of Market neighborhood lobbied for the change.

The subway will run below ground all the way to its destination in Chinatown, an area with comparatively few transit options.

Officials hope to begin construction in 2010 and have the line running by 2016. The new route is expected to reduce what is now a 20-minute bus trip from Muni's station at Fourth and King streets to Chinatown down to seven minutes. At its peak, the line could carry as many 80,000 riders a day, said Nathaniel Ford, the MTA's executive director.”

S.F. Chinatown subway plan gets agency's nod [SFGate]
JustQuotes: From Mission Bay To Chinatown In Mere Minutes/Years [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM | Comments (27)

February 19, 2008

Savings From Increased Conforming Loan Limits Get Shaved

Remember that little comment we made a few weeks ago regarding increased prepayment risk associated with increasing conforming loan limits? From the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) on Friday:

Higher balance loans which are now temporarily eligible for Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and GSE guarantee programs under H.R. 5140, the Stimulus Package, will not be eligible for inclusion in TBA-eligible pools. They are instead expected to be securitized under unique pool codes for trading on a “specified pool” basis or inclusion in Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC) transactions.

Thank increased prepayment risk for the unique pooling. And why does the pooling matter?

Jumbo mortgages now eligible for purchase by the nation's largest home loan finance companies [under the Stimulus Package] will be locked out of the market where trading helps lower rates to consumers...
Including jumbo loans in TBA pools would have had the unintended effect of raising rates on traditional conforming loans since investors assume they will receive the larger loans when they take delivery of the bonds, according to Freddie Mac. In TBA, the loans must be deemed fungible, so investors buy without knowing attributes.

In other words, hello "super conforming tier" and goodbye "conforming" mortgage rates for loans between $417,000 and $729,750 in San Francisco.

Conforming Loan Limits: A Placeholder For Discussion And Analysis [SocketSite]
SIFMA to Update MBS TBA Good Delivery Guidelines [SIFMA]
Jumbo loans to be isolated from mortgage TBA: SIFMA [Reuters]
If Lowering Rates Isn’t Working, Perhaps Increasing Limits Will [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:22 PM | Comments (24)

The SocketSite Scoop: The Build Inc. Proposal For Seawall Lot 337

SWL 337 Proposal: Build Inc.

Thanks to a seriously plugged-in tipster, we have the sketch (larger size) and additional details for Build Inc.’s proposal for the development of San Francisco’s Seawall Lot 337 (SWL 337):

This is a sketch of Build Inc.'s proposal [for Seawall lot 337] - essentially an open porous mixed use project of Green Tech office (the round building), 900 for sale homes, 700 for lease homes (mix of affordable, affordable by design (unsubsidized), mid level, and high level), extensive artist studio/ gallery space, flower mart, contemporary arts exhibition space, approx. 7 acres of outdoor open space, sustainable energy/utility towers/gardens, (including geothermal, wind, solar, fuel cell, etc).

We’re digging the “affordable by design” line (as well as emphasis on the arts). And that's two down, two to go. Tipsters?

Four Teams Submit Development Proposals For Seawall Lot 337 [SocketSite]
The Rendering And Additional Details For The Giants SWL 337 Proposal [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 AM | Comments (16)

Now And (The Future) Then: 50 Condos Coming Soon At 1645 Pacific

1645 Pacific: Now (www.SocketSite.com)

As a plugged-in tipster notes, it’s not just the corner of Polk that’s being developed up on Pacific. Next up, a sketch of the 50 condos that will replace the Willy's auto repair shop half a block away at 1645 Pacific (design by BAR Architects):

1645 Pacific: Sketch by BAR Architects

A Reader Asks (And We Can’t Answer): Corner Of Pacific And Polk [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:45 AM | Comments (16)

JustQuotes: If Only It Were The Exception Rather Than The Rule

Octavia Boulevard North

"A year ago, four empty lots along [Octavia Boulevard] were awarded to architects and developers who won a civic competition. Neighborhood leaders helped draw up the rules. They praised the winning designs.

But today the land's still empty, and there's no telling when that might change. Those fenced-off lots are in limbo - victims of a larger process in which everyone has his own utopian demands, and nobody's shy about gumming up the works if he doesn't get what he wants." (Larger agendas stall city's best-laid plans)

RFPs For Housing Along Octavia Boulevard [SocketSite]
Infill Along Octavia Boulevard: And The Winners Are… [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 AM | Comments (9)


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