One Ecker: Exterior (Image Source: oneecker.com)
One Ecker: Rendering (Image Source: oneecker.com)
Three months ago we plugged you in to the conversion of One Ecker Place (map) into 51 condominiums (and just over 3,000 square feet of retail). And thanks to a tipster, we (and you) now have a few more details:
∙ Sales office is open; model unit by mid-February; move-ins in June
∙ Condos range from 475 to 1270 square feet; prices from $450K to $1.4M
∙ Ground floor studios have basement storage space not counted in square footage
∙ No parking in the building but 2 years pre-paid in a garage on Natoma and “valet”
∙ 5 of 51 units currently “reserved” (no word on whether or not any are arms length)
Note to those with decent camera phones (and a good eye): tips@socketsite.com.
UPDATE: And as a reader notes, the One Ecker website is alive and kicking (albeit a bit slow this morning…) with floor plans and virtual tours.
One Ecker #405: Floor Plan
A Heller Manus Renovation Of 1 Ecker Place [SocketSite]
One Ecker Website: Floor Plans, Virtual Tours [oneecker.com]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by J

    Now where’s the crazy cat guy going to stand??
    I love the concept of these, I truly do, but I personally think it’s a lackluster area and location.
    Are they banking on the area blooming because of its vicinity to all the other new high rises?
    I’ll pass on Yank Sing and just head to the Chipotle (yes, you heard that).
    I’d love it based on my firm’s location though, it’d take 5 mins to get to work.

  2. Posted by McBravio

    I like the “map” link provided next to the name of the project.
    Nice project, the interior looks cool.
    [Removed by Editor]

  3. Posted by Foolio

    No parking = no thanks.

  4. Posted by J

    The no parking doesn’t bother me since Zip Car rental or whatever is right on 2nd.
    I wonder how many of these will be “investment” though.
    The exterior is pretty nice, can’t wait for more actual photos of the units to surface.

  5. Posted by will_h

    Frankly I like the idea of not providing parking (as long as the unit prices reflect that cost savings). Maybe I’m biased as a New York transplant, but I can’t imagine that we continue to add cars proportionally to the density growth we’re experiencing in the city. Traffic within the city is already bad enough as it is and so much of it is generated by people circling around looking for parking spots. I’m no car-hating hippie, hell I do 20,000 miles a year on my car, but the car culture can’t continue in SF if we want to see higher density, more supply, all that.

  6. Posted by Jimmy (Bitter Renter)

    Let’s see, $1.4M for a condo and NO PARKING?? What are they thinking??
    I’m sure there will be lines out the door to buy these once the sales office opens…

  7. Posted by Foolio

    Will, do you really think traffic in the city is that bad? I don’t. Traffic on the ramps and freeways is another story, though.

  8. Posted by anon

    The floorplans look interesting to me.
    http://oneecker.com/oneecker.html
    Even though there is no parking I will definitely check it out based on location.

  9. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    Will_H … I agree, in principle, with what you are saying regarding providing parking in SF. However, I also agree with Jimmy that if I am going to spend $1.4M on a condo, where I can’t even say I own the lot, I expect a parking spot.
    For me I just can’t justify spending that much money on a home in a city where a car is still very much needed, since most of the jobs and much of the CA lifestyle are outside the city, and not have a extremely convenient parking solution.

  10. Posted by will_h

    I agree that the notion of eliminating parking at the current time is idealistic, but it’s going to happen sometime. And I doubt we’re going to be prepared for it then.
    But how can you say $1.4 million is not worth it when you haven’t even the place yet? Yes, it’s over $1000 psf, but DUDE, where else can you get 12 foot ceilings? Someone will pay the premium for it. I love these kinds of projects!

  11. Posted by spencer

    12 ft ceilings? it looks like about 4 ft to me. i would bump my head every morning getting out of bed.

  12. Posted by anoncomplainer

    This may sound strange, but this may be the 384th new image of an interior of a San Francisco residential space that uses the same exact barstools. Must everyone use the same exact stool?

  13. Posted by will_h

    I am more disturbed by the guy with the sweater tied around his neck.

  14. Posted by realist

    Hey Jimmy (bitter rentrer) :
    do you think parking is free or something? regardless of how much a condo costs, the cost always reflects whether it does or does not have parking. People have always been paying for parking, though the added cost has always been hidden and bundled in the single price for the unit. So that’s why people have grown to have some sort of entitlement that they are getting parking for “free.” The real estate itself has a value and the parking has another, indpendent value. So yes, a condominium can be worth $1.4 million without parking, believe it or not. In fact, current zoning requirements require that all new residential buildings in the City must sell/rent the units indpendent of the parking, which must be sold/rented at a separate price and as a separate transaction. That way, the price is visible to the buyer, and they can make a clear choice based on their budget and their values. There’s plenty of parking available everywhere, you just have to be willing to pay for it. Whether it’s included in the building or not does not particularly change the cost of the unit itself or the cost of the parking.

  15. Posted by Jimmy

    I don’t think parking is an issue. This is the direction SF is going, so you better get used to it. The location is great! Much better than other similar products (a la The Montgomery…another vanilla looking Mark Co project). I visited the sales center and they said grand opening in March. The Sales Office is not much to look at, but only temporary as they gear up for a grand opening…makes sense to me!

  16. Posted by Jimmy

    I don’t think parking is an issue. This is the direction SF is going, so you better get used to it. The location is great! Much better than other similar products (a la The Montgomery…another vanilla looking Mark Co project). I visited the sales center and they said grand opening in March. The Sales Office is not much to look at, but only temporary as they gear up for a grand opening…makes sense to me!

  17. Posted by quick comment

    (in reply to the previous comment about location)
    Wait a sec – isn’t this just a half block away from the Montgomery? So how is this location so much better? But I do agree that the location is pretty sweet.

  18. Posted by grr

    They are good stools. Functional and nice looking. But, much better deal ($90ish) at overstock.com than Design within Reach.

  19. Posted by kcc

    I like the location for its proximity to downtown (love walking to work) and public transit. But what can you do in the evenings and weekends in this neighborhood? I live pretty close by now and it’s dead once all the worker bees go home. And there is no supermarket close enough to get to by foot — whole foods and safeway are out of the way. I also don’t mind the no parking thing (since I don’t own a car) but getting groceries is a pain. There is that One Rincon market, but I don’t know if it is open on the weekends and it doesn’t have the biggest selection. That’s what this neighborhood needs — a cute little super market serving people who want to walk to get their groceries. A couple cafes and reasonably-priced, casual restaurants, wouldn’t hurt either. Maybe Arizmendi?? And maybe if this became a real neighborhood, Stacey’s books would open on Sundays too! Oh we can dream.

  20. Posted by EH

    If you can afford this place, you can afford parking. There are a million garages within two blocks of this location that offer monthly parking.

  21. Posted by Foolio

    More like:
    If you scrimp and save every last penny you have to get into this place, the last thing you want to do is to pay even more and slog 2 blocks every time you want to use your car.

  22. Posted by Brutus

    The parking thing always amazes me. Hundreds of places a year sell without parking just fine (mostly older places) – if you don’t want it, perhaps demand will soften and the price will go down.
    However, if the price of this place drops to say $400,000 less than an equivalent place with parking, I’m going to go ahead and guess that someone will snap it up right quick. A spot for a car simply isn’t worth that much money to most people.

  23. Posted by S&S

    “No parking = no thanks.”
    “If you scrimp and save every last penny you have to get into this place, the last thing you want to do is to pay even more and slog 2 blocks every time you want to use your car.”
    I’m with Foolio on this. I won’t even consider a place with no deeded parking.

  24. Posted by dotcomer

    They do have parking for some of the most expensive units. I am not sure how many. but they do have parking for them I think.
    I took a tour into the building with my agent with the intent to combine both units into a larger 3br but decided on buying the penthouse @ the montgomery instead because of the 2car deeded parking that came with that unit. And yes, parking cost money!!!

  25. Posted by vox

    If anyone’s looking for a cool bar stool, California Bar Stool down in San Carlos has, well, you’d never guess…

  26. Posted by vox

    Of course, once you got your cool new bar stools down in San Carlos, you’d probably find it a hassle to lug ‘em home on Caltrain and Muni.
    You’d want a car. So then when you pulled up to your new place at One Ecker…
    OK better go out for your drinking.

  27. Posted by SC

    dotcomer, how much was the montgomery asking for for units with 2 car deeded parking?
    With regards to kcc’s comments, I heard from one of the sales reps from the infinity that there are plans for an up scale super market, think Dean & Deluca, around the area. I have no idea if that’s still in the works or not.

  28. Posted by kcc

    SC – a dean and deluca would be fantastic! i hope the plan is still moving forward…

  29. Posted by dotcomer

    vox, the montgomery bundled the price of the parking with the price of the penthouse units. The units went for around 1.85.
    The downside is the 2 car parking is tandem… But it is better than my other property @ the Mint which has no parking!
    It is simply a dumb policy for the city government to get rid of the 1 to 1 resident/parking ratio, without a good plan to create many jobs within downtown SF and oppose density in so many areas of the city.
    My work is 2 blocks from the mont so I will be walking, but for meeting down in the south bay, a car is a necessity.
    Until SF starts to create more jobs inside the city limits and start to improve muni so it actually runs on time, I will never have a primary residence that does not have 2 car parking!

  30. Posted by pwb

    I’m in Union Square without parking and it’s fine. Ecker looks quite nice and the $1,000+/sf makes a nice comp for me.

  31. Posted by Zig

    NO PARKING! What country do they think this is!

  32. Posted by anony

    I love how the debate goes to PARKING and it’s worth right away!
    Uh, did anyone happen to notice that for $1.4 million you only get 1270 SF??? You can rent a 1270 sf apartment in this city, in a better neighborhood even, whether it has parking or not, and pay about $2k per month. How does a 1270 sf MORTGAGE then go for – someone help me here – about $9-10k per month? With taxes, utilities, insurance, etc. you’re easily shelling out $11k/month on your housing alone. So, therefore, to be a WISE homeowner (verse the house-poor idiots that we have all over SF), you should be bringing home $33k/month, or (drumroll please) – a gross salary of almost $600k/year.
    Now, I know that there are plenty of people who read SS daily making a 600k salary, so please invite me to your housewarming party (and accept my marriage proposal, sans pre-nup)

  33. Posted by Dan

    Show me a 1270 square foot apartment, in a better neighborhood in SF, with parking, that you can rent now for $2000/month.

  34. Posted by anonrenter

    If you have a 1270 sq. ft apt in the financial district without parking, you are going to pay at least $4,000/month. Parking will bring it up between $4,000 and $4,500 depending where.
    I do agree about the 1:1 ration and attending the SFMTA meeting regarding ‘congestion pricing’. Until the city and bay area gets serious about public transportation (think trains to silicon valley, marin/santa rosa counties, and sacramento) and city planning (think public transpo linking high residential areas to areas of mixed developement-commercial & residential and areas of interest-parks, beaches, etc.), everyone will want and NEED a car. You cannot enact these rules until you have another realisitc option.
    BTW, not everyone lives and work in FiDi. How many people commute to the East Bay, South Bay, and North Bay for work??? I would have to say 50% of my friends.

  35. Posted by Trip

    Dan, just do a quick search on Craig’s list. There are a number of 2BR places with parking in good neighborhoods for under $2000 (can’t say they have 1270 sft). Here is one near UCSF:
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/565680679.html
    One Ecker Place is not a nice neighborhood. It’s not a complete dump, but it is pretty dead around there. It would be a convenient, short walk to work for those who work downtown, and I think we need more housing near where people work. But we’ve got a long way to go before this neighborhood can reasonably command prices anywhere near what they are asking (and it doesn’t look like these places are moving too fast).
    [Editor's Note: Keep in mind that sales office just opened (the model isn't even ready) and a generic apartment out in the Sunset is pretty much apples to pineapples (not even oranges) with these units. $4,000 a month for the larger One Ecker condos would be below market considering the location and level of finish (even without parking).]

  36. Posted by Dan

    A friend was just looking for a $2000/month 2 bedroom with parking in a decent neighborhood. It was a difficult search. He did find a place– a carpeted characterless ’60’s vintage apt, in an OK neighborhood. I would guess the place is less than 800 square feet. Not at all comparable to the Ecker condos.

  37. Posted by dotcomsr

    anonrenter,
    inner sunset is indeed a cute neighborhood, but it is a far stretch of a comparison as a rental comp against something in the financial district.
    inner sunset has a good neighborhood feel, but it doesn’t feel urban an lacks high-end restaurant and shopping.
    For those who knows theN Judah line, it is a sardine can in the morning. So it you work downtown, living @ ecker will def be easier.
    I do agree with u on the cost of ownership. But having 3 properties myself in the downtown/south beach area, I am planning for the long term and owning real estate should always be about the long term and not short term speculation.
    So if you are looking @ the short term, renting is a better option. Otherwise, market history proves ownership of real estate pays off in the long term. (as long as you have locked in a good loan or purchased it cash)

  38. Posted by anon

    Website slow? Definitely. Try barely working. I did manage to get to the home page, then to the 2nd floor flooplans, and that’s as far as I made it. I have some clients that are definitely interested in this development, especially because both of them could walk to work from here, which is what they really want.
    @ Trip – are you kidding me? You would live in some run-down rental in the Sunset over a place like this? As the editor has made note – there is really no reason to compare.

  39. Posted by Trip

    Anon — no, I’m not saying I would live in some run-down rental in the Sunset over a place like this. But this place would cost a heck of a lot more than $2000/mo. I was just answering Dan’s question. But for the record, what would the post-tax cost of these 2BR places be — about $6000/mo? For that kind of money, there are awesome houses available all over town that I would easily take over this. These are nice places, and I like the idea of a short walk to work. But this neighborhood is dull and I can’t see how anyone could justify paying these prices when far, far better places are available to rent for much less.

  40. Posted by Satchel

    Trip’s estimate of an after-tax rental equivalent cost for one of the $1.4MM 2-bedrooms here is reasonable, but LOW.
    Under reasonable assumptions most favorable to the PURCHASER (not cherry-picking numbers to favor the rental comparison), the after-tax rental equivalent cost on a monthly basis is likely to be in excess of $7K. That is, a purchaser not expecting appreciation of the property should be indifferent as to whether he purchases this condo or rents a place for $7K per month. As with my other analysis in the prior thread, assumptions were picked to make the homeowner choice seem more rational (it’s not, of course). Under more likely real world assumptions, the analysis would favor renting to an even GREATER extent.
    Here are the numbers. Home price is assumed at $1.4MM. 10% down, which allows financing $1.26MM at an assumed blended rate of 7%. Lower down payment = higher interest costs (there’s no such thing as a free lunch – it’s true!). Property taxes are $16K initially.
    Income is assumed at $280K, which is 4.5x the loan amount, the limits of prudence. Higher income would favor the rental comparison as the higher income leads to increased phaseouts of the itemized mortgage deduction. Joint filer. No dependent children (presence of children would favor the rental comparison, and so the possibility is ignored). NO OTHER DEDUCTIONS (other than mortgage interest and property tax – again favors the homeowner comparison as the presence of other available deductions reduces the relative tax benefit of buying versus renting).
    With purhasing, the taxpayers’ total tax liability is $51,817 ($39,000 Federal – which includes a $2,566 AMT “penalty” – and $12,817 state tax liability).
    Without the purchase, total tax liability would be $86,259 ($65,450 Federal + $12,817 CA tax), and there are no AMT issues (not expected here). Thus, the tax “benefit” from purchasing is $34,442, or $2,870 PER MONTH.
    Note that $160,000 of the acquisition debt is nondeductible, as it falls above the $1.1MM combined threshhold.
    Deductible cash costs per month are $7,233 mortgage interest plus $1,330 property tax, for a total of $8,563. Applying the tax benefit of $2,870 to this figure nets a provisional rental equivalent cost of $5,693, VERY CLOSE TO TRIP’S INITIAL GUESS.
    But to this figure, we need to add monthly insurance cost, HOA (likely high here) and parking, as well as maintenance costs that are not subsumed within the HOA. I’ll eat my size 12 shoe if these costs do not add up to more than $1,250 PER MONTH.
    Additionally, the $140,000 down payment would have earned at least 2% in the safest tax-free CA GOs. That’s another $225 permonth, and that’s an ABSOLUTE MINIMUM.
    So, adding it all up: $5.7K after tax cost of deductible items, and more than $1.5K of nondeductible cash costs or lost investment return yields an after tax monthly cost of AT LEAST $7K. Under more reasonable assumptions (higher income, dependent children, other available deductions like 401(k), etc), the equivalent rental cost goes HIGHER.
    As in most purchases in SF in the last 5 years or so, ANY purchase is an implicit bet that the ponzi scheme keeps going.

  41. Posted by rg

    Satchel – speak English! Joking. Totally don’t get most of what you say, but I trust your expertise. I do have to comment, though, that I always laugh when I hear the “tax deduction” argument sited as a benefit to owning. Keep in mind that I am a renter (who can not afford even the worst fixer in the Bayview), but you still have to PAY the bank a pre-tax deduction amount every month last time I checked. I’m sure if you have the income to purchase this place, the deductions are a great benefit come April 15th, but that doesn’t excuse you from paying those extra thousands every month of the year, and that $ is not a drop in the bucket for most people. For many people, in fact, that amount is ALL they earn in a month.
    As for “apples to pineapples” – I swear that SS is drinking more and more kool-aid every year! That is not an “apples to pineapples” comparison to anyone with one foot still on the ground. Today is the first day that I believe those SS survey results – this site is full of nothing but upper-income $200k+ snobs that actually BELIEVE that real estate in SF should command these prices!!! God, today might be my last day logging in. What benefit is there to living in the Financial District??? I don’t know a single person who would agree that you should pay more for the FD than for UCSF! Quite the opposite! You should pay more for UCSF anyday! “High-end restaurants and shopping”??? Give me a break! Again, you must be someone with an income to afford Town Hall every night. Reality check: you’re not normal. But fine, I don’t want you in the outstanding restaurants of the Richmond anyway. “N-Judah is a sardine can”? It’s called living in a CITY. *God, New Yorkers must not have to deal with this SQUALLER when they buy their expensive real estate! Oh wait, Bloomberg takes the NYC subway everyday and he’s worth about $4 billion…
    I don’t know anyone who would do anything but roll on the ground laughing at the prospect of paying $5-7k/month in rent. Can’t find a 1270sf apartment for $2k??? SocketSite – you’re really disappointing me. You use to be a voice of reason in this market, now you seem to be boosting it up. Perhaps you bought in 2006 and are desperate to retain your homes value? There are apartments all over this city renting for that. I just had a friend rent the greatest place in Noe (Castro & 26th) last month. Probably only 900sf, one bedroom, with parking = $1200/month. My best friends live in a huge, prob. 1400sf, two bedroom, with one parking spot, beautiful old charm and hardwood floors = $1800/month + $100 for the garage. I don’t love the neighborhood (NoPa), but they love it. Other friends just bunked up in North Beach/Russian Hill, on Union, two-bedroom, prob right around 1270sf = $2200/month. *Just a little insight into some “poor, missed out on making millions in SF real estate and are now bitter” 30-somethings.* A little wake-up call for all you $200k+ homeowners disconnected from the next generation but hoping to make profit off of them: 20-somethings just entering the job force are making no where near enough to afford these rents. They are still looking for places in the Sunset for $800/month rent. The median income of SF has plummeted in the past few years from a high of $90k in 2003ish to only $63k this year. You better reconsider your rental property purchase if you’re banking on $5k/month rents to cover your mortgage. They’re not making anymore of those people.
    By the way, over the past 15 years of living here, I’ve known many people who rented places just like this around the Financial District and SOMA. They never paid more than $2000/month. You know what’s different today verse then? In 1994-2002ish, you would have bought 1 Ecker for less than $300k. If you happened to be an investor and rented it out, $1500/month would have easily covered your mortgage AND made you profit. It’s only because we’ve propped up this market so much that we’re even having a discussion about $7k rents. Do you think that they’d be charging $7k/month if their mortgage was only $300k? I think not.

  42. Posted by Satchel

    rg,
    You’re making entirely too much sense, and I second just about everything you say (including that I should speak English!). You’ve made your point eloquently, and one that bears repeating: San Francisco is nowhere near wealthy enough to support these prices. The distortions that have always been present (bad planning, rent controls and Prop 13, primarily) have been tubocharged by a nationwide (and wordlwide, really) housing bubble to the point where people casually talk about $1MM condos as “starter” places and $1MM stucco $hitboxes as being normal. Who knows how long the distortions will continue, but we are about to get a washout of at least some of them, so hold on and don’t give up hope!

  43. Posted by pica1986

    Thank you RG for injecting a little reality back into the conversation. Most of my 30-something colleagues & friends in the tech industry live quite comfortably on well above the median income, but very few of them even consider entering into the SF housing market a viable or wise option at this time. Hopefully the market will return to a reasonable level some day, but if not, renting in the city and investing elsewhere is a fine option as well once you become a responsible consumer and check the industry sales babble and your emotions at the door…

  44. Posted by rg checker

    Just so you’re aware, rg, median income in SF is a HORRIBLE way of measuring what the average working person here makes. Far, far, far, far too many people living off entitlements to trust any median income number. I’d be curious to see how much the median income would rise if we lopped off the bottom 25% – the people that you see crapping on the sidewalks and filling up the subsidized housing.

  45. Posted by pwb

    Are people really making rational rent vs buy decisions at $1.5m? The choices are pretty limited when it comes to high-end, lofty, 2BR condos in that area so premium pricing is reasonable. The area is hardly “dull”. Parking can be had for $300/month.

  46. Posted by dotcomsr

    Those with high incomes are not necessarily snobs… (responding to another prior post).
    let’s not judge people base on income. What I see here in st (grew up here since 84) is those who “lived” here for a long time and do not make a lot of money (200k a yr is not a lot of money), tend to feel entitled to look down @ those who have the means to buy here in sf and are new to the city. I think it must be jealosy and the fact that the city ‘s economy has left them behind.
    Stop hating others for their success and star improving your own income.

  47. Posted by Chad

    Worked in this building from ’98 through ’02. Loved it for the commute. Can’t wait to see what it looks like now. We were on the 1st and 3rd floors. Damn slow elevator. From what I remember, the parking garage on 3rd street was the best option if you had a car.

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