June 12, 2008

Outside It Might Be Old, But Inside It's "New Construction" (901 Bush)

901 Bush (www.SocketSite.com)

In addition to 300 Grant, 901 Bush will also be in front of San Francisco's Planning Commission this afternoon seeking the establishment of the “901 Bush Street Special Use District (SUD).” From a plugged-in tipster:

This is the largest building in SF that was ever Ellis acted (38 units).
They have done what appears to be a very nice job on the renovations, however the downside is that it will be a complicated TIC without parking.
I think it is great for the "TenderNob" if people actually buy these to live in rather than rent out.

We agree that it will be great for the neighborhood if these are owner occupied, but these aren't going to be TICs. And that's where the “Special Use District” comes into play.

Having invoked the Ellis Act in 2006 following a fire, rehab, and an attempted condo conversion that was blocked by the city, the owners filed a lawsuit. And according to an insider, a settlement with the city paved the way for the establishment of the SUD which will enable the building to be considered "new construction" and hit the market as condos.

Pricing for the soon to be condos (despite what you might have heard, they aren't yet): studios from $385,000 to $459,000; one-bedrooms from $435,000 to $595,000; and two-bedrooms from $595,000 to $665,000. And as part of the settlement, five of the 38 units will be BMRs.

901 Bush: Inside

38 BRAND NEW CONDOMINIUMS $359,000 - $665,000 (901 Bush) [Craigslist]
Largest Apartment Building Ellis Act in San Francisco History Invoked [BeyondChron]
The Proposed Sixty-Six Forty-Five Condos (And Parking) Of 300 Grant [SocketSite]

First Published: June 12, 2008 12:15 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

and i'm assuming that owners cannot rent these out legally since the building was ellis acted--does anybody know?

Posted by: garrett at June 12, 2008 12:50 PM

If SF dares to let the Tenderloin diversify to more than a low-rent & social services enclave -- in time, THIS is the future. There is no better a neighborhood in the US with a housing stock/collection of such gorgeous buildings than this.

More home owners in this car-independent hood? Exactly what we need.

Posted by: invented at June 12, 2008 12:53 PM

Looks solid. HOA is a tad high for a new building. It'll probably be $400-425 inside of a year. The prices on the units are OK, not great, so the developer better be prepared to wait.

Posted by: scurvy at June 12, 2008 1:06 PM

"Dwell" magazine moves to the Tendernob. Still, a very nice alternative to more "traditional" neighborhoods.

Posted by: anonandon at June 12, 2008 1:45 PM

I'm not sure I completely understand TICs and financing/liability, but it seems like it would be messy with 37 others.

How are TICs different from Co Ops in NYC? There are lots of buildings that size that have gone Co Op (nearly all of them).

This whole story is bizarre and confusing...

And the Tenderloin isn't going to change much until SROs start going condo. That's not as much a stretch as you might imagine.

Posted by: hugh at June 12, 2008 2:05 PM

An Elllised unit can be re-rented on day one BUT legally it's a five year window from the time of eviction before the rent can be raised above what the evicted tenant was paying. Also, if any of the evicted tenants filed for first right of return they have a ten year window on their unit.

Posted by: Michael at June 12, 2008 2:17 PM

"If SF dares to let the Tenderloin diversify to more than a low-rent & social services enclave -- in time, THIS is the future. "

i agree. i bet these developers are going to be well rewarded.

Posted by: paco at June 12, 2008 2:20 PM

one more thing... has there been a single fire in a multi-unit building in SF in the past ten years that hasn't resulted in the building going TIC? The only one I can think of is an SRO on Valencia that became a hostel (The Acapulco). Might sound cynical, but every time there's a residential fire now, I tend to assume it's the owner as arsonist/opportunist.

Posted by: hugh at June 12, 2008 2:22 PM

Just wondering...

If the building is considered "new construction" or goes condo I assume it is no-loner under rent control if someone were to rent it out.

How does this work with the Ellis Act?

[Editor’s Note: Ellis Act restrictions carry over to "new construction" (even if the building is razed and rebuilt).]

Posted by: HappyRenter at June 12, 2008 2:29 PM

Great Location. Not exactly Tenderloin, Bush is a busy street, but this would be perfect for a pied a terre esp the Studios.

I doubt the HOA fees are fixed at 300 per unit, as normally its dependent on SQ Footage, and it doesn't seem right that a 2 bed owner is paying the same as the studio owner.

Posted by: bdb at June 12, 2008 4:06 PM

That is a completely insane amount of work involved with redeveloping a building. The City needs to find a way to make this easy and profitable. Add up the damage done by bad building and planning regulations to the whole mess with rent control and it is a wonder that anything in the core areas of the city ever gets updated.

Posted by: Mole Man at June 12, 2008 4:31 PM

I used to live in the "La Galleria" (900 Bush) in a unit overlooking this building. It has a long and sad history. I watched it go through burned-out hulk through the renovation process, and then sit vacant. It'll be a great addition to the neighborhood and hopefully will help pressure the nearby Bacchus Kirk bar to be a better neighbor. This is a great neighborhood; I hope the building is a success.

Posted by: seehsee at June 12, 2008 4:39 PM

what's the best website for rentals in SF or the east bay?

Posted by: pvc at June 12, 2008 5:20 PM

I wonder why the city agreed to the settlement? While I'm pleased to see this happen, it strikes me as a fairly dramatic departure from standard operating procedure (ie, prevent condo conversions at all costs). I can't think of a single comparable case.

Posted by: zzzzzzzzz at June 12, 2008 5:49 PM

seehsee,

What was it like to live in "La Galleria"? I believe that is the high rise condo building on the north side of the street. It seemed to be about the only condo development of anything near that size in the '80's in San Francisco, and I was always curious. I have noticed a couple listings over the year but I have never been inside.

Posted by: redseca2 at June 12, 2008 7:10 PM


Honestly, I think this is rotten. And as for the 'loin being a 'car-independent hood', that'll go out as soon as moneyed car-dependent home-owners come in.

Bad move for the neighborhood, bad move for the City.

Posted by: inthemarket at June 12, 2008 8:47 PM

Bad move for the neighborhood, bad move for the City.
Posted by: inthemarket at June 12, 2008 8:47 PM

or smart infill of vested interests into the urban core...

gentrification where it makes sense...

Posted by: paco at June 12, 2008 9:41 PM

So is the implication here that these will get approval to go condo? The linked article seems to think not, but I take it that's the point of the 'special use district'.

I am struck by how much this place looks like something that would be in Downtown Manhattan. It's undeniably pretty. I would love to see the Tendernob/Tenderloin evolve more in this direction, and I guess so would everyone, if not for the displacement factor.

Posted by: hugh at June 12, 2008 10:10 PM

redseca2: La Galleria is an entry-level building not dissimilar to Daniel Burnham Court and Opera Plaza. However, it has fewer units and what I consider a better location. I left the building because I had concerns about the HOA board's handling of maintenance and systems issues. (And, as it turned out, I made the right decision.) Owners and residents of La Galleria followed the development of the 901 closely, as the state of the building had a big impact of the quality of life in the area. For example, for periods 901 was allowed to sit unattended as a graffiti and vagrant magnet. If the building indeed becomes occupied my diligent residents, it will help values at La Galleria and improve the surrounding area. Anyone who criticizes the 901 project is off-base.

Posted by: seehsee at June 13, 2008 6:41 AM

Having stake holders move into The Tenderloin (containment zone for crime) can only lead to improving the neighborhood. I know, first-hand, that folks in my building attend BOS meetings, police station community meetings, and are active with the Community Benefit District -- we have organized a tree planting for August. Let's not forget, the TL includes a large number of families, with 12 percent of households having children under 18 -- these folks deserve a safe, clean environment too.

Posted by: tloin at June 13, 2008 8:18 AM

I lived at 887 Bush when this building went up in flames. It was during the holidays so I was out of town. Good thing, because my apartment faced this building.

This is not a bad neighborhood and it is a wonderful location if you work downtown. I'm glad this building is finally not going to sit vacant any longer.

Posted by: Lori at June 17, 2008 12:35 PM

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