It has been two years since the sales office for One Rincon Hill first opened its doors. And to date, 145 of the 376 units in tower one have closed escrow, 130 units are now considered to be “occupied,” and roughly 10% of the units remain in official inventory (up from a low of around 2% late last year).
And while official inventory might have returned to the level of seventeen months ago, list prices in the sales office have not. Asking $2,165,000 in January 2007, they’re asking $2,365,000 for unit #3002 today. Then again, it is still available. And let’s not forget about any of that unofficial inventory and secondary market.
Tower one, common areas (think pool, sundeck, etc.), and the fourteen townhomes are expected to be construction complete by the end of September, and the construction contract for tower two is expected to be awarded within the next few days (it’s down to Bovis and Swinerton, with the edge to the former) with the groundbreaking now “anticipated” to occur within the next 45 days (August).
First Impressions: One Rincon Hill Sales Center [SocketSite]
One Rincon Hill: Hovering Around 90% Sold [SocketSite]
Trying To Establish The True Secondary Resale Market: One Rincon Hill [SocketSite]
The Straight Scoop On What’s Up With One Rincon Hill’s Tower Two [SocketSite]

Recent Articles

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by sf

    Sounds like a pretty successful development to me, especially in this market.

  2. Posted by ex SF-er

    I have 3 allegorical stories to add to the above data.
    my best friends will close on their ORH unit FOR SURE. they have financing and also intend to close. they will be hurting big time financially once they do close, but they’ll be able to swing it, and ORH is their dream home.
    I have another friend who will close on her unit FOR SURE. She will have no problems closing. (high net worth)
    I have a third acquaintance who may be in some trouble there. can’t qualify under the new guidelines
    FWIW: all in 1BR condos in the upper floors.

  3. Posted by mrbogue

    it must be nice to have friends in ‘high places’ 🙂

  4. Posted by ex SF-er

    ROFL. I am looking forward to seeing those views.
    it’s always nice to have friends with nice things. you get all the bennies… but none of the maintenance!
    anybody got a nice sailboat?

  5. Posted by mission

    I hope this 45 day groundbreaking window is true. With the addition of tower 2 and hopefully 45 Lansing (Turnbury Tower) I am looking forward to seeing Rincon Hill better connect itself with the rest of the skyline.

  6. Posted by missionbayres

    The sales office has got to be kidding themselves if they think they can raise prices when the ‘secondary’ market on Craigslist has most sellers willing to assign their contract at cost or even 2-3% lower. I hope no one falls for their ORH’s sales pitches and buy from sellers on CL. You can get a much better deal, or better yet, RENT and let prices soften even more…

  7. Posted by curmudgeon

    ex-SFer…the language police are calling….
    I think you meant “anecdotal”. Unless your friends names are “Christian” or “Patience” or “Temperance”.
    OK, back to real estate….lol

  8. Posted by solor

    Ha, don’t believe the prices the sales office throws out there. They seem outlandish because they are. I know for a fact you cn get prices 15% below what they are asking -probably more if you are a better negotiator than me.

  9. Posted by sj

    Assuming that the higher up the tower you go the more affluent of buyer you get; the percentage of buyers that can’t close should drop off. Anyone have a number on the drop out rate so far?

  10. Posted by anon

    “Assuming that the higher up the tower you go the more affluent of buyer you get”
    Is there class warfare in the elevators? The ueber rich on the top floors with the riffraff on the lower floors. Should be interesting to watch. LoL

  11. Posted by ex SF-er

    oops… curmudgeon you are totally correct. I was totally typing without my brain.
    unless it was a freudian slip and the stories really are allegorical…
    in which case I leave it up to you to decipher the true meaning of the symbolism shown in my sacred post!

  12. Posted by viewlover

    60 floors = 60 classes, hmmm

  13. Posted by anon

    I guess there will be people taking the elevator to the 40+ floor and walk back down the stairs to their low level condos. You don’t want to get caught getting off the elevator on a low floor. That would be too embarrassing.

  14. Posted by viewlover

    one reason some high floor buyers may chose not to close is simple economics. if the price is 2,000,000, some would rather lose 60K than say 10% of it value, $200K on day one, which is a possible scenario in the current environment, and not necessarilly worse case. if someone is buying as a dream home, sure, go for the close. for an investor , 60k is alot easier to recover than 200K. plus theres the down payment another 200K at least that is locked up and eaten up by fees to unload.

  15. Posted by Michael

    “Anyone have a number on the drop out rate so far?”
    Based on the numbers above: drop out rate of +/-15%.

  16. Posted by tipster

    1. All real estate is theater.
    2. They will never admit how many people really didn’t close. That would be bad for business.
    3. The prices on the inventory remaining will drop the day after all the contract holders close. Those fake prices are there to motivate them to close. Admitting that prices have fallen would be bad for business.
    Goal number one is to get as many of the contract holders to close.

  17. Posted by Recent ORH buyer

    It’s interesting how the avalanche of naysayers has dwindled to a trickle as the closings continue at a pretty healthy clip. The fact that the conversation has turned to one of ‘class warfare’ among the upper and lower floors is particularly amusing. Sounds like detractors grasping at straws. However, unlike Anon and his insecure ilk, we have no problems exiting the elevator on our low double digit floor.
    There is clearly still some cynicism about the pricing of units that ‘default’ and are put back on the market by the ORH sales office. At a recent ORH event for residents held at Arthaus [a cool little art gallery around 3rd and Brannan] I asked one of the senior sales office people whether units with prepaid deposits that failed to close are put back on the market at a markup. Her unambiguous response – “Every time”.

  18. Posted by Dude

    And yet there are at least 20 people on craigslist trying to get out of contracts, many at a loss. Why doesn’t this senior sales person buy up those contracts and relist them at the higher price? Seems like a great arbitrage opportunity…if prices are indeed going up. The sales offices of ORH and Infinity should put their money where their mouths are.
    For the record, I’m not an ORH “naysayer.” I generally like the building and hope they build 2RH. I just think both sales offices are putting up smokescreens, trying to deny that we’ve run out of bubble. Time will tell.

  19. Posted by jimyleo

    A point of clarification….unit 3002 is a unique unit in that it is located on one of 8 delux floors (28 – 31 & 51 -54). It is a 3 bedroom (approx 2,000 sf) located in the southwest corner of the building with a very impressive south waterfront and west views. Personally, I think they could get more than than the current asking price.

  20. Posted by Recent ORH buyer

    I’ve tried to explain this ‘disparity’ before, and will repost my comments from an earlier thread. In a nutshell, those posting on Craiglist have a very limited window – a few weeks left to close, else they will lose their ENTIRE deposit. When these units ‘default’ to the sales office, they generally have a far longer timeframe to resell these units. Despite price attrition since 2006, presale prices are still below current market levels … hence the markups.
    From a post on a previous thread –
    “What you must remember about almost all of these are that the ‘sellers’ tend to be people that don’t actually own the unit, and only have a deposit at stake.
    As an example, let’s say someone put down a 3% deposit [30K] on a $1m unit. Come time for closing, this party is unable to secure financing, for a host of reasons, the most common being that while he was able to qualify for financing in 2006, he no longer qualifies in the tighter lending environment of 2008. If he doesn’t close, he loses the entire 30K and ORH gets to resell the property. So, let’s say he offers to sell at a “below contract price” of $990,000. What it means is that he is offering to forgo $10K, such that the ‘new buyer’ only need to return to him 20K of his $30K deposit. Why do so? Because geting $20K of your deposit back is better than $0K.
    FYI – Contrary to popular belief, these ORH units where buyers are defaulting are being resold at higher rates than the 2006 pre-construction prices … not hundreds of dollars per square foot higher, but higher prices. In February/March a defaulting 2/2 on our floor sold at $90K higher than our purchase price.”

  21. Posted by anon

    It’s interesting how the avalanche of naysayers has dwindled to a trickle as the closings continue at a pretty healthy clip.
    I think it’s just boredom. I’m a naysayer (I think the location seriously blows, they’re selling before they are done with all the amenities, the huge number of desperate sellers on CL is a very bad sign, etc), but haven’t bothered to post because I think everything has been said.
    And I wouldn’t trust what any sales agent says, no matter what they’re trying to sell. I also won’t mention that another high profile building nearby doesn’t seem to be having the problems that ORH is having with the desperate contract holders (trying) to bail out.

  22. Posted by jk

    Unlike what Recent ORH is saying, there’s more to every story. Got a call from a friend who told me 2 of the penhouses at ORH are being shopped quietly. They want to rid themselves of the unit NOT because they can not close but because it is a bad investment. As someone mentioned earlier, people are walking away now and losing only 3% instead of losing 10-15% down the road. Of course the sales office at ORH wants to tell people that the only people defaulting are overzealous flippers that can’t afford a loan but that is just false. There are plenty of units that are for “sale” but not posted on craigslist. They range from 1 bedroom in a low floor to the Penthouses and everything in between. People are desperate to get rid of their contract. All are offering discounts. Just wait till all the units close at ORH and watch the prices lowered for ORH2, for sure.
    Why would someone want to buy a $900k+ 2 bedroom 8 floors up from the lobby and looking over the freeway (East views), when in a year or so they can get the same floorplan but 20 floors higher in ORH2?

  23. Posted by Recent ORH buyer

    “ORH wants to tell people that the only people defaulting are overzealous flippers that can’t afford a loan but that is just false”
    Different people may have different reasons for not wanting/being able to purchase a property. However, we bought our ORH property from someone whose financial situation had changed from 2006 to the present day and we were pretty sure he wasn’t lying. I can’t speak for everyone’s individual situtation, but with much tighter lending standards now versus two years ago, he’s not the only one in this predicament.
    Just as a point of reference [and reality check] on 3/9/2008 a 2/2 at the Infinity [301 Main Street, #20B] with a water view, sold for $1.77m, or $1345 per square foot. Accordingly, if you think you are getting a 2/2 in the Rincon Hill area above the 20th floor for $900k, you must be logging on from an asylum.

  24. Posted by SkyGuy

    Quoth jk: Got a call from a friend who told me 2 of the penthouses at ORH are being shopped quietly. They want to rid themselves of the unit NOT because they can not close but because it is a bad investment.
    There are 8 penthouse units, 4 on 59 and 4 on 60. What’s true for those 8 people may not be relevant to the other 382 units in ORH, so I wouldn’t read too much into what they’re doing. (I say that as one of the 8. 🙂
    …the sales office at ORH wants to tell people that the only people defaulting are overzealous flippers that can’t afford a loan …
    In my experience, the sales office at ORH was utterly silent on defaulters. I doubt that they would ever describe them in that way. They certainly didn’t say that about the person who walked away from the unit that I bought.
    I look forward to the day next fall when The Mystery Of ORH is over and we’re on to the sequels, The Mystery of TRH, Millenial Doom, How Much Is Infinity Times Two?, and so on.

  25. Posted by Downtown

    Apart from Craigslist, where else can you find units at ORH that may be available for assignment?

  26. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    SkyGuy gets the humor award of the week!

  27. Posted by Recent ORH buyer

    Congrats on your purchase. We love the views from the lower floors, so I can only imagine how incredible the views are from the penthouses.
    The use of the word “default” was mine, and I did so in an attempt to simplify the scenario for SS readers. I concur that it was not terminology nor a concept mentioned by the ORH Sales team. Our assignment of rights from the party unable to complete his transaction was handled seperate and apart from the sales office.
    By the way, it looks like ‘jk’ posts on a number of threads on Socketsite, each time ‘talking down’ home prices, possibly in a wishful attempt that his ‘target numbers’ may actually transpire. He’s certainly not alone with his wild predictions. I would judge his credibility accordingly.
    By the way, perhaps we will see you at the Marston Family wine tasting at ORH this evening. Apparently their Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District 2005 was barrel tasted and rated between 92-94 by Wine Spectator in 2006, so it may be interesting to taste the bottled product.

  28. Posted by anon

    I’m curious about your purchase. Did you pay more than the original contract holder or did you get it for 2006 prices?sfSF

  29. Posted by SkyGuy

    Anon asks, Did you pay more than the original contract holder or did you get it for 2006 prices?
    As I’ve mentioned before, I paid more than the original buyer did. I don’t know how much more, but I wasn’t surprised that the price changed over the course of 15 months. Think of it as “condo futures.”

  30. Posted by sf anon

    So let’s see, ORH’s inventory went from a low of 2 percent (7-8 units) in 2007 to around 10 percent now (35-40 units) in their official inventory. Add the 25 or so sellers on Craigslist, ORH could have near 20 percent inventory for sale. To go from 2 percent to 15-20 percent in just a few months has to be disturbing if you’re a ORH buyer or investor.
    Frankly, I like the building and the views are heavenly, I just wonder why so many buyers are bailing??
    Also, its interesting to note there’s not one single Infinity contract holder trying to assign their contract or look for an investor on Craigslist. Strange there’s such a descrepancy.

  31. Posted by Top of the Hill

    Ah, great to see the Mark Company employees finally getting their act in gear, albeit three days into this thread. Great job lads and lasses – way to go with that first strike!
    So, how are things at those two stubby Infinity towers that we look down on from ORH? We have noticed that stubby Tower II has stalled 2/3 of the way up for the past 3 months. Has big daddy Tishman run out of money? Or, is it a scenario that when one has 30-40% of inventory left, one has to stall the completion of the new tower, as the old one needs to get sold off first?
    Warning – upon entering the Infinity Sales office, existing inventory may change by the minute, hour or day, depending on the level of veracity [usually very low] circulating at any given moment
    In terms of Craiglist postings, not sure what tactics the sales office is using to limit them, but contracts failing to close are occuring en masse behind the scenes. Here is one from a past thread –

  32. Posted by missionbayres

    “Has big daddy Tishman run out of money? Or, is it a scenario that when one has 30-40% of inventory left, one has to stall the completion of the new tower, as the old one needs to get sold off first?”
    Top of the Hill, if that’s the case, they One Rincon 2 may be delayed even further since their inventory just went from 2% to 15-20% in a few months, no?
    Didn’t Infinity’s 2nd tower already top off? Maybe Webcor forgot to order the glass, hehehe.
    Unless you’re the Transamerica, Millennium, or BofA building, everything will look stubby compared to One Rincon.
    So does anyone have *solid* evidence of Infinity’s inventory? I’m sure many want to know. Without solid number, it’s all hearsay. And it’s true there’s ZERO Infinity sellers on Craigslist. Weird…

  33. Posted by anon

    In terms of Craiglist postings, not sure what tactics the sales office is using to limit them, but contracts failing to close are occuring en masse behind the scenes.
    OK, I’ll bite. Do you have any credible evidence for this? (Meaning, any publicly accessible listings, etc? “My friend told me” doesn’t count.)

  34. Posted by Ryan

    i want to see skyguy’s floor plan, who’s with me?!

  35. Posted by Top of the Hill

    Agreed that One Rincon isn’t really in any hurry to start Tower II, although it looks like they will have significantly more time to work through their inventory, perhaps even 2 years. However, the predicament is far more dire when one his topped off a building and one has to stall the “filling in” process [where are those remaining panes] for multiple months. It’s either that or Tishman is having cash flow issues – right?
    As of today there are 19 One Rincon postings on CL – a search may yield more, but not all are infact for ORH. Those are added to inventory IF and only if others parties don’t agree to assume those contracts. And, as SkyGuy has demonstrated, some are willing to assume such contracts even at a premium.
    In terms of the Infinity’s actual numbers, they resemble a ‘black box’ hedge fund with ZERO transparency. Beware – looks like to me that they loaded up on toxic CDOs but publicly remain mum 🙂 At least the One Rincon Sales office appears to be open about their inventory, even when the trends aren’t positive. I’m certainly more comfortable with that approach.

  36. Posted by anon

    @ Top of the Hill:
    So you really don’t know if there are “en masse” contracts falling out at Infinity. I thought so.
    Whether it was smarter to fully build out (the Infinity) or wait till the market recovers (ORH) we’ll only know in the future. One thing that makes me think it’s better to build it out is the fact that the HOA fees are going to skyrocket if amenities (pool, gym, valet parking, concierge, security, etc) that were designed for a much larger complex must be carried by a smaller number of units. TS is covering the shortfall for the 2nd Infinity tower contributions (that is, the money that the second tower residents would provide for the amenities). If ORH 2 never gets built, or is significantly delayed, I would think the HOA fees would have to rise (by alot).

  37. Posted by Top of the Hill

    “TS is covering the shortfall for the 2nd Infinity tower contributions”
    Instead of paying the HOA fees, why doesn’t daddy Tishman just quit stalling for months on end and just finish Stubby II? Oh wait …
    I thought so!

  38. Posted by missionbayres

    ‘Top of the Hill’, you’re starting to sound like ‘Recent ORH buyer’ (no offense).
    I have no idea if Tishman’s having cash flow problems. So far there’s no evidence I know of, so again it’s hearsay until proven otherwise.
    Infinity’s inventory? Again no solid evidence on their numbers. Maybe Socketsite can dig it up.
    We’ve seen how other developments mass advertise and publicize deep discounts and/or incentives. Infinity as well as One Rincon hasn’t resorted to that, at least not publicly. So again, we’d all like to see official numbers. From the evidence we have so far, One Rincon’s inventory is rising, and that’s all we know.
    Good point about the HOA fees. Without the 2nd tower, HOA’s revenues are basically cut in half. So either the amenities suffer or fees rise substantially in the single tower.

  39. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Yes, Top of the Hill is sound very much like Recent ORH buyer. Some telltale signs :
    – use of single quotes to quote words for emphasis
    – use of [square brackets]
    – addressing another SocketSite poster with a form like :
    – use of ALL CAPS for emphasis
    – frequent use of ellipsis …
    – impeccable spelling and good grammar
    Having a few of these traits in common isn’t much of an indication that these two posters are the same person. Heck, I exhibit two of the above traits myself. But six similarities ? That’s too many to be coincidental.
    Those similarities combined with both of these poster’s strong pro-ORH and anti-Infinity bias makes me think that we are in the presence of a sock puppeteer. One who has a strong interests aligned with the success of ORH.
    Top of the Hill/Recent ORH buyer, tell us it ain’t so.

  40. Posted by view lover

    1RH is not finished is it? To have approx. 20% inventory on a building that is not fully ready to move in is not that bad, relatively speaking. Based on a previous thread,closings for the upper floors were not going to happen until August or September, so it is premature to be so negative about 1RH. In today’s market, it is still amazing that it has closed on so many, and probably more or less as scheduled.

  41. Posted by Top of the Hill

    Your true calling may be a job with the FBI. Guilty on the similarities and confess to the similar motivations, as I also own at One Rincon, but not the same individual. Amazing attention to detail with the observations though.
    Perhaps the passion for the building, or annoyance with those not so enamoured, is contagious 🙂

  42. Posted by sf anon

    Top of the Hill/Recent ORH Buyer,
    Why do One Rincon buyers have such rabid hatred for Infinity? Milkshake has a good point that your anti-Infinity bias has us wondering. Don’t you want to see stunning success for both developments? Why bash your neighbors?
    I’m not a fan of ORH (the location blows), but I don’t have any interest in either development so I don’t care much about Infinity either. But a failed Infinity or a failed ORH will negatively affect each other. Get it?

  43. Posted by Top of the Hill

    “Frankly, I like the building and the views are heavenly” [commenting on ORH]
    sf anon at June 18, 2008 11:48 PM,
    “I’m not a fan of ORH (the location blows)”
    sf anon at June 19, 2008 3:22 PM
    Change of heart from last night to this afternoon?
    I felt that the questionable insinuations of your posting last night were unfair, and were clearly pro-Infinity and anti ORH, and that prompted much of the ensuing content. Agreed though that the failure of either building will negatively impact the other.

  44. Posted by sf anon

    Top of the Hill/Recent ORH Buyer,
    I do like the building because it provide dense housing and thus is good for the city. The views are wonderful (no one will dispute that). I hate the gridlock, freeway hugging location though so would never consider living there. Also too many investors.
    How are my comments questionable? Socketsite states 10 percent inventory, so around 35-40 units available. There are 20-25 units on Craigslist on any given time. So you do the math. What is questionable about the data?
    I don’t care about Infinity at all. I just pointed out there’s no Infinity sellers on Craigslist. How does that suddenly make me pro-Infinity?
    Are we a tad paranoid and sensitive today?

  45. Posted by Top of the Hill

    Sfanon/the Mark Company,
    As stated, I counted 19 listings on CL and these don’t automatically get added to inventory until they fail to close or unless someone fails to assume the contract. No argument with the 10% number and I don’t find it alarming, and fully expected a dropoff given the credit crisis and more stringent lending standards between 2006 and today. However, it’s rhetoric such as “I just wonder why so many buyers are bailing?” and “[this trend] has to be disturbing if you’re a ORH buyer” that makes your biases readily apparent.

  46. Posted by missionbayres

    This is hilarious. Milkshake of Despair hit the nail on the head. Top of the Hill and Recent ORH Buyer are one and the same. I’ve been thru my wars with Recent ORH Buyer before and the language and tones are too similar to dismiss. He/she like to accuse every One Rincon critic of being a Infinity/Tishman/Mark associate. It’s comical to say the least. Congrats Milkshake 😉
    Now before Top of the Hill/Recent ORH Buyer accuses me of being the CEO of Tishman, I’ll be the first to say prices will decline at all the developments in SOMA/South Beach/Rincon Hill until inventories goes down.
    It will be very interesting to see the pricing for both 2nd towers though. When is One Rincon 2 opening sales?

  47. Posted by sf anon

    Mark Co? Oh no, I consulted for Pac Marketing Associates.
    You should really hope for rousing success at Infinity and other buildings in your area. Why would you want otherwise. Would I bash my neighbors? Never. But that’s just me. Why you do it I don’t understand.

  48. Posted by SkyGuy

    Ryan asks about my floor plan. It’s the 02 Unit that’s on 55 through 60: 2 BR + Den, on the southeast corner. (Note that 02 Units on other floors are on the northeast corner. I like the sun, the marina-to-TwinPeaks vista, and the occasional fireworks right outside my living room.)
    SF Anon wonders why ORH buyers dislike Infinity. Well I don’t. I think the Infinity is beautiful. I like the curvy shape of the units, and their pool is bigger. But they didn’t have anything available when I visited them last October, and ORH just happened to have this penthouse… It even has a curved wall. That said, I hope no one at ORH has a zebra skin on their kitchen floor like a certain high-profile person at Infinity. 🙂
    I also question the notion that the HOA fees will necessarily go up if 2RH isn’t built. It’s not as if we’re expecting them to pay a portion of the costs of our lobby, security, fitness center, insurance, utilities, or parking. They’ll have their own. (OK, so we share the pool.) Although there is one garage, the plan is to put in car-lifts when 2RH is built, so even that space is not completely shared. I’m no real estate expert, but I did read all the documents pretty carefully, and it appears to me that the developer went to great lengths to keep the two towers financially independent. ORH is not half of a 2-tower package.
    Of course, the best way to keep the HOA fees under control is to serve on the Board.

  49. Posted by jessep

    ewww one rincon. Have you seen that place? Reminds me of a boarding house in the slums of North Korea.

  50. Posted by Rob

    I don’t know how it works with that development, but as a broker with many years of on-site experience, I can tell you that most people do not want to default and lose their deposits. It’s generally the lower price points who came in during pre-sales, prior to construction beginning who got the lowest price and have problems qualifying at closing two years later. Developers LOVE to get those units back and keep that nice chunk of a deposit while adjusting the price upwards. Most developers do not allow assignment of contracts anyway, so the craiglisters would be legally challenged in that scenario. Most of the time, it’s either close, or lose your deposit. It’s never amusing to watch people lose money, but it sure is nice to have that extra money to move around the building…i.e. the ability to lower prices on slower moving lines while still closing out sales ahead of the game.

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