St. Regis Penthouse: View
Purchased for roughly $30,000,000 as a raw shell in 2005, local real estate developer Victor MacFarlane’s penthouse atop the St. Regis has been three years in the making. And while it isn’t yet finished (around 85% from what we’ve been told), the very roughly 20,000 square feet are now back on the market for $70,000,000. Is San Francisco all growns up?

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by bossmillion

    It makes so much more sense to live on the space station for a week and then buy a 40m condo when you return to earth

  2. Posted by boss hogg

    wouldn’t pay a dime over 60

  3. Posted by Anonymous

    The current record price for a California condo is the $47 million recently paid by Candy Spelling for a duplex penthouse in a 42-story Century City tower, still under construction. (It will have 16,500 square feet, which works out to $2848 a square foot).

  4. Posted by Nicole

    A $70 million dollar condo in San Francisco is quite a strech as it is- but an unfinished one at that? Considering the shell on Broadway has been sitting for well over two years (come on chronicle reporter, fact check your fluff piece) for $65 million, I predict this sells, in its current state, between $40 to $55 million tops. Shells shouldn’t sell at prices which merit finished products. Why would buyers, even rediculously loaded ones, want to pay a premium for 1-2 more years of construction and $10 plus million dollars left of work? This price is just straight up greedy in my opinion. One greedy shell house listing gone south that comes to mind is the WebTV’s founders shell house in Silicon Valley– originally listed at $40 million. It sat on the market forever and was finally picked up for under half the original list price.

  5. Posted by Foolio

    Too bad the days of 100% financing are gone, or I’d snap this up in a heartbeat…

  6. Posted by jlasf

    It doesn’t have a Golden Gate Bridge view and, from the picture, not even a great Bay Bridge view. At that price, I would certainly want one or the other. And, as other towers go up, there will be other chances to build a huge penthouse, maybe even in the Transbay Tower. So, it’s not even a unique opportunity.

  7. Posted by Dude

    And tipster thinks all real estate is theater….
    I heard a completely fallacious rumor that it was already in contract. For $75 million. All cash.
    Oh, and those buyers are planning to immediately relist it and ask for $95 million. And they already have another buyer lined up willing to pay $120 million. In solid gold bullion.
    Plus that last buyer will probably just use this as a pied-a-tierre, because they already have a humble 100,000 square foot home in Fantasyland. It’s 100% green, too. Certified LEED Unobtainium. Despite being built on 3 city blocks of rain forest, it runs on tectonic plate movements and unicorn farts, so it’s earth-friendly.
    Just relaying what I heard… “Information not warranted or deemed reliable.”

  8. Posted by ex SF-er

    I know very little about the true luxe market of SF, so I’m totally talking out of my bum here… but I honestly can’t imagine anybody paying that kind of money to live in a condo in SF. Manhattan maybe but not SF.
    Is there anything that sold in SF for anywhere near this? SF or condo?
    my favorite line from the realtor per the chronicle:
    “No one will be able to buy a 20,000-square-foot residence in San Francisco again.”
    hahahahahahahaha. nope, never. because they’re not building any more condo towers.

  9. Posted by Eoral

    No, nothing has ever sold in SF for anywhere near this, much less a condo.
    IMHO the man is smoking some good crack. But hey, maybe someone somewhere is smoking even more crack…

  10. Posted by tipster

    Hillarious, Dude.
    They listed it for a preposterous price in a marketplace where enormous reductions are common (and thus, the listing price being too high won’t scare away any real buyers), and as a result of their listing price, they got a ton of free publicity.
    Hats off to them.
    If you know how to manipulate people and work what you have, you can get a lot of stuff for free. Just ask any pretty woman in a bar…

  11. Posted by sleepiguy

    Yeah, this is more than double what I consider the benchmark sales in SF.
    I thought the story was somewhat humorous. The owner decided they weren’t really going to spend time in SF after all. Um, haven’t we heard that before??
    More likely, the owner realized that luxury finishes actually demand luxury prices and didn’t want to invest another 30 million finishing the space. These type projects can easily get out of control – even for billionaires.

  12. Posted by Ryan

    This is too good. Now lets see it go on MLS with some pictures already.
    What a joke. The St. Regis at one time was the most amazing high rise downtown, and sure the service cant be beat, but with all the new towers sprouting up (think MT PH that was just bought for a fraction of the price) this will be obsolite in a few years. Although the description of the unit sounds amazing. Lets also ask the listing agent what the HOA fee is. I am curious since regular 2000sf units seem to be commanding 2-3k, that might put it at 20k a month if not more!
    Maybe the current owner just cant afford it? I mean when did SR open? 2005? And its taking all this time to finish? Maybe he just doesent have the money to finish it anymore…
    Just a guess.

  13. Posted by Conifer

    Of course, if you think you need 20,000 square feet, it is hard to find. If you buy 20,000 square feet in existing condos, the Planning Commission will refuse permission to merge them, because that would mean removing several “affordable” $5 million condos from the market, and they disapprove of “mansions.” Unless you are one of the richest men in SF, they will not allow you to merge three houses on Broadway, or anywhere else. Condos or houses, no reduction in “affordable” housing is allowed. Remember the woman last year who wanted to merge a small one-bedroom condo in SOMA that she paid $1.2million, and they refused because $1.2m is “affordable.”

  14. Posted by Oceangoer

    Where is “G” when he is needed?

  15. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    If the HOA is even a dollar over $5000, I’m not bidding.

  16. Posted by anonarch

    To put some “flyover” perspective on pricing in San Francisco, our firm did the interior of a two story 71st floor penthouse in Chicago for a multi-billionaire. He paid 6.5 million for the raw space located right on Water Tower Place (Union Square without homeless), and it has 6 terraces, an outdoor spa pool, and interior construction and furnishings came in at about 9.7 million.
    The St. Regis views are not that great, and I still am not convinced this is the best part of town.

  17. Posted by andyc

    omg. but if it does sell at this price what will it do to the median?

  18. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    andyc – this will have an insignificant effect on the median.
    Yes, it will affect the average significantly, but the median will hardly budge.

  19. Posted by math wiz

    It will have the same effect on the median as a $1 Trillion sale.

  20. Posted by andyc

    opps…yes thanks…i must have been thinking mean.

  21. Posted by ex SF-er

    It will have the same effect on the median as a $1 Trillion sale.
    Wow. $1T. now we’re talking. That’s a home I’d like to see.
    That’s orders of magnitude nicer than Ambani’s $2B home in Mumbai
    Ambani’s tacky $2B pad

  22. Posted by jessep

    Does a human being really need 20,000 sq ft to live in? My condo is 1700 sq. ft and I feel it’s too big…especially when I have to clean it.

  23. Posted by SFCondo Guy

    Sorry if this sounds like nitpicking, jlasf, but you DO see the Golden Gate Bridge from this unit. I know you can because you can see it from the units two floors below. Obviously it’s not the same kind of GGB view you would have from Pac Heights, but the penthouse levels of St. Regis, Four Seasons, Millennium and ORH have such expansive views that you see the Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge and even a bit of the Ocean.
    As for getting a similar 20,000 sf of space at other highrises — do tell where? It’s impossible to merge two full penthouse floors at any other highrise in SF.

  24. Posted by Lexa

    If you think about it, $70,000,000 / 20,000 sq ft = $3,500 per foot. Is that that outrageous?

  25. Posted by ex SF-er

    “As for getting a similar 20,000 sf of space at other highrises — do tell where? It’s impossible to merge two full penthouse floors at any other highrise in SF. ”
    Uh… evidently you didn’t read the quote about which I still laugh hilariously. Let’s read it again.
    “No one will be able to buy a 20,000-square-foot residence in San Francisco again.”
    [empahsis mine]
    now let’s analyze why this is quite possibly the most stupid statement ever made.
    1) we already have THIS unit for sale which is 20,000 sq ft. I will assume that SOME TIME IN THE FUTURE (10-20-50-100 years from now) it will go for sale again
    so there’s one future sale of a 20k sq ft residence
    2) I will assume that there are other 20,000 sq ft residences that already exist in SF somewhere. Perhaps I am wrong, but I doubt it. I’ve been in some that are close to if not quite at 20k sq ft, but I didn’t have my tape measurer. How big is the Spreckel Mansion? Eventually, they too will come up for sale some time in the future.
    3) New condo towers are proposed all the time. There is no reason why a future tower can’t have a 20,000 sq ft residence inside of it, OR that while being built the owner can buy 2-3 units and merge them just as our hero did.
    4) laws change. we have no idea what laws will be passed in the future, and then perhaps the law will be changed to allow combination of residences.
    so in sum, it is clearly dumb to say the least that there will NEVER be another 20k sq ft residence for sale EVER AGAIN in SF, because we know at least one will be. (this home).

  26. Posted by unbelievable

    That is NOT what I would call a Golden Gate Bridge view! Give me a break. Take away the parts of the bay that can be seen and you are looking at a view similar to what I saw from my hotel room in Indianapolis last month. My parent’s home on Pierce street just north of Jackson has a Golden Gate bridge view, and the bay is so big and bright that the alcatraz lighthouse illumines the dining room fixture (when off) when the beam comes by the direction of their home.

  27. Posted by ex SF-er

    can we call it “Golden Gate View Adjacent”?

  28. Posted by jessep

    Great views of One Rincon Hill! :P
    I have never understood the fascination with St. Regis, its in a yucky area of town and the views are not spectacular (nice but not worth the money).

  29. Posted by anon

    @Jessep – you probably aren’t part of there target buyer set.

  30. Posted by anoncensorious

    “I have never understood the fascination with St. Regis, its in a yucky area of town and the views are not spectacular (nice but not worth the money).”
    I have to agree. San Fracisco has some amazing penthouses, some of which I have been in, in the BEST parts of the city. What exactly makes this the most expensive property in the city? Nice try, but we are not ready to play in the big leagues with N.Y.C. and other “world class” cities with such an ordinary looking building on a rather ordinary block.
    I would rather be in Suzie’s 2500 Steiner penthouse (great views all directions) or 2006 Washington, or the penthouse at 999 Green (which has the most spectacular views in the city BY FAR!).

  31. Posted by Nicole

    Why did they let Victor combine them anyway? It would be better for them to be three individual units, like in the original plans. I like the St Regis and its proximity to everything, but I do not think that its penthouse is SF’s premier property, nor it should be. Good luck selling that one.

  32. Posted by Lexa

    What is wrong with you people? Have any of you ever even been to a St Regis? The service is amazing! The location isn’t Pacific Heights, but for an international buyer, wouldn’t you think he would like to be in the center of things (walking to retail) and not on some hill in a quiet family neighborhood?????

  33. Posted by anon2

    Someone buying a 70 million dollar penthouse is not going to “walk” to retail. Even Al Gore seems to ride around the city, when he is in residence, in a black town car that parks and has the engine running from what I myself have observed.
    “What’s wrong with you people”? Have you never had clients who travel in G-5’s? This buyer is NOT walking, and NOT taking public transportation. Tell Larry Ellison, Gordon Getty and Don Fisher that their neighborhood is “quaint”.

  34. Posted by jessep

    Come to think of it, if they are NOT walking, NOT taking public transportation, then why do they have to be close to everything and why do they have to be at the St. Regis?
    I assume their private jets and limousines can take them where they want to go.
    If they don’t walk and don’t want to use mass transit can’t they just hire people and duplicate that sort of service at a villa in Marin? They can have personal shoppers and spend all day in the hot-tub at Sea Cliff.
    I guess not, they purposefully choose to be in a luxury hotel with top-notch service surrounded by scores of pissing bums and drug addicts. This must be some sort of new rich trend I don’t understand.

  35. Posted by anoncensorious

    The current trend for hotel condo residences is interesting as long as the building and hotel itself is desirable. In the 80’s the Ritz Carlton was THE hotel of choice, now they seem to be almost like another Hyatt while people moved on to Four Seasons and lately Asian hotels like Peninsula, Aman Resorts, Setai (building condos in NYC) and Banyan Tree. The Setai owners in Miami now resent the discounts being given to hotel guests which are bringing in people they feel are rather undesirable. What if the operator switches from St. Regis to Westin?
    If “services” and room service are what you want, why not live in a hotel?
    I had a client who sold their home for over 14 million and decided to live in one of the penthouses of the Four Seasons hotel in Newport Beach (NOW no longer a Four Seasons, but called Islands). Their way of looking at it was that the cost per month of living in that hotel (INCLUDING meals, drycleaning, massages, etc.) was LESS than the cost of maintenance and taxes on their home (which they paid cash for). The Four Seasons changed the suite to fit their lifestyle, added privately menu items they desired, all without them having to “own” the unit. They had their dog walked, they had their art hanging on the walls, and their cars were washed DAILY. If I was looking for a hotel experience, I would just live in the hotel, without having to “own” the unit.

  36. Posted by Ryan

    I agree with anoncensorious. The other penthouse’s of are way more desirable, and boast better views as well. Case in point George Schultz 999 Green Penthouse. When (if ever) it does go on the market I’m sure it wont be listed anywhere near 70MM. But that’s a unit that would be worth every penny!

  37. Posted by Morgan

    A realtor friend of mine took me to the 999 Green penthouse back in about 1990-91 I believe. I am an architect and could not even consider such a purchase outside of a Mega Lottery winning. He just wanted me to see the view. When I walked in I could not move. The two story living room and 36 foot tall glass adds to the feeling of soaring. You cannot imagine the experience up there because you have the height of Russian Hill adding to the structure to make you feel like you are above the entire city, especially the northern side. The other thing to consider regarding north side units is that they sit on a hills with unobstructed views of the Bay, Golden Gate, Marin, Alcatraz and FiDi. Despite all the hype, Soma will always be Soma to me, and there is nothing “quaint” about living in neighborhoods such as Russian Hill and Presidio & Pacific Heights next to some of the most interesting people in the country.

  38. Posted by Anon

    @Morgan
    Just because people are rich, it doesn’t necessarily make them interesting.

  39. Posted by Nicole

    I don’t see anyone arguing on this thread that either Russian Hill and/or Pac Heights is quaint, so I don’t know who Morgan and Anon2 are countering.
    The folks that are pointing out that this location is right in the heart of downtown- within a 5-10 minute walking distance of tons of amenities- are merely pointing out an irresputable fact.
    Some people like being in Pac Heights, others like to be downtown. It is a personal preference.

  40. Posted by anon2

    I think the point is being lost which is that this asking price is far beyond what any previous penthouse in the city has sold for, especially including Russian Hill or Pacific Heights. Sure downtown is great, but this price makes a Russian Hill penthouse owned by a former Sec. of State a bargain, especially when you factor in views and location. Would the owner REALLY go out for a stroll at THIS location? I bet you the owner would at 2500 Steiner or 999 Green.
    We are talking about a mega-rich price, and tell me that someone like Candy Spelling (she was mentioned above as buying a penthouse in L.A. for 45 million) is going to enjoy walking Mission and Market to go to the Metreon and Macys? I don’t think so. Ever since Union Square became filled with suburban mall stores it long ago lost the claim of being “desirable”. I think he overpaid at 30 million.

  41. Posted by jessep

    I can understand the appeal of being close to everything, but then why not choose Nob Hill? Seems like nice views from those penthouses and pretty close to everything.
    @Nicole: “The folks that are pointing out that this location is right in the heart of downtown- within a 5-10 minute walking distance of tons of amenities- are merely pointing out an irresputable fact.”
    According to people on this thread, the rich do not walk and do not shop for themselves. They are spoon-fed and do not want a bucolic life.

  42. Posted by Nicole

    @anon 2—
    Metreon and Macys, no. Nice sample selection. Neiman Marcus, Gucci, Saks, Armani, Barney’s, Boulevard, Fleur de Lys, The Fifth Floor, ACT Theater, John Berggrueen, countless conference venues, yes. All within a 3-5 minute chauffered car ride. (since 5-10 minute walk does not work for you as a measure of time.)
    As to your first point, yes, I agree the penthouse is rediculously overpriced (see my earlier posts) in comparison to other properties in San Francisco.

  43. Posted by Nicole

    @jessep
    Why not Nob Hill? Personal preference again. Some people like the whole hotel condo set up. Built in security, food, maid service etc. If this is a fifth home, not worrying about these things sounds appealing to some folks. Both the Four Seasons and St Regis are relatively new construction, which people also like.
    Now as far as a 70 million dollar penthouse goes, well, those built in conveniences seem incidental at this $$ level. And the place is a bunch of concrete and wires, so the price point seems a little absurd. (As far as view commentary goes, I’ll wait for the marketing pics).
    Which brings me to my final question. Is this price point just a marketing ploy? Pricing it at 70 million gets this place a lot of press coverage, a guaranteed spot on the forbes most expensive homes list, and probably some international attention. Maybe MacFarlane is actually, upon inquiry, “flexible” on price…

  44. Posted by anon2

    Nicoele, I stand by my previous statement that Union Square is now all chain stores. Even the list you presented backs up my case that there is not much difference between Union Square and South Coast Plaza or an upscale mall in New Jersey. I was just on Maui and you can find almost all of those shops (Armani, Gucci, Louis Vitton, Prada, etc.) at the shopping center at Wailea AND at the shopping center at Kaanapali.
    One of the last truly San Francisco stores left in the Union Square area is Gumps. I am very sorry most of you were not around when Union Square was filled with local high-end stores with fashions and other items that were so unique that people USED to come up from Los Angeles to shop here. Now I think it is the other way around for some neighborhoods in Los Angeles have amazing one of a kind shops (Robertson, Abbot Kinney, La Brea, Beverly, etc. etc.)
    Now, this is not a San Francisco bashing post. This city does contain some unique local high end retail and restaurants, but they are not near the St. Regis.

  45. Posted by Nicole

    @ anon2–
    Discussing chain stores wasn’t my point, which is pretty clear. I was responding to the fact that your sample selection of stores close to the St Regis -that the uber rich would patronize- was intentionally misleading.
    You wrote:
    “We are talking about a mega-rich price, and tell me that someone like Candy Spelling (she was mentioned above as buying a penthouse in L.A. for 45 million) is going to enjoy walking Mission and Market to go to the Metreon and Macys? I don’t think so.” Patronizing the Metreon and Macy’s? No. Neiman’s and Chanel? Definitely.

  46. Posted by anon2

    The sample selection was really to make a point which is that the retail enviroment of San Francisco has changed a lot in the last 30 years. My point is that the so-called amenities of Union Square are of little interest to this economic sector. I would imagine they would be more interested in Rodeo Drive and New York City than walking past crowds on their way to the Disney Store and Niketown. Still you are correct, we FINALLY do have a Barney’s, though rather small compared to other cities. We are talking about getting this store 13 years after Los Angeles, and almost 17 years after Chicago.
    The long wait for a store like Barneys shows who is REALLY shopping in San Francisco, and that is TOURISTS, not the very wealthy.
    There have been numerous articles that have spelled out the change in character of Union Square over the years, and the days of drivers standing out in front of I Magnin while ladies shopped inside are only a memory to those of us over 35 (I am 44 years old). What is it exactly that would draw me to Union Square that could not be experienced in cleaner, brighter, more pleasant shopping districts in other areas?
    This is an amazing city, but it is really more of a restaurant-food destination than a retail destination. The Ferry Building is one of the best examples of where San Francisco encouraged local ownership versus chain stores, and created a unique enviroment that cannot be found on Michigan Avenue or Santa Monica.
    I have a strong passion for this subject because I believe we are loosing the unique character of this city very fast. If you really believe that the owner of this Penthouse will walk to nearby restaurants and shops I would be very happy, but my clients all seem to be moving on to Napa and Sonoma and saving their shopping time for Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Chicago and New York.

  47. Posted by sf

    Oh noes! Save the Rich, for their lifestyles in San Francisco are in jeopardy. Poor (oops I mean rich) ba$tards.

  48. Posted by jessep

    Let’s see if Victor McFarlane can find some sucker to buy this. They will never be able to sell it again and make a profit.

  49. Posted by Nicole

    There is no way this thing is going to go even close to 70 million. Once the publicity blitz ends and Victor still doesn’t have a buyer, he should subdivide the space back into two to three units and unload them that way.

  50. Posted by anoncensorious

    So this means San Francisco is grown up?! What does it say when you can look up dozens of penthouses in NYC for less than 12 million? Moby’s penthouse on Central Park West in the Upper West Side with multiple terraces and floors was for sale for about 7.5 million. But here in provincial San Francisco, a city that has less population than the Upper West Side, we are asking more for this penthouse than the penthouse at the corner of 59th and 5th, which I would consider a true world class location.
    I still think the St. Regis has a very dull exterior, and although it is fashionable now, it will be interesting to see how values hold up long term. And the St. Regis location is “desirable”??!!!
    Will this city ever get over itself and go back to pricing more in line with its place on the world stage, which is not NYC or London. (or L.A. for that matter)

  51. Posted by jessep

    @anoncensorious
    “Will this city ever get over itself and go back to pricing more in line with its place on the world stage, which is not NYC or London. (or L.A. for that matter)”
    Why does it offend you so much that this is priced so high? If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. He wouldn’t price it this high if he didn’t think the market could bear it or anything close to it.
    I could buy a shack in Bangladesh for 10 cents and says its for sale for 100 million, that doesn’t mean it will sell. The truth of the matter is, the SF real estate market DOES bear those high prices, whether you like it or not. Apparently there are plenty of people who disagree with you in terms of your “placement of SF on the world stage”. I sure do.
    I would sure rather live here than NYC, London, or LA (I would never ever live in LA), but that’s just my opinion I guess. I find the quality of life and weather here to be great, but I guess I am the only one on Socketsite who does.

  52. Posted by jessep

    It never ceases to amuse me how many bitter people there are with SF-inferiority complexes.
    No one is forcing you to live here; no one’s gun is pointed at your head.
    The truth of the matter is, that more than ANYONE, this city’s critics are the most provincial. They refuse to enjoy living here and cannot survive one day without belittling this city and comparing it to what their vision of a perfect city should be.
    I like living here and I acknowledge that a lot of property is over-priced. That does not mean I find it right to tell SF “to find its place on the world stage” behind LA, NYC, London. That is the height of elitism and is signature of people with sky high superiority complexes.

  53. Posted by anon

    Question for anoncensorious — are those dozens of penthouses priced under $12 million in NYC 20,000 square feet??
    A 20,000 square foot penthouse in a prime Manhattan spot would be at least $80 million. I mean, that would be $4,000 a square foot, which is what the average units at 15 Central Park West (in current Vanity Fair) sold for during construction — and the resale prices there are even higher. One apartment at 15 Central Park West is on the market for $150 million!

  54. Posted by jessep

    @anoncensorious
    Oh and for the record, “Moby’s penthouse” with the multiple terraces you so gleefully mention at 7.5 Million that is your desideratum for affordable dense Manhattan real-estate is 2500 square feet NOT 20,000 square feet.

  55. Posted by Moby Fan

    Well, it may be smaller, but the Moby penthouse is pretty unique.
    http://www.eldoradopenthouse.com/
    There was a time when “luxury” buildings made penthouses that were unique, and not just top floor units that didn’t even have a raised ceiling height.

  56. Posted by justin

    The Pierre Hotel penthouse in New York overlooking Central Park was listed for 70 million, but who knows what it actually sold for. There is a big difference between being in Manhattan on the Upper East Side on Central Park vs. being south of Market in San Francisco however. (Sorry Jessep) I would rather pay this type of price for the penthouse at 999 Green.

  57. Posted by jessep

    @justin
    Oh, no question. I would rather live at 999 Green and would never pay that to live in SOMA as well, but comparing Moby’s penthouse at 2500 sq ft to 20,000 sq ft is not an apples to apples comparison.
    These items would never be priced in line with what they ara if there were not some buyer who could and would actually buy it for somewhere near listing price. That may not be you, but it is someone.

  58. Posted by @ anti-SF inferiority complexes

    San Francisco has more Billionaires per Capita than NYC, LA, London, and Paris! How is that not world-class? How is that a place “behind” those cities? Hilarious!
    It sure isn’t perfect, but pound for pound it packs a punch so deep and profound, that it shoots to near or top of the list, especially if you have money.

  59. Posted by 92210

    There is one country club in Indian Wells California that has more billionaires than than the entire Bay Area, so what does this have to do with how “unique” San Francisco or Indian Wells is? The club is called “The Vintage Club” and you can look up articles including Forbes “Sorry You Cannot Join” article that states almost 1/4 of the Forbes 500 richest Americans have homes in this club including Bill Gates (though his is not a full time residence) Add Bighorn Country Club and “The Reserve” and “pound for pound” this part of the southern Calilifornia desert packs quite a punch. For those of you that think San Francisco is rich, you need to get out more. There is a lot of wealth out there, and it is not only on two blocks of outer Broadway. My business would not survive if I only had to draw on wealthy clients here in the city.
    As an architect, my firm has done 6 homes down in this desert region including the Vintage Club, and one only needs to count the Bentleys at the nearby market parking lot to be reminded that San Francisco is not the only game in California.
    BTW – this penthouse price is an insult. The real money in S.F. is still north of California.

  60. Posted by sf

    SF will always be way ahead of NYC LA or any of those other cliche cities. There is something really freakin’ special here that can not be found in the other cities. The weather, the environment, the clean drinking water, the outdoor activities, the cleanliness of the city (compared to NY), gay marriage, the fact that we are ahead of the west of the country in politics, intelligence, culture, ideas etc . SF is VERY unique and VERY special, compared to the other cliches. But then again, I’ve always admired Prague as the most beautiful and charming city in all of Europe, and NOT Paris or London, but I guess I’m just not fond of cliches.

  61. Posted by anon4mrNYr

    Leave it to San Francisco to brand Paris and New York a “cliche city”. I guess part of the unique character of a place that calls itself “the city” is its provincialism.
    The cost of housing here is not driven by clean water or pretty views. It is a combination of economics, political roadblocks, neighborhood groups, rent control and Proposition 13. You can pretend it is expensive here because it is a great place to live, but it is a LOT more complicated than being close to Tahoe and having temperate summers and views of Angel Island.

  62. Posted by sf

    Leave it to a 4mrNYr to bring out his provincialism and bitterness and inflate his frail ego by bashing a city that is apparently, according to his rants and complaints, much more charming and beautiful than his 4mr1. Does NY have cable cars, TOPOGRAPHY, fog, 68° weather year round, microclimates in every neighborhood, TOPOGRAPHY, beaches you can actually visit without throwing up, truly unique neighborhoods with unique people in each one (vs. NY, one big conglomerate) organic California grown food. The prices are expensive here because of SUPPLY and DEMAND, basic economic mathematics. There is DEMAND to live here, and DEMAND from people with good jobs and money, which makes the city a much better place to live than Oakland or Long Island City etc., which reflects the prices. Supply is short, yes, but without DEMAND prices wouldn’t be so high. Duh. But that’s a superficial argument, I don’t live here because housing is expensive. I live here because California is the best place in the world, it’s America at it’s best: liberal, free, open, classy, and scenic. I have the willpower and the job to be able to live in NY easily, but I choose SF as the only city in America worth living in. I guess I just like to enjoy my lifestyle, and not live somewhere based on “image” or “brand name.”

  63. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    sf – Have you been outside of the tourist Disneyland core of Prague’s Stare Mesto and Nova Mesto ? How about the run down wastelands of Holosivice (Praha 7) or the bleak Stalin inpsired architecture of Karlin ? These are both an easy walk from the picturesque core. Travel further out and you’ll be treated to a lot of Soviet era repetitive archiceture.
    San Francisco is certainly a cool place, but I hope you’re including the lesser appreciated parts of town when you draw comparisons. Its not realistic to use only the best of SF in comparisons.

  64. Posted by sf

    SF to me: North of Monterey, West of Junipero Serra. I agree the rest is a cess pool that needs to be nuked. And EVERY city has it’s cess pools so when you draw comparisons it’s not realistic to only use SF in these comparisons.

  65. Posted by sf

    Prague was victim to soviet nightmarish development, just like Western Addition was redeveloped in the 60s with similar practice. I have been to those parts of Prague of course, I am not a tourist who only visits the touristy areas, I like to get the real local experience. The great thing about Prague city center though is that even Hitler wanted to spare it from destruction. Apparently he didn’t think the same about London or Paris.

  66. Posted by fluj

    Actually the Germans did spare Paris.
    And North of Monterey, West of Junipero Serra is your SF, sf? Merced Manor, Pine Lake Park, Parkside and the Outher Sunset only?

  67. Posted by Trip

    But Hitler ordered Paris burned to the ground. His general miraculously ignored his order. But I’m with you fluj that I don’t understand this definition of “SF to me” at all.

  68. Posted by fluj

    “But Hitler ordered Paris burned to the ground. His general miraculously ignored his order. ”
    Yeah, I know, however in the end it did not happen. Therefore putting Paris in the same sort of context as London or Munich or Dresden is a real reach.

  69. Posted by sf

    North of Monterey means NORTH OF MONTEREY ST. C’mon you guys are bringing down the curve for the whole country here.

  70. Posted by incredulous

    Hey “SF”, my San Francisco is ONLY north of California and East of the Palace of Legion of Honor. Do I now win the prize for being most obnoxious?

  71. Posted by sf

    Hopefully Kim Jong Ill or whatever the he11 his name is gives us the Hitler treatment and takes out LA instead, if a city MUST be nuked that is..

  72. Posted by sf

    Good for you!! North of California is a great place (except maybe for Cow Hollow) I don’t know why Legion of Honor is included though, is the Outer Richmond that great? There is SeaCliff I guess. But is North Beach included in that? Surely you can’t include North Beach and exclude Soma, the “new” San Francisco. Pacific Heights, Marina, Nob Hill are all beautiful places though.

  73. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Surely you can’t include North Beach and exclude Soma
    I’m not sure about that. SOMA has still a bit of way to go to be compared to NB. There are many nice areas in SOMA, but they do not seem to be connected with each other.

  74. Posted by sf

    If you want to get scientific about it, I heard that the rise of Soma is in direct correlation to the fall and decay of North Beach. In 15 years anything north of Columbus and Montgomery will be boarded up and preserved as a historical landmark, while all of the tourist and local money heads over to Soma.

  75. Posted by San FronziScheme

    In 15 years anything north of Columbus and Montgomery will be boarded up and preserved as a historical landmark
    There’s definitely some truth there. The anti-chainstore law was a pretty conservative anti-change move. It will either dry out the nabe or it will spur small enterprise. At least chain stores are not adding to the demand for space which might be good for lease price and therefore good for small businesses.
    all of the tourist and local money heads over to Soma
    Knowing that tourists flock to this fake hellhole called Fisherman’s Wharf, everything is possible.

  76. Posted by Beckett

    The “new” San Francisco is Soma? Can’t you just see the tourists flocking to stroll and absorb the unique character of the press on brick facades of condos along Berry Street vs. walking down Grant and Columbus past coffee houses and restaurants? North Beach is not perfect, but despite extreme Nimbyism, it is nice to pop into City Lights and some of the cafes now and then.

  77. Posted by sf

    In 15 years (hopefully) SOMA will have an international multi modal transit center, complete with bullet trains, an above ground park, a 1200′ office transbay tower (not the tallest in the world, but when it was proposed it was in the top 5)a truly unique high rise neighborhood, as well as extra wide remodeled sidewalks and brand new facilities and amenities. I’d rather walk through a wall of skyscrapers and modern technology than 2 story boarded up brick buildings that are really nothing special (there are a few beautiful bulidings: St. Francis of Assissi for instance). The area has some cute spots and good restaurants, most of which aren’t even in NB, but in Chinatown, or Russian Hill, or Telegraph Hill. The restaurants I’ve been to on Columbus are so bland it tastes like they ran it under the faucet for an hour. The whole area is turning into an extension of Fisherman’s Wharf, and I’m sure that the fathers of NB, Ferlinghetti, Kerouac, would be ultimately depressed at once happened to a once hip and lively neighborhood.

  78. Posted by dub dub

    @sf – Kerouac also lived in Orlando Florida, so perhaps your fond memories of NB are exaggerated ;)

  79. Posted by anonconfused

    The St. Regis has been moved to North Beach?

  80. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    SF to me: North of Monterey, West of Junipero Serra.
    Junipero Serra ends at Sloat, so your comment doesn’t even make sense, unless you mean only that tiny part of SF north of Stonestown and south of Stern Grove. What is that area called, Merced Manor?

  81. Posted by sf

    Orlando has much more in common with San Francisco than we would like to admit :-)

  82. Posted by anon

    Fur Storage??? Who wears furs anymore? Especially in SF?

  83. Posted by jessep

    Has Gregg Lynn found some absolute sucker to buy this yet?
    My prediction: a big shell at the st. regis: 15M
    [Editor’s Note: It hasn’t been a shell for quite some time (but the price has been reduced).]

  84. Posted by Sir Knight Jack

    Okay it is now at a more reasonable (But still overpriced 49mil.)
    It is a stunning modern penthouse, but tell me, would you really want to pay almost 50 million for a place so close to market st, you can smell the urine in the doorways?
    Why not buy the PH in the Trump World Tower right on the UN Plaza in Mahhattan? You’re still getting 20 foot ceilings, and 5 plus bedrooms. Sure its 15,000 sq ft less, but a lot less expensense to heat and cool.
    And you’re on the 8oth floor!

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