September 16, 2008

The Artani (818 Van Ness) Opens And A Plugged-In Reader Reports

Artani: Roof Deck

A plugged-in reader provides the scoop on, and a few shots from atop and within, The Artani (818 Van Ness):

The roof deck is really fantastic. It invites a gathering and party, and you have great views easterly of the skyline (new against old San Francisco, a really great juxtaposition).
Unit pricing seems to be more high right now than competitive. Options are very limited, so what you see, for the most part, is what you get. Several units on each floor are available for checking out. 3rd floor is where a variety of staged units are, and where the office is.

Artani: Lower Floor Living

HOA's are all in the $500 range (whether you're wanting a 1bed (1bath), 1bed +den (2bath), or 2bed (2bath)). 1Bed/1Bath have a wild range in pricing ($599k-yes lower floor to $899k-yes higher up with views).

1Bed/+Den/2Bath ranges from $699k to $799k, generally logical pricing with the den units. 2Bed/2Bath really get wild, with pricing from $799k to $989k - and then a heavy jump on the 6th floor to $1.399M (2 bedroom units seem to range from 991 to 1181 square feet).

The $1.399M unit is only about 180 extra square feet bigger than it's $989K sister unit, and perhaps the views make the justification - but it's quite a reach - especially with just a romeo ledge posing as an outdoor space.

Artani: Kitchen

The Van Ness corridor is arriving, especially if they can get these prices. If they can't...perhaps arrival is going to be delayed.

Obviously part fact part opinion, but wholly (and as always) appreciated.

The Artani (818 Van Ness) Update: From Unveiled To Unwrapped [SocketSite]
818 Van Ness: Building Still Wrapped, Name Unveiled (“The Artani”) [SocketSite]
JustQuotes: A Reminder That They’re Not Just Building Down In SoMa [SocketSite]

First Published: September 16, 2008 3:00 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

I'm really encouraged by the trend of equipping new buildings with fully functional roof decks. Its a great amenity, even in chilly SF.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 16, 2008 3:13 PM

Nice..

Posted by: Michael L. at September 16, 2008 3:21 PM

Roof deck= HUGE insurance risk. Developers build them at their peril.

Posted by: sf at September 16, 2008 3:37 PM

Intriguing. Can you expand on what exactly the risks are?

Posted by: diemos at September 16, 2008 3:43 PM

regardless of insurance risk, I LOVE rooftop decks.

Posted by: ex SF-er at September 16, 2008 3:47 PM

Great overview. Floor plans are online now as well:

http://www.theartanisf.com/Floorplans.htm

Posted by: Anna at September 16, 2008 4:05 PM

looks much nicer than symphony towers down the block, which i wonder how sales are going down there?

Posted by: condoshopper at September 16, 2008 4:06 PM

especially with just a romeo ledge posing as an outdoor space

What's a "romeo ledge"? Also, if anyone knows, what is a "romeo flat", as seen on craigslist apt listings from time to time? Is that the SF equivalent of a shotgun shack?

Posted by: Delancey at September 16, 2008 4:23 PM

Romeo Ledge == Juliet Balcony?

Posted by: anon at September 16, 2008 4:32 PM

Current pricing = Fat chance

Posted by: steve at September 16, 2008 4:47 PM

My partner and I bought a unit in Symphony Towers in April and couldn't be happier. We bought our unit for significantly less than what the Artani is advertising and--after looking at the floor plans--believe that ST has used space much more functionally & effectively (when you only have 700 SQFT--everything matters!). Sales have been steady and I predict that Artani may have to lower their prices.

Posted by: Eric at September 16, 2008 4:57 PM

hi eric, thanks for the input. i was/am looking at symphony towers myself, but the main thing about this location is being surrounded by tenderloin and western addition on each side. how do you feel about the neighborhood in this aspect?

Posted by: condoshopper at September 16, 2008 5:07 PM

I stopped by the building this weekend. The units INCLUDE the hardwood floors (beech, i think) and all BOSHE kitchen appliances and upgraded carpet and nice track lighting. Other new condos i've seen charge you for all taht stuff so you have to tack on $20-50K. The unit I'm considering also has air conditioning which i think is a nice touch. The roof deck is amazing.

Posted by: Aiden at September 16, 2008 5:26 PM

Romeo Balcony - I'm guessing that it's simply a very small balcony that doesn't really allow for furniture.

Romeo Flat...that's the distinctively SF apartment type that has a stairway running up the center of the front facade, with narrow flats on either side. Usually three stories, six flats. The stairway is semi-enclosed, and there is a landing on each level facing the street..it usually bulges outward a bit...therefore providing a perch for Juliette to be seranaded by Romeo below. I've always thought it was a very sweet housing type.

Posted by: curmudgeon at September 16, 2008 5:28 PM

I'm really happy for ST buyers, but I think the target market is different. We actually went to visit and were really impressed with the quality of the finishes and layouts. There's no wasted space, and no need for upgrades because what they've included as "standard" is way above average. Compared to other new condo buildings in the area, SOMA and South Beach, we thought they were very well done. We visit NYC all the time, and it kind of has that boutique-y NY feel to it. Some of the most expensive hotels and apartments in Midtown, NY are above a Burger King, so what's the diff? I like the vibe, and am glad the Van Ness corridor finally has something to upgrade its image. Just the beginning, in my opinion. Bummer that the elevators aren't in yet, but the trek up to the roof deck is well worth it.

Posted by: Norma at September 16, 2008 5:29 PM

Just wait...when all those investment bankers rushing out of Manhattan come looking for jobs here in the Bay area, support for all these new condo developments may materialize after all.

Then again...

Posted by: mktwatcher at September 16, 2008 6:03 PM

I am a contractor and perform insurance inspections. All insurance firms want to know whether or not a roof deck is allowed to the public. This increases the insurance premiums when roof decks are available, as roof decks are used for social gatherings aka booze. It also makes it easy for potential suicides.

Posted by: sf at September 16, 2008 7:39 PM

Condos have condo associations that usually venture to sue contractors and design professionals for defects in performance. Roof decks and difficult waterproofing conditions are many times the subject of such suits because they can fail. Many insurance firms will not provide professional liability insurance for condos because condo associations have enormous power. The statute of limitations is ten years after the project is completed.

Posted by: Jerry at September 16, 2008 9:53 PM

All you guys loving the roof deck obviously have no experience of the wind levels on Van Ness. I live in the 'hood and my building has large outdoor spaces that I personally consider almost unusable except on the very rare windless day. As far as I'm concerned, that roof deck is purely for show (and as a sales come-on for the clueless).

Posted by: BT at September 16, 2008 10:02 PM

this building was designed by Forum design, right?

Well Forum Design has a principal that loves these Romeo balconies and puts them in every project he designs regardless of whether they work or not. Just another useless "design feature".

Posted by: tenderloiner at September 17, 2008 12:22 AM

Went through the building and it is worlds beyond anything new on Van Ness Avenue. The roof deck was the best I have seen in San Francisco-and was not windy. Overall very good and I actually was very surprised as I didn't think this project was going to be good.

Posted by: Bill at September 17, 2008 12:51 AM

For perspective, do keep in mind that thus far The Artani has only opened its doors to agents and brokers.

Posted by: SocketSite at September 17, 2008 6:49 AM

The Artani has been open to the public since Friday the 12th for people who registered-that is when I went and saw it and it was open the entire weekend. Agents didn't see it until Tuesday during broker tour after the public saw it---just for clarification

Posted by: RJ at September 17, 2008 8:05 AM

Okay, ST-buyers, we appreciate it that you feel more comfortable with your purchase, but it looks a bit silly when you claim ST is such a better deal, and you know better since you bought there.

Roof deck? Who gives a hoot how much time they put in the roof deck? For one they are usually like swimming pools, a great "wow" factor at sales time, but how many people do you see actually using them? Also, how in the world can you justify any premium for a place because of its roof deck. I say, since you're going to spend max .001% of the year on the deck, so it should justify a .001% premium above the price... give or take $6 :)

Posted by: yardy at September 17, 2008 8:06 AM

I can see your point about some people may not use a roof deck--because most of the time the roof deck is not very practical or it is just slapped together. My husband and I actually made it a part (not a huge part, but a part) of our decision making process when we bought

looking from the picture here and reading the plugged in review, this building looks really good and the roof deck is called fantastic and looks fantastic. It would have made an impact on our decision if we were looking at buying in this building.

Posted by: Dylon at September 17, 2008 8:26 AM

to continue the roofdeck pile on: who pulls in the furniture when it rains? What about when all the dirt falls out of the sky? Anybody park the car outside and notice those days when lots of dreck gets deposited on the old car? Doesn't happen to roof deck furniture? How moldy will the stuff be if we have one of those epic rainy winters? otherwise, love it

Posted by: irreverent at September 17, 2008 8:30 AM

Wow, how much shilling can be done in one thread?

Posted by: Dan at September 17, 2008 8:57 AM

The usefulness of a roof deck varies from person to person. I enjoy being outdoors and will bundle up if needed to stay comfortable. Those who associate bikinis with sun decks will be there maybe 1-2 days a year. So I guess I'd have the deck to myself on many days :-)

sf - What do insurers mean by "open to the public" ? If this means that anyone off of the street can access the area then I can see how insurers would be wary. However if it means that guests of residents can access the area then I don't understand. Even if guests were disallowed, how can that be enforced ? This is a residential building, not a DoD high security facility after all. Also I don't know how insurers would be liable for suicide.

irreverent - I'd assume that the furniture is waterproof to resist the rain and fog. And part of the HOA dues would be going to someone to clean the common areas, including the roof deck.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 17, 2008 9:34 AM

the thing i don't like about roof decks and pools is that it invites parties which means groups of random strangers in and out of of the building more often. i visited the roof deck at 199 New Mongtomery and it was empty beer cans and bottles laid all over the place.

Posted by: condoshopper at September 17, 2008 9:56 AM

Interesting comments, nice building and deck. I'm also curious about insuring roof decks. My building (a 1926 concrete and steel 8 story structure in Pac. Heights) is considering one. Would our insurance premiums (and as a result HOA dues) go up dramatically if we did this? Thanks!

Posted by: Jake at September 17, 2008 10:00 AM

let the flooding of Craigslist begin:

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/reb/844415995.html

Posted by: Ryan at September 17, 2008 10:39 AM

Just went on the website and noticed one of the flooplans that is 1 Bed plus Den and 2 baths. I am not sure if I have seen that before. Seems interesting.

Guests dont have to walk through your bedroom to go to use your bathroom-the worst!

Posted by: TipTop at September 17, 2008 11:07 AM

I really love this building. And I love Van Ness. The roof deck needs plastic furniture.

Posted by: sf at September 17, 2008 11:28 AM

Who cares about the roof deck. A developer can't base their values on a roof deck and I'm hoping a buyer won't base their decision because of a roof deck. This project will NOT sell at these prices. I give this project 3 months before the lender and equity provider will crash the developers party.

Posted by: T-Money at September 17, 2008 11:40 AM

I would strongly recommend the Van Ness Corridor (or whatever it is being called these days). It is a 10 minute walk to the Civic Center BART, serviced by major bus lines that take you almost anywhere you need to go in SF; in fact, we sold our car and both commute to jobs in the East Bay very easily. It is within walking/short cabbing distance of most major night clubs (if you are into concerts). Trader Joe's will be coming to Van Ness/Sutter. We feel safe in the area and--with Opera Plaza--and all of the federal/state/local government employees and the Symphony/Opera crowd--there are more people on the streets at all times of the day & night.

Posted by: Eric at September 17, 2008 1:16 PM

Eric - I think the Trader Joes on Van Ness has been cancelled cause the development (TJ's on the bottom, condos up top) fell through.

Posted by: Rebarkah at September 17, 2008 2:22 PM

I just went to the Artani on my lunch break. I have to say it is the most quality building I have seen in a while. Lots of attention to detail. I liked it.

Posted by: AEG at September 17, 2008 3:25 PM

I just went to the Artani on my lunch break. I have to say it is the most quality building I have seen in a while. Lots of attention to detail. I liked it- a refreshing change.

Posted by: AEG at September 17, 2008 3:27 PM

I just went to the Artani on my lunch break. I have to say it is the most quality building I have seen in a while. Lots of attention to detail. I liked it- a refreshing change.

Posted by: AEG at September 17, 2008 3:27 PM

Looks like the best building yet on Van Ness.

Posted by: fountainhead at September 17, 2008 3:46 PM

The architecture is great, but the color is drab and reminiscent of East Berlin... I am not saying it should be peach, but more thought could have gone in the color scheme selection.

Posted by: flaneur at September 17, 2008 4:11 PM

The architecture is great, but the color is drab and reminiscent of East Berlin... I am not saying it should be peach, but more thought could have gone in the color scheme selection.

Posted by: flaneur at September 17, 2008 4:12 PM

Rebarkah--The development company that was planning on building the Van Ness/Sutter condos (I think) put the property back on the market. A guy I know at another Bay Area development company told me that Trader Joe's is still in contract to build there--but that if condos are not developed in 2009-10 there--that they could get out of the contract. With Cala foods in lower Nob Hill closing in 2010, I am really hoping that TJ's comes to Van Ness/Sutter. If anyone knows anything else--would love to hear!

Posted by: Eric at September 18, 2008 4:05 PM

And as a ST home owner--we would love to see The Artani do well. We are just very happy that we got our 1BR unit for about 65K less than what 1BRs at the Artani are selling for.

Posted by: Eric at September 18, 2008 4:08 PM

And as a ST home owner--we would love to see The Artani do well. We are just very happy that we got our 1BR unit for about 65K less than what 1BRs at the Artani are starting at.

Posted by: Eric at September 18, 2008 4:08 PM

"Just went on the website and noticed one of the flooplans that is 1 Bed plus Den and 2 baths. I am not sure if I have seen that before. Seems interesting.
Guests dont have to walk through your bedroom to go to use your bathroom-the worst!"

Yes, finally some innovation in floor plans! We need to see much more of this and these types of units in particular. Even a half-bath for guests is a huge amenity but this plan appears to include a shower as well.

Small gig -- their designer bought the wrong Louis Ghost chairs: clear polycarbonate (probably from DWR) instead of the smoke available only from Kartell. The smoke adds an element of opaqueness that would have worked so much better in this model, particularly since there are 6 chairs.

Posted by: AnonN at September 19, 2008 6:14 PM

ST buyers--You should have paid less for for where you live Vs the artani. ST is a totally different product. I had a tour of both buildings and there was no comparison.

ST lobby was very very simple, no rooftop, basic finishes...Artani--Sleek lobby with doorman--amazing rooftop--Viking appliances. I liked ST but if I were going to buy-it would be at the artani.

Posted by: RockRak at September 20, 2008 2:45 PM

Rock Rak--I agree that the Artani is more luxurious than ST. In the long run, though, be prepared to pay significantly higher HOA dues for maintenance of the "sleek lobby" and the annual salary of the doorman. And Rock Rak--as far as a roof top--ST has a nice functional roof top with a new grill, furniture and landscaping. In fact, we had our wedding reception up there.

Posted by: Eric at October 3, 2008 9:53 AM

Does anyone know how the rentals are going at the artani?

Posted by: jimmythekid at November 2, 2008 10:08 AM

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