April 14, 2009
Same Design And Views, Only Now For Rent: 333 Greenwich #3
On the market a little over a year ago asking $1,650,000 (subsequently reduced down to $1,495,000), it’s a plugged-in reader that notices 333 Greenwich #3 is once again listed. Only this time they’re going the rental route and asking $4,500 per month.
In the words of our tipster: "Wouldn't it be ironic if they didn't permit dogs?" In the words of the listing: "Pets considered on an individual basis." No word on whether or not French Bulldogs get an automatic pass.
∙ Listing: 333 Greenwich #3 (2/2) - $4,500 per month [Urban Bay]
∙ It’s All About The Holly Hulburd Design. And Views. And Dog. [SocketSite]
First Published: April 14, 2009 9:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Another Dwell mag knock off. Although it looks quite nice, this will be dated by the time the renters move out. When it comes to long term value, traditional is always the way to go.
Posted by: developer at April 14, 2009 9:23 AM
How difficult is street parking in this neighborhood? The rental listing notes unlimited parking in Coit Tower parking lot with A permit. Is that a reasonably available option?
Also, would the tenant be fully protected by rent control laws (either because this is a TIC or for some other reason)? Can TIC owners enter the condo lottery if there's a rental tenant in the building? If so, what happens to the tenant if the lottery is won?
Posted by: irked at April 14, 2009 9:38 AM
IMO, it's already dated. Kitchens like that aren't designed to be used, they're intended to be showpieces.
I have never found it appealing to have the "inner workings" of the kitchen visible from the living room. Also, most people's dishware would benefit from being housed in cabinets with doors.
Few people live this way. It's just not that practical.
Posted by: SausalitoRes at April 14, 2009 10:06 AM
irked, I believe that rent control still covers the unit if it condo converts (and that's a long shot to begin with). But when the (now) condo owner sells the place, it is then outside the rent control ordinance.
Posted by: Trip at April 14, 2009 10:11 AM
Disagree with Sausalito's comment about the open kitchen. For people who cook/entertain often, it's very nice to have an open kitchen so you can still be integrated with the dinner party while you're cooking. Otherwise you're sequestered in another room for half the night while you're husband struggles to keep the guests entertained.
Posted by: anon at April 14, 2009 10:16 AM
I live less than 3 blocks from there, with an "A" permit. That last block on Montgomery is a bit tough. Around Union/Montgomery 90% of the time you're fine. Friday/Saturday evenings are a bit dicey everywhere as the party crowd climbs the hill for parking spots and they come back drunk/noisy. There are first choice, second choice, third choice parking options. The worst spots are the ones where you almost need an extraction by helicopter (down that steep right hand curve at Calhoun Ter, always fun). The best ones are along Montgomery or the 90 degree spots on Union, imho though a bit far from Greenwich.
The A permit also allows you some streets down the cliff or a few easy spots on Lombard.
Posted by: San FronziScheme at April 14, 2009 10:16 AM
$1.5m for 2/2, no laundry and no parking. Only in SF. $4500/mo rent indicates that it should be priced at $1m, not $1.5m.
Posted by: jj at April 14, 2009 10:27 AM
I love the windows and the views.
Not so huge on the panelling (plywood?) separating living space and kitchen.
there is some covered shelving opposite the open shelving in the kitchen, that will help some... but I agree that open shelving is oftne not practical for most people unless you are super duper clean and all your dishware looks good in the open etc.
overall a nice place I think.
much better at $4500/mo than $1.5M!
Posted by: ex SF-er at April 14, 2009 10:31 AM
"$4500/mo rent indicates that it should be priced at $1m, not $1.5m."
It hasn't rented at that price yet.
Posted by: tipster at April 14, 2009 10:41 AM
If this had been priced at 1 million, as this rent indicates it should be, I would have bought it.
Posted by: Embarcadero at April 14, 2009 10:56 AM
"If this had been priced at 1 million, as this rent indicates it should be, I would have bought it."
So, why not rent it for $4500 for two years and when it gets listed for $1M, buy it. In the end, you'll pay the same amount. That's the beauty of places for sale that get converted to rentals: it gives renters even MORE staying power.
Posted by: tipster at April 14, 2009 11:02 AM
Tipster: I live 2 blocks away and rent a place that is very, very nice for a fair amount less than what these landlords are asking.
I would gladly rent here for a few years and then buy that place when the sellers come back to earth.
The question is - if this is a rent controlled unit, by renting this are they not essentially pulling this out of the for-sale market?
Posted by: embarcadero at April 14, 2009 11:13 AM
To Sausalito: you [know] not of what you speak. I live in an open-floor condo and I use my kitchen pretty much daily and when I entertain I love being able to see out into my living/dining area as I work. My guests love being able to hang in the kitchen too as I'm cooking without feeling isolated from the rest of the group.
It's a matter of both personal taste, and yes, hygiene. Open kitchens aren't for the clutter-bug, constant dishes-in-the-sink crowd.
I don't feel the need to have forty plates and a collection of collectibles in cabinets. I, like many, but perhaps not you, prefer to have pretty much only what I need, plus a little extra for guests. Again, if you pick up after yourself, not having tons of plateware and flatware and glassware actually works, and looks nice in full view.
Posted by: deshard at April 14, 2009 12:10 PM
Condos are free of rent control from the day it is recorded as such, not from the day it is first sold as a condo. If they convert to condos, the sitting tenant loses rent control.
I converted a building in the 1990s, and when a tenant questioned it, the city actually sent me a letter confirming this.
Posted by: Conifer at April 14, 2009 12:33 PM
It's possible to have the kitchen open to the living area without the counter tops being visible by having a short half-wall concealing countertop activities from the guests outside the kitchen. That's my preference but I notice that many new units are not built that way.
It's obviously a design trend of recent years but I wonder if kitchen remodels of the future will provide for greater separation.
Posted by: SausalitoRes at April 14, 2009 12:38 PM
Conifer, what were the circumstances leading the city to send you a letter? My wife is a city attorney and they are generally very careful not to provide anything that could be considered legal advice. Whoever wrote it may or may not have interpreted the statutes and ordinances correctly. Merely converting to a condo does not remove rent control protections. The owner first needs to sell to a bona fide purchaser to do that (and then it becomes exempt under state law). However, the mere act of conversion does allow the owner to evict a rent-controlled tenant for the purposes of selling the unit. So to that extent there is immediate relief (for the owner) from the rent control ordinance.
Posted by: Trip at April 14, 2009 12:48 PM
An open kitchen has changed my life - Seriously...
I can cook and do dishes while keeping an eye on the kids playing in the living room. If you have kids - you realize that 1/2 your life is spent cooking and cleaning-up after meals. This is a huge plus...
Posted by: diffanon at April 14, 2009 1:45 PM
$4500 is a bit much, even for a "don't know what we are doing" wishing rent.
$2700-$3000 is more reasonable, but if I were the seller, I'd offer at the low end and cut aggressively until it is rented. A few months of vacancy are hard to make up, particularly as rents decline.
This is what happens when purchase prices balloon, but wages remain flat.
Of all the households in SF, only the top 10% are earning at least 220K -- and these would need to pay about 40% of their disposable income to rent this unit. I know several households in this bracket, and none of them are renting. Although some used to. Of those that did, they never paid more than 2.5K in rent, precisely because they were trying to save up to buy a house.
But, of all the housing choices available -- both owning and renting -- does anyone here believe that this rental is in the top 10% in terms of desirability? Even the top 1/3?
Posted by: Robert at April 14, 2009 1:45 PM
The tenants wanted proof, and the city sent a letter to both. Unfortunately, I cannot find it, because we have since moved, but later tenants also inquired and were given the same information by phone.
Posted by: Conifer at April 14, 2009 1:46 PM
It would be in the top 1/5th for me. I like the neighborhood and I like the building. There are only two in my household so the amount of space is fine. I would want a W/D, however. I don't own a car so I don't care about parking, really.
I imagine that this place will rent for 3.5 - 4K, but I could be out of touch. That's the range for where I'm living, which is in many ways similar to this.
Other than parking and laundry, what else would make this place less than extremely desirable?
Posted by: Embarcadero at April 14, 2009 3:23 PM
Well, E@A, the top fifth of households prefer to own their home, generally speaking. I mean 1/3 own, and it's not the bottom third :)
But not all -- I'm sure that there are some looking to rent, at least temporarily. However, that decile earns 125-150K, so the rent would need to be about 2700/month, if they spend 30% of their disposable income on rent.
Posted by: Robert at April 14, 2009 3:51 PM
Just one data point here. We're in the top decile, the kind of family realtors loved to claim SF was full of (2 earners above 200K).
First of all, we're not sure about SF's place in our future. Tech is solid here, finance less so.
Secondly, we rent because we thought it was absolutely ridiculous to throw money away during a bubble. Having moved here from Hong Kong, we know what a bubble looks like, and what the aftermath can do to people.
We're quite content to rent for the time being. If places like this come to be reasonably priced (a reasonable multiple of the rent they would fetch on the market tomorrow), we'd be interested. Until then, no thanks.
Posted by: extra anonymous at April 14, 2009 4:05 PM
I think the paneling makes it work, actually. I like it.
Posted by: kthnxybe at April 14, 2009 4:34 PM
electric base board heaters! nice
Posted by: sometech at April 14, 2009 4:46 PM
To give some more perspective on the 4.5K asking rent, in 2007 there were about 200,000 rental units in the city, but of these, only the top 14% commanded a rent of more than 2,000 dollars.
There were about 46,000 renter households with incomes of 100,000 or more. Of these "wealthy" households, only about 390 devoted more than 35% of their household income for rent.
The median rent paid was $1,147, and upper quartile rent was $1,671.
Posted by: Robert at April 14, 2009 11:55 PM
I've never understood why someone would want to shell out that much for a rental. It's a nice location that's worth buying to own but to throw that much money away?
Posted by: anon at April 15, 2009 2:14 AM
The reason people rent at prices like that is simple: the cost of owning a place like that is simple: the costs of ownership simply do not justify the outlay of capital.
We don't spend more than 20% on housing (and our rent is in the same range). To buy something similar would either tie up a huge amount of capital or require us to shoulder carrying costs that are just not worth it.
Posted by: extra anonymous at April 15, 2009 7:00 AM