Mission Bay Medical Center Site: 1/5/10 (www.SocketSite.com)

The abatement (asbestos) and demolition of the warehouses at 1900 3rd Street is moving quickly, and site prep for UCSF’s new Mission Bay Medical Center is scheduled to begin in March. If all goes as planned, the new facility should be ready for operations in 2014.

The buildings being built (image credit to Anshen + Allen and click either to enlarge).

And aerial context (albeit a bit old) for how it all fits for UCSF.

UCSF Mission Bay Campus Aerial Map

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Invented

    Wow, is that a massive suburban surface parking lot in pedestrian-friendly MB? Hospital use notwithstanding, a questionable use of prime space, but perhaps (let’s hope) it’s temporary.

  2. Posted by joah

    Should bode well for Potrero Hill and DogPatch condos/SFHs. Valuations may mimic those in Cole Vally as MDs and professors start transferring over to the new campus

  3. Posted by Gil

    I am surprised too at the huge plot devoted to ground surface parking. Certainly the hospital needs space for beaucoup parking but why didn’t they go for a 4 or 5 story parking structure? That would have freed up land for more open space or medical related office devlopment.
    It’s truly a perplexing and disappointing decision to do a massive gound level parking lot in Mission Bay.
    Its another in a string of very disappointing architecture and, in this case, use decisions. What a missed opportunity Mission Bay has turned into.

  4. Posted by Jordan

    Gil, for the first time ever, I completely agree with you.
    However, having surface parking doesn’t preclude UCSF from eventually putting up a parking structure. If the economics ever make sense, it may some day rise!

  5. Posted by rr

    The new Mission Bay Hospital is going to be a high-priority trauma center in case of major catastrophe. The open parking lot will double as a triage area in case we ever face a major disaster, which is why it’s so large and unlikely to go away in the near future.
    One other note- the first photo is taken from the corner of 16th and 3rd, facing west. The first illustration is taking from the top of genentech hall, facing south east. If you were to place the photographer in the first illustration, he/she would be at the end of 16th street where it runs off the left edge of the illustration, looking toward the labeled intersection.

  6. Posted by BobN

    When you build a suburban development, it’s not a stretch to include suburban parking lots.
    What a wasted opportunity Mission Bay is becoming.

  7. Posted by Mole Man

    The parking structure comes later along with the next round of development. This location will be in quick reach of downtown and UCSF is at the very edge of medical developments. The ample surrounding trees and open space in front and on the roof should contribute a great deal, and the views might aid healing. This hospital stands to serve a great many very well over a long period.

  8. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    rr – a parking garage can be just as useful as a triage area as a ground level parking lot. Maybe more useful in inclement weather.
    As much as I dislike the sea of parking in this phase of the development, I’m pretty sure that it will eventually be built up. Even Valley Medical Center in low density San Jose started out this way, but eventually was built up to higher density. Currently VMC is far more dense than the surrounding areas.
    It might take 20 years for Mission Bay though !

  9. Posted by Delancey

    Where does the helipad go?

  10. Posted by Fishchum

    Milkshake – how useful would a multi-level parking garage be when it has just been flattened by an earthquake?

  11. Posted by Rob

    As someone who actively follows this website when it comes to Potrero Hill or Dogpatch the discussion is rarely abundantly positive. Usually it is a bunch of rhetoric about no reason to live there over Noe or any other part of the City someone wants to claim as their heaven within a single square mile radius. So i have to ask, when i hear people say what a wasted opportunity it has become, what exactly did people hope it to become? Was there some ideal district that people had in mind? We all knew it was going to be height capped mid/high-rises. So is the uproar about the lack of innovation of design?
    I get it if you are an Architect, but otherwise if Mission Bay fills in and cozies up nicely to Potrero Hill/Dogpatch/Showplace Square/SoMa to create a comfortable, pedestrian, engaging place is all of that lost simply because we havent created another postcard image? God forbid we be a city defined for the design of a Condo/office tower (i.e. Dubai), that nobody really gets to truly enjoy. Its not like there were ever plans for Museums and Galleries in Mission Bay which would have demanded innovation. It was always large business development mixed with Condo/Apartments, with green space thrown in for our eco-consciousness.
    I was born and raised in SF and know this city for its beauty, beyond what we hold up for the rest of the world to ogle and photograph. Sure another stylish building would be fun, feather in the cap, and that may yet come with the Eastern Neighborhood plan that is about a true waterfront, but a not so stylish or even bland building with a great human vibe, and neighborhood character from business and residents wouldnt be the worst thing, and that is not wholly dependent on design. Question is whether PEOPLE will make it that way or keep yelling about missed opportunities and how it isnt this place or that place.
    When all is said and done Mission Bay will mostly be populated during the day by its thousands of employees, and hopefully some nightlife will work its way in, but it was never going to be, or ever had the chance to be a true “waterfront” for the people. It was always going to be San Francisco’s version of Oyster Point built on stem cells and biotech just made a bit more livable. If opportunity was lost, it was lost long ago in the development plan, before the first pile was driven. Cutting edge design was never going to change that.

  12. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “how useful would a multi-level parking garage be when it has just been flattened by an earthquake?”
    If a parking garage is part of your emergency plan, then you engineer it to withstand a quake magnitude as large as your main hospital building can handle. Hopefully both won’t collapse !
    The helipad goes on the top deck. There’s an additional advantage because chopper arrivals/departures don’t blow dust all over your triage area.

  13. Posted by spencer

    “Should bode well for Potrero Hill and DogPatch condos/SFHs. Valuations may mimic those in Cole Vally as MDs and professors start transferring over to the new campus”
    most MDs, professors, nurses and other hospital workers cannot afford condos in potrero hill. So unless the prices come down to reality, this should not be a boon

  14. Posted by Delancey

    Ah, I see what looks like a helipad atop the building in the upper left corner of the 2nd image.

  15. Posted by two beers

    Considering the coming carnage in the next leg down of the housing bubble pop/worldwide economy collapse, a centrally located triage facility is well-considered. But isn’t it on bayfill? If so. it might be its own triage patient in the event of a major temblor…

  16. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    ^^^ yes, Mission Bay is on liquefaction prone soil, but we have been assured that the engineers have taken that into account mainly by driving the piles into bedrock.
    In a really big one, the buildings should remain intact enough to evacuate but would be inhabitable and totaled. Streets would likely be really torn up and possibly unusable.
    The Milkshake says : learn basic first aid. It might not be feasible to transport your loved ones to an overloaded hospital for initial care and it could take days for any semblance of emergency services to resume.

  17. Posted by luvinmissionbay

    “most MDs, professors, nurses and other hospital workers cannot afford condos in potrero hill. So unless the prices come down to reality, this should not be a boon”
    Really? Most single MDs I know can afford a condo in South Beach/Potrero/Mission Bay. Most certainly a dual income couple including any combo of MDs, profs, and nurses could well afford most condos in the area.

  18. Posted by Dan

    Earlier plans did show a garage, and I’m sure a garage will be built when there is funding. Development at Mission Bay happens in stages. Surface parking is present not to evoke suburbia, but to use the land until it is more intensely developed. Parking there does make sense, because the on/off ramps to 280 are just to the south on Mariposa, so cars can come directly onto the hospital campus with less impact on the surrounding community. A plot of land to the south of the surface parking lot will be a small park.

  19. Posted by Paul Hwang

    What’s with the funky collage at the top, is David Hockney moving to Mission Bay?

  20. Posted by Schlub

    Oh, good lord, get over the parking lot. If you guys weren’t on the internet and actually went down there you’d see three other multi-level parking structures within a hundred yard radius. As a matter of fact, they are some really amazingly well designed parking garages.
    My beef with the design of the area is the opposite – a bad plan for the ever growing masses of pedestrians and bicyclists. A grim lack of cross-walks, long pedestrian waits at crossings, and lack of defined bike lanes. I predict lawsuits in the future.

  21. Posted by Dan

    There’s no street parking allowed on the UCSF Mission Bay campus– they’ve concentrated all parking in the garages. This makes the campus great for biking– you won’t get doored.

  22. Posted by anonfedup

    If anyone was living in the city in the late 80’s, you may remember what the initial design plans for Mission Bay looked like. The idea that what was to be a car free dense urban neighborhood of housing, retail, offices, public parks and cultural spaces, all oriented around pedestrian view corridors to the bay with an amazing waterfront similar to what Chicago has, is now instead being turned into a suburban office park is beyond disappointing, but a sign of a city that has lost its energy.
    The parking lot is the LEAST of the problems with Mission Bay. Can you really imagine this prime urban land would be developed in such an unimaginative way in any other “world class” city?
    Do you really think this will be highlighted in the coming decades in design publications or universities as urban planning and design done well? When did Irvine and Cupertino become the urban design standard for Mission Bay?

  23. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    For a really appalling infill development that did not get built, check out le Corbusier’s Radiant city which would have obliterated a large swath of the 5th and replaced it with boring repetitive midrises : http://iamyouasheisme.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/that-human-scale/radiant-city/

  24. Posted by rr

    @Schlub
    I pointed out a few shortcomings to the city traffic engineer, who both replied via a snail mail letter and forwarded my concerns to a high-level coordinator at UCSF who additionally responded to some of them.
    Unfortunately, the response basically came down to ‘mission bay is changing. We are aware of things, but have no plans to fix them until everything is built’.

  25. Posted by SFHawkguy

    As someone who runs through here and has used the bike and pedestrian lanes I have the following two complaints:
    1. The pedestrian walkway by the Starbucks. Lots of people walk down 16th street to get to the campus and after crossing the railroad tracks and then veering through the cutaway by Starbucks there is no official crosswalk to cross the street on that little street (and lots of cars use that little street to get to the multi-level parking garage). As a runner I spring out into the street at this point and because I’m deer-like I don’t get hit (or does that make me unlike a deer?). But the lack of a cross walk does cause problems and there should be a walkway with lights installed (even though it’s only 1/2 block from 16th St.).
    2. The lack of bike lines on 3rd Street sucks. Maybe they will put them on 4th st. They haven’t totally opened 4th St. to traffic yet so I don’t know if if they intend to have bike lanes on 4th. It makes sense because that’s such a wide road (the soft asphalt and empty street currently make it an awesome running street). I don’t know why it’s so wide–it could fit 2 or 3 lanes in both directions. If they do put bike lanes on 4th St. they need to integrate the bike lanes into 3rd St. at the ballpark and at 16th by the railroad tracks so that people commuting through by bike have an easier time than they do now. It’s a natural bike commuting route (either to downtown or Portero Hill and the Mission or points South) and the problem of getting through the area currently causes people to avoid it. I chose to commute downtown via Valencia St. to Market Street instead of going through this area to downtown even though in would have been more direct to go through Mission Bay and it would be more pleasant to travel by bike lane down the Embarcadero.

  26. Posted by Gil

    “The parking lot is the LEAST of the problems with Mission Bay. Can you really imagine this prime urban land would be developed in such an unimaginative way in any other “world class” city?
    Do you really think this will be highlighted in the coming decades in design publications or universities as urban planning and design done well? When did Irvine and Cupertino become the urban design standard for Mission Bay?”
    Exactly. The architecture is institutional – well I guess that may fit the hospital but the condos built so far on 3rd are depressingly institutional and impersonal in design. I’ve walked there mid-day and the streets have a “cold” feel. They are clean to be sure but the condos are behind gates and security entrances and the cemented in sidewalks have little if any greenery.
    Does anyone recall one proposal that actually called for creating “canals” in the area? Bringing the waterfront reality to a new reality in the proposal?
    As to would this kind of prime waterfront land be developed in such an unimaginative way in any other world class city? No – but the error in that formulation is that San Francisco is not a world class city.

  27. Posted by Rob

    I still believe that San Francisco is a world class city, but i dont believe that Mission Bay was conceived as adding to that status. From as far back as i can remember Mission Bay was only conceived as a truly pedestrian, residential enclave in artist conceptions, but when it came down to actual planning it always seemed to be about UCSF, Biotech R&D and requisite additional housing.
    With that in mind and in the wake of the dot-com implosion you knew it was going to be build it fast, build it quick, throw in 1 design wrinkle here and there and try to supplement lost dot-com revenue as quick as possible. And that is what we have. Sure Mission Bay could have been something amazing, adored, but it was never really conceived as that in any real planning sense. So it is exactly what it was laid out to be. Surely a lost opportunity but just means that more thought, more planning, more outcry needs to go into what will come of the Eastern Neighborhood Plan or the Hunters Point Shipyard Redevelopment.
    There is no doubt that Mission Bay could have been conceived far more intelligently, but aside from maybe UCSF, none of the other players had any wider vision, and the City Planners never had a vision other than a bottom line for development fees, future property tax fees, and business taxes. The City never truly put requirements on Catellus when they transferred much of Mission Bay to them to develop and in turn Catellus took no responsibility for designing a neighborhood. Catellus is not in the business of generating unique and exquisite spaces and surely the City knew that when it transferred the property. Looking at Catellus’ other urban development projects http://www.catellus.com/our%5Fprojects/urban%5Fredevelopment/ our options appear to have been what we have, Emeryville, Alameda, or something similar to every residential community outside of Sacramento or Stockton. Either way a world class development was never in our grasp and that was essentially established in 1998.

  28. Posted by rr

    @SFHawkguy
    In regards to your item 1- I agree. What’s worse is the emails they have sent to us telling us that if we cross the street there, UCSF PD will ticket us for jaywalking, and instruct us to walk to either end of the block to the crosswalk.
    In regards to your item 2- 3rd street has always been designed to be the T-line and car/truck traffic thoroughfare with pedestrian and cycle traffic on 4th. 3rd street is supposed to be the ‘ugly’ way through, with 4th street lined with trees, grass, and shops. Unfortunately, only one condo complex borders 4th as of yet, with empty windows and part of 4th is closed due to construction of the seriously gigantic cardiovascular research institute (CVRI) building.
    @everyone else about the parking lot versus structure: I am not a doctor, but I wouldn’t want to use a parking garage as triage center, ever. Garages usually have one, maybe two points of entry, and a linear, non branching, traffic travel pattern. Ever tried to get out or in one when ballgame traffic is trying to get out? Imagine that, but with critically injured people and a ton of confusion thrown in. Can you imagine being triaged to the 8th level and have to work your way through everything else? Are you going to wheel people 6 stories down the garage if they need to be moved into the hospital? Or is everyone going to overload the 2-3 elevators.
    With a largely open lot you can have multiple points of entry and reserved traffic lines for each type of injury, minimizing jams and confusion, and you have an open path in/out of the hospital for transport of patients and equipment.
    I’m sure you could design a parking garage that would work in case it needed to be a triage, but it would be so overbuilt and overdesigned for the 99.99% of its life when it’s not serving that capacity.

  29. Posted by Gil

    “With that in mind and in the wake of the dot-com implosion you knew it was going to be build it fast, build it quick, throw in 1 design wrinkle here and there and try to supplement lost dot-com revenue as quick as possible. And that is what we have.”
    True about the speed to try to develop MB – I guess to capture bio-tech in the wake of the dot-com collapse.
    Ironically, it is looking like that the bio-tech promise will not play out. Pfizer last year scaled back significantly it’s planned presence in MB and the bio-tech that has settled there has been minimal.
    SSF will remain the bio-tech center of the Bay Area. The large bulk of high paying jobs will continue to build in SSF – the go-ahead for an additional 3 million square feet of research/bio-tech space in SSF is a sign that that MB will not be a significant competitor for “back office” bio-tech jobs. Pfizer is a likely portent of the future in its placing wehat amounts to little more than a satellite office at MB.
    Despite the best laid plans as they say. As it is playing out, MB is proving somewhat of a double loss for San Francisco.
    SSF

  30. Posted by anonn

    Sure it is, Gil. Sure it is. It’s a wrap. Only you know the score. They developed the area for nothing. Biotech as a rule hates being located near brand new world class research facilities. What a waste.
    Come on already. You’re a one trick pony.

  31. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    So the Burning Man headquarter on 3rd St will go? http://www.yelp.com/biz/burning-man-headquarters-san-francisco

  32. Posted by Po Hill Jeff

    Schlub, SFHawkGuy, rr:
    I think the reason we’re not hearing much about bike facilities on 4th is that primary north/south bike routes in that area already exist west of there on 7th and east of there on Illinois/Terry Francois. 4th is still a win for cyclists IMO because it opens a path for Dogpatch residents to get across Mariposa without going down to 3rd or up to Mississippi.

  33. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    Why do some cyclists what to put a bike lane on 3rd St? 3rd St sucks! I’m so much happier to bike on Illinois st and Terry Francois. It is almost car free. It may cost your an extra minute to detour to Illinois. But in return I have a lot more relaxing ride. If 4th St can be made into a great bike path than it is even better.

  34. Posted by SFHawkguy

    Here’s another blogger’s take on the lack of access for walkers and bicyclers:
    “Sure, more than enough lip service is there in the university’s plans. The core, common areas of the new campus are rather nice, feature numerous bike racks, and are calm places to be. The problem is that there is no easy, inviting way to make it to the campus by bike or on foot conveniently and safely.”
    http://bikeculturetheory.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/mission-bay-san-francisco-a-livable-streets-failure/
    I have to agree about the terrible access point where 16th Street crosses 280 and the train tracks. It doesn’t feel safe. It is very uninviting to pedestrians and bicyclists. There isn’t even a working or discernible sidewalk for a long block on 16th just West of the tracks. It is dimly lit. I imagine a number of people would not feel safe walking there at night.

  35. Posted by rr

    @SFHawkGuy
    The sidewalk is missing on that triangle where 7th and 16th meet. Last year, SocketSite featured plans for how they were going to develop that plot, which included pedestrian improvements (maybe Editor can help dig up that post)

  36. Posted by anonn

    There isn’t even a working or discernible sidewalk for a long block on 16th just West of the tracks. It is dimly lit. I imagine a number of people would not feel safe walking there at night
    One hundred percent agreed, there. Perhaps the development at 16th/7th/Mississippi will help to alleviate the wasteland feeling. But “train underneath freeway terminus” is always going to be sort of menacing.

  37. Posted by SFHawkguy

    Wai Yip Tung,
    If one is riding through from the southwest, say from the Mission, it really is inconvenient to use Terry Francois way. Plus, one must still cross either the 3rd or 4th St. bridges or ride on the sidewalk for a section.
    The above link also shows why it is difficult to use 16th street.
    I, for instance, coming from Noe Valley, found it to be such a hassle that wen commuting to the Embarcadero Center I chose to go down Valencia and Market rather than down 16th to the Embarcadero.
    Po Hill Jeff also notes that 7th is available.
    But none of these alternatives provide the smooth and safe commute that a Valencia to Market Street ride do. The 3rd and 4th Street bridges are particularly harrowing.
    I do agree that making 4th St. a bike lane is a good temporary solution. If there could be a continuous and safe bike lane from 16th to 4th Street, and then over the 4th St. bridge that would be better than what there is now.

  38. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Universities are notorious for creating a great bike/ped friendly campus while turning their backs to the surrounding neighborhoods and pushing automobile congestion to their perimeters. I think it has something to do with being exempt from the traffic mitigation measures that commercial developers are required to provide.

  39. Posted by nnona

    “Despite the best laid plans as they say. As it is playing out, MB is proving somewhat of a double loss for San Francisco. ”
    The sky is falling (hic)!!!!
    ————————————-
    “Come on already. You’re a one trick pony.”
    Wow, I agree with anonn here. Though of course anonn fails to see the irony here.

  40. Posted by spencer

    “Really? Most single MDs I know can afford a condo in South Beach/Potrero/Mission Bay. Most certainly a dual income couple including any combo of MDs, profs, and nurses could well afford most condos in the area.”
    Tha majority of single MDs under 40 make less than 200K and are in a world of debt. That doesn’t make a $800K condo affordable IMHO.
    With regards to the biotech conundrum, Gil is absolutely right. Biotechs are pulling out of Mission bay. Pfizer was suppossed to be the largest employer there and have pulled out opf deal. similary other companies have gone under who were suppossed to go to mission bay. Most biotechs prefer to stay in SSF where it is much cheaper to operate and where the majority of biotech employees already work. Mission Bay is not going to be a biotech hub.
    Rinat in SSF is now going to be Pfizer’s bay area hub. jnj has a bay area hub now in SSF and so does Roche, Amgen, etc. the big players will stay in SSF and small fry will continue to go under in MB. there are 15000 in SSF

  41. Posted by anonn

    Wow, I agree with anonn here. Though of course anonn fails to see the irony here.
    No, I knew the likes of you would say something along those lines. You can call asking for an appreciation of nuance when evaluating r.e. a trick if you like. But it’s not the only thing in my repertoire, and you know that.

  42. Posted by Jim

    This parking lot, like all parking lots, will go away when the land becomes too valuable for a parking lot.

  43. Posted by Fishchum

    Spencer, it always amazes me how out of touch you are with regards to pricing. Have you not seen what a one bedroom (presumably what a single MD would be looking for) is going for these days? You can get one for well below 600K these days. Heck, I’m seeing one bedroom units drop below $500K.

  44. Posted by anon

    Hmm. So $600K –> FHA loan means 3.5% down, so the loan amount is $579K. At 5% 30-year FHA fixed, that’d be a $3100 payment, roughly, then add tax, insurance, maintenance, HOA.
    I guess a single MD with massive loans could theoretically get a home loan *approved* for that if they had a $21K down payment, but I don’t know if I’d recommend it, just as a matter of budgeting. Just because your loan might be approved doesn’t mean you can actually *afford* it, which is a lesson from the boom years that people seem to be quickly forgetting.
    Clearly the people making the comments here aren’t the young docs that purportedly would do this. Why, as a young doc, would you want to saddle yourself with such an albatross and with that high a student loan balance? Especially when the overpriced condos in that area keep dropping in value…

  45. Posted by Po Hill Jeff

    Anyone have thoughts about what the Mission Bay development situation means (if anything) for Dogpatch?
    And another thing… is there any news on Esprit Park? I’ve still got my eye on that place, but things don’t look good (North building appears empty). Is anyone “plugged in”?

  46. Posted by Spencer

    i am in that demographic, however work for private biotech and make more than practicing physicians. i personally would never saddle myself with that debt.
    regarding fischum’s comment, I am aware of the 500K 1bdr condos. However, most MDs would not care to live in a 1bdr 500K cheaply made condo, when you can rent a nice 2 bdr apt with rent being half the mortgage costs.
    I pay $2K/mont in school loan repayments

  47. Posted by Charles

    I don’t understand the gripe about prices on socketsite. I recently moved from NYC, and there is always demand for housing in a quality city, with NYC and SF at the top of the list (in that order).
    I agree prices were way too high in 2006/2007, with prices for a 2/2 being upwards of $800k-900k+, and 1/1 being in the $600k area.
    In my estimation a 2/2 (and lets say 1000k sq ft) should go for around $600k-$700k and a 1/1 (and lets say 800 sq ft) should for around $450-550k. At those prices they are affordable to own.
    In fact, there are 2/2’s available at BLU, 829 Folsom, Palms, at those prices, just check the MLS,
    Where I think there will be further depreciation are the smaller 1/1s and 2/2s at the high end buildings like Infinity and ORH, because a couple of blocks away that is what the prices are at the buildings I mentioned. And I think its better to own a good unit in a reasonable location, than a crappy unit in a great location.

  48. Posted by luvinmissionbay

    “regarding fischum’s comment, I am aware of the 500K 1bdr condos. However, most MDs would not care to live in a 1bdr 500K cheaply made condo, when you can rent a nice 2 bdr apt with rent being half the mortgage cost”
    What does the cost/benefit analysis have to do with being a doctor? Just a wild guess that other professions could do similar cost/benefit analysis. The point is that additional well paying jobs will move into the area…no matter how you slice that (ie. rentals v. sales)…it can’t hurt.
    The whole doctor string started because someone said they could’ve afford it…that’s simply true.

  49. Posted by Dan

    Most UCSF docs (and people working in biotech) over 40 that I know do own condos or houses in SF. Often there are 2 incomes by time they buy, but not always.

  50. Posted by luvinmissionbay

    “The whole doctor string started because someone said they could’ve afford it…that’s simply true”
    WOW was that poorly written…I meant “the whole doctor string started because someone said they COULDN’T afford it…that’s simply NOT true.”
    I know many doctors already in the neighborhood. I also know many people (who are not doctors) but make less than the average doctor who afford owning a South Beach/Mission Bay/Potrero condo.

  51. Posted by Howie

    Opinion Wanted: Hey Socketsite, I am looking to buy a 2/2 (maybe a 1/2) in Southbeach or SOMA 4th & above (i.e. 3rd, 2nd, etc.).
    I am looking to spend no more than $675k, in a good building (preferably with lower HOAs). I am a strong buyer with at least $300k to put down. Have you seen anything or know of anything that would fit this description? I was looking at the Palms, but it seems kind of cheesy. I would prefer something in a more of a boutique building (though it doesn’t have to be).
    I also looked at BLU, but the for “E” floorplans just seem way to small.
    Any suggestions would really help!!

  52. Posted by anonn

    There are a few at the Metropolitan, there’s 555 4th, and there are a couple at the Bridgeview.

  53. Posted by Howie

    How would you rank those 3 properties? Would it be:
    Bridgeview #1
    Palms # 2
    Metropolitan #3
    And just out of curiousity, what do you think of 1635 California in Nob Hill?
    Are there any smaller boutique buildings or loft buildings that you could recommend (i.e. the Lansing, or 77 Dow)?

  54. Posted by anonn

    Is 555 4th the Palms? I’m not the guy to be asking about condos — not across the board. I’d rate the Bridgeview above the Metropolitan. Not too sure about the California property either.
    Have you ruled out the Central Waterfront? 1207 Indiana #9 is a 2/2 and quite cheap for 1589 feet.

  55. Posted by Howie

    Yes, 555 4th is the Palms.
    1207 Indiana seems nice, but the building is in litigation for water intrusion issues (besides it seems so very far away from the action in SF).

  56. Posted by brian

    Bridgeview first, based on your criteria – though HOAs are not cheap. Palms is scary with all of the short sales and foreclosures (more likely to come) – leading to many rental units, vacant units and the HOA may suffer from lack of payment by defaulters.

  57. Posted by OneEyedMan

    Howie –
    Are you looking for a building with some amenities, or not?

  58. Posted by Howie

    I really don’t care about building amenities. Things like a pool, gym, doorman, really do not make a difference to me.
    I’d likely only use the pool once a year (for those that have a place with a pool, how often do you truly use it), have a gym at work, and can handle my own getting/in out of the front door. So though they are nice to have, they are not a necessity.

  59. Posted by OneEyedMan

    We live at 246 2nd, around the corner from Blu, which gets frequently knocked around here on SS due to not having amenities. We lived in a high-rise apt with many amenities which we never used. So, when we were buying we knew we didn’t need all the high maintenance / high HOA bells and whistles. The building is also currently in litigation on some construction defect issues (can’t let that 10 year window close on you), which I predict will be settled within the next few months. The building is solid, well maintained, and well managed. When I went to the last HOA board meeting it was reported that there are no (That’s 0) HOA delinquencies. 199 New Montgomery is also nice. 333 3rd St seems to be holding it’s own. I would avoid the Palms like the plague. There and Beacon don’t seem to be able to find a bottom. Do you like the design at Portside? That was our #2 choice. Lots of noise from the bridge though. I’m not a relitter – just talking from experience when we were shopping for a 2/2 in the same area.

  60. Posted by Howie

    @OneEyedMan…Thanks for the insight.
    246 2nd was on my list, along with the others that you mentioned. Unfortunately there is not a lot of inventory in those places on the market currently, which is bumming me out.

  61. Posted by Legacy Dude

    ^^^^
    That’s because a lot of the current owners in these buildings paid 20% more than they could sell for right now. My hope is that BLU gets more realistic on prices once One Hawthorne hits the market, which should be any day now.
    I’m familiar with all of these buildings as well, and I’m surprised most folks rank the Bridgeview above the Met. Personally, I’d rather live a block down from the bridge than directly under it. Plus the Met’s pool is indoors.

  62. Posted by Howie

    You are so right. I have seen places that list for $650k that sold for over $900k at peak. I guess they will never be able to get out from under the weight of their purchase.
    One Hawthorne is really nice (the sales center is open), however, on top of the HOA they charge $300/month for valet parking, so I have excluded it from my list.

  63. Posted by anon

    Howie,
    You should strongly consider 88 Townsend. Small boutique building in an excellent location (real South Beach). A lot of character with the brick facade, low HOA, deeded parking and a killer roof deck. Prices are stable. 2 recent 1 bedrooms went for $620k but there’s a new listing for a 1 bedroom for $575k. I don’t think there was ever a short sale in the building.
    (Not a realtor, nor an owner with the unit for sale.) Just think it’s a great option compared to other buildings in the area.

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