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April 19, 2010

Up, Out, And Fake Rocks Be Gone At 159 Downey

159 Downey circa 2006 (Image Source: MapJack.com)

As the onetime dry rot and insect infected 159 Downey looked when purchased for $895,000 in August 2006 above. As the newly expanded (both horizontally and vertically), exterminated, remodeled and refaced single-family Victorian looks today:

159 Downey

Asking $2,295,000 in 2010. And besides the stomach saving vinyl-and-rock-ectomy out front, it was the La Cornue in the kitchen that caught our eye inside.

159 Downey Kitchen

∙ Listing: 159 Downey (4/3.5) - $2,295,000 [Zephyr] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Comments (50)

Alexandria Theater Plans A Few Weeks From First Public Screening

Recently designated a "vacant building," and already looking a little less blighty, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and detailed plans for the development of the long shuttered Alexandria Theater are expected to be released within the next few weeks.

No word on whether or not the outcry from local residents that "forced the warring factions" (owners versus City Planning) to speed up the development process will now turn to outcry from others over what’s planned (and slow it back down).

And of course, if you happen to already have any bootleg copies of the renderings, please feel free to send them our way (tips@socketsite.com).

UPDATE: As a number of readers and tipsters alike have since noted, The Richmond District Blog scored a preview (one frame from which is now above).

Now Showing At The Shuttered Alexandria Theater: Blight [SocketSite]
Richmond theater cleans up act [San Francisco Examiner]
First look at the Alexandria Theater project plans [richmondsfblog.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Comments (9)

Tamalpais Bank Falls (Thanks To The Lembis?)

On Friday the California Department of Financial Institutions shut down Tamalpais Bank and named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as Receiver. As a plugged-in tipster notes (and correctly predicted): "Collateral damage from the Lembi implosion."

And apparently Union Bank has acquired the banks assets.

Flipping A Few Lembi Properties Through Foreclosure [SocketSite]
The Story (And Faces) Behind The Rise And Fall Of The Lembis [SocketSite]
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial's Union Bank Buys Failed US Lender [Wall Street Journal]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:15 AM | Comments (3)

2734-2736 Buchanan: Apples To Apples And Unlisted (For Now)


Not (yet) listed on the MLS but on the market and asking $4,995,000, 2743 Buchanan features a legal studio on the ground floor (along with two-car parking and a wine cellar); three bedrooms (and three baths) on the second floor; a rather nicely remodeled kitchen and a pair of NanaWalls on the third floor; and a roof deck with big bay views above.

Purchased for $5,101,000 in September 2005 having already undergone its renovation.

∙ Listing: 2734-36 Buchanan (4/4.5) - $4,995,000 [ninahatvany.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Comments (22)

April 16, 2010

Catch A Peek While You Can...

3176 Washington: Kitchen

If you’re interested in the completely renovated 3176 Washington we might suggest taking a look soon, because in the word of a plugged-in tipster with no ties to the property, "Will be gone in a week." And plugged-in people shouldn't be caught by surprise.

∙ Listing: 3176 Washington (4/4.5) - $3,195,000 [3176washington.com] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Comments (51)

Over Asking But Down At/From The Top Of The (Water)mark

501 Beale #PH1E: Living

The bank-owned sale of Watermark (501 Beale) penthouse #1E closed escrow on 4/13 with a reported contract price of $1,230,000 (an official $6,000 "over asking").

Once again, the corner penthouse condo was purchased for $1,523,000 in January 2007 before being taken back by the bank with $1,349,628 owed in September 2009.

And we'll call it an apples-to-apples sale at 19 percent under its year 2007 price.

Moving On Up Down For A Bank Owned Penthouse In The Sky [SocketSite]
A Pair Of Bank-Owned Penthouses Atop The Watermark (501 Beale) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Comments (9)

Sales Office Stats: 555 Bartlett, 829 Folsom, LindenHayes, And Union

Sales office stats by way of the San Francisco Business Times for a few of the smaller new condo developments about town:

555 Bartlett: 31 (including 9 BMR) of 46 units in contract
829 Folsom: 19 of 69 units in contract
LindenHayes: 21 of 31 units in contract
Union: 64 of 76 units in contract or closed

"Pricing of these projects is a good 25 to 30 percent below the peak of the last cycle with prices hovering in the $600 to $750 a square foot range now. Buyers are bargaining hard while developers are lucky to recoup their equity or eke out a slim profit.”

San Francisco condos rebound — in a small way [San Francisco Business Times]
Snap! 555 Bartlett In Living Color [SocketSite]
829 Folsom Cuts Prices And Pushes For April Closings [SocketSite]
233 Franklin Dubbed "LindenHayes" (And An Overview Now Online) [SocketSite]
The Union Of 76 New Units At 2101/2125 Bryant [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Comments (14)

April 15, 2010

San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity In March: Up 50.6% YOY

San Francisco Recorded Sales Median and Volume: March 2010 (www.SocketSite.com)

According to DataQuick, recorded home sales volume in San Francisco was up 50.6% on a year-over-year basis last month (500 recorded sales in March ’10 versus 332 sales in March ‘09) and up 52.9% as compared to the month prior.

For context, March sales figures for San Francisco from 2004 to 2008 were 749 (2004), 731 (2005), 631 (2006), 640 (2007), and 508 (2008). And from 2004 to 2009 the average February to March sales volume gain was 39.3%.

San Francisco's median sales price in March was $675,000, up 11.0% compared to March ’09 ($608,000) and up 7.6% compared to the month prior.

For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in March was up 10.5% on a year-over-year basis and up 40.2% from the month prior (6,992 recorded sales in March '10 versus 6,325 in March ’09 and 4,987 in February '10), while the recorded median sales price rose 31.0% on a year-over-year basis, up 7.3% compared to the month prior. Continue to think mix (and seasonality).

Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – made up 31.7 percent of the resale market last month. That was down from 36.3 percent in February and down from 50.2 percent in March 2009. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52 percent in February 2009.
As sales of lower-cost foreclosures have tapered off over the past year, sales in many mid-to high-priced neighborhoods have picked up, helping to explain why the median sale price has posted double-digit annual gains of late. Last month 34.6 percent of the homes sold in the Bay Area were priced $500,000 or above, up from 32.6 percent in February and 24.1 percent a year ago. However, $500,000-plus sales still lag their five-year monthly average of 53.3 percent of all sales and their 10-year average of 46.0 percent.

Within the Bay Area, San Francisco recorded the greatest year-over-year increase in March sales volume while Contra Costa recorded a 13.8% decline (a loss of 281 transactions) on a 25.0% increase in median sales price. Only Napa county recorded a year-over-year decrease in median sales price (-3.4%).

As always, keep in mind that DataQuick reports recorded sales which not only includes activity in new developments, but contracts that were signed ("sold") many months or even years prior and are just now closing escrow (or being recorded).

Bay Area March home sales and median price rise [DQNews]
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity In February: Up 20.2% YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:45 PM | Comments (92)

Designs For Building Senior Housing At 121 Golden Gate Avenue

121 Golden Gate Avenue Rendering: Golden Gate Avenue Elevation

The proposed project [at 121 Golden Gate Avenue] would consist of the demolition of an existing 40‐foot‐high building and the construction of a new 99‐foot‐high, ten‐story building with one basement level, containing a total of approximately 109,375 gross square feet (gsf) comprising a kitchen/dining hall, philanthropic/social services, and 90 affordable senior housing units. No off‐street parking would be provided with the project.


The existing two‐story, approximately 42,468‐gsf building on the site was constructed in 1912, and contains a dining hall/kitchen, philanthropic/social services space, and accessory office space.


The project would require Conditional Use authorization for construction of a building exceeding a height of 40 feet, for the elimination of off‐street parking, for setback requirements, for rear yard requirements, and for establishment of a social service or philanthropic facility above the ground floor. The project would also require a variance for loading and approval of a subdivision into two air rights parcels.

The St. Anthony Foundation and Mercy Housing are the project sponsors, the architect is Hardison Komatsu Ivelich & Tucker, and the estimated cost of construction $39,000,000.

Project construction is expected to occur over a period of approximately 20 months, with demolition, foundation reconstruction, and site grading occurring over a period of three months. Construction is anticipated to begin during the fall of 2010.

And as the reality and renderings show, "The proposed project would retain or replace the single street tree along the Jones Street frontage of the site, as well as add up to nine street trees to the front of the property."

Yes please (and not just with respect to the trees).

121 Golden Gate Avenue Notice Of Environmental Impact Report (EIR) [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Comments (45)

Soma Grand Sales Banner Is [Coming] Down As One Unit Remains

1160 Mission #1508

The tips started rolling in last week as Soma Grand residents received word that the sales banners on the side of the building were coming down ("you will now be able to enjoy your views!") and the last of the elevators was un-permanently-padded.

And as of yesterday, only one new unit remained available and the list price for 1160 Mission #1508 was reduced by another $40,000. Now asking $899,000 but noting "BRING OFFER" for the 1,201 square foot two-bedroom former model unit with city views.

Keep in mind Unit #1708 sold for $900,000 this past November while #1208 sold for $840,000 in December (both 1,201 square feet as well).

And cheers to all involved. It’s hard to believe it's been three years.

∙ Listing: 1160 Mission #1508 (2/2) 1,201 sqft - $899,000 [MLS]
The Soma Grand: The SocketSite Straight Scoop [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 AM | Comments (53)

April 14, 2010

Guest Editorial: Redonkulous Rincon Hill Development Fees?

Official Rincon Hill Area

It’s a guest editorial from Rincon Hill resident Jamie Whitaker related to yesterday’s Board of Supervisors’ approval of $1,844,273 in grants from the SOMA Community Stabilization Fund (funded by way of fees for developing within the Rincon Hill Plan Area):

The SOMA Community Stabilization Fund has collected $6.6 million from developments within the 14-block portion of South of Market that falls within the Rincon Hill Plan Area – that amount is from the single development that actually got built, One Rincon Hill.
Nearly five years after the Rincon Hill Plan was written into Section 318 of the San Francisco Planning Code, the justification for the adding the $14 per square foot fee for the SOMA Community Stabilization Fund (on top of the anticipated development fees paid for affordable housing and infrastructure) seems ridiculous. The justification was that exceeding the former height limits and allowing high-density housing near our mass transit and jobs hub in the downtown would destabilize the residents and businesses in South of Market.
There was never a nexus study conducted by the Planning Department to affirm that only high-rise developments between Folsom and Bryant and Second and Steuart Streets have a destabilizing impact on the rest of SOMA. The fee was born in the Board of Supervisor chambers after Planning had already gone through the process of meeting with Rincon Hill residents and creating the Plan.
While many of us living in Rincon Hill appreciate the public benefits of services provided by the 19 non-profits awarded the nearly $2 million yesterday, the very existence and rationale without a nexus study of the fee leaves a bad taste in our mouths. It is hard to believe that high-rise buildings east of 2nd Street and between Folsom and the Bay Bridge cause any greater impact on SOMA residents and businesses than those high-rises constructed west of 2nd Street.
If there is an impact, why shouldn’t the fee be applicable to all developments that create the impact instead of discriminating against just the 14 blocks within the Rincon Hill Plan Area?
There are several high-rise buildings, some right around the corner from the alleys of residents supposedly impacted by such tall residential buildings. If there is no impact, as could be proven by a legitimate nexus study, why impede the redevelopment of the Rincon Hill area with this additional $14 per square foot fee?
It is a shame that these fees were collected to provide one-time payments to non-profits instead of possibly funding the first public green open spaces in Rincon Hill that can be enjoyed by many for years to come. Instead, the Rincon Hill Plan Area does not have a single park, only lots of land awaiting more infrastructure fees to pay for Guy Place Pocket Park’s development and possibly state grant money to pay for the Harrison Street Park at Fremont (fronting 333 Harrison as proposed).
Again, this isn’t frustration with the non-profits benefitting from the nearly $2 million, but a frustration with fees and taxes that have no justification and should not be allowed to continue to exist without such a basis.

Our angle, recognizing we’re in a radically different market as compared to 2005, might not incentives for developers to invest in San Francisco, add residences and residents to a neighborhood still in search of its critical mass, and increase recurring tax revenues from the Rincon Hill area pay greater dividends than any one-time fee?

Now extend that thinking beyond simply Rincon Hill.

SF BOS Resolution: SOMA Community Stabilization Fund Expenditures [www.sfbos.org]
Rincon Hill Plan [sf-planning.org]
Michael Kriozere (ORH) Responds: We're Planning To Pay, Damn It! [SocketSite]
Putting Some Green On Guy Place: A Rincon Mini Park In The Works [SocketSite]
Harrison Street Park [harrisonstreetpark.com]
A Plugged-In Reader's 12 Notes On The "PC" Approved 333 Harrison [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Comments (17)

It Must Have Been The Staging: 1940 Buchanan Edition

Purchased for $729,000 in August 2000, the Lower Pacific Heights condo at 1940 Buchanan resold at $800,000 in June 2004 for average annual appreciation of 2.5 percent.

Returned to the market this past January asking $879,000, as a plugged-in tipster notes the list price has since been reduced down to $799,000.

It must have been the staging ("Restaged: come for a 2nd look").

∙ Listing: 1940 Buchanan (2/1) 1,480 sqft - $799,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Comments (19)

21 Villa Terrace (Re)Joins The Clarendon Heights Contemporary Fray

21 Villa Terrace Living

Eighteen foot ceilings over the living room, dining "room," kitchen and entry; big views from the windows and decks; and four bedrooms and four and one-half baths over four thousand plus square feet.

Listed for $3,350,000 in February 2009 before being withdrawn at $2,950,000 in June, five days ago 21 Villa Terrace re-joined the contemporary Clarendon Heights listed fray of five active and available homes asking over two million with a new new list price of $2,795,000.

The home was purchased for $1,900,000 in July 2003 having sold as new for $2,125,000 in March 2001.

∙ Listing: 21 Villa Terrace (4/4.5) 4,051 sqft - $2,795,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Comments (13)

Green Landscaping Ordinance Gets The Green Light

A planning code amendment “to address screening, greening, street tree, and permeability requirements; creating definitions for “vehicle use area,” “ornamental fencing,” and “permeable surface;” [creating] requirements for the establishment of new street trees, replacement of dead street trees, and removal of street trees and [defining] climate appropriate standards for plantings in the public right-of-way” (a.k.a. the Green Landscaping Ordinance) was passed by the Board of Supervisors yesterday.

For the most part the new requirements are triggered upon new construction or an addition, or the paving or repaving of more than 200 square feet of a front setback.

San Francisco Planning Code Amendment: Green Landscaping Ordinance [sfbos.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Comments (14)

Apples-To-Apples The Sale Of 188 King Street #309 Strikes Out

188 King Street #309

Speaking of new developments at the mouth of Mission Creek and around AT&T Park, as we wrote in November:

Purchased for $780,000 in August 2006, the "almost new" 188 King Street #309 returned to the market this past May asking $850,000. Reduced to $750,000 in June and then $629,000 in September, yesterday the asking price was reduced to $599,000.
A sale at $599,000 would represent a 23% drop in value for this South Beach condo over the past three years.

Two days ago the sale of 188 King Street #309 closed escrow with a reported contract price of $575,000 (26% under its purchase price in 2006).

Mission Creek Then And Now (And Remembrances Of RVs Past) [SocketSite]
The Scoop On 188 King Street: Now Selling Leasing [SocketSite]
Apples To Apples For 188 King: 2006 To 2009 (Versus 2006 To 2008) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Comments (42)

April 13, 2010

Mission Creek Then And Now (And Remembrances Of RVs Past)

Mission Creek 2003 (Image Source: SFGate.com)

It’s a nice then (2003) and now look down Mission Creek to AT&T Park from the Chronicle.

Mission Creek 2010 (Image Source: SFGate.com)

"The area next to the ballpark had just 540 residents in the 2000 census" but since then the "population has grown more than tenfold to 6,570." A show of hands from those who remember the old RV park that once was the center of the neighborhood.

AT&T Park at 10: A home run of an urban concept [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Comments (38)

555 Washington: Round Four On Hold Pending EIR Appeal

With the legal appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of 555 Washington’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) pending (which we’ll call round three), the Planning Commission’s follow-up votes with respect to height, open space, wind and parking exceptions for the project (round four) are on an indefinite hold.

We will note, however, most of the items (with the exception of the open space variance) currently carry a preliminary recommendation of "approval with conditions" or the like.

555 Washington EIR Appeal: An Expected Response (From Both Sides) [SocketSite]
555 Washington Round Two Vote Redux: EIR Approved But… [SocketSite]
Let’s Get Ready To Rumble Over 555 Washington [SocketSite]
555 Washington: Round One Goes To The Opponents (But No KO) [SocketSite]
San Francisco Planning Commission Calendar: Thursday, April 15 [sf-planning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2010

48 Linda: Apples To Apples Another Bit(e) Of 2008 Inventory Returns

48 Linda

Purchased in 2005 for $1,111,500 but then extensively remodeled in 2006 (directed by architect Neal Schwartz), the nearly 3,000 square foot single-family home at 48 Linda sold in 2008 for $2,205,000 with all the bells and whistles (including an espresso machine).

48 Linda: Kitchen

Back on the market today and asking $2,249,000. And perhaps it’s simply a coincidence, but the seller in 2008 and the seller’s agent today do share the same name.

∙ Listing: 48 Linda (4/2.5) - $2,249,000 [MLS]
SocketSite's San Francisco Listed Housing Inventory: 4/12/10 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Comments (36)

Not Louvered But Not Unloved: 1234 Howard #2C Returns

Not louvered as it’s on the back side of the Stanley Saitowitz designed (and lived-in) building, 1234 Howard #2C is back on the market and asking $639,000 (purchased for $587,000 in December 2007).

∙ Listing: 1234 Howard #2C (1/1) 886 sqft - $639,000 [MLS]
Those Amazing Automated Aluminum Louvers On 1234 Howard [SocketSite]
1234 Howard: The Budget To Build (Around $200 A Square Foot) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Comments (12)

Infinity Owners Association To "G": Give Us An "F"-ing Break

It’s not our usual fare, but considering the Defendant’s public persona (not to mention cover stories and sundry press releases concerning his Infinity penthouse pad), we’re running the story.

Citing "excessive late-night and early-morning noise…including loud music vibrating the ceiling and the sound of loud footsteps and high heel shoes," complaints "regarding cigar debris being thrown and dropped from the Defendant’s balcony," and a verbal assault on the building’s lobby ambassador, the Infinity Owners Association is now suing Gurbaksh Chahal (a.k.a. "G"), owner of Infinity Tower I Penthouse #37B.

Apparently a disciplinary hearing this past December which resulted in a fine and three month suspension from using the building’s fitness center didn’t do the trick ("Defendant has continued to use the facility").

The full legal filing by way of a plugged-in tipster:

Infinity v G

Infinity Penthouse Unit 37B: Before And After (And The Budget) [SocketSite]
Infinity Owners Association Versus Gurbaksh Chahal ("G") [scribd.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Comments (112)

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