May 24, 2010
Don’t Put A Fork In Spork Quite Yet (The Appeal Of 1050 Valencia)
Having already been postponed from April, on Thursday the Planning Commission will entertain a requested continuance until July 8 for the hearing of an appeal of the Planning Department's preliminary EIR approval for the proposed 1050 Valencia project.
Once again, as proposed the project would demo the former Kentucky Fried Chicken and current Spork and build a five-story building with 16 dwelling units over a new 3,500 square foot full-service restaurant space in its place (which the operators of Spork would have the first right of refusal to occupy).
The preliminary Commission recommendation is to uphold the preliminary approval.
∙ Time To Stick A Spork In 1050/8 Valencia? (Figuratively This Time) [SocketSite]
Russian Hill Apples (2006) To Apples (2008) But Remodeled Since
With some rather big views from the sitting area aside the top floor master suite, 1219 Lombard changed hands in 2006 for $3,150,000 and then again in 2008 for $3,189,500.
Since then the interior has been remodeled, a loft space added, the wine room has been repurposed as a laundry room (damn that utilitarian decision making), and permits have been filed to extend the square footage of the single-family home.
All that being said, the Russian Hill home has returned to the market asking $3,059,000.
∙ Listing: 1219 Lombard (3/2) - $3,095,000 [MLS]
Existing U.S. Home Sales Up In April Along With Inventory
Existing U.S. home sales jumped 26 percent on a year-over-year basis to a 5.77 million annual rate in April, the deadline month to be in contract in order to qualify for a federal homebuyer’s tax credit. Inventories of existing homes for sale climbed to 4.04 million.
45 Lansing: Busy
As For The Bees As Another Extension Is Expected
The proposal was originally approved on March 15, 2007 under Motion No. 17397 to demolish the existing office building and construct a tower reaching 400 feet (exclusive of mechanical penthouses) and consists of approximately 227 dwelling units and up to 227 non‐independently accessible parking spaces.
The proposal included exceptions to allow greater than one parking space for every two units, to provide off‐site open space in lieu of on‐site, and for dwelling unit exposure. The project included extensive streetscape improvements for Lansing Street between First Street and Essex Street.
Granted an entitlement extension for the project on June 11, 2009 (which expired March 15, 2010), on Thursday the Planning Commission is expected to grant another 12 month extension which would extend the performance period for the project to March 15, 2011.
∙ The Turnberry (45 Lansing) Scoop: Construction Starting Early 2009? [SocketSite]
∙ The 45 Lansing SocketSite Scoop: Turnberry Quietly Shopping The Lot [SocketSite]
∙ Lansing Street Pollinator Garden [pollinator.org]
Presidio Landmark Priced And On Track For An Opening In July
...asking rates on junior one-bedrooms, which weigh in at 500 square feet, will be $2,125 a month. Full one-bedrooms, most of which are about 850 square feet, will average $2,875 a month. And two-bedrooms, which range in size from 1,000 square feet to 1,500 square feet, will average $4,325 a month. Parking will be $150 a month for an outdoor spot, and $200 a month for a space in the underground garage.
Once again, 154 units with floor plans online (and a rather big backyard).
∙ Presidio Landmark Building 1801 Recovering Nicely From Wingectomy [SocketSite]
∙ Forest City rises in Presidio [San Francisco Business Times]
∙ From Graffiti Canvas To Apartment Campus: PHSH Breaking Ground [SocketSite]
May 21, 2010
"Kokoris Residence" (50 Mountain Spring Avenue) Hits The Market
Speaking of award winning modern design (and big views), the Jensen Architects designed "Kokoris Residence" (a.k.a. 50 Mountain Spring Avenue) has hit the market in Clarendon Heights asking $2,999,000.
An existing hillside home is transformed with the addition of a re-imagined contemporary front porch. Floating concrete steps lead to the cantilevered cast-in-place concrete porch, which hovers above a new waterfall and tiled reflecting pool.
The pool, lined with artisan ceramic tile in shimmering shades of blue, creates a dramatic transition from city street to residential interior. A vitrine-like, all-glass, entry vestibule leads to an automatic sliding translucent door, which slowly opens to reveal panoramic views of the city below.
Project costs were reported at $500 per square foot for those areas which were substantially remodeled plus $1,925,000 for the pre-existing home.
UPDATE (5/22): A bit of the before and work in progress:
∙ Listing: 50 Mountain Spring Avenue (4/3.5) 3,448 sqft - $2,999,000 [MLS]
∙ Kokoris Residence [Jensen Architects]
Whole Foods Here By End Of The Year As Cala Gutting Commences
As a plugged-in tipster notes, the gutting of the old Cala Foods at the corner of Stanyan and Haight has commenced with the scaled back small format Whole Foods currently expected to open in time for the December holidays.
A Noe Apple (Not Counting The New Red Range In Which To Roast)
As previously noted the kitchen of 1461 Sanchez was slightly rearranged and a new Bertazzoni installed, but for the most part we’ll consider it an apples-to-apples pair.
Purchased for $1,630,000 in September 2006, the sale of the single-family Noe home at 1461 Sanchez closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price of $1,598,000 ($727 per square foot).
Apples-to-apples it’s a net drop of two percent over the past four years (but not to be confused with a two percent drop from any neighborhood "peak").
147 Laidley: From AIA (Award) To WOW (Sale)
As we wrote this past February:
Listed for $3,350,000 last June but then withdrawn from the market last October, the AIA award winning 147 Laidley designed by and for Zack | de Vito Architecture is back on the market and asking $2,950,000.
A brief flirtation with the rental market last month was quickly rethought.
While just reported on the MLS, the sale of 147 Laidley closed escrow a few weeks ago with a reported contract price of $2,820,000 ($866 per square foot). Cheers. And as always, don't forget those invitations to the housewarming.
∙ 147 Laidley Returns Asking $400K Less For The AIA Recognized Home [SocketSite]
∙ The Scoop On 147 Laidley: AIA Award Winner "Coming Soon" [SocketSite]
∙ 2009 AIA Citation Award: Laidley Street Residence [aiasf.org]
∙ Get A Feel For 147 Laidley Living For $12,500 Per Month [SocketSite]
San Francisco County Unemployment At 9.6 Percent In April
Preliminary April labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties puts the unemployment rate at 9.6%, 8.3% and 9.2% respectively, down 0.7 percentage points in San Francisco, 0.5 percentage points in Marin, and 0.6 percentage points in San Mateo.
On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 3,500 (from 4,700 to 43,500) in April and the number of employed increased by 700 (from 410,700 to 411,400) as the labor force decreased by 2,800 (from 457,700 to 454,900).
Overall California unemployment fell by 0.7 percentage points to 12.3% as the labor force fell by 59,900 and employment increased by 83,500.
New And Approved: 900 Folsom/260 Fifth Street Project
∙ 900 Folsom/260 Fifth Street Project: The New New Design [SocketSite]
∙ 900 Folsom/260 Fifth Street On Track For Approval This Week [SocketSite]
May 20, 2010
San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity In April: Up 6.5% YOY
According to DataQuick, recorded home sales volume in San Francisco was up 6.5% on a year-over-year basis last month (428 recorded sales in April ’10 versus 402 sales in April ‘09) but down 14.4% as compared to the month prior (and a sharp decline from March’s 50.6% year-over-year gain).
For context, April sales figures for San Francisco from 2004 to 2008 were 841 (2004), 754 (2005), 591 (2006), 568 (2007), and 605 (2008). And from 2004 to 2009 the average March to April sales volume gain was 6.3%. But do keep in mind an incentive to push April closings into May this year.
San Francisco's median sales price in March was $692,500, up 10.2% compared to April ’09 ($628,500) and up 2.6% compared to the month prior.
For the greater Bay Area, recorded sales volume in April was down 1.9% on a year-over-year basis and up a nominal 0.2% from the month prior (7,003 recorded sales in April '10 versus 7,139 in April ’09 and 6,992 in March '10), while the recorded median sales price rose 21.7% on a year-over-year basis, down 2.6% compared to the month prior.
Continue to think mix:
The April median’s nearly 22 percent increase over a year ago is largely a reflection of the changes that have occurred in buying patterns across the region. A year ago many more homes being sold were inland foreclosures – homes that were often in less-than-stellar condition, and which had highly motivated sellers. Also a year ago, sales in many high-end communities were extremely sluggish. This spring the re-selling of foreclosures has waned and high-end activity is much stronger, in part because prices have come down, there’s more inventory in some areas and it appears high-end financing has loosened a bit.
Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – made up 29.5 percent of the Bay Area’s resale market last month. That was the lowest since May 2008 and was down from 31.3 percent in March and 46.4 percent in April 2009. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009.
And with respect to financing:
Mortgages above the old conforming loan limit of $417,000 made up nearly 60 percent of all Bay Area home purchase loans before the credit crunch hit in August 2007. Last month $417,000-plus loans made up 31.6 percent.
Use of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) remains far below historically normal levels, too. ARMs made up just 11.1 percent of Bay Area purchase loans last month. While that’s the highest since ARMs were 13.7 percent of purchase loans in September 2008, it’s a fraction of the monthly ARM average of nearly 50 percent since 2000.
Meanwhile, federally-insured FHA loans have kept the entry-level market humming. The low-down-payment loans, which are popular with first-time buyers and some move-up buyers, made up 25.6 percent of Bay Area purchase loans last month. That was down from 25.8 percent a year ago but up from 14.4 percent two years ago.
At the extremes, Marin recorded a 40.8% increase in sales volume (a gain of 71 transactions) on a 12.6% increase in median sales price in March while Solano recorded a 17.6% decline in sales volume (a loss of 126 transactions) on a 12.2% increase in median sales price.
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).
∙ Mixed results for Bay Area April home sales [DQNews]
∙ San Francisco Recorded Sales Activity In March: Up 50.6% YOY [SocketSite]
He's It's Back: California’s $10,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit Returns [SocketSite]
Unfortunately It's A Zero-Sum Game
Purchased for $858,000 in July 2007, 1310 Fillmore #403 returned to the market this past March listed as a short sale for "$675,000." Three weeks later its list price was reduced to "$599,000." The Heritage Fillmore two-bedroom has been in contract for a month.
Yesterday 1310 Fillmore #801 hit the MLS with a listed short sale "price" of $599,000 (but no mention of any pre-approval). Purchased for $859,705 in October 2007, the current listing notes: "Heritage Fillmore winner!" Unfortunately it's a zero-sum game.
And as best we can tell, the proposed short sale of 1310 Fillmore #802 at $599,000 never materialized.
∙ Listing: 1310 Fillmore #403 (2/2) 1,407 sqft – "$599,000" [MLS]
∙ Listing: 1310 Fillmore #801 (3/2) 1,353 sqft – "$599,000" [MLS]
∙ Going Short Heritage On Fillmore (1310 Fillmore) Having Bought Long [SocketSite]
No Commission Consensus On Tonga Room (But Concerns To Come)
You’ve still got a couple of weeks to perfect that Tongan war cry and dig out your favorite Polynesian shirt prior to the public hearing on the proposed revitalization of the Fairmont Hotel and fate of the Tonga Room scheduled for June 10.
In the meantime, San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission has taken up the debate but so far hasn't come to any consensus (but has identified some concerns).
∙ Fairmont Hotel Revitalization And Tower Rebuilding As Proposed [SocketSite]
Tatanka The Tonga Room [SocketSite]
∙ Is Tonga Room tiki bar in S.F. worth saving? [SFGate]
May 19, 2010
From Services For Chronic Back Pain To...Chronic After Services
With 405 pages of multi-signed petitions and 177 letters and e-mails in opposition ("resulting in thousands of signatures") but 12 pages of multi-signed petitions, 359 letters and e-mails, and 1,508 applicant submitted signatures from local residents and merchants in support, the Planning Commission is expected to approve an application to repurpose the vacant chiropractors' office at 2139 Taraval into a medical marijuana dispensary.
The site would be strictly retail (no "smoking, vaporizing, ingesting, or medicating of any kind" allowed on premises). And while the adjacent Chinese Gospel Church apparently has "No Position" with respect to the proposed change, "business hours on Sunday would be limited to 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. to address concerns expressed by the Pastor."
∙ Medical Cannabis Dispensary Discretionary Review: 2139 Taraval Street [sf-planning.org]
Care To Make Like A Hermit Crab And Adopt This Shell As Your Own?
With the kitchen and bathroom currently down to the studs, we’ll agree with the "blank canvas" characterization (and not in a bad way). Purchased for $610,000 in 2003, 101 Lombard #914W is back on the market as a potential short sale at "$450,000."
No word on whether or not the 1,062 square foot underwater shell will qualify for financing.
∙ Listing: 101 Lombard #914W (1/1) 1,062 sqft - $450,000 [MLS]
∙ A Remodeled Hit In The 1980's Era 101 Lombard Street Development [SocketSite]
Residential Mortgage Foreclosures Rise In The First Quarter Of 2010
The percentage of U.S. residential mortgages in foreclosure rose 5 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2009 to 4.63 percent in the first quarter of 2010, up 78 basis points on a year-over-year basis. New foreclosure actions rose 3 basis points in the first quarter to 1.23 percent of loans, down 14 basis points versus the first quarter of 2009.
The non-seasonally adjusted delinquency rate increased 151 basis points for prime fixed loans, 172 basis points for prime ARM loans, 343 basis points for subprime fixed loans, and 244 basis points for subprime ARM loans from the first quarter of 2009. The delinquency rate was 48 basis points lower for FHA loans and 12 basis points for VA loans relative to the same quarter a year ago.
The non-seasonally adjusted foreclosure starts rate increased eight basis points for prime fixed loans, 36 basis points for FHA loans and 17 basis points for VA loans compared to the first quarter of 2009. The rate decreased 22 basis points for prime ARM loans, 10 basis points for subprime fixed loans, and 259 basis points for subprime ARM loans on a year over year basis.
The percentage of seriously delinquent loans (90+ days past due) fell 13 basis points from the fourth quarter to 9.54 percent, up 230 basis points on a year-over-year basis.
∙ Delinquencies, Foreclosure Starts Increase [mbaa.org]
First Peek Inside The Finished St. Regis Penthouse Atop 188 Minna
As a plugged-in tipster reported in September:
The St. Regis service elevators have been working overtime for weeks shuttling men and material up to the top. I would expect this to return very soon...and very finished. Now let's see what Victor (MacFarlane) does with the price.
As a plugged-in tipster reports today:
No more renderings…it looks like the project is complete.
And as far as we know, no new adjustments have been made to the $49,000,000 ask (which at one time was the asking price unfinished).
UPDATE: From the listing agent:
Five years of design and build at the penthouse completed nearly five months ago. It's now a world-class entertaining home rivaled only in size or luxury by a few penthouses in NYC, London, HK & Shanghai. Our marketing efforts have been focusing on prospective purchasers -- a number of them local -- who toured or inquired while it was under construction. We're pleased with the response so far -- several buyers have returned multiple times with advisors, architects, designers, etc.
Cheers. And do not forget those invitations to the housewarming...
Full Disclosure: The co-listing agent for the penthouse atop the San Francisco St. Regis advertises on SocketSite but had no prior knowledge of this post.
∙ Listing: St. Regis (188 Minna) Penthouse - $49,000,000 [Sotheby’s]
∙ Going Up: St. Regis Penthouse Construction Nearly Complete [SocketSite]
∙ Inside The St. Regis Penthouse: The Rendering Scoop And Details [SocketSite]
∙ St. Regis Penthouse Now $21,000,000 Off (And No, That’s Not A Typo) [SocketSite]
April HAMP Highlights: 295,348 Modified (Out Of 3,275,249 Eligible)
The government’s Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP) has resulted in 295,348 active permanent loan modifications through the end of April.
An additional 637,353 trial modifications are in place versus 277,640 cancelled (up 79 percent from 155,173 cancelled at the end of March). 3,275,249 loans are delinquent and eligible.
Once again, roughly 2.82 million U.S. homeowners lost their properties to foreclosure in 2009 while 4.5 million new filings are expected in 2010.
∙ Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP): April Report [financialstability.gov]
∙ TARP's Special Inspector General Takes Aim At HAMP [SocketSite]
May 18, 2010
Proposed Plans For The Nearly "Historic"
House Lot At 1268 Lombard
As we wrote at the time with respect to the value of the now vacant lot: "Valuable as long as one can secure permits to build. And in this case, we’d hate to be the ones applying."
Tomorrow the Architectural Review Committee of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) will review a proposal for building a 4-unit, 5-story residential building that would measure approximately 40' tall and 96' deep on the lot.
Although not required by the Department’s CEQA review procedures, this Review and Comment hearing has been requested by the [Planning] Department because of the strong interest shown by the HPC in the emergency demolition that took place at the property in March 2009.
That being said, a few excerpts from a 2009 study by William Kostura of the effect of the proposed new building on a potential Russian Hill Historic District:
If the Victorian-era cottage at 1268-1270 Lombard still stood, it might have made sense to extend the District west to include this lot (#1268). With the house gone, I would recommend including #s 1234, 1240-1242, and 1248-1250 Lombard in the district, but not the buildings to the west of them.
The potential historic district could also be extended north to include most of the buildings on the 2600 block of Larkin Street. That issue however is irrelevant to the task now at hand, namely, judging the effect of the proposed new building at 1268 Lombard on the historic district.
It now appears that (in my opinion) the vacant lot at 1268 Lombard Street is across the street from, and three lots west of, the boundaries of a potential historic district. It is thus par of the setting of the proposed historic district, but is not part of the district itself.
It was useful to determine this before judging what kind of effect the proposed building could have on the district. New construction within a historic district is more likely to have an effect on the district than would construction that is merely within the setting of a district.
The proposed building at 1268 Lombard Street does not seem to me to have an adverse visual effect on the historic district that is located across the street and thee lots to the east.
Now back to the Architectural Review Committee (and plugged-in readers) for comments.
∙ 1268 Lombard Losing Its Battle Against The Granite Wrecking Crew [SocketSite]
∙ The "Resourceful" Demolition Of A Historic Resource? (1268 Lombard) [SocketSite]
∙ Landmarks Preservation: Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire? [SocketSite]
∙ 1268 Lombard Street Proposal [sf-planning.org]