June 30, 2011
Siemens Gives San Francisco A Green Thumbs Up
The Index compared 27 cities on environmental performance and policies across nine categories: CO2 emissions, energy, land use, buildings, transport, water, waste, air quality and environmental governance.
San Francisco ranked first overall in the Index due to an impressive performance across the board, with a top five ranking in six of its nine categories. San Francisco’s strongest area is waste, where it led the pack with efforts such as being the first U.S. city to mandate composting and recycling for residents, food establishments and events in 2009. The city also claimed second place in buildings, transport and air, bolstered by strong green building and energy efficiency building standards, the second longest public transport network, and low levels of all pollutants measured in the Index.
"San Francisco’s sustainability programs deliver on multiple levels simultaneously," said Environment Director Melanie Nutter. "They need to be good for the environment, but in order to have community-wide impact, they also have to address the economic needs of individuals, improve the local economy, and reverse social inequalities. You can see that commitment in play from our recycling and toxics reduction programs to our all-out effort to shut down gas-burning power plants operating within city limits."
New York, Seattle, Denver and Boston rounded out the top five U.S. cities.
In terms of Land Use, however, San Francisco ranked 8th with a score of 66.6 versus 93.0 for New York City and just above Charlotte at 64.6 and Miami at 59.2.
Can you say density?
∙ US and Canada Green City Index [siemens.com]
∙ Study: US and Canada Green City Index [siemens.com]
∙ Presentation of the final results, Economist Intelligence Unit [siemens.com]
∙ Potrero Hill's "Mirant" Power Plant Finally To Close January First [SocketSite]
∙ The Next Era In San Francisco’s Development: It’s All About Density [SocketSite]
Plans For 800 New Showplace Square Units Moving Forward
The plans for over 800 new housing units across 801 Brannan and One Henry Adams continue to make their way through planning with a Draft Environmental Impact Report has now been published. As we wrote last year:
The proposed development of 801 Brannan and One Henry Adams (click rendering to enlarge) has been in the works for over ten years, at one point hoping to be delivered in 2008 (and then 2010). The development would raze four buildings across two sites.
Rising on the sites would be five six-story/sixty-eight-foot buildings with up to 819 residential units over ground floor retail and 798 parking spaces. In terms of unit mix: 455 one-bedrooms, 315 two-bedrooms, 20 three-bedrooms, and 29 lofts as proposed.
The latest plans call for 824 units, with 425 one-bedrooms, 325 two-bedrooms, 50 three-bedrooms, and 24 lofts. And in terms of parking,
166 799 spaces in total.
As proposed, the two market-rate buildings for the 801 Brannan site would cost approximately $130 million to construct and would be constructed between 2012 and 2014. The two buildings proposed for the One Henry Adams site would cost approximately $65 million and would be constructed in 18 months, beginning in the fall of 2012. The BMR parcel would be developed "at such time as determined by [the Mayor's Office of Housing], dependent upon its resources and priorities."
UPDATE: Sorry folks, did we say 166 parking spaces? Make that 799, with 571 spaces at 801 Brannan alone. The 166 represents the number of spaces which will be dedicated to fulfilling current parking easements and agreements for tenants in neighboring buildings.
Our apologies for the confusion (and perhaps a heart attack or two).
∙ 801 Brannan And One Henry Adams: 819 Units As Proposed [SocketSite]
∙ 801 Brannan And One Henry Adams: Draft Environmental Impact Report [sfplanning.org]
Apples To Apples To Apples (And Tipster To Tipster) On Caselli
Purchased for $1,515,000 in August 2005, it was a plugged-in tipster that noted the sale of 226 Caselli for $1,420,500 back in November 2007. As our tipster wrote at the time:
Ironically, as new homeowners on the block (yes, we bought within the past year), you would think that we would be dismayed, or at the very least experiencing extreme denial, about these listings...But before we were homeowners, we were well aware that the SF market might be headed for trouble, and gaining a mortgage and a property tax bill did not suddenly make us grow blinders as well!
We bought a house this year...not because we were trying to 'time the market,' and not because we believed our house's appreciation would beat out our stock market investments, but because it was the right time for *us* (recent job promotion, new baby on the way...all the reasons that normal pre-bubble citizens used to buy houses). We didn't buy our house as an investment...and if the market declines by 10-20% (and I think this is a possibility)...well, we bought for the long-term and intend to stay here at least 5, if not 15, years.
So I do believe that one can be a homeowner AND a rational observer as well, and I bet there are many like-minded readers of [SocketSite].
Having been slightly updated (the floor in the kitchen for example), 226 Caselli is now back on the market in 2011 listed for $1,399,000. And our 2007 tipster weighs back in:
We are still real estate bears. In fact, we do not think the market has hit the bottom yet...which makes me happy that we still have jobs which will keep us in San Francisco for at least the next ten years.
In spite of being real estate bears, we still love being homeowners and are (embarrassingly so) completely in love with our house. [And] we are still huge fans of SocketSite.
Thanks for keeping it real...even back in 2007, when it wasn't fashionable to do so!
∙ Listing: 226 Caselli Avenue (3/2) 1,712 sqft - $1,399,000 [MLS]
∙ Single-Family Apples To Apples (And A Reader’s Perspective) [SocketSite]
June 29, 2011
Madrone: T-Minus Two Months To Official Grand Opening
The official "Grand Opening" for sales of 329 new condos in Mission Bay, a development born Radiance West but since dubbed "Madrone," is slated for mid-September.
Prices are set to start at $495,000 for a 731 square foot one-bedroom with two-bedrooms priced from $689,000 (1,040 square feet) and townhomes priced from $899,000 (1,600 square feet). Prices are currently set to top out at just below two million for 1,925 top floor tower square feet with private terraces.
Smitten For The Smitty (And Its Incredible Shrinking Square Feet)
Converted in the year 2000 by Bay Area architects Abrams & Milliken, the largest of three units within the former Smitty Knitting Factory building at 75 Lansing Street hit the market in 2006 listed with 4,000 square feet for $2,995,000 and sold for $2,800,000.
With Venetian plaster, windows galore, and 20 foot ceilings atop; mahogany bookshelves in the library; and a kitchen designed by Pacassa Studios, the unit returned to the market in 2008 listed with 3,298 square feet for $3,850,000 and sold for $3,500,000.
75 Lansing #3 is back on the market today listed for $3,250,000 without any square footage. The agent's notes for other agents does, however, note 3,100 square feet. And tax records suggest it's 3,132.
∙ Listing: 75 Lansing #3 (3/2.5) – $3,250,000 [MLS]
And Then Reduce It Too…
As a plugged-in reader moving to San Francisco and house hunting reported in March:
On February 28, 716 Sanchez Street hit the market with a list of $2.45M for the 2100 sqft house. That comes to a whopping $1187/sqft which is way out of whack with both comps and listing in the neighborhood.
When I checked back on March 2, the listing had been "updated". The only change was that the number of square feet was removed! I suppose that's one way to make the place look more reasonably priced.
As we noted at the time, the fully renovated 716 Sanchez had first been listed for sale in 2008 asking $2,650,000 ($1,262 per square foot) having been purchased for $1,175,000 in 2003 as a much less modern 1,250 square foot home.
∙ Listing: 716 Sanchez (3/2) 2,100 sqft - $1,999,000 [716sanchez.com] [MLS]
∙ Price Per Square Foot Out Of Whack?
Reduce Remove It… [SocketSite]
To Condos To Trader Joe's At 1401 California
As we wrote in 2009:
Clearing up some confusion with respect to the current home of Cala Foods at 1401 California, the grocery store’s lease ends on December 31, 2010 (not 2009).
And if all goes as the Prado Group (think 2001 Market) plans, demolition will start soon thereafter and in its place will rise around 107 residential units over 30,000 square feet of retail including a replacement "neighborhood-serving grocery store."
And it didn’t (go as planned). Instead, renovations versus razing is expected to commence this coming January with a 14,000 square foot Trader Joe's in place by the end of 2012.
As the now defunct project had last been proposed to look (click on images to enlarge):
June 28, 2011
April S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco Benefits From A "Seaonal" Kick
According to the April 2011 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA increased 1.7% from March ’11 to April '11, down 39.5% from a peak in May 2006 and down 5.5% year-over-year (YOY), still a steady slide from the 18.3% gain reported last May and the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year declines.
For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values increased a nominal 0.6% from March to April, down 32.6% from a June 2006 peak as values fell 3.1% year-over-year.
“In a welcome shift from recent months, this month is better than last - April’s numbers beat March,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “However, the seasonally adjusted numbers show that much of the improvement reflects the beginning of the Spring-Summer home buying season. It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather.
“Other housing statistics show the same trends. Single-family housing starts were up in May, but still well below their 2010 levels and still very close to their 30-year low. Existing home sales rose in May, but are still about 15% below last year’s pace and about 35% below their 2005 pace. While foreclosures remain a large factor in most parts of the country, the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default indices show a small decline in the pace of new defaults since last November. Other reports confirm that banks have tightened lending standards in the past year making it harder to qualify for a mortgage despite very low interest rates.
“In the monthly details, we saw home prices increase in April over March. The 10-City was up 0.8% and the 20-City rose 0.7%. Only seven cities experienced lower prices compared to 18 in March. However, the seasonally adjusted figures saw less dramatic improvement. The annual rate of change for the 10-City remained the same at -3.1%; whereas the 20-City fell further from -3.8% reported for March to -4.0% for April. For a real recovery we would need to see several months of increasing home prices, large enough to shift the annual momentum to the positive side. In short, better news, but still a lot of questions and a long way to go.”
While prices were nominally down for the bottom third of single-family homes in San Francisco MSA, prices ticked up for the top two thirds in April, the second consecutive month-over-month gain for the top tier in eleven months.
On a year-over-year basis, however, values were relatively unchanged for the bottom two tiers and fell just under one percent for the top.
The bottom third (under $314,659 at the time of acquisition) fell 0.3% from March to April (down 5.4% YOY); the middle third increased 1.1% from March to April (down 7.5% YOY); and the top third (over $579,970 at the time of acquisition) ticked up 1.5% from March to April, down 3.9% on a year-over-year basis.
According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA remain at May 2000 levels having fallen 60% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third remains at March 2002 levels having fallen 41% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third has returned to just above January 2004 levels having fallen 26% from a peak in August 2007.
Condo values in the San Francisco MSA increased 2.5% from March ’11 to April '11, down 2.8% year-over-year, but the second consecutive month-over-month uptick in eight months. Condo values remain down 31.3% from a December 2005 peak but have reversed a two month "double dip" and 34.7% drop from peak recorded in March.
Our standard SocketSite S&P/Case-Shiller footnote: The S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices include San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda in the "San Francisco" index (i.e., greater MSA) and are imperfect in factoring out changes in property values due to improvements versus appreciation (although they try their best).
∙ S&P/Case-Shiller: April Seasonal Boost in Home Prices [Standard & Poor's]
∙ S&P/Case-Shiller: San Francisco Top Tier And Condos Tick Up In March [SocketSite]
∙ May Case-Shiller: San Francisco Tiers Up But Gains Moderating Atop [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco’s Condo "Double Dip" Is (Or Was) Here [SocketSite]
June 27, 2011
Powell Street Promenade Making Progress
Construction is now underway between Ellis and Geary on the "Powell Street Promenade," the City’s latest Pavement to Parks project.
Over an average weekend, up to 100,000 pedestrians walk along this portion of Powell Street, contributing to a highly animated yet often congested sidewalk experience. The Powell Street Promenade will provide extra space for people to walk, sit at a table or on a bench, chat with a friend, or just watch as thousands of people pass by. Wood, stone, and metal trim will provide a rich visual quality to the space, softened by landscaping and pedestrian scale lighting.
Originally expected to be finished by April 2011, we’ll keep you plugged-in. And as that stretch has long appeared:
Candlestick Heights Hits The Market Well Under $400 Per Square
The first few Candlestick Heights homes at 857 Jamestown Avenue have now been listed with prices starting at $365,000 for a 1,102 square foot two-bedroom ($331 per square) and a 1,308 square foot three-bedroom for $445,000 ($340 per square).
And no, these aren’t Below Market Rate (BMR) units.
But speaking of sale restricted BMR's, as a plugged-in reader adds, "note that the listed sales prices are very close to the upper limits of the City's inclusionary housing program at the 110% median income level."
UPDATE (6/28): While we do believe the units were originally designed to sell in the neighborhood of $600 per square foot, according to the current sales office, the development was never actually priced above $500 per square.
∙ The Heights At Candlestick “On Hold” According To The Sales Center [SocketSite]
∙ It's Game (Back) On For "The Heights At Candlestick" [SocketSite]
∙ Candlestick Heights [candlestickheights.com]
∙ Listing: 857 Jamestown Avenue #101 (3/2) 1,308 sqft - $445,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 857 Jamestown Avenue #205 (1/1) 1,229 sqft - $369,000 [MLS]
Puttin’ The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe On The Courthouse Steps
As owners of the Ritz-Carlton Residences in San Francisco continue to struggle, the Ritz-Carlton Highlands Lake Tahoe near Northstar-at-Tahoe is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps in Roseville this afternoon with $164,717,243 in principal, interest and fees due on two loans totaling $157,000,000.
From the managing partner of the development in back in April 2010:
"We're working closely with the bank to address some financing-related matters, and once those are resolved, the outstanding balance will be paid," Riva said. "We hope to resolve this in the next 60 days."
It's now 437 days later and Bank of America has grown tired of banking on hopes.
∙ A Violation Of Trust [SocketSite]
∙ The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe [ritzcarlton.com]
∙ Bank of America files notice of default on Ritz-Carlton Highlands Lake Tahoe [sierrasun]
The 85 Buena Vista Terrace Over (2000)/Under (2008)
In April 2000 the restored single-family Edwardian at 85 Buena Vista Terrace sold for $1,820,000. In September 2008 it sold for $2,200,000. And in August 2010 it returned to the market with (mis)expectations of $2,595,000, was listed for $2,295,000 in September, and then withdrawn from the market two months later unsold.
Back on the market today with an official "one day" on the market and asking $2,095,000, to which year might a 2011 closing come closest for the Buena Vista home with an "estimated total interior space" (including the garage) of 2,827 square feet?
While the listing was briefly withdrawn from the MLS, the sale 85 Buena Vista Terrace closed escrow this past Thursday with a reported contract price of $1,950,000. Call it 7 percent ($130,000) over its year 2000 sale but 11 percent ($250,000) under 2008.
UPDATE: Unfortunately we can’t even claim a fat finger error, but as a plugged-in reader correctly notes, the most recent sale was $250,000 (11%) under its 2008 price, not $150,000 (7%). But hey, what’s another $100,000 between friends...
∙ 85 Buena Vista Terrace Returns Back Between 2000 And 2008 [SocketSite]
June 24, 2011
Two Years Later And The Bank Gets Its Mansion Back
As we wrote about the mansion at the corner of Pacific and Divisadero back in June 2009:
Commissioned by Dr. C. N. Ellinwood in 1893, 2799 Pacific was designed by Eugene Freeman and its 28 rooms, 14 fireplaces and glass domed center hallway were finished in 1894. And the Ellinwood residence is San Francisco Landmark #207.
As a number of plugged-in people noted last month, 2799 Pacific fell into foreclosure and had a date with the courthouse steps earlier this month. And as a couple of other plugged-in people piece together, with a mortgage balance due of $11,363,000 and an unmet minimum bid of $10,000,000, the landmark 2799 Pacific was taken back by the bank.
As a plugged-in reader adds today (emphasis ours):
I work for the law firm that just completed the lockout on this property.
So in addition to the deed, it's two years later and Chevy Chase bank finally has the keys.
∙ A Landmark District Seven Mansion Foreclosure (2799 Pacific) [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco Landmark 207: Ellinwood Residence (2799 Pacific) [noehill.com]
A Pair Of Noe Valley Apples (And One Quick Price Change)
Purchased for $1,050,000 in May 2008, the single family home at 1502 Noe hit the market this morning listed for $1,195,000. Shortly thereafter, 16 28th Street hit the market four blocks away listed for $1,095,000 having been purchased for $1,003,000 in May of 2009.
The list price for 1502 Noe was quickly reduced to $1,095,000 as well.
Alpha, Beta, And The America's Cup
Twenty years ago, 611 Marina Boulevard sold for $1,250,000. Eight years later, the property sold for $1,620,000. And eight years after that, the property returned to the market listed for $3,995,000 and sold for $3,835,500 in 2007.
Unfortunately the next sale will no longer be perfectly apples-to-apples as the first floor was reconfigured and remodeled in 2008, but 611 Marina Boulevard is back on the market as of today listed for $4,800,000.
The listing now touts "front row seating [for] America's Cup events," of course. And the dining room has been painted green.
∙ Listing: 611 Marina Boulevard (4/3) 4,178 sqft - $4,800,000 [MLS]
∙ The $1,500,000 Half Bath On Marina Boulevard [SocketSite]
∙ The Scope Of Development For San Francisco’s First America’s Cup [SocketSite]
3322 Market: The View From Behind The Scenes (And Building)
With $2,060,000 in loans past due including a first for $1,460,000, a second for $250,000, and a third for $350,000, last month 3322 Market street (the top two floors above) was purchased on the courthouse steps for $1,017,000 cash.
Yesterday, the 2,496 square foot condominium hit the market listed for $1,375,000.
And yes, there are views.
∙ Listing: 3322 Market Street (3/2.5) 2,496 sqft - $1,375,000 [MLS]
Back Around The Cape (Horn Lofts Penthouse)
As we wrote about the Cape Horn Lofts building at 540 Delancey last year:
It was sixteen condos before units #402 and #403 were combined to form a 2,900 square foot unit with over 1,000 square feet of outdoor space. In contract (and so noted) at the time we profiled #401, 540 Delancey #402/3 sold for $3,100,000 in October 2008.
Listed for $3,295,000 at the end of 2009, and then for $2,995,000 last June, the Cape Horn penthouse unit known as #402/403 is back on the market and asking $2,899,000.
∙ Listing: 540 Delancey #402/403 (2/4) - $2,899,000 [MLS] [540delanceypenthouse.com]
∙ 540 Delancey #402/403 Comes Back Around (At) The Cape Horn [SocketSite]
∙ Cape Horn Lofts (540 Delancey) In General, And #401 In Specific [SocketSite]
For The Love (And Hate) Of Palm Trees In San Francisco
The palms won't be there much longer. The city has fired all their educated arborists. Those who are left trim them to that odd pineapple shape while the fronds are still green and alive. A fusarium-type wilt then infects the palm and it slowly dies. At least 3 have died since the last trimming - that's what killed the dead palms around Justin Herman Plaza.
∙ A Most Unfortunate Quote [SocketSite]
∙ A Plugged-In Reader's Report: Third Street Sprouts Some Trees [SocketSite]
∙ The Impact Of 8 Washington [SocketSite]
Oops!..We Did It Again
We don’t know if it’s another (failed) attempt to make a steep block look a little flatter, but we do know the exterior shot for 3318 Folsom likely isn’t doing the listing any favors, especially on a listing that notes: "Home has a lot of deferred maintenance…"
As the image would look after a simple rotation to adjust for the camera angle:
But hey, it is just a listing for a half-million dollar home.
UPDATE: As a reader notes, our rotated photo has since replaced the listing agent's.
∙ Listing: 3318 Folsom (3/2) 1,250 - $539,000 [MLS]
∙ The Only Appropriate Headline: “What The Hell Were They Thinking?” [SocketSite]
June 23, 2011
A Bit Of (Unnecessary) Salesforce Saber Rattling
Renderings of the Salesforce.com campus, released earlier this month, feature a flashy design. A public square is anchored by a hot-pink Jumbotron video screen.
"That was my idea," Mr. Benioff, the Salesforce.com CEO, said of the screen. "Putting something like that there can add a lot of energy." The Jumbotron could be used for things such as employee presentations and public entertainment, he said.
Salesforce.com is hoping for design-review approval from the city by September. "If we can't get the approvals we could also end up somewhere else," Mr. Benioff said.
The redevelopment agency's Ms. Kahn said that while she didn't anticipate problems with the design review, the pink Jumbotron might face additional environmental scrutiny. Overall, Ms. Kahn said, "we're generally, based on what we've seen, pleased."
And in the words of JK Dineen:
Let's be real. It’s highly unlikely that the redevelopment agency board, which has rubber stamped pretty much everything that has been proposed for the 303-acre Mission Bay campus, will give Salesforce a hard time. We are talking about 10,000 Salesforce jobs. We are talking about at least $700 million of 100 percent union construction over the next five years. In Marc Benioff we are also talking about a philanthropic superstar who, along with his wife, donated $100 million for the UCSF Hospital that is driving much of the investment into Mission Bay.
∙ Designs For Salesforce's Global Headquarters Complex in Mission Bay [SocketSite]
∙ A Bit Of Color On (And For) Salesforce's Campus In Mission Bay [SocketSite]
∙ Mission Bay Prepares for Makeover [WSJ]
∙ Salesforce CEO: approve our HQ plan, or else... [Business Times]
∙ The Building Of UCSF’s New Mission Bay Medical Center Is Underway [SocketSite]