September 28, 2011

Before, After And "Appreciation" At (Or At Least For) The Heublein

601 4th Street #322 Living

Purchased for $1,330,000 in October 2007, the 1,866 square foot Heublein Building (601 4th Street) loft number 322 has since been extensively remodeled. The kitchen before:

601 4th Street #322 Kitchen Before

The kitchen after complete with new vent:

601 4th Street #322 Kitchen After

The two-bedroom is now back on the market in 2011 and asking $1,450,000 ($777 per square foot). The sale will likely contribute to price "appreciation" when it comes to industry stats, but as plugged-in people know, it won’t be apples to apples.

And yes, do watch your step when navigating the new designer stairs (click to enlarge):

UPDATE: As a plugged-in reader alludes, the current owner of the loft appeared on "The Apprentice 2," at least for the first six episodes.

∙ Listing: 601 4th Street #322 (2/2) 1,866 sqft - $1,450,000 [MLS]
The Heublein Building Lofts (601 4th Street) [SocketSite]

First Published: September 28, 2011 9:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

So, I am not an expert on these matters, but something tells me that stairway is not to code, unless the invisible hand/guard rail has been perfected. Would anyone with actual knowledge care to comment?

Posted by: Mr. E. at September 28, 2011 9:29 AM

There's something happening there, since both the before and after appear not to have banisters.

Posted by: EH at September 28, 2011 9:46 AM

Funny this question has come up many times here. Absolutly not to code w/o a guard rail and that gaurdrail cant have larger than 4"or 6" (I cant remember off hand) openings.

Posted by: mikey woodz at September 28, 2011 9:48 AM

The unit itself has some nice attributes. I like the big windows, the open space. I, as a loft hater, hate the loft bedroom and the peek-a-boo bedroom... but I'm sure they're fine for loft lovers. it's nice to get outdoor space in SF too, although this outdoor space is terrible. I'm sure it could be spruced up so that it doesn't look like you are on the surface of Mars or something.

my only real beef here: what a ridiculous waste of resources. I strongly feel that people should have the right to do what they want with their property (within reason, no putting up oil derricks or something)... but ripping out a fairly new kitchen only to put in another kitchen? are they mad? do they think they added any value here? (I'd say minimal).

Posted by: ex SF-er at September 28, 2011 9:52 AM

I like the new stairs - big improvement. Can anyone hazard a guess as to how they were able to remove the pole supporting the loft, structurally speaking?

Posted by: sunnyvale steve at September 28, 2011 10:15 AM

^Steel Beam and its a top floor unit, only supporting that and the roof

Posted by: mikey woodz at September 28, 2011 10:23 AM

Very mixed bag here. Straightening the staircase was sensible because it gets rid of the landing and large lower flight jutting out, which is a total waste of square footage.

Dark cabinets in the portion of the loft farthest from natural light (windows) and overhung by sleeping platform? No, thank you.

The prior staircase had no guard rail on the lower flight, which I think is code compliant if the drop is less than 3 or maybe 4 feet. The new staircase is a sobriety test--at least there's a bathroom on the upper level.

Looks like they got rid of the pillar for the platform by adding some drop-down supports (can't think of correct name) from a beam to the platform.

Posted by: Delancey at September 28, 2011 10:31 AM

It may not be an apple, but I sure wouldn't mind living there. That's my dream kitchen there!

Posted by: front load washer smell at September 28, 2011 10:40 AM

Now I'm wondering if the range hood actually vents outside. If so the exhaust stream must take a very circuitous course. If not, the hood is at best a waste of money and at worst a sham. I agree with ex SF-er and others, do not like the new kitchen. It looks like a mausoleum. The sellers shouldn't expect this gaudy re-do to raise their equity.

Posted by: sunnyvale steve at September 28, 2011 10:47 AM

They didn't get a steel beam in the elevator. I'm sure it was quite the ordeal getting it through the window. Looks great without the pole.

And the stairway screams high end remodel. You aren't buying that at Home Depot, and they didn't get the completed look from an amateur designer. I'm not sure about the dark floors, but wow do I ever disagree with ex-SFer on this one. Night and day difference, and not cheap.

Posted by: tipster at September 28, 2011 10:56 AM

how they were able to remove the pole supporting the loft

It's a bit hard to tell, but it looks like there are now vertical pieces going from the railing (or the floor of the loft next to the railing) up to the ceiling. Maybe it's suspended?

Posted by: BobN at September 28, 2011 11:29 AM

^^ Yep. Look at picture #7 in the MLS listing. You can see the vertical "strapping" firmly anchored to the beam above at two points.

Posted by: BobN at September 28, 2011 11:32 AM

^^^ Notice there are two new rods going from the loft floor to the ceiling. I think the loft is now suspended from the ceiling above.

Posted by: inmycountry at September 28, 2011 11:42 AM

You're Fired!

[Editor’s Note: As eddy alludes, the current owner of the loft appeared on "The Apprentice 2," at least for the first six episodes.]

Posted by: eddy at September 28, 2011 12:22 PM

I like the old kitchen much better - lots more room for handful of people to sit at the bar and talk while cooking.

Posted by: lolcat_94123 at September 28, 2011 12:25 PM

The "kitchen renovation" to my eye is just a change in taste. I certainly wouldn't have spent anything to do it (or pay more for the unit because it was done) EXCEPT for a range hood that does actually vent outside (and I have to agree with others and question whether that one does).

Posted by: BT at September 28, 2011 1:24 PM

I guess it's a matter of personal taste but the old "scandinavian" light wood look was, to me, far superior.

Of course, getting "fired" may have put the owner in a sepulchral state of thought

Posted by: wrath at September 28, 2011 4:58 PM

The new stair looks sleeker, but if the effect is merely to push the table further back and leave a bunch of unused open space in the middle -- Who cares? The old stairway served as a room divider -- which may or may not be appealing depending on your taste.
I agree with ex-SFer that a lot of money was spent on this to get something that is only somewhat better.

Posted by: NoeNeighbor at September 28, 2011 8:40 PM

DWR catalog

Posted by: Joshua at September 28, 2011 10:06 PM

That's a fat bed in the peak-a-boo room, as ex SF-er calls it. Henry VII (not the Jonathan Rhys Meyers version) size?

I'm not really seeing how this place was improved very much from before, certainly not $120K on a peak price for place that isn't suited to too many people. The kitchen wasn't really improved, so much as re-styled, and there are good arguments for keeping the staircase as it was.

Posted by: sfrenegade at September 29, 2011 11:30 AM

if anything, they've destroyed value here. the before pictures are much better.

Posted by: steve at September 30, 2011 7:42 AM

The newly designed home has great flow and is wonderful for entertaining. As a serious party party parrrrty person, I applaud the new design.

Posted by: kathleen at September 30, 2011 12:39 PM

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