June 28, 2012
Oscar The Park: Designs For An Acre Of Outdoor Space Downtown
As plugged-in people know, Oscar Park will bring over an acre of green and outdoor recreation space to the Transbay neighborhood, stretching from Howard to Harrison and extending east to west down the new Oscar Alley.
If you feel like weighing in or reporting back, conceptual designs for the park will be presented at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on July 12, starting at 5:30PM.
∙ Presenting Oscar Park (And A Chance To Provide Feedback) [SocketSite]
∙ The Plan To Transform San Francisco's Transit Center District [SocketSite]
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt And An Eviction
With respect to whether or not a potential crackdown on illegal short-term rentals as facilitated by services such as Airbnb is simply FUD ("fear, uncertainty, and doubt") or waiting in the wings, a plugged-in reader reports:
There has been a case won by [CitiApartments in San Francisco] to oust a long-term tenant, on the implicit basis that the city of SF was an implicit 'interested party'. Got an eviction based on 'use of premises for illegal purposes' with only evidence of [an Airbnb listing and feedback].
As we first reported, Supervisor Chiu is working on legislation which would make it easier to institute proceedings for injunctive and monetary relief against anyone renting an apartment, or room therein, for less than a 30-day term of tenancy in San Francisco.
∙ Airbnb: A Potential Civil And Criminal Penalty Hit List? [SocketSite]
∙ Clarifying, And Perhaps Even Enforcing, Existing Rental Laws In SF [SocketSite]
∙ CitiApartments Is No More! Well, Sort Of… [SocketSite]
∙ Airbnb Hit List Take Two (Months Later) [SocketSite]
Before And (Four Months) After At 936 Clayton (And $1.25M More)
Listed for $1,649,000 as pictured above with a renovated kitchen, arched doorways and an unwarranted third floor room with panoramic views, the sale of 936 Clayton closed escrow this past February with a recorded contract price of $1,594,000.
It’s now four months later and 936 Clayton has returned to the market "fully remodeled" and listed for $2,850,000 as pictured below and looking a bit more Square.
The renovated kitchen before and fully remodeled after:
∙ Listing: 936 Clayton (4/3.5) - $2,850,000 [936claytonstreet.com]
June 27, 2012
Where East Meets West: The Grand Plan For Cesar Chavez
With the Cesar Chavez West remodeling project underway, tomorrow San Francisco’s Planning Commission will review the plan to remake Cesar Chavez East, a plan that "promotes safety, comfort and accessibility to all modes of transportation."
The Cesar Chavez East Community Design Plan area comprises approximately one mile of Cesar Chavez Street in San Francisco’s southeast quadrant. The plan area includes access points to two freeways (Highway 101 and i-280) and intersections with several other major city streets (Potrero Avenue, Bayshore Boulevard, 3rd street), and is close to stops of several transit lines (Caltrain, BART, and Muni 9L and T-3rd).
While the westernmost part of the plan is surrounded by residential neighborhoods and city parks, most of the eastern part of Cesar Chavez Street is a vital truck route connecting the City’s main industrial districts to highways leading to the Bay Bridge and to the peninsula.
As an important east/west connector, Cesar Chavez brings together the Mission, Potrero, Bernal Heights, Bayview, and Dogpatch neighborhoods and is also a vital link to the Blue Greenway and the Bay.
Key elements of the plan include a public space network "addressing the need to gather and be in the public realm;" an ecological network "addressing the need to make ecological values an integral part of the final design of the corridor;" and dedicated bicycle lanes with robust landscaped buffers from traffic along with pedestrian improvements.
Having developed the plan, Planning's next big challenge is to find a source of funding.
∙ Cesar Chavez Reconfiguration Update (And Some Objections) [SocketSite]
∙ Cesar Chavez East Community Design Plan [SFPlanning]
∙ San Francisco's Great Blue Greenway Vision And Interconnected Plans [SocketSite]
Having Merged Their Units, The Permanent Residents Are Moving On
In May of 2008, the 1,301 square foot Infinty Tower One two-bedroom #15D was purchased for $1,204,322. A year later, the owners of #15D purchased the 808 square foot #15C for $725,000. And in 2010, the owners requested permission to merge the two units into a single 2,117 square foot three-bedroom family condo at 301 Main Street.
The petitioners' argument for the merger:
We purchased unit 15D in May 2008 as a second home while living in Palo Alto. We quickly fell in love with the South Beach urban high-rise living. In September 2008 we decided to try and make the Infinity our primary home. We rented out our Palo Alto home and moved in full time to the two bedroom unit with our younger ten year old son.
After settling in at our new home and our son’s school we confirmed that this is where we want to stay and were looking for a larger home that can accommodate our family needs including an additional bedroom for our older son who was returning home from a year abroad.
For several months, roughly from December 2008 until May 2009, we looked for a three bedroom condo in the South Beach high-rise buildings in general and at the Infinity in particular. There were many small one and two bedroom units on the market but we were not able to find a large three bedroom unit that we could afford.
In May 2009 we had the opportunity to purchase the next door one bedroom unit (15C), in anticipation of combining the two units into our family home. We sold our Palo Alto home which helped us finance the purchase of the additional unit.
I would like to point to the following factors to hopefully help the Commission approve our application:
1. The combination of the units will enable us to live in the downtown / South Beach neighborhood in a family size unit. There are relatively few three bedroom units in the South Beach high‐rises. The Infinity has only 68 units (10% of the total) three bedroom units, all of which are either in the 5‐6 story buildings which do not provide the high‐rise living experience, or in the 28th to 42nd floors of the towers which tend to be more expensive and overwhelming in height. The three bedroom units in the Infinity range in size from approximately 1,300 SF to 1,800 square feet which is too small for our needs as a family of four. The combined two units on the 15th floor are just over 2,100 square feet.
2. The original approval of the Infinity project called for maximizing the number of family size units. Combining the two units will help achieve the city’s goal.
3. Having a family home in the South Beach neighborhood helps to strengthen and stabilize the neighborhood.
4. There are many available one and two bedroom units in the South Beach neighborhood and rental vacancy is high. We do not believe that the combination adversely impacts housing availability dynamics.
With numerous letters of support for the merger in able to allow the family to establish permanent residency in the building, the Planning Commission approved the merged.
Having since been combined, the now three-bedroom condo is back on the market and listed for $3,750,000.
∙ Dwelling Unit Merger Request: 301 Main Street #15C/D
∙ Listing: 301 Main Street #15C/D (3/2.5) 2,121 sqft - $3,750,000 [Redfin]
Double-D's On Market Street 2.0: Dolby Making The Move
Currently headquartered at 100 Potrero Avenue, Dolby Laboratories is in contract to purchase the 385,000 square foot building at 1275 Market Street (across Ninth Street from Market Square) with plans to move their people once the building's renovation and seismic retrofitting are complete.
Also underway, shoring to prevent any sliding due to the construction of 17 stories on the adjacent lot at 55 9th Street which will impact the building's "13 decks and amazing views of downtown and the ballpark" a bit.
∙ Dolby to follow Twitter, buys big Mid-Market building for HQ [Business Times]
∙ The Tweet Reincarnation Of 1355 Market Street [SocketSite]
∙ 17 Stories And 273 Rental Units Ready To Rise At 55 9th Street [SocketSite]
June 26, 2012
Praying For/From One Big Penthouse Atop 1601 Larkin As Proposed
Having failed to earn the Planning Commission’s approval last year which resulted in pending litigation, the razing and redevelopment of 1601 Larkin Street is back on the Planning Commission’s agenda this week with the Planning Department’s recommendation to approve the development, necessary variances, and the project's latest design.
The proposed project would demolish the dilapidated First St. John's United Methodist Church at the corner of Larkin and Clay and construct a 6-story building with 27 condos (24 of which will be two-bedrooms) over 29 parking spaces in its place.
The sixth floor will be one 4,860 square foot three-bedroom penthouse with five decks.
As always, we'll keep you posted and plugged-in.
∙ 1601 Larkin Street Design Sneak Peek Take Three (Or Four) [SocketSite]
∙ Development Of 1601 Larkin Disapproved By Planning Commission [SocketSite]
∙ An Attempt To Settle
For With San Francisco's Planning Commission? [SocketSite]
∙ 1601 Larkin: Comments, Responses And Latest Renderings [SocketSite]
∙ Behind Closed Doors: 1601 Larkin Settlement Discussions This Week [SocketSite]
The Price Was Right, The Readers Too Bullish
Listed for $2,195,000 in 2008 and $1,895,000 in 2010, the remodeled Noe home at 1430 Diamond returned to the market last month listed for $1,795,000.
While priced at $619 per square foot and in contract within two weeks, the sale of the 2,900 square foot single-family home closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price of $1,775,000 ($612 per square).
Playing by The Price is Right rules, unfortunately we have no points to award as readers' estimates ranged from $1,895,000 to $2,175,000.
∙ Comments: Bonus Points For Number Of Offers In Addition To Price [SocketSite]
Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM
A (Four) Million Dollar View And Yard
Purchased for $7,000,000 in 2004, the 4,836 square foot home at 333 Belvedere Avenue across the bridge in Belvedere returned to the market in early 2009 listed for $12,900,000. The property had been been refinanced in 2008 with a first mortgage for $4,650,000 and a second for $2,100,000 to which a third for $1,725,000 was added in July 2009.
Reduced to $9,950,000 in December 2009, to $8,950,000 in 2010, and then withdrawn from the market five months ago last asking $7,500,000, the one-time Blanding Estate Carriage House which was "beautifully transformed into one of Belvedere's most prominent view-oriented residences" (according to its Sotheby's listing) sold on the courthouse steps for $4,175,000 last week. But wait, there’s more.
While we can't currently confirm, and perhaps a bit of bravado is in play, if a plugged-in reader's source is correct, the multi-million dollar property "was bought by a neighbor with the intent of demolishing it to clear the view."
The demolition of 333 Belvedere Avenue is underway with the four million dollar view and new yard coming along nicely. Don't doubt the sources of those who are plugged-in.
∙ From A $7 Million View Home To A $4 Million View? [SocketSite]
Turning To China For Capital To Kick-Start Developments In SF
Seeking nearly $2 billion to kick-start the development of Hunters Point and Treasure Island in San Francisco, according to the Wall Street Journal, developer Lennar is in talks with the China Development Bank (CDB) to provide the capital with former deputy mayor of San Francisco Kofi Bonner leading Lennar's charge.
In recent years, Chinese state money—in large part provided by CDB and its counterpart the Export-Import Bank of China—has been pivotal in funding major infrastructure and resource projects around the world, but the bulk of that activity has been in developing countries in Africa, South America and Asia.
That has resulted in the construction of dams, airports, railways, highways and sports arenas that otherwise wouldn't get built, primarily in developing countries. Funding is typically conditional upon Chinese developers and contractors being used to build the projects. And in order to keep costs down, and in many cases to ensure the necessary expertise, at least a portion of the workforce is flown in from China.
This would be difficult or impossible in San Francisco, where local regulations and deals cut with local governments generally require developers to use local labor and pay prevailing wages.
We'll call that last paragraph an understatement.
∙ Chinese Target U.S. Homes [Wall Street Journal]
∙ Treasure Island Redevelopment Plans Approved! (Appeal Rejected) [SocketSite]
∙ Hunters Point Redevelopment Plan For 10,500 New Units Approved! [SocketSite]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Home/Condo Prices Show April Gains
According to the April 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 3.4% from March 2012 to April 2012, down 1.4% year-over-year, down 40.4% from a peak in May 2006.
For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values rose 1.2% from March to April, down 2.7% year-over-year, down 34.4% from a June 2006 peak.
On a monthly basis, 19 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites rose in April over March. Detroit was the only city that saw prices fall, down 3.6%. In addition, 18 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites saw better annual rates of return. It has been a long time since we enjoyed such broadbased gains. While one month does not make a trend, particularly during seasonally strong buying months, the combination of rising positive monthly index levels and improving annual returns is a good sign.
On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across all three San Francisco price tiers.
The bottom third (under $309,291 at the time of acquisition) gained 1.3% from March to April (down 1.6% YOY); the middle third gained 2.1% from March to April (down 0.8% YOY); and the top third (over $556,183 at the time of acquisition) gained 3.1% from March to April, up 0.5% year-over-year, the first YOY gain in seventeen months.
According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to April 2000 levels having fallen 60% from a peak in August 2006, the middle third is back to February 2002 levels having fallen 41% from a peak in May 2006, and the top third is back to January 2004 levels having fallen 25% from a peak in August 2007.
Condo values in the San Francisco MSA jumped 5.5% from March to April but remain down 2.2% year-over-year, down 32.8% from a December 2005 peak.
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: Home Prices Rise in April 2012 [Standard & Poor's]
∙ S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Condo Prices Jumped In March [SocketSite]
June 25, 2012
A $225,000 America's Cup Settlement That's For The Birds
Tomorrow, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors are scheduled authorize the payment of $225,000 to settle the lawsuit filed by "Waterfront Watch" over development activity related to the America’s Cup and on which former San Francisco Board of Supervisors president Aaron Peskin was a petitioner.
In addition to $150,000 for a bird study, the settlement includes $75,000 for attorneys' fees. And from point number four of the settlement agreement:
The Port shall retain that portion of Pier 29, considered by Petitioners to preserve the historic fabric of Pier 29 as set forth in the detail drawings attached to this Agreement as Exhibit 2. The Port shall retain the services of a qualified historic preservation architect to prepare the final architectural design for the east and south ends of Pier 29 as proposed for the long-term use of Pier 29 following the conclusion of the America’s Cup Event, which shall be provided to the Petitioners and Administrative Appellants and submitted to the City’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) to review and comment on its compatibility with the architectural and visual characteristics that define the Embarcadero National Register Historic District and consistency with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.
Of course, satisfying point number four might now be a bit problematic and costly.
As always, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.
∙ Piers 30-32 Dropped From AC34 Development Plan, Lawsuit Filed [SocketSite]
∙ Waterfront Watch Settlement Ordinance [sfbos.org]
∙ Pier Pressure And The Price San Francisco Taxpayers Might Pay [SocketSite]
∙ Pier 29 On Fire: Teams Racing To Save The America's Cup Site [SocketSite]
Foreclosure Activity Falls In San Francisco, Pipeline Down 31 Percent
Having ticked up in April, pre-foreclosure activity in San Francisco has fallen 17 percent over the past two months with 397 properties in the pipeline, 39 percent of which are in District 10*, down from 480 properties in the pipeline two months ago.
On a year-over-year basis, pre-foreclosure activity is down 31 percent with 576 properties in the pipeline at the same time last year, 32 percent of which were in District 10.
The number of properties scheduled for auction in San Francisco (522) fell by 12 percent over the past two months with 43 percent in District 10 versus 42 percent in April, down 24 percent from June 2011 when 41 percent were in District 10.
Last year roughly 70 percent of scheduled foreclosure auctions in San Francisco were cancelled (only one point above the 69 percent cancellation rate for scheduled auctions in District 10), up from a 66 percent cancellation rate in 2010, 55 percent in 2009, 53 percent in 2008, and 49 percent in 2007.
*Editor's Note: In an attempt to match and map two disparate data sets, we include 94124, 94134 and 94112 in "District 10," which results in a slightly larger area than the District as defined by the San Francisco Association of Realtors.
∙ Pre-Foreclosure Activity Ticks Back Up In San Francisco [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco Association Of Realtors New Neighborhood Map [SocketSite]
The Devilish Details For Bypassing SF's Condo Conversion Lottery
Once again, as plugged-in people knew to expect, Supervisors Farrell and Wiener have introduced Condo Conversion Lottery Bypass legislation which would allow eligible TIC owners to condo convert for a one-time fee of $20,000 per unit.
While the proposed fee amount is $20,000 per unit, said fee would be reduced for each year a unit has participated in the condominium conversion lottery, a reduction of 20 percent per year starting in year two, up to an 80 percent reduction for units that have participated for 5 years or more.
The full text and details of the proposed Condominium Conversion Impact Fee legislation:
∙ $20K To Condo Convert From TIC As Proposed [SocketSite]
∙ TIC Lottery Bypass Legislation Will Be Introduced Next Week [SocketSite]
∙ Condo Lottery Bypass Legislation Coming, Mayoral Support Unclear [SocketSite]
∙ Condominium Conversion 2012 Lottery Deadline And Odds (Against) [SocketSite]
U.S. New Home Sales: Up 19.8% YOY In May But Well Below Average
The seasonally adjusted annual pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. rose to 369,000 in May, up 7.6 percent from a revised rate of 343,000 in April and 19.8 percent above the 308,000 pace recorded in May 2011.
Preliminary U.S. new home sales (versus pace) in May were estimated to be 35,000 (give or take 8 percent), up 2,000 from April, the fourth slowest May on record since 1963. May sales peaked in 2005 with 120,000 new homes sold.
In the West, the pace of new home sales was up 10.8 percent year-over-year to 82,000 in April, down 3.5 percent versus the month before.
Annual new home sales in the U.S. have averaged 671,000 since 1963, peaking at 1,283,000 in 2005, bottoming at 306,000 last year.
∙ New Residential Sales: April 2012 [census.gov]
∙ U.S. New Home Sales: Up 9.9% YOY In April But Well Below Average [SocketSite]
∙ New Residential Sales Since 1963 [census.gov]
June 22, 2012
Plans For Parcel P: On This (Hayes Valley) Farm They're Building...
Plans to develop the 49,500 square foot parcel bordered by Oak, Octavia, Hickory and Laguna known as Parcel P over in Hayes Valley and currently home to part of the Hayes Valley Farm are up for approval next week.
With Avalon Bay having acquired the parcel, Build Inc.’s vision for breaking the development of the parcel into smaller pieces with different architects to create the feeling of an organically grown neighborhood is no longer but Avalon's design does employ "different forms and dwelling unit types, with varying architectural expression."
The proposal is to remove an existing surface parking lot and vegetation, regrade the project site, improve the Hickory Street right-of-way through the block along the northerly frontage of the property, and construct a new mixed-use building with 182 dwelling units, 3,800 square feet of retail space, and 91 off-street parking spaces, situated over a subterranean parking garage.
The project would vary in height across the site, reaching a maximum height of five stories. While the Project would consist of a single structure, the building would be articulated as a series of different forms and dwelling unit types, with varying architectural expression across the site.
Click the image above to enlarge.
∙ Parcel P Update (Hayes Valley Farm Sprouts New Website) And Plan [SocketSite]
∙ RFPs For Housing Along Octavia Boulevard [SocketSite]
Highlights And Insights From Warriors First Neighborhood Meeting
A few highlights and insights from the first meeting between Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts and neighborhood advocates from Rincon Hill, South Beach, South Park and Mission Bay by way of Jamie Whitaker's Rincon Hill blog with respect to the Warrior's plans for a new arena upon San Francisco’s Piers 30-32:
The proposed arena will take up about 40% of the [Piers 30-32] space.
Arena estimated to be 125-ft high. Estimated to hold 17,000 -18,000 seats. Currently at Oracle Arena, they have parking for 5,000 spaces. The Warriors believe parking for substantially fewer cars will be required for the new arena due to the better public transportation options available.
No architect has been selected. No design yet either. The location of the arena (where on the piers will it be built) will be critical in order to maximize public access to the waterfront.
Estimated $75-100 million to repair/retrofit the existing infrastructure; estimated $400-500 million to build the arena. 100% private financing. Allow 2 years for the EIR, then 3 years to build (including the time to retrofit the piers). They plan to be open for the 2017 season.
Also noted, while the parking lot across the street at the base of Watermark (SWL 330) is part of the proposed project, nothing has been decided with respect to its use.
∙ Notes from First Golden State Warriors and Neighbors Meeting [rinconhillsf.org]
∙ The Plans For A Legacy San Francisco Warriors Arena Upon The Piers [SocketSite]
∙ Seeking Noncompetitive Negotiations For Piers 30-32 [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco’s Last Minute Giveaways To Get The America’s Cup [SocketSite]
The Circle Of Life And 521 Liberty
Purchased for $1,161,500 in 2006 then gutted, rehabbed, and returned to the market asking and selling for $1,950,000 in 2007; the owner of 521 Liberty passed away and the home is back on the market and listed for $1,795,000.
In the words of a plugged-in ex-neighbor who notes the owner did some landscaping and minor work in the basement, but nothing that should really change the value:
I’m not sure what to think of the price. I thought [$1,950,000] was a crazy peak at the time in 2007. But it is a fantastic street, and with what’s been happening recently, could this actually be underpriced? I’m just not sure anymore.
If you think you know Eureka Valley, now's the time to tell.
∙ Listing: 521 Liberty (3/2) 1,608 sqft - $1,795,000 [Redfin]
∙ Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of
Profit A New Home [SocketSite]
Maher Muhawieh's "Winning" Ways (And Federal Prison Sentence)
From the Grand Jury Indictment that a plugged-in reader delivered back in 2010:
Beginning at a time unknown to the Grand Jury, but no later than January 2006, and continuing through at least March 2009, MAHER TALAL MUHAWIEH knowingly and intentionally devised a material scheme and artifice to defraud lenders, and to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises and omissions.
To execute and in furtherance of the scheme, MUHAWIEH solicited and caused others to solicit at least $25 million from at least 80 prospective lenders based upon (a) promises and representations that the lenders’ funds would be used to purchase and to renovate specific properties in San Francisco, California, that would then be sold at a profit, and (b) promises and representations that MUHAWIEH would thereby achieve regular and high rates of return for the lenders with limited risk.
In truth, MUHAWIEH did not intend to use the lenders’ funds in the manner that he promised and represented to the lenders, and instead misappropriated and converted those funds to his own benefit and the benefit of others without the knowledge and authorization of the lenders. In fact, and contrary to his promises and representations to lenders, MUHAWIEH instead used the lenders’ funds to pay interest on loans from other lenders, for personal expenses and to invest in retail businesses located in San Francisco, California.
∙ United States Of America Versus Maher Talal Muhawieh [SocketSite]
∙ Two More Muhawieh Comps Of Yore Head For The Courthouse Steps [SocketSite]
∙ S.F. developer sentenced to 6 1/2 years for fraud [SFGate]
June 21, 2012
If You Think You Know Contemporary Noe, Now's The Time To Tell
Purchased as new construction for $3,038,000 ($760 per square) in early 2008, the 4,000 square foot Noe home at 2212 Castro is back on the market and listed for $3,149,000.
The property boasts four bedrooms across three levels (click floor plan to enlarge) and a two (plus) car garage. If you think you know the contemporary Noe Valley buyer and market, now's the time to tell, apples-to-apples style.
∙ Listing: 2212 Castro (4/3.5) 4,000 sqft - $3,149,000 [2212castro.com]