August 31, 2012
Plans For San Francisco’s Central Subway Chinatown Station Revealed
While the site has long been secured, and the demolition of the two-story building which sits upon the site of San Francisco’s future Central Subway Chinatown Station authorized, the design for the station has yet to be approved and is scheduled to be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission next week (click schematic to enlarge).
The majority of the proposed station will be located underground and is not subject to Commission review. At the street level, however, the project includes construction of a one-story station entrance building, known as the "head house," containing the station entrance and exits, an enclosed glass skylight that illuminates the escalators, back-of-house circulation and mechanical features, and an open plaza at the south end of the site:
The proposed building is composed as a three part scheme including a base, glazed body, and a top/fascia element. A public art installation, which has been approved by the Arts Commission, will wrap around the building at the cornice level. The top of the head house (approximately 24 feet above the sidewalk at the corner) is a flat slab capable of supporting future Transit Oriented Development (TOD) or a public park/open space.
Planning is charged with returning to the Planning Commission within a year of the station’s design being authorized with a plan and proposal for the slab. The Central Subway Summer Newsletter contains an update on all the subway laboring to date.
∙ Central Subway Station Site "Under Wraps" (And Renderings) [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco's Central Subway: Make That 2018 And An Extra $278M [SocketSite]
∙ Central Subway Eminent Domain And Last Resort Housing Plan [SocketSite]
∙ Central Subway Summer Newsletter and Construction Update [centralsubwayblog]
Dolores Park NIMBY's Suddenly Abandon Their "Historic" Concerns
Citing concerns that the Children's Day School's proposed changes to 601 Dolores would "substantially impact [the building’s] historical significance and its qualifications as a historical resource," the historic stewards at 629 Dolores filed a legal appeal to block the proposed renovations at 601 Dolores, including the addition of a roof deck, over which the neighbors' own newly added roof deck just so happens to peer.
With the Day School having since agreed to limit the use of their proposed roof deck to 20 hours a week between 9am and 5pm (not including 11am to 1pm during which use will only be allowed three days a week during the school year), and no more than six times a year between 6pm and 9pm, the neighbors have suddenly abandoned their historic concerns and are now perfectly fine with the potential impact on the building's historical significance and its qualifications as a historical resource which will likely be approved next week.
∙ Castle On The Park (601 Dolores) In Contract For $6,600,000 [SocketSite]
∙ Sweet Jesus (So To Speak): 601 Dolores On The Market And Inside [SocketSite]
∙ Playing The Preservation Card To Block Building Atop 601 Dolores [SocketSite]
∙ 601 Dolores Street: Approval with Different and Modified Conditions [
∙ Let There Be The Light (And Rooftop Garden) Of Day At 601 Dolores [SocketSite]
Twenty Million Reasons For Quickly Clearing A Lot
As we first reported yesterday, the development plans for the verdant vacant lot at 1000 Broadway have recently been dusted off having lain relatively dormant for the past six years. While development of the lot was first formally proposed in 2006 it was never approved yet a $15 million mortgage was secured against the property in April 2008.
Two months ago, a notice of default was filed and the property entered into foreclosure with $20,369,142.20 owed which might explain the recent push to clear the site for development and perhaps a quick sale, on or off the courthouse steps.
Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM
Calling All Developers To SF's Central Waterfront: Mirant Site In Play
Having been shuttered on January 1, 2011, a request for qualifications (RFQ) has just been issued to "at least 50 national and local developers" that might be interested in acquiring and developing the 22-acre central waterfront site upon which "Mirant's" old Potrero power plant sits bounded by the Bay, Illinois, 22nd and 23rd Streets.
While a deed restriction currently prohibits housing, "the site could be redeveloped for offices, institutional use or biotech space."
∙ Potrero Hill's "Mirant" Power Plant Finally To Close January First [SocketSite]
∙ Power plant site juices developers [San Francisco Business Times]
August 30, 2012
Modern Tales Of The City From A Contemporary Perch On Napier Lane
Napier Lane holds a special place in our hearts. It is quintessential San Francisco: an enclave of quirky homes that are perched along a wooden byway on the side of Telegraph Hill, can only be reached by way of the Filbert Steps, and offer sweeping views of the bay.
In 1999, the 1,800 square foot condo at 16 Napier Lane was purchased for $845,000. In 2003, the owners of number 16 purchased the 750 square foot number 14 for $575,000.
Remodeled in 2007, the two-unit building which was built in 1991 is now back on the market as a modern single-family home with two front doors and listed for $2,450,000.
And no, there isn't any parking.
A Remodeled Royal "Apple" Is Picked Atop Taylor Street
Speaking of buildings on Taylor Street, as we first noted five months ago, the 1,920 square foot Royal Towers unit #2003 at 1750 Taylor was purchased for $2,675,000 in 2002 and subsequently upgraded with a new kitchen, baths and bamboo floors.
Returned to the market and listed for $2,850,000 in March, the sale of 1750 Taylor Street #2003 closed escrow today with a reported contract price of $2,600,000, three (3) percent under the pre-renovated sale price it recorded in 2002.
∙ On A Day Like Today, We'll See You At The Pool... [SocketSite]
∙ Building Plans For The Point One Percent On Broadway And Taylor [SocketSite]
Building Plans For The Point One Percent On Broadway And Taylor
Upon the verdant vacant lot at the corner of Broadway and Taylor, three new buildings with four homes and parking for 16 cars are proposed to rise and moving through Planning.
The proposed project would subdivide the corner parcel into three new lots and construct a new residential building on each, resulting in two new single-family homes measuring 4,400 and 5,100 square feet and a 5,900 square foot two-unit building with a common below-grade garage for 16 vehicles with access from Taylor Street.
A 14-foot wide arched opening cut into the existing retaining wall on Taylor would house the 10-foot garge door and a 4-foot pedestrian doorway, through which the 16 parking spaces for the new dwellings, 1020 Broadway, and 1629 Taylor Street would be found:
The building heights of the proposed new buildings at 1000-1010 Broadway and 1601/1625 Taylor would range from 28 to 38 feet and three to four stories.
The two single-family homes would each have three parking spaces while the two-unit building would have two parking spaces per unit. As drawn above, the underground garage would extend under the adjacent parcel to the north at 1629 Taylor Street and under 1020 Broadway to the west to provide each with three new parking spaces as well.
While the project would result in the removal and replacement of approximately 34 existing trees on the project site, the large coast redwood at the corner of Broadway and Taylor would be retained and protected during construction as proposed.
UPDATE: While one reader reports that "according to the Russian hill neighbors, this lot was once slated for highrise development, until neighbors banded together and purchased it from the developer," another says no.
UPDATE: The history of 1000 Broadway to date.
August 29, 2012
1050 Valencia Street Scoop: The Design (And Liberty Hill's Opposition)
A plugged-in tipster delivers the latest renderings and an update on the five-story building that’s slated to rise on the site of Sugoi Sushi (the old Spork) at 1050/8 Valencia Street.
Current development plans call for the existing twelve-foot building at 1050 Valencia Street to be razed and a five-story building with 12 dwelling units over a ground floor restaurant; one off-street loading space on Hill for the restaurant; 24 bicycle parking spaces for residents; and 8 bicycle parking spaces with showers and lockers for employees to rise.
While originally slated to be rentals, according to our source they're now likely to be marketed and sold as condos, ten of which will be market rate with a mix of eight two-bedrooms and the rest ones. The only thing currently standing in the development's way: the Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association which has filed for a Discretionary Review (DR).
Apparently the Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association doesn’t want the project to rise over three stories, would like to limit the development to six units, and wants the development to include off-street automobile parking for residents.
The Association has even rendered their vision of what should be allowed to rise:
The project’s Discretionary Review is currently slated to be heard by San Francisco's Planning Commission on September 6. As always, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.
1600 Market Street's (De)Construction Command Center In Place
With a demolition permit in-hand which was issued in March, the command center for the deconstruction and reconstruction of 1600 Market Street as a five-story, mixed-use project without any parking (except for 14 bikes) has finally been moved into place.
Being built to deliver the mandated affordable housing component (BMR) for the market rate development at 1998 Market Street that’s underway, as we noted in April, the Stanley Saitowitz design for the 24-unit project at 1600 Market Street was shelved and it's Forum Design's design that will rise at the corner of Market, Page and Franklin:
An even mix of one and two bedroom units, we’ll note that one of the twenty-four units will be market rate as will the 3,776 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
The Saitowitz design for 1600 Market Street prior to the project being changed to a Below Market Rate (BMR) building and subsequently value engineered.
∙ 1600 Market: Envisioned Mixed-Use Redux (And Slight Reduction) [SocketSite]
∙ Entitled, Envisioned And For Sale (But Not Permitted): 1600 Market [SocketSite]
∙ Arquitectonica Designed 1998 Market Street Ready To Break Ground [SocketSite]
San Francisco Prestige Index Up 2.9% In Q2 2012, Up 6.6% YOY
The First Republic Prestige Home Index for "San Francisco" homes valued at more than $1 million, and currently averaging $2.67 million, gained 2.9 percent from the first to second quarter of 2012, up 6.6 percent year-over-year.
The index remains down 13.4 percent from a third quarter 2007 peak but is back to first quarter 2005 levels, up 7.2 percent from the first quarter of 2011 current cycle bottom.
As always, keep in mind that the "San Francisco" index includes "a cross-section of luxury homes in Alamo, Atherton, Belvedere, Danville, Healdsburg, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Mill Valley, Moraga, Orinda, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Portola Valley, Ross, St. Helena, San Francisco, Saratoga, Sonoma, Tiburon and Woodside."
∙ First Republic Prestige Home Index: San Francisco [firstrepublic.com]
∙ San Francisco Prestige Index Down 0.3% In Q4 2011, Down 3.1% YOY [SocketSite]
August 28, 2012
The Case For A Shorter (Or Perhaps Taller) Tower At 706 Mission?
As we reported when we first published the details and renderings for the proposed 550-foot tower to rise at 706 Mission last month:
Currently zoned for 400-feet, the project will require a zoning map amendment to see its full potential versus being cut short. Assuming an amendment, a determination that new shadows cast on Union Square are not adverse will be required as well.
The shadow calculations prepared for the proposed project indicate that it would cast net new shadow on Union Square during the morning hours from early October through early November and from early February through early March. The proposed project would not cast net new shadow on Union Square after 9:30 AM on any day during the year.
On an annual basis, the proposed project would cast 337,744 sfh of net new shadow on Union Square, which would be an increase of about 0.22 percent relative to the existing annual shadow on the park. This amount of net new shadow would exceed the remaining shadow budget of 323,123 sfh of shadow that could be cast on Union Square by proposed future development projects.
Whiling acknowledging that city planners seem to believe the proposed tower will complement Jessie Square, John King plays the "but what if they’re wrong" card and suggests a shorter tower makes more sense on the site:
A better approach here would be a high-rise in the 25-story range, exquisitely detailed and shaped to capture the eye from the street. In other words, along the lines of such diminutive standouts as 101 Second St. and the city's most recent condominium tower, One Hawthorne.
It wouldn't turn heads on the skyline. Instead, you could imagine it catching the eye when seen from Yerba Buena Gardens, glowing against the mundane slabs behind it to the north and east.
This approach would mean no shadows on Union Square. It also would silence the most vocal critics of the tower, speeding up the approval process. And in San Francisco, that might be the most valuable subsidy of all.
Based on our estimates, a 25-story tower would reduce the residential gross square footage of the building by 285,000 square feet, over half the proposed density for the site in San Francisco’s urban core.
We’ll also conservatively estimate that a loss of 285,000 gross square feet at this site would represent at least $425 million in sales, which if realized, would represent initial transfer taxes of over $3 million and property taxes of over $5 million a year.
UPDATE: While we’re well aware Mr. King isn’t suggesting the current design simply be shrunk, an approximation of how the site would look with the current design at 25 stories:
∙ The 706 Mission Scoop: Design, Details And Timing For Museum Tower [SocketSite]
∙ Plaza could suffer if tower climbs high [SFGate]
∙ Sue Hestor Seeks To Stop Transit Center Tower Development Short [SocketSite]
∙ Sneak Peek: 706 Mission Tower Design And Aronson Building Rehab [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco Property Tax Rate Set To Increase 0.67 Percent [SocketSite]
S&P/Case-Shiller San Francisco: Home/Condo Prices Continue Gains
According to the June 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA gained 2.8% from May 2012 to June 2012, up 3.0% year-over-year (YOY) but remains 36.3% below a May 2006 peak.
For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 2.2% from May to June, up 0.1% year-over-year, the first YOY gain in twenty (20) months but 31.5% below a June 2006 peak.
Only two cities – Charlotte and Dallas – saw annual rates of change worsen in June. The other 18 cities and both composites saw improvement in this statistic, and 13 of these had a positive trend. There were only six cities – Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and San Diego – where the annual rates of change were still negative. Boston’s annual rate was flat. We seem to be witnessing exactly what we needed for a sustained recovery; monthly increases coupled with improving annual rates of change. The market may have finally turned around.
The regions showed positive results for June. All 20 of the cities saw average home prices rise in June over May and all were by at least 1.0%. Detroit was up the most, +6.0%, and Charlotte the least, +1.0%. The Composites showed the same increases as last month – the 10-City rose by 2.2% in June and the 20-City by 2.3%. We are aware that we are in the middle of a seasonal buying period, but the combined positive news coming from both monthly and annual rates of change in home prices bode well for the housing market.
On a month-over-month basis, prices increased across all three San Francisco price tiers.
The bottom third (under $336,465 at the time of acquisition) gained 2.3% from May to June (up 1.5% YOY); the middle third gained 2.0% from May to June (up 2.4% YOY); and the top third (over $610,976 at the time of acquisition) gained 1.3% from May to June, up 3.7% year-over-year (versus 2.6% in May).
According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to July 2000 levels (58% below an August 2006 peak), the middle third is back to May 2002 levels (38% below a May 2006 peak), and the top third is back to April 2004 levels (22% below an August 2007 peak).
Condo values in the San Francisco MSA gained 2.3% from May to June, up 4.8% year-over-year but still 28.9% below 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 Rose in the Second Quarter of 2012 [Standard & Poor's]
∙ Case-Shiller San Francisco: First Year-Over-Year Gain In 18 Months [SocketSite]
August 27, 2012
Tech Jobs Up By A Third In San Francisco, Filled Mostly By Commuters
From the Examiner, to SFAppeal, to TechCrunch, news sites across the country have been misreporting that the number of tech jobs in San Francisco has tripled from January through June of this year, from 13,000 to 44,000. The actual increase was 13,000, up a third from 31,000 to 44,000.
Directly from San Francisco's Center for Economic Development in response to our inquiry into the reported tripling that simply didn't make any sense:
Since early 2012 the number of workers in San Francisco's tech sector has grown by 13,000 to total 44,000. During the same time period, 150 more technology firms moved to the city, bringing the total number to 1,850. This growing trend is helping eliminate commutes to Silicon Valley for many San Francisco-based workers and, analysts believe, strengthening the city's housing and rental markets.
Note that employment within San Francisco has increased by 6,200 workers from January through June, suggesting that over half of those 13,000 new tech jobs have been filled by workers commuting from housing outside the city.
UPDATE: Four hours after we uncovered the link to the correct data and first published our report, the Chronicle figured it out. The first line of the Chronicle's report: "SF Appeal, Tech Crunch, the Examiner and others are all reporting that tech jobs tripled in San Francisco this year — a growth rate that would be stunning, if only it were true." Stunning, indeed.
∙ Tech jobs in SF triple in first half of 2012 [SF Examiner]
∙ SF Tech Job Numbers Triple In 2012 [SFAppeal]
∙ Tech Jobs Have Tripled In San Francisco Since The Start Of 2012 [TechCrunch]
∙ Employment In San Francisco Up By 4,600 In July, Up 24,900 YOY [SocketSite]
The Tale Of Armistead Maupin's "37 Percent Over Asking" Sale
Last month we first reported Armistead Maupin's 1,606 square foot home was about to hit the market at 27 Belmont Avenue. As we noted at the time, the property had been priced by Bernie "Fifty Offer" Katzmann at $1,198,000, under $750 per square foot for the Parnassus Heights property with views.
As a plugged-in reader noted soon thereafter:
Around this neighborhood the lore is that nice houses go for $1000/square foot. This one counts as nice -- not only views, but green outlooks in multiple directions. Plus, the house has gotten a lot of love from somebody with taste. So yeah, there are comps for a 1.6M price.
The sale of 27 Belmont closed escrow last week with a reported contract price of $1,640,000 ($1,021 per square foot). Yes, that’s 37 percent "over asking" yet more or less right at market having simply been priced well below.
Keep an eye out for the press release and postcards, perhaps even an article in the paper!
∙ Armistead Maupin's Storied San Francisco Home Hitting The Market [SocketSite]
∙ Have You Heard The One About The House With Over 50 Offers? [SocketSite]
∙ It's Not This Mid-Century Modern Noe Valley Home That Was Flawed [SocketSite]
Golden State Warriors Snag Snøhetta For Piers 30-32 Stadium Design
While Facebook has tapped Frank Gehry, the Golden State Warriors have snagged Snøhetta, the architecture firm behind SFMOMA’s expansion and the waterfront Norwegian National Opera and Ballet building pictured above, to design the Warriors' proposed stadium upon Piers 30-32 and the development of Seawall (SWL) 330 across the street.
Snøhetta will be paired with AECOM's San Francisco office for stadium expertise.
∙ Let It Snø! (Snøhetta Snags SFMOMA Expansion Project) [SocketSite]
∙ Linking 2 worlds of culture: art, sports [SFGate]
∙ SFMOMA Expansion Design: New Details, Renderings And Video [SocketSite]
∙ Frank Gehry Engaged To Design Facebook's Menlo Park Expansion [SocketSite]
∙ The Plans For A Legacy San Francisco Warriors Arena Upon The Piers [SocketSite]
August 24, 2012
Frank Gehry Engaged To Design Facebook's Menlo Park Expansion
While Apple has their iCon, Facebook has engaged the iconic Frank Gehry to design their Menlo Park campus expansion with plans to break ground in early 2013.
From Facebook's Environmental Design Manager, Everett Katigbak on the design:
It will be a large, one room building that somewhat resembles a warehouse. Just like we do now, everyone will sit out in the open with desks that can be quickly shuffled around as teams form and break apart around projects. There will be cafes and lots of micro-kitchens with snacks so that you never have to go hungry. And we’ll fill the building with break-away spaces with couches and whiteboards to make getting away from your desk easy.
We’ve paid just as much attention to the outside as well. The exterior takes into account the local architecture so that it fits in well with its surroundings. We’re planting a ton of trees on the grounds and more on the rooftop garden that spans the entire building. The raw, unfinished look of our buildings means we can construct them quickly and with a big emphasis on being eco-friendly. Of course, we’ll maintain our current campus and use an underground tunnel to connect the two.
The new building will house up to 2,800 engineers. Click the rendering above to enlarge.
Inside The Urban Pad At 2495 Harrison And Behind The Plans For More
As we first wrote about 2495 Harrison Street last year:
A saloon in 1888, vacant since 2008, and having served as a commercial space between, as proposed the single-story building at 2495 Harrison Street would be converted into a nonprofit community facility d.b.a. "The Seed Fund for the Studio for Urban Projects."
In addition to the renovation, as proposed a three-story single-family home of 1,400 square feet would be built on the back of 2495 Harrison Street's lot. San Francisco's Planning Department supports the project, the Planning Commission will vote this week.
While the conversion and expansion of the existing building for use as a community center was approved, as far as we know it never came to be and instead the building was remodeled as a lofty one-bedroom urban pad with parking for three cars.
Purchased for $550,000 in 2010 prior to the remodel, the property is now back on the market and listed for $828,000 including the plans, but no permits, for the new home to be built upon the aforementioned parking spaces out back.
∙ Listing: 2495 Harrison Street - $828,000 [paytonbinnings.com]
∙ From Saloon To Nonprofit And Single-Family Home On Harrison [SocketSite]
Testing The Waters For An Eight-Story Building At 7th And Minna
With Heller Manus at the helm, a proposal to raze the Good Hotel annex at 114 7th Street and construct an eight-story building with forty-eight dwelling units, fifteen underground parking spaces, twenty-seven spaces for bikes, and approximately 2,795 square feet of ground floor retail at the corner of 7th and Minna is quietly testing the waters at Planning.
As plugged-in people know, a plan to convert the Best Western Carriage Inn across Minna at 140 7th Street into a 27-unit residential building is also being floated.
∙ Bucking One San Francisco Trend But Jumping On Another [SocketSite]
Moscone Center's Expansion Plans Going Underground
Having abandoned a onetime proposal to raze 680 Folsom to make way for Moscone Center's growth, and the re-skinning and renovation of 680 Folsom well underway, a plan to dig out a 500,000-square-foot addition under Howard Street has been selected as the way Moscone will expand.
∙ From Renovation To Potentially Razed For 680/690 Folsom [SocketSite]
∙ A Re-Skinning Crane Has Risen At 680 Folsom Street [SocketSite]
∙ $550M Moscone project takes shape [San Francisco Business Times]
438 Roosevelt Returns Listed For 24,490 Benjamins
As we wrote about 438 Roosevelt when it was on the market in 2007 asking $2,995,000:
Get over the choice of exterior paint and get inside: big windows, views and lots of light; a steel and glass staircase; an open kitchen with bomber appliances and access to the patio/garden; and a three car garage.
Repainted, relisted and reduced to $2,495,000 in 2010, the property was withdrawn from the market near the end of 2011 last asking $2,295,000. It’s now back and listed anew for $2,449,000 with two bedrooms and parking spaces versus the previous three and three.
Once again, the lot upon which the house now sits was purchased for $500,000 in 1999, and the new home first sold for $2,275,000 in 2002 having been listed for $2,850,000.
∙ Listing: 438 Roosevelt Way (2/2.5) - $2,449,000 [438roosevelt.com]
∙ More Monday Morning Modern (Or Is It Contemporary?) [SocketSite]
∙ The Green Is Gone At 438 Roosevelt [SocketSite]