October 17, 2012
It's 2001 Era Technology (But Not Prices) Over At Madrone
Last night’s celebratory meeting for buyers of condos over at Madrone in South Mission Bay took a turn for the worse when the topic of technology was raised. From a plugged-in attendee of the meeting hosted by Bosa Development:
During the question & answer portion of the meeting, it became apparent to the homeowners that Bosa did not wire the complex for satellite TV. It also did not wire the complex for webpass / ethernet internet. The meeting was supposed to have a celebratory feeling, but it quickly turned cantankerous.
Homeowners were dumbfounded as to why in 2012, this complex wouldn't have been wired for this day and age, especially since all other high rises in the area have these technology options....even the Beacon. The Bosa San Francisco Vice President responded that the reason for this was because the Madrone was actually designed in 2001 and those technologies weren't available in 2001. Of course, this just angered the audience all the more.
One homeowner in the audience suggested that since they bought a 2001 design, perhaps they should be paying 2001 prices, a suggestion to which Bosa didn't take too kindly.
∙ Madrone: T-Minus Two Months To Official Grand Opening [SocketSite]
First Published: October 17, 2012 10:15 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
This is clearly the best development in San Francisco, in one of the hottest areas of the city. You can get to anywhere easily and its an easy commute to Palo Alto.
Posted by: Joshua Penzar at October 17, 2012 10:28 AM
Not sure what the fuss is about. Bosa built it, buyers bought it, done deal! It's another issue if there are construction defects or if Bosa misrepresented the hook-ups, but barring that, buyers should be reading their docs and doing their due diligence, especially if they are paying over $1000 psf!
Posted by: WH at October 17, 2012 10:34 AM
Interior units have a distinct closed-in, motel-like vibe. Look right into the other units and watch people swimming? Can't imagine living there.
Posted by: Invented at October 17, 2012 10:46 AM
Yikes. Can't say that I buy the vice president's story. Our building was completed in 2002 (with design and construction plans and permits being acquired before 2001) and is ethernet equipped. We have being Webpass for several months now. I'd be pissed if I was an owner too!
Posted by: Neal at October 17, 2012 10:52 AM
I think they have this backwards. The building is likely wired with fiber which is far more advanced than twisted pair/cat5 which is what Webpass requires. You could argue that Webpass depends on tech from 2001. Although Webpass wont work now I am sure people will appreciate the fiber wiring long term.
Posted by: ArterraResident at October 17, 2012 11:14 AM
Maybe buyers should've done their homework. But I mean they bought a place in Mission Bay, so they obviously don't care too much about anything.
Posted by: jackson at October 17, 2012 11:22 AM
I live nearby in a 400+ unit complex that was put up in 1989. We have Webpass.
Posted by: South Beach at October 17, 2012 11:31 AM
This doesn't surprise me. I looked at Radiance (the sister property) and found the sales office was quite shady.
Posted by: Robert R at October 17, 2012 11:33 AM
Seems to me that Ethernet cables and Satellite are the outdated technologies. Isn't wireless and streaming where everything is going?
Posted by: mwsf at October 17, 2012 12:07 PM
I looked to purchase there early last spring, but didn't because of the motel-like-vibe, described above.
Re Internet, I asked and they advised me it would AT&T.
I'm currently renting here now, for reasons beyond my control. They didn't get the recycling or the composting right either. Most new buildings have a single shoot for recycling and trash and you are able to switch with a simple button. Composting drop off is not very accessible. It's big building and it's a long walk, not sure everyone's going to do it.
That said, it's very well build property, just not for everyone.
Posted by: lvv009 at October 17, 2012 12:18 PM
Agree with the "hotel vibe." Looked seriously 4-5 months ago. Could not get past the look of the interiors. Also. At some point, the view back towards the city is going to be gone for the units that face that direction. Strongly suggest potential buyers review the master-plan for the area before buying.
Posted by: The-Tree at October 17, 2012 2:34 PM
"Most new buildings have a single shoot for recycling and trash and you are able to switch with a simple button."
WHAT IS THIS MAGIC YOU SPEAK OF??
Posted by: WH at October 17, 2012 3:58 PM
I purchased a condo in this building pre-construction, primarily as a secondary residence in the city. I couldnt agree with the comments here more. This developer is terrible and has cut so many corners in finishing this development that it has turned into a terrible disappointment. A view shared by many of the current owners. For future owners, look forward to finding one thing wrong after another with your condo. Plan on spending another $25-$50K to fix everything. Finally, ask Bosa to describe to you how they define square footage, after which you will realize that your condo is NOT of the square footage listed on your documents.
As for the North California VP for Bosa, referenced in the article, she is a real piece of work. I cant imagine why anyone would hire her to represent them. What a B***h!
Posted by: Ben Choad at October 17, 2012 4:07 PM
@Ben Choad sorry to hear you are having troubles with your unit. I was referencing the particular unit I'm renting which seems fine (keeping fingers crossed).
Re: square footage, I googled "Bosa" and a number of law suits from their previous developments in Vancouver and San Diego came up related to this issue. Another reason why I didn't buy.
I agree with "hotel vibe". Whenever I walk down the corridor to the garage, I feel like I'm in a down-scaled W sans the throbbing music, but with lots of hipsters in flip-flops.
@WH A few buildings I've visited have garbage shoots but with a button to switch between the rubbish and the recycled goods. Obviously, you can't dispose of big boxes, but the everyday stuff goes down the same shoot. In a world where we must recycle as much as possible, it makes a world of difference.
Posted by: lvv009 at October 17, 2012 4:43 PM
Hard to believe that in a city like San Franisco that is so tech heavy a developer would not include acces to Ethernet. I'd be surpised if this doesn't hurt sales. Btw, how many units are left?
Posted by: Toodles at October 17, 2012 6:15 PM
Ethernet? WTF? Seriously? People still use this and actually WANT it?
Posted by: WTF at October 17, 2012 6:25 PM
@ Toodles: Got an e-mail from them, saying it's over 80% sold.
Btw, I own there, and I think it's quite nice. There were a few cosmetic fixes to be done, and they were prompt about it. I haven't fully moved in yet, but I, too, think it's a well-built building. I use AT&T Internet and U-Verse now, so I don't see that being a problem.
Posted by: WTF at October 17, 2012 6:28 PM
I don't think the issue is the residents are dying for ethernet. It's that the Madrone was only wired with fiber for AT&T U-Verse. Now, can you imagine that as your only option for internet?.. Especially in this tech-savvy area.
Posted by: Shockwave at October 17, 2012 6:32 PM
@ Shockwave: Yes, it's always nice to have options, but as long as I get high-speed Internet and cable, I'm good. I'm glad the only option wasn't Comcast! I hate Comcast.
I bought here because it's an easy commute for me to work downtown and freeway access is just a few blocks away. I don't know why some people knock Mission Bay, but I think it's a nice area and look forward to living there. It would be great to walk my dogs along the water. The view is amazing. The weather is often quite nice. I hope we get more shops/restaurants/conveniences as the area develops.
Posted by: WTF at October 17, 2012 6:42 PM
It's not that they are only wired for AT&T. They are the only carrier that is currently advanced enough for it. Over time that should improve.
Posted by: X at October 17, 2012 8:58 PM
Hello....he said what???? "The Bosa San Francisco Vice President responded that the reason for this was because the Madrone was actually designed in 2001 and those technologies weren't available in 2001."
I bought a unit at Portside in 1997 and it was wired for both cable and Ethernet....
His answer make no sense....So what else is missing in this spanking new development....hot and cold running water, electricity....in-door plumbing????
Posted by: URkidding at October 18, 2012 6:25 AM
@toodles: Of course they want Ethernet -- that's how you get decent wireless inside your unit. Our WebPass offers 200 Mbit up & down, for $50 /mo (and the building also has options for cable or DSL connectivity).
Other topic: The comment from the builder that the technology wasn't available when the permits were drawn is grossly untrue. Citing The Brannan (built in 2000, has all of the above available) is just pointing out the obvious.
Posted by: ciparis at October 18, 2012 8:30 AM
I am always jelly of my friends' webpass service. Comcast and att sucks.
Posted by: anun at October 18, 2012 9:48 AM
So that's why their Redfin listings never show any aspect of the actual property being sold.
Posted by: EH at October 18, 2012 2:13 PM
In speaking directly with WebPass, I learned that:
- The developer Bosa only used AT&T Fiber to wire the building
- There is NO CAT5 wiring at all in the building
- If the HOA would want to rewire the building for CAT5, it would cost at least a couple of thousand dollars per unit.
It's incredible to me that San Francisco's newest luxury complex will be relegated to using AT&T U-Verse. Definitely short-sighted on the Bosa Development Group. For example, the fastest speed you can get with AT&T U-Verse is 24MBPS. The fastes speed you can get with WebPass is 200MBPS....that is a HUGE DIFFERENCE!
Posted by: FlyBy at October 19, 2012 3:16 PM
And now for a minority report. From the New York Times just a few days back, In San Francisco, High-Rises by the Bay:
…for the young tech professionals, the catalyst for their condo purchases — often in developments South of Market — is San Francisco’s exceedingly tight rental market. What the buildings lack in proximity to supermarkets and night life they make up for with an easier commute to tech companies in Silicon Valley, which can take up to 90 minutes during rush hour…
Mayank Mehta and his wife, Ashini Desai, both 30, bought a two-bedroom apartment in Madrone in Mission Bay earlier this year after their landlords at a nearby building told them that their rent of $3,000 a month would jump by 50 percent…Mr. Mehta says they chose Madrone because of its investment potential and easy access to Palo Alto, paying just over $1 million for the apartment, which has about 1,600 square feet. Prices in Madrone range from $500,000 to about $2 million.
“Over the last three years,” Mr. Mehta said, “…rents shot through the roof. We found it was economically better to be owners than renters.”
The story tells us that Mr. Mehta works at start-up in Palo Alto that makes custom mobile applications.
Just going on what I've read above and in the media in general, I agree with X's comment above.
If I were a developer in 2001, I would have also specified fiber optics instead of Ethernet because in 2001, I'm pretty sure the technology to run triple digit Mbs data rates over Ethernet/Cat-5/Cat-6 wasn't yet invented, and it looked to everybody in the industry like fiber optic was the only way to go in the future for new development.
The speeds currently available from U-Verse aren't reaching the limits of the fiber medium, although I haven't got a clue why AT&T is trying so hard to limit their customer base and have their lunch eaten for them by the cable companies.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at October 21, 2012 1:05 PM
The best way to future proof a building for digital services isn't to install the latest greatest whether it be cat6, fiber, or whatever. Just install conduit. Then twenty years later when there's a better transport media you can just remove the old stuff and pull in the latest best cable. Installation costs are minimized because no walls need to be opened.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at October 22, 2012 8:38 AM
We bought at the Madrone. We also bought at the Brannan thirteen years ago. So many naysayers said how could you buy in such an isolated place. I think we can all agree that South Beach is hardly a wasteland anymore. It's the "vision" thing. Best weather and great views of the City, bridge, bay. I loved watching South Beach transform in front of me. And how many condos allow you to BBQ on your patio in San Francisco...answer: one, The Madrone.
Posted by: John Johnson at October 24, 2012 4:00 PM
Attention all Hipsters!!
It's garbage "chute", not garbage "shoot"!
I assume none of you work for Google - think that's on the test . . .
Posted by: John at October 25, 2012 11:55 AM
IT is weird that people do not like the hotel vibe. All of my friends love that, and so do I. You would rather have a bland residential interior. Weird. Also, I lived in a place that had the single chute for garbage, receycling, and compost for 2+ years. It literally worked 5-10 times the whole time I lived there. Great idea, but the machines just do not work. People at my building thought it worked, but it wasn't. They were just throwing everything in the grabage.
Posted by: Dave at October 27, 2012 2:38 PM
I don't mind the hotel vibe at all. I brought my parents by to see my place, and they said the hallways were just like the hallways of a nice cruise line they had been on, and they thought the Madrone is really nice. I've searched the city for three years now for a place that I would not have to update; I could just move in and be done with it. I have been into many, many condos and lofts. None have yet compare to the Madrone, given the quality, location and amenities. Although I loved the high ceiling and the openess of lofts, many of them are just not "functional" given the loft (usually) bedroom, and do not have many, if any at all, amenities. Few lofts/condos even have any outdoor space/deck/patio/balcony. The balcony here is quite roomy. The staff is always extremely nice, helpful and polite.
There are still some kinks that need to be worked out because the Madrone is still very new, but all in all, I'm happy with my purchase. I look forward to the area's near future.
Posted by: WTF at October 29, 2012 10:13 AM
Bosa has done some things right on this project, but the choice of Andrea Jones as VP is not one of them. Her attitude and invented answers/responses to issues has been atrocious from day one! Parking/garage is very poor, bike parking consists of 36 cages for 300 units even though bikes are prominent in the marketing collateral, the HOA is having to add racks. Bosa is completely disorganized on walk thru and punch list items, months to complete and poor workmanship abounds.
BTW - you cannot BBQ on your private balcony/patio unless it is with an electric grill, might want to read the CC&Rs and handbook on that one. No open flame is allowed. There are two gas BBQs at the pool level for common use.
Posted by: Theo at November 29, 2012 5:25 PM
At the first meeting of members last Monday, we learned that BOSA has approved installation of Master Direct TV satellite service and Xillient internet which will give owners and residents more options.
Great move from my perspective and everything seems to be coming together. Not bad momentum for new ground up construction. BOSA seems committed to answer to the interests of the community which recently began closing units in phase II.
Posted by: bsf at January 10, 2013 4:47 PM