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February 28, 2013

A Noe Valley Victorian Aims To Be SF's Eighth LEED Platinum Home


Built in 1903 and having recently sat vacant for half a decade, the three-story Noe Valley Victorian at 1436 Sanchez Street was purchased for $880,000 in 2009 and has since been rebuilt as a contemporary home targeting LEED Platinum certification, the eighth single-family LEED Platinum home in San Francisco if so certified.


Bought as an uninsulated two-bedroom home with one bath, 1436 Sanchez now sports five bedrooms and three and one-half baths across an updated floor plan designed by eco+historical and Feldman Architecture with easy access to the outdoors:


While not yet listed, 1436 Sanchez is about to hit the market for $2,695,000.


Other features of the rebuilt home include a solar system and new roof deck, a gray water system for the garden, and a man cave (or Au Pair unit) on the lower floor.


An nice overview of the project and process was chronicled on eco+historical's site.

∙ Listing: 1436 Sanchez Street (5/3.5) - $2,695,000 [1436sanchez.com]
∙ Project: 1436 Sanchez Street [eco+historical]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Comments (57)

More Modern On Mullen: Number 347 On The Market For $1,695,000

347 Mullen

The vacant Bernal Lot at 347 Mullen Avenue was purchased for $399,000 in June of 2008 and returned to the market for $599,000 in 2009 with fully approved plans for the 3,000 square foot contemporary home pictured above and inside below:


While the asking price was eventually reduced to $474,000 by the end of 2009, the lot never resold, but the house was built and has just hit the market listed for $1,695,000.


There are four bedrooms and three and one-half baths.


There's a three car garage in tandem.


It's just across the street from the truly modern home at 306 Mullen. And yes, the original kitchen layout blueprinted above was refined.

∙ Listing: 347 Mullen (4/3) 3,000 sqft - $1,695,000 [347mullen.com]
Modern Architecture Hits The Market Up On Mullen (306 Mullen) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Comments (28)

Selling Short For $74,000 More Than Was Paid

610 Illinois

Purchased for $525,000 in April of 2003 with one percent down and loans totaling $520,000 (ah, the good old days), 610 Illinois Street #203 was refinanced at the end of 2006 with $594,000 in debt.

Having just been listed as a "short-sale" for $599,000, five thousand more than was borrowed and $74,000 more than was originally paid for the Central Waterfront one-bedroom condo a few blocks from the newly proposed Café Cocomo development, the math might not make sense to some.

A couple of missing variables which might help to explain the listing: the 2006 era mortgage has been in default since June of 2011 at which point the owner was already $45,000 past due and has since declared bankruptcy.

∙ Listing: 610 Illinois Street #203 (1/1.5) 1,068 sqft - $599,000 [Redfin]
Plans For 120 New Condos Where Café Cocomo Stands (Or Shakes) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Comments (10)

February 27, 2013

The Two Towers And Building Heights For Mission Rock As Proposed

The proposed building heights for the Giants’ massive Mission Rock development range from 90 to 380 feet with two "signature residential towers" to rise on Parcels A and F at the northern end of the site topping the range. Click the image above with the proposed block-by-block heights to enlarge.

Replacement parking for AT&T Park, events, and visitors will rise up to 100 feet in a single parking garage on Parcel D at the southern end of the site, with 2,300 parking spaces for the 27-acre development with 125,000 square feet of retail and 8 acres of parks, plaza, and square.

Giants Moving Forward With Massive "Mission Rock" Development [SocketSite]
The Proposed Park, Plaza, And Mission Rock Square [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Comments (28)

Fox Plaza And Approved Plans For Expansion Have Changed Hands


Last week a plugged-in reader and resident of Fox Plaza at 1390 Market Street received notice that Archstone Fox Plaza had been bought by Essex Residential Property Trust. The complex will now be known as Essex Fox Plaza.

The sale included the 443-residential units on the top 16 floors of the 29-story tower, the 407-car underground garage, the attached two-story retail building, and the approved plans to build an additional 250 residential units on the corner as rendered above.

A Step Forward For The Plans To Expand Fox Plaza (1390 Market) [SocketSite]
Approved Fox Plaza Expansion Seeks Extension To Break Ground [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Comments (22)

Masonic Auditorium Plans Back On Track And Nob Hill In Harmony

Masonic Auditorium Rendering

Over the objections of Nob Hill neighbors who feared that the project would lead to an increase in noise, traffic, loitering, and litter, plans to renovate and expand the Masonic Auditorium were approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in 2010.

A lawsuit filed by the Nob Hill neighbors challenging the project received a favorable ruling from the court which ordered additional analysis and put the plans on hold.

Following years of discord, the Freemasons of California which own the building, Live Nation which leases the building, and the Nob Hill Coalition and Nob Hill Association have reached an agreement to allow the renovation to go forward. Key tenets of the agreement include:

• Cap on the number of live entertainment events
The number of live entertainment events will be capped at 54 concerts per year with an additional 25 cultural/comedy events per year. In addition, the Masonic will continue to host various ceremonies, corporate meetings and other special events.

• Controls on Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol service is limited to three full-service food and beverage concession stands for public events with 2,000 people or less, with one of the stands located in the VIP-only California room. No more than five full-service stands are allowed for larger public events and there will be no stands inside the auditorium.

• Establishment of the Huntington Park Preservation Fund
Live Nation and the Masons will make ongoing contributions in support of a new Huntington Park Preservation fund which is aimed at upgrading the facilities and making it a preeminent urban park. The initial project will be a major upgrade to the Children’s Playground on the north side of the park which has been in the works for some time and which is also being supported by contributions from neighbors. The capital cost of the Children’s Playground is estimated at $500,000.

• Creation of a School Music Program
Live Nation will sponsor a school music program for schools in District 3. Individual schools will be able to apply for grants for monies to buy musical instruments or fund student music programs, and Live Nation will work to make musical venues available to student performers.

• Reduced rental fees for ethic and cultural live entertainment events
The Masonic has a strong history of use by a diverse selection of ethnic entertainment, and Live Nation will continue to foster this diversity by offering reduced rental rates for ethnic and cultural performers.

• No Opposition to Final Permit
The neighborhood associations agree they will no longer contest the issuance of the Conditional Use Permit, ABC License or Building Permit for the Masonic’s proposed interior renovations.

The renovation is now slated to be completed by mid-2014.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Comments (2)

Plans For 120 New Condos Where Café Cocomo Stands (Or Shakes)


As we first reported a few weeks ago, Café Cocomo’s dancing days at 650 Indiana are numbered as a proposal to develop the site on which the club stands has been quietly pitched to San Francisco’s Planning Department. We now have the details for what is being proposed, including 120 residential units, a new public plaza, and the "Cocomo mews":

Zoned for development up to 58 feet in height, the proposed project would raze the existing structures between 630 and 698 Indiana and construct two 5-story buildings with 120 new residential units and 85 parking spaces; 1,417 square feet of retail; and 4,695 square feet of ground floor residential/commercial flex space along Indiana Street.

650 Indiana Site

An 8,900 square foot public plaza would be created at the corner of Indiana and 19th Streets and the two 5-story buildings would share a new mid-block alleyway dubbed the "Cocomo mews" which would provide access to the parking garage.

Café Cocomo's Dancing Days Are Numbered, Condos Coming Soon? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:00 AM | Comments (11)

February 26, 2013

The Undisclosed Address And History For This $24.8M Bachelor Pad


While listed with its "Address Withheld By Seller," or "Undisclosed," plugged-in people should recognize the seven bedroom Pacific Heights Italianate mansion that has just returned to the MLS at $24,800,000 as 2820 Scott Street, the 2008 Decorator Showcase.

2820 Scott Street: Mezzanine with Tiffany skylight

A boarding house prior to being purchased by the Paige family (think Paige Glass) in December 2005 for "much less" than its list price of $8,500,000, the 16,000 square foot property has since undergone a major renovation, remodeling, and re-decorating.


Unofficially asking $29,500,000 at the time of its Showcasing in 2008, a few months later it was officially listed for $27,500,000 and quickly reduced to $19,975,000 that September. Withdrawn from the market in December of 2008 having failed to find a buyer, 2820 Scott Street became the bachelor pad for the Paige's then 38-year-old son.

And while the views from within might be limited, the views from the roof deck are not:

2820 Scott Street: Roof Deck

∙ Listing: "Undisclosed" (7/9.5) 16,000 sqft - $24,800,000 [via Redfin]
The SocketSite Scoop On 2820 Scott: 2008 Decorator Showcase House [SocketSite]
From Our Word On The Street To Officially On The Market: 2820 Scott [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Comments (8)

Successfully Upzoned, Plans For The Castro's Fitness SF Take Shape

2301 Market now and as proposed

With the southwestern corner of Market and Noe having been successfully upzoned from 50 to 65 feet (and Café Flore's off-site kitchen protected), plans to add three stories to the building that currently houses Fitness SF at 2301 Market Street are taking shape.

First proposed in 2011, the plans call for another full-floor (9,500 square feet) for the gym, twelve new dwelling units on the top two floors, and a renovated retail space below.

According to the Castro Biscuit, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has already signed a lease for the renovated retail space but will need the Planning Commission’s approval to occupy as formula retail, the conditional use for which was actually applied for late last year.

Upzoning The Corner Of Market And Noe And Fighting Over Café Flore [SocketSite]
Should The Planning Commission Dictate Which Businesses Survive? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Comments (43)

Should Our Planning Commission Dictate Which Businesses Survive?

As we first reported, while San Francisco’s Planning Department backs the proposal to convert the Pacific Sales building at 975 Bryant into a Orchard Supply Hardware store, noting that the project "is desirable for, and compatible with the surrounding neighborhood," would "[improve] the pedestrian experience along Bryant Street" and "meets all applicable requirements of the Planning Code," following public testimony, San Francisco’s Planning Commission adopted a motion of Intent to Disapprove the project.

Who are the NIMBYs with which the Planning Commission is siding and for whom they intend to block the compatible project? A plugged-in reader reports:

The majority of comments were from various business owners (Cole Hardware, Builder Supply, Center Hardware, etc.) who expressed their usual concerns about how formula retail will put them out of business and change the face of San Francisco forever.
The owner of Cole Hardware claimed his business went down 25% after Lowes opened on Bayshore -- (in the middle of the recession). The owner of Center claims his Saturday business is still down 20%. Of course there's no way to check their numbers and Center has so little weekend business they don't even open on Sunday.
The best comment from a commissioner: "We're trying to save ourselves from ourselves" referring to people who say they want to support locally owned businesses but drive to Home Depot anyway.

Should it be the role of San Francisco’s Planning Commission to decide and dictate which businesses in San Francisco deserve protection from their competition and their customers as well?

Orchard Supply Hardware Coming To SoMa If Approved [SocketSite]
No Valentine’s Day Love For Orchard Supply Hardware In SF [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Comments (13)

"San Francisco" Home Prices End 2012 Up 14.4%, Condos Up 21.3%

According to the December 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 0.7% from November to December 2012 and ended the year up 14.4% but remain 32.6% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained a nominal 0.1% from November to December, up 5.7% year-over-year, down 30.0% from a June 2006 peak.

Housing and residential construction led the economy in the 2012 fourth quarter. In December’s report all three headline composites and 19 of the 20 cities gained over their levels of a year ago. Month-over-month, 9 cities and both Composites posted positive monthly gains. Seasonally adjusted, there were no monthly declines across all 20 cities.
The National Composite increased 7.3% over the four quarters of 2012. From its low in the first quarter, it surged in the second and third quarter and slipped slightly in the 2012 fourth period. The 10- and 20-City Composites, which bottomed out in March 2012 continued to show both year-over-year and monthly gains in December. These movements, combined with other housing data, suggest that while housing is on the upswing some of the strongest numbers may have already been seen.
Atlanta and Detroit posted their biggest year-over-year increases of 9.9% and 13.6% since the start of their indices in January 1991. Dallas, Denver, and Minneapolis recorded their largest annual increases since 2001. Phoenix continued its climb, posting an impressive year-over-year return of 23.0%; it posted eight consecutive months of double-digit annual growth.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across the top and bottom tiers in San Francisco but were flat in the middle.


The bottom third (under $383,919 at the time of acquisition) rose 1.7% from November to December (up 18.6% YOY); the middle third was unchanged from November to December (up 13.4% YOY); and the top third (over $686,706 at the time of acquisition) ticked up 1.0% from November to December, up 9.1% year-over-year versus 7.7% in November.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to January 2001 levels, down 53% from an August 2006 peak; the middle third remains at March 2003 levels, down 34% from a May 2006 peak; and the top third is just above May 2004 levels, 19% below an August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA ticked up 0.2% from November to December and are up 21.3% year-over-year but remain 23.6% below 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).

Home Prices Closed Out a Strong 2012 According to S&P/Case-Shiller [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco Home And Condo Prices Gain As US Index Slips [SocketSite] 

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Comments (76)

February 25, 2013

The Proposed Park, Plaza, And Mission Rock Square

Mission Rock Open Space Plan

As part of the Giants’ proposed Mission Rock Development, a new park, plaza and public square at the heart of the development will be built on eight of the area’s 27-acres.

Originally constructed as part of the AT&T Park project, China Basin Park will be expanded to 5-acres with a waterfront great lawn and special event area, a waterfront café with outdoor seating, a junior baseball field, gardens and picnic areas, and a promenade connection to the new Channel Plaza between Piers 48 and 50.


The area between Piers 48 and 50 will be converted into a hardscaped ½-acre "Channel Plaza" with views of working vessels and other maritime uses.

And at the heart of the development, Mission Rock Square will be a 1.3-acre park with a multi-use lawn, plaza, and café pavilion framed by a mix of residential and commercial uses, including ground-floor retail with a pedestrian connection to Channel Plaza.


The park and open spaces will be owned by, and remain under the jurisdiction of, the Port but managed and programmed by the Giants subject to Port approval. Maintenance of the parks and open spaces will be funded by special taxes imposed on the development.

Plug in tomorrow Wednesday for the proposed financial terms, project phasing, and block-by-block heights for the Giants’ Mission Rock Development to rise.

Giants Moving Forward With Massive "Mission Rock" Development [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 PM | Comments (11)

San Francisco Prestige Index Stalled In Q4 But Ends 2012 Up 8.4%

San Francisco Prestige Index: Q4 2012 (www.SocketSite.com)

The First Republic Prestige Home Index for "San Francisco" homes valued at more than $1 million and currently averaging $2.73 million fell a nominal 0.1 percent from the third to fourth quarter of 2012 but ended 2012 up 8.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The index remains down 11.3 percent from a third quarter 2007 peak but is back to first quarter 2005 levels, up 9.8 percent from the current cycle bottom which occurred in the first quarter of 2011 at which point the index was down 19.2 percent from its peak.

Over the past year, a little less than 25 percent of all home sales in San Francisco proper have been above the million dollar mark.

And as always, keep in mind that First Republic's "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 Up 2.4% Last Quarter, Up 8.1% YOY [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Comments (2)

Planning For A Projected 190,000 New Jobs In San Francisco By 2040

San Francisco's Central Corridor

With the population of the Bay Area expected to increase from roughly 7 million to 9 million people over the next 30 years, an integrated long-range transportation and land-use/housing plan for the San Francisco Bay Area by Plan Bay Area projects San Francisco will add 190,000 new jobs by 2040.

With an eye on high density, transit served locations to meet the projected growth, enter the Planning Department's plan for the Central Corridor centered on the Central Subway line and Fourth Street in SoMa, between Townsend and Market Streets:

While the City has performed significant planning for housing in recent years, it has been somewhat less proactive in planning space for jobs, whose location have a much stronger correlation with transit usage than does housing location. With significant development occurring since the adoption of [San Francisco’s] Downtown Plan over twenty-five years ago, few significant Downtown building sites remain, and as job types and industries diversify, companies are seeking a wider range of spaces than the typical Downtown model can provide.
The [Planning] Department, in coordination with the Office of Economic & Workforce Development, is looking at a number of areas and opportunity sites around the City to support continued job growth and economic development consistent with regional environmental objectives. The Central Corridor, as a high-demand area with excellent regional transit accessibility, adjacency to existing job centers, diverse urban amenities and connectivity to San Francisco’s well‐educated workforce, is a key part of that comprehensive strategy.
The Central Corridor Plan Area, centered along the Central Subway and the Fourth Street corridor in SoMa between Townsend and Market Streets, offers a unique opportunity for integration of transportation and land use. The Central Corridor Draft Plan will propose changes to land uses and building height controls, public realm and open space improvements, strategies for preservation of neighborhood character and historic resources, and increased environmental sustainability.

Slated for publication early next month, San Francisco’s Planning Department will present an update on the development of their Draft Central Corridor Plan to San Francisco’s Planning Commission on Thursday.

Keep in mind that in order to support 190,000 new jobs, Plan Bay Area projects 92,000 new housing units will be built in San Francisco as well, double San Francisco’s current housing pipeline.

Envisioning San Francisco’s Central Corridor As An EcoDistrict [SocketSite]
The Big Plans For This East SoMa Block, Bigger Than Planned In Fact [SocketSite]
The 43,580 New Units In San Francisco's Current Housing Pipeline [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Comments (7)

No Valentine's Day Love For Orchard Supply Hardware In SF

As we first reported two weeks ago with respect to the proposal to convert the Pacific Sales building at 975 Bryant into a 33,000 square foot Orchard Supply Hardware store:

While it took over a decade to get a new home improvement store out on Bayshore Boulevard, with the backing of the Planning Department, Orchard Supply Hardware is hoping to get a quick approval to convert the Pacific Sales building at 975 Bryant into a 33,000 square foot OSH with a plant nursery on the roof.
Other proposed changes to the building at 975 Bryant include landscaping, a new Bryant Street entrance, and a change of windows along Bryant Street to increase transparency.

Despite's San Francisco's Planning Department noting that the proposed project "is desirable for, and compatible with the surrounding neighborhood," would "[improve] the pedestrian experience along Bryant Street" and "meets all applicable requirements of the Planning Code," following public testimony on February 14, San Francisco’s Planning Commission adopted a motion of Intent to Disapprove the project by a vote of 5 to 2 with Commissioners Fong and Antonini dissenting.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to revisit the proposed project and the NIMBYs' objections, and act on their intent, with a vote this week.

Orchard Supply Hardware Coming To SoMa If Approved [SocketSite]
T-Minus Two Days (And A Decade In The Making) For Lowe’s In SF [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Comments (13)

A Plugged-In Public Service Announcement

The finder of a set of keys that were found along the running path in the Panhandle browses the USB drive attached to the key ring, Googles the addresses of properties referenced upon said drive, and returns a search results list of SocketSite articles.

If the keys above happen to belong to a plugged-in reader, here's how to claim them.

UPDATE: From the finder of the keys about an hour after we posted our announcement: "The owner of the keys saw the posting on your site this morning, contacted me, and got his keys back." It's yet another way it pays to be plugged-in. Cheers.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Comments (6)

America's Cup Amphitheater Ready For Commission's Rubber Stamp


Having more than doubled in size since plans were reviewed by the public and approved by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors last March, the now 9,000 seat amphitheater to be built upon Piers 27-29 for the 34th America’s Cup is set to be rubber stamped by San Francisco’s Entertainment Commission.

From the commission's executive director Jocelyn Kane by way of the Chronicle: "It's already been approved by the city, so there really isn't much for us to do except work on how loud or how long the concerts will go."

The amphitheater on Piers 27-29 will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the Cup later this year and as many as 40 concerts in-between.

Amended America's Cup Host Agreement Approved [SocketSite]
Rendering Scoop: San Francisco's Major America’s Cup Venues [SocketSite]
America's Cup amphitheater sails through [SFGate]
The Four America's Cup Challengers And 2013 Racing Schedule [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Comments (11)

February 22, 2013

A Call For New Parklets And Chance To Praise (Or Dish)


With 38 Parklets having been built across San Francisco, some of which are better than others, and a new Parklet Manual outlining the policies, procedures and guidelines for creating a parklet now online, the City is calling for proposals for new Parklets to rise.

Which raises our question, which of San Francisco’s existing Parklets deserve accolades and emulation and which deserve to be razed?

Mojo Parklet Opens Up, Divsiadero Street Improvements "Unveiled" [SocketSite]
Parklet Or Piglet? [SocketSite]
San Francisco Parklet Manual [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Comments (68)

NVIDIA Joins The Designer Campus Craze


Following in the footsteps of Apple and Facebook, NVIDIA has announced plans for a new designer campus to be designed by architect Hao Ko, design director for Gensler’s San Francisco architecture studio, and to be built across the street from NVIDIA’s existing campus in Santa Clara.

The design harmonizes smart functionality and a shape that connects with and inspires our employees – a triangle, the fundamental building block of computer graphics. Efficient in every way, the design is thoughtful in its use of space, energy, and environment, and, of course, cost.


Its vast open floors will facilitate our cross-functional work. The nature of building our products requires experts from multiple disciplines to come together, and this building is designed above all for collaboration.

Construction on the first half of the campus is slated to start in June with occupancy in 2015.

The "iCon" At The Center Of Apple’s Proposed Cupertino Campus 2 [SocketSite]
Frank Gehry Engaged To Design Facebook's Menlo Park Expansion [SocketSite]
NVIDIA To Build A New Home [nvidia.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Comments (23)

San Francisco Overlook Project Generates Some Form Letter Outrage

San Francisco Overlook Rendering

On the boards for nearly a decade, the proposed San Francisco Overlook Project would build 34 dwelling units, 12 duplexes and 10 townhouses ranging from 16 to 40 feet in height, on the northwest slope of Mount Sutro near the north end of Crestmont Drive.

San Francisco Overlook Site

Hoping to get started with demolition in early 2014 and be ready for occupancy by mid-2015, the project sponsors still need Planning’s approval with a hearing on the Project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) scheduled for March 7.

Of the 124 written comments received from the public on the EIR and to which the Planning Department has responded, 74 were submitted via a form letter provided by the Crestmont – Mt. Sutro – Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition which seems to oppose the development ("God forbid this move forward," "when is the earliest the trees will be destroyed?").

Dusting Off Plans For New Dwellings On The NW Slope Of Mount Sutro [SocketSite]
Responses To Comments On The Overlook Development Project [sfplanning.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Comments (4)

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