March 29, 2013
181 Fremont Tower Fully Rendered, Animated, And Ready To Rise
Having acquired the Transbay parcel and approved plans to build a 52-story tower with 14 floors of condos over 400,000 square feet of office space and a spire reaching 800 feet, Silicon Valley builder Jay Paul plans to break ground on 181 Fremont as soon as possible.
While many have seen the renderings, for the first time we're publicly serving up the animation for the tower which was filmed by steelblue for the Jay Paul Company. And yes, RocketSpace will soon need to find a new home.
∙ Latest SF Skyscraper Scoop: 181 Fremont Redesigned And Rendered [SocketSite]
∙ Jay Paul ‘hits the ground running' [San Francisco Business Times]
Disapproved For Development In 2010, Another Plan Is Pitched
Permits to demolish the one-story warehouse on the northwest corner of 15th and Shotwell and construct a four story building with ten apartments on the site were disapproved in 2010, at which point the development plans for the parcel were cancelled.
Purchased for $1,450,000 this past October, a new plan has been quietly pitched to Planning with a proposal to demolish the building at 1450 15th Street and construct a 5-story, 50-foot tall building with 23 dwelling units and parking for 17 cars and 12 bikes.
From the Planning Department's assessment of the property back in 2004 having identified it as a potential historic resource for the neighborhood:
This Industrial building is a representative of a general warehouse-industrial style, and dates from the reconstruction period of development (May 1906-1913). Industrial buildings are used for manufacture or distribution of products. Industrial buildings include canneries, warehouses, public stables, automotive repair and maintenance structures, and machine shops. It is a standard in its context but is not important because its context lacks cultural or architectural significance.
There is no evidence that the history of this property is associated with any persons or events of recognized significance in National, California, or San Francisco’s history, nor is the architect, designer, or builder identified in association with its construction...This property is not the work of a master, but is typical of modest structures of similar vintage in the Mission in its design and construction method. It does not possess high artistic values, is not distinctive, nor does it belong to distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction...This property was not fully assessed for its potential to yield information important in prehistory or history...For these reasons, this property is found ineligible for National, or California Registers or Local designation through survey evaluation.
The building appears to be in good structural and material condition. This property retains integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association.
Character defining features that should be preserved: none.
As always, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.
March 28, 2013
A Liberty Hill Parcel Sells With Big Plans For An Übermodern Haus
One of three "Block 3900" parcels which was being marketed as a yet to be constructed Übermodern home and guest house for $5,995,000 a year ago, 3931 19th Street has just sold for $2,000,000 which includes the existing 1,800 square foot house atop the lot and approved plans to build a 4,784 square foot modern six-level home on the slope below:
According to the MLS, the other two Block 3900 parcels have yet to change hands. And as best we can tell, no recent building permits have been requested or approved. Click the floor plans for the far right home as rendered above to enlarge.
Facebook’s Proposed West Campus Liked By Menlo’s City Council
Menlo Park's City Council has approved the construction of Facebook’s proposed 22-acre West Campus with one big 433,555-square-foot building designed by Frank Gehry to be built on Constitution Drive across the street from Facebook's existing East Campus.
Rising up to 73 feet in height but averaging closer to 45, the West Campus building will be built over ground-level parking with a rooftop park planted with 205 trees and a meadow:
Click the site plan above to enlarge, a section of which is modeled below.
∙ Facebook Campus Project - Project Plans [menlopark.org]
∙ Frank Gehry Engaged To Design Facebook's Menlo Park Expansion [SocketSite]
Modernist Design And A Deconstructed Fireplace For $2,271 Per Foot
Originally designed by William Wurster and purchased in great shape for $4,700,000 in November of 2011, the Pacific Heights home at 2666 Broadway has been rebuilt over the past sixteen months and has just returned to the market touting "Modernist Design with Distinctive Artisan Finishes," priced at $11,250,000 ($2,271 per square foot).
The Oak floors were imported from Germany, the glass enclosed pantry features its own delicatessen refrigerator, and the top floor features a newly "deconstructed" fireplace:
And speaking of artisan finishes, other than the powder room which is walled in American Oak planks, the bathroom walls are finished in Tadelakt, a nearly waterproof lime plaster and the traditional coating of the hammams and bathrooms of the riads in Morocco.
UPDATE: The floor plans for the property, the "cottage" is above the garage:
∙ Listing: 2666 Broadway (4/4.5) 4,953 sqft - $11,250,000 [2666broadway.com]
Diamond Heights Year-Over-Year And Decade-Over-Decade
Having traded for $840,000 in October of 2002, the Mid-Century Diamond Heights home at 5587 Diamond Heights Boulevard returned to the market early last year listed for $799,000 and closed escrow with a reported contract price of $830,000 in March of 2012.
Having since been spruced up a bit, the four-bedroom home with nearly 2,000 square feet has just been listed for $948,000, under $500 per square foot and a sale at which would represent appreciation of 14 percent on a year-over-year, or decade-over-decade, basis.
∙ Listing: 5587 Diamond Heights Boulevard (4/3) 1,995 sqft - $948,000 [via Redfin]
March 27, 2013
Plans To Double The Square Footage By Way Of A Two Foot Rise
Speaking of variances and plans to raise the roof, the buyer of the 1,170 square foot two-bedroom house at 105 Hoffman over is seeking permission to raise the Noe Valley property two feet and build an all-new first floor with garage underneath.
In addition to the garage for one car, the expansion would add two new bedrooms, a new bathroom, and a laundry room to the house. Click on the proposed plans to enlarge and see how it's all proposed to be done:
The project would also reconfigure the existing kitchen and rooms on the main floor.
No word on the fate of the vintage O’Keefe & Merritt stove.
Already extending 10 feet into the required 34 foot rear yard, the proposed height increase and first floor expansion will require a variance to proceed, a variance which was slated to be decided upon today. The property was purchased for $880,000 last year.
Transbay Tower Site Transferred And Ceremonially Breaks Ground
With a past due check for $191,816,196.57 delivered yesterday, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority has officially sold and transferred the 101 First Street site upon which the 1,070-foot Transbay Tower will rise at the corner of First and Mission to the development team.
The competition to develop the site was won back in 2007 with a bid of $350 million, roughly $160 million more than the team ended up paying for the site yesterday.
A ceremonial groundbreaking to celebrate (or mourn) the transfer is taking place today.
∙ Financial Partner Secured To Build San Francisco’s Transbay Tower [SocketSite]
∙ Proposed 1,070-Foot Transbay Tower Approved To Rise [SocketSite]
∙ Transbay Land Cost Cut Another $50 Million For Shrunken Tower [SocketSite]
∙ Rising Construction Costs Getting Under The Transbay Center's Skin [SocketSite]
Trying To Raise The Roof And Make Room For A Restaurant To Rise
Purchased for $600,000 in 2003 with three bedrooms spread across two units and one story at the corner of Capp and 17th Streets, the plan is to add three floors with three units above the building at 3249 17th Street and convert the first floor into a restaurant, a new home for the Latin American Balompie Café (click the designs to enlarge).
As proposed, an eight foot extension of the building's footprint will result in a rear yard that's 25 feet deep. The problem, as per Section 134 of the Planning Code, the property is required to maintain a rear yard of 33 feet:
This morning, San Francisco's Zoning Administrator will decide whether or not to grant the developer a variance to allow the building to extend and rise as proposed, or to delay a decision to a later date as has been requested.
March 26, 2013
Landmarked Doelger Building Is Going To The Cats, Not The Dogs
Having been recommended for Landmark Status by San Francisco’s Planning Department last year, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors just unanimously approved the landmarking of the Art Deco Doelger Building at 320 Judah Street out in the Sunset, soon to be San Francisco Historic Landmark No. 265.
Purchased out of probate for $1,450,000 this past September, the building is planned to be used as a new location for Mission: Cats, a family-owned cat hotel.
Once again, a bit of history on the namesake, and somewhat eccentric, Henry Doelger and as Doelger's building looked when it served as his headquarters, warehouse and sales office for the San Francisco developer extraordinaire:
For two decades, beginning in the mid 1920s into the 1940s, merchant builder Henry Doelger constructed thousands of single‐family houses atop the sand dunes in San Francisco’s emerging Sunset District neighborhood. Pioneering mass construction house building techniques such as assembly‐line production, Doelger’s Sunset District houses rapidly transformed large swaths of southwest San Francisco.
Designed for middle‐income home buyers and built to Federal Housing Administration specifications, Doelger’s houses share near‐identical massing, floor plans, materials, and form, with differentiation provided by a profusion of facade styles. Doelger is widely considered San Francisco’s most prolific and significant merchant builder active during the pre‐War era. In 1946, the San Francisco Chronicle dubbed Doelger “the poor man’s Frank Lloyd Wright,” and his residential tracts are often affectionately referred to as Doelgerville and Doelger City.
Doelger’s financial success allowed him many personal luxuries and stories about him abound in the society pages of local newspapers. He collected cars, yachts, toupees, shoes, ties, and custom‐made sport coats. On Sundays the Doelgers often invited 10 to 40 of their friends to join them on their yacht. Nearly everyone knew Doelger, and some — especially columnist Herb Caen — derived some pleasure from hearing gossip about the millionaire.
Caen opined about a Doelger purchase in November 1954 writing, “Henry Doelger’s ’54 Cad El Dorado has 4,500 miles on it, so naturally he’s turning in the old wreck on a ’55. Gets it Wednesday.” He reported again three days later, “Henry Doelger not only bought the first ‘’55 El Dorado in town, he got a new Fleetwood, too. ‘For the nighttime,’ he explains patiently to the peasants.”
The Doelgers were known for their extravagant lifestyle and eccentric hobbies. Henry’s wife, Thelma, had a heart for stray animals and was drawn toward the exotic. The San Francisco Examiner reported in 1940 that the Doelgers’ pet deer, Timothy, had escaped and was wandering around 15th and Taraval Streets in the Sunset District. Construction workers employed by Doelger recognized the animal and he was returned home, where he was “welcomed by three Great Danes which [were] his constant playmates.”
The Doelgers also had pet monkeys. In 1949 one of the monkeys, Chichi, "broke several dishes and glasses in their home before biting Thelma, requiring her to get stitches." Following the incident, the family donated the monkey to the San Francisco Zoo.
Following A Strong 2012, SF Home Prices Moderate Entering 2013
Following a year of strong gains, San Francisco home prices moderated in January according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. According to the Index, single-family home prices in the San Francisco MSA rose 0.1% from December 2012 to January 2013. Up 17.5% year-over-year, the SF Index remains 32.5% below a May 2006 peak.
For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 0.2% from December 2012 to January 2013, up 7.0% year-over-year, down 29.9% from a June 2006 peak.
After more than two years of consecutive year-over-year declines, New York reversed trend and posted a positive return in January. The Southwest (Phoenix and Las Vegas) plus San Francisco posted the highest annual increases; they were also among the hardest hit by the housing bust. Atlanta and Dallas recorded their highest year-over-year gains.
Economic data continues to support the housing recovery. Single-family home building permits and housing starts posted double-digit year-over-year increases in February 2013. Despite a slight uptick in foreclosure filings, numbers are still down 25% year-over-year. Steady employment and low borrowing rates pushed inventories down to their lowest post-recession levels.
On a month-over-month basis, prices rose across the bottom and middle tiers in San Francisco but fell for the top.
The bottom third (under $383,942 at the time of acquisition) gained 1.1% from December to January (up 20.8% YOY); the middle third gained 1.6% from December to January (up 16.4% YOY); and the top third (over $681,776 at the time of acquisition) fell 0.9% from December to January but remains up 10.8% year-over-year versus up 9.1% in December.
According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back near February 2001 levels, down 52% from an August 2006 peak; the middle third is back to May 2003 levels, down 33% from a May 2006 peak; and the top third is back to May 2004 levels, 20% below an August 2007 peak.
Condo values in the San Francisco MSA ticked up 0.3% from December 2012 to January 2013 and are up 23.4% year-over-year but remain 23.4% 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).
∙ S&P/Case-Shiller: Home Prices Accelerate in January 2013 [Standard & Poor's]
∙ "San Francisco" Home Prices End 2012 Up 14.4%, Condos Up 21.3% [SocketSite]
∙ Housing Starts Tick Up, Permit Activity Hits Five-ish Year High [SocketSite]
March 25, 2013
Contemporary Bernal Heights: An Architect's Efficient New Home
Technically a "renovation" per the permits but practically all new construction including two new floors, 285 Nevada was constructed in 2010. From Studio S Squared, the architects of the contemporary Bernal Heights home which was built for the president of the firm:
Completely rebuilt with a new foundation in 2010, this house is all new with the exception of one 15’ long section of exterior wall, which itself was heavily reinforced with new wood framing and rebuilt to modern standards. By taking advantage of the nearly full-lot coverage of the existing structure, the new building enjoys greater lot utilization of the extra-wide lot than would be otherwise allowed by current zoning standards.
Ceiling heights are 10’ minimum throughout the ground floor, which contains a formal living room with fireplace, powder room, and open kitchen connecting to both a large dining room and family room in a great-room like arrangement.
Two amply-sized bedrooms with Bay views and Jack-and-Jill bath, a guest bedroom with en-suite bath and private deck, loft office, and laundry area comprise the second floor.
The guest bedroom can be utilized as additional living space by way of smoothly sliding doors which disappear neatly into a wall pocket. The full floor master suite completely occupies the commanding third floor.
Energy costs for the house are kept to a minimum through the use of both active systems and passive solar design, and an improved exterior envelope. Afternoon sun warms the thermal mass of the living room floor through a dramatic, front-facing window. The captured heat in turn radiates up through the double height space and warms the loft office and guest bedroom. The other second floor bedrooms both have an eastern orientation towards the morning sun, while a large south-facing window in the master suite warms that room during the day, minimizing heating requirements at night.
Insulation was designed to greatly exceed code requirements all throughout the house. Even the interior floor framing and interior walls are fully insulated to increase soundproofing and improve thermal mass. A photovoltaic solar array feeds excess power back to the grid and offsets the great majority of the house’s electrical expenses; for the first two years of operation, the annual electrical costs were less than $200.
Measuring 2,879 square feet with a drip-irrigated green roof garden, the architect’s four bedroom Bernal home is now on the market and asking $2,100,000.
Expectations For Superior Architecture Adjacent To A Simple Store
With the minimalist Muji having moved in next door and a Trader Joe’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Nordstrom Rack across the street (at least for now), the vacant lot at 520 9th Street which is currently used for parking was sold in January for $795,000.
According to a plugged-in tipster, the buyer’s preliminary plans for the off-ramp adjacent lot include a four-story residential building with twelve (12) two-bedroom condos over nine parking spaces and ground floor bike storage but no ground floor retail.
And while the building’s proposed design has yet to be finalized, the Planning Department "expect[s] that the architecture and quality of execution will be superior." No word on what color the Department is expecting the building to be as well.
Another View From The Heights Of The Heights And Ex-Mayor's Home
As we wrote this past September:
Custom built for former San Francisco Mayor Elmer E. Robinson in 1953, the Mid-Century home at 100 Palo Alto Avenue hit the market in March 2008 listed for $4,000,000 and closed escrow that April with a recorded contract price of $5,625,000.
Returned to the market listed for $6,400,000 in 2010, after 341 days on the MLS and a couple of reductions, the Clarendon Heights view home was withdrawn from the market in early 2011, last asking $4,950,000.
Listed anew for $4,995,000 six months ago then reduced to $4,695,000 in November, the sale of 100 Palo Alto closed escrow last week with a reported contract price of $4,600,000, a million dollars ($1,025,000) or eighteen (18) percent under its early 2008 sale price.
∙ The Height Of The Heights And An Unnamed Real Estate Tycoon [SocketSite]
∙ Forget The Rock Star Lifestyle, Anybody Want To Live Like A Mayor? [SocketSite]
∙ An Ex-Mayor’s Mid-Century Clarendon Heights View Manse Returns [SocketSite]
∙ As The Market Turns: Another Quick Cut For 100 Palo Alto [SocketSite]
∙ Remembering The Heights Of 2008 And 100 Palo Alto Avenue [SocketSite]
March 22, 2013
March Mansion Madness: Minor's Major Price Cut
Halsey Minor paid $20,000,000 for the 18,000 square foot mansion at 3800 Washington, the adjacent 2,618 square foot guesthouse, and the undeveloped lot behind back in 2007.
Having been deemed "abandoned" by the city in 2011 with an order of abatement issued for failing to comply with San Francisco’s Abandoned Building Ordinance, the property was spruced up a bit and returned to the market last May listed for $25,000,000.
This morning, the list price for the trio of Presidio Heights properties was reduced by $4,000,000 (16 percent), now asking $21,000,000. Congratulations if you picked another price cut in your mansion sales pool, or Oregon and California in that other one.
∙ Listing: 3800-3810 Washington / 125 Maple - $21,000,000 [byzantiumbrokerage]
∙ Minor’s "Abandoned" Mansion At 3800 Washington [SocketSite]
Beauty Blight Is In The Eye Of The City (And Perhaps Your Neighbors) [SocketSite]
∙ Halsey Minor's "Abandoned" $20,000,000 Mansion Hits The Market [SocketSite]
Who’s Got Next?
Built in the 1900’s, the roof of the over 5,000 square foot Victorian at 2131 Divisadero was raised four feet in 2004, the interior remodeled and selectively restored in 2006.
The five-bedroom with a legal in-law below has just hit the market listed for $4,495,000.
And with a 4,928 square foot lot, there’s a lawn, patio with built-in BBQ, and a sports court outfitted with a hoop out back.
∙ Listing: 2131 Divisadero Street (5/4) - $4,495,000 [via Redfin]
San Francisco Employment Ticks Up In 2013 (As Does Unemployment)
Preliminary labor force counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties peg the current unemployment rates at 6.9%, 5.8% and 6.3% respectively, up 0.4 points from December to January in San Francisco and up 0.3 points in Marin and San Mateo.
As the size of San Francisco’s labor force increased by 2,800 to 481,600 in January, the number of employed city dwellers increased by 800 to 447,800 while the number of unemployed increased by 2,100 to 33,000.
Employment in San Francisco is currently up by 20,100 workers on a year-over-year (YOY) basis versus 19,800 the month before but remains 16,900 workers below a December 2000 dot-com peak (at which point the unemployment rate measured 3 percent).
The unadjusted unemployment rate in California ticked up to 10.4% in January as the labor force increased by 61,200, employment fell by 60,400, and the number of unemployed increased by 121,300.
∙ Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: January 2012 (Preliminary) [EDD]
∙ Nearly 20,000 New Jobs For San Franciscans Over The Past Year [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco Employment Trends And Dot-Com Context [SocketSite]
A Contemporary View Of Clarendon Heights, Apples-To-Apples Style
Having been purchased for $5,200,000 ($912 per square foot) in June of 2011, the newly rebuilt 5,701 square foot Clarendon Heights home at 140 Saint Germain returned to the market this past October listed for $5,695,000.
Reduced, delisted and relisted in contract three weeks ago, the sale of 140 Saint Germain closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price of $5,500,000 ($965 per square foot), up a total of 6 percent, 3.2 percent a year, on an apples-to-apples basis.
As we wrote about the pre-renovated property in 2008: "It’s truly a fixer, but with the requisite bones, big city views, and two atriums (not to mention decks and parking)."
∙ 140 St. Germain: From Renderings To Reality To Sold For $5,200,000 [SocketSite]
∙ Sixteen Months Later And Asking Ten Percent More On Saint Germain [SocketSite]
∙ A Fixer With Big Views And The Requisite Bones: 140 St. Germain [SocketSite]
March 21, 2013
Letting Go Of A Nostalgic Notion And Mixing It Up In San Francisco
Designed to be built with a black tile façade, the Planning Department requested the architects change the color scheme of the proposed building to rise at the corner of Fulton and Gough in order to win the Department's support and recommendation.
Having gone ahead and presented both designs to the Planning Commission, architect David Baker reports on the outcome:
The San Francisco Planning Commission agreed with us on the darker corner and overruled the Planning Department. It should be clear that most of the building will be a light color: just this corner is darker, a variegated gloss glazed clay tile. The sunshades are anodized perforated aluminum. The gloss finish on the curve will produce a dynamic shifting highlight.
The notion that San Francisco is a city of white buildings is nostalgic, and might have been true at some time in the past. The actual condition is quite diverse with great variation in tonal value. Personally I like things mixed up a bit.
We couldn't agree more. In fact, we wouldn’t mind seeing the mixing of even more styles and truly modern design(s) throughout San Francisco.
∙ Black And White In Hayes Valley And In The Ayes Of Planning [SocketSite]
∙ A New Hayes Valley Home For The Boys & Girls (And Adults) [SocketSite]
Plans For Two Big Towers On Pine Have Been Revived And Rendered
As the northeast corner of Pine and Franklin Streets currently appears above, and as it would look with the two 13-story towers which are proposed to rise with 262 condos over two stories of commercial and 245 parking spaces below:
Originally proposed for development with plans for 282 condos in a seven-story building stretching from 1634 to 1690 Pine Street from which a 25-story and 12-story tower would rise, those plans were cancelled in 2007 having raised concerns among area residents.
"People don’t want more residential. That’s what it comes down to," a San Francisco Planner was quoted as saying about the concerns at the time.
The full scoop with respect to the existing site and design for what is now being proposed:
Currently, the site is occupied by five vacant one- to two-story buildings (two, two-story unreinforced masonry buildings; two, one-story unreinforced masonry buildings; and a one-story concrete building) and a parking lot. Past uses of the buildings include a car rental office and distribution center, furniture showroom, and a warehouse. The parking lot, located on the northeast corner of Pine and Franklin Streets, is 7,563 sf in size, contains no structures, and provides approximately 22 parking spaces.
Four of the structures (1650, 1656, 1660, and 1670-1680 Pine Street) have been recognized as having contextual architectural significance to their neighborhood. In addition, three of the buildings on the project site (1650, 1660, and 1670-1680 Pine Street) were designed by the firm Heiman & Schwartz. Many of the firm’s surviving works are local landmarks, either eligible for the National Register or contributory to a historic district. Finally, the buildings on the project site represent a dwindling number of early ancillary automobile-oriented structures, such as storage and repair garages, tire shops, and showrooms.
The proposed project would merge the six lots into one parcel, demolish most of the existing five buildings on the project site, and construct one building with two, 13-story residential towers with commercial use on the ground and second floors. The existing building facades of three of the buildings would be restored and incorporated into the proposed project (click image to enlarge).
The project would have a total area of 353,360 gross square feet (gsf) and would include approximately 262 new for-sale residential units totaling approximately 221,760 sf; 5,600 sf of commercial space, and 34,600 sf of subterranean parking with 245 parking spaces on one level. No off-street loading spaces are proposed. The proposed towers would be approximately 130 feet tall.
As proposed, the condos would range in size from 530 to 1,600 square feet with a unit mix of 24 studios, 120 one-bedrooms, and 118 two-bedroom units. The subterranean parking level would provide 240 spaces with mechanical stackers and five spaces accessible to persons with disabilities. The basement level would include parking spaces for 91 bicycles.
While the project’s proposed uses and heights are allowed by right in the District, the project will require the Planning Commission’s approval and authorization with the density, parking, and bulk as proposed. As always, we'll keep you posted and plugged-in.
∙ Who Are These “People” And What The Heck Are They Thinking? [SocketSite]