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May 31, 2013

The Refined Designs For A Prime Market And Castro Street Corner

As a condition of approval last year, the developers of the six-story building to rise at 376 Castro and Market Street agreed to work with the Planning Department to modernize and refine the building's design, and refined the design has been (click images to enlarge).

The Planning Deparment's overview of the new design, the new unit mix (with BMR's onsite), the current state of the corner, and a flashback to the earlier design:

The building is a fusion of a bold transparent element at the intersection of Market and Castro Streets flanked by solid walls with rhythmically patterned window openings, balconies, and bay projections. The corner element is a spandrel glass system with non-tinted glazing and an aluminum frame in a warm, pewter color paint finish. The solid walls are clad with terra cotta tiles, grounding the building with a dark grey at the base of the building and a random palette of terra cotta red and buff colors for the body of the building. The precise palette may include less color variety than presented.
The building is flanked by a shallow bay window system on both Market and Castro Streets, and will be clad with the same aluminum color as the corner element. The roof terrace has a windscreen of glass and mesh that is a continuation of the corner transparent element, and it will be capped with a pewter colored aluminum cornice. Balcony rails are either comprised of clear glass elements or painted metal rails.

The project will yield 24 new residential units (now 5 one-bedrooms and 19 two's) with 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, a garage for 14 cars and 12 bikes, and a street-level room dedicated for neighborhood community use where a gas station now stands.

376 Castro

And of course, as the pre-refined design appeared:

376 Castro Rendering

376 Castro Rendered, Re-Cladded And Ready For Commission Vote [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 PM | Comments (58)

Four Seasons' Homeowners Drop The Dreaded "B" Word


With San Francisco’s Planning Commission having cleared the way for Millennium Partners' proposed 706 Mission Street condo tower and Mexican Museum to rise up to 510 feet, 40 feet fewer than originally proposed, a group of homeowners from the adjacent Four Seasons Residences are preparing a ballot measure in an attempt to either block or significantly shorten the proposed building.

According to the San Francisco Business Times, the ballot measure being drafted by "The Friends of Yerba Buena" would attempt to strengthen the existing Proposition K which limits the casting of net new shadows on city parks but currently allows city commissions leeway in deciding whether or not a new building’s shadows should be allowed.

The proposed 706 Mission Street tower would cast a bit of new morning shadow upon San Francisco’s Union Square, but the City’s Recreation and Park Commission agreed to exempt the tower from the restrictions of Proposition K, ruling that the impact of the new shadows would not be adverse to the use of the park.

Taking exception to accusations that they're simply trying to protect their views, the group of homeowners claim not to be opposed to the new tower, simply to its impact on Union Square, and would apparently support the tower if it only rose to 351 feet in height.

The Four Seasons is 430 feet tall (click image below to enlarge):

Do keep in mind that the 706 Mission Street site is currently zoned for up to 400 feet but the Planning Commission is recommending an up-zoning for the parcel and that a strengthening of Proposition K to disallow any new shadowing of a park, regardless of severity, would apply to any new development in the city, not simply 706 Mission.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Comments (42)

535 Mission Street Tower Rendered, Rising, And Ready In 2014

535 Mission Street Rendered

Having acquired the 535 Mission Street site for $71 million just a few months ago, Boston Properties quickly restarted construction on the HOK-designed office tower, the construction of which was suspended in October of 2008 when rents were headed the wrong way.


The 27-story tower will rise 378 feet with retail and a new plaza on the ground floor. The building should be ready for tenant improvements to the shell floors in October 2014. An animated flyover of the fully rendered tower and a peek inside:

535 Mission Street [535mission.com]
Is 535 Mission Street Selling Itself And San Francisco Short? [SocketSite]
Modern 27-Story Mission Street Tower Set For A Quick Restart [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Comments (9)

May 30, 2013

With Mansion On The Market For $21M, Minor Files For Bankruptcy

3800 Washington

As we first reported last month, with $10,856,672.77 in state income tax past due, San Francisco’s Halsey Minor, the co-founder of CNet and current owner of the mansion above, once again topped the list of the Top 500 Delinquent Taxpayers in California.

And as plugged-in people know, Mr. Minor recently cut the list price for his Presidio Heights mansion and two adjacent parcels to $21 million, a million dollars more than he paid for the real estate in 2007 with a loan for $9 million to which a second for $3 million was added in 2008.

Last week, Mr. Minor filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, listing liabilities of $50 million to $100 million and assets of $10 million to $50 million. The asset at 3800 Washington Street remains listed on the MLS for $21,000,000.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 PM | Comments (10)

Contemporary Cow Hollow Redevelopment And Design On Greenwich


Purchased for $1,635,000 in January of 2012 with two vacant units, an occupied in-law (which was leased for $500 per month), and one parking spot, the Cow Hollow building at 2827 Greenwich Street has just returned to the market having been redeveloped as a single-family home with a "guest suite" and two parking spaces on the ground floor:


There's now a total of five bedrooms and four and one-half baths across its three levels.


And the designer Cow Hollow home has been listed for $5,495,000.


∙ Listing: 2827 Greenwich Street (5/4.5) - $5,495,000 [teedhaze.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Comments (17)

Permits For Tishman's 201 Folsom Street Towers Project Issued

201 Folsom Street Site

As we first reported last month, while Tishman Speyer was still waiting for final sign-off on the permits to start construction on their 201 Folsom Street Project, according to a plugged-in source, the timing was imminent.

Yesterday, building permits for the two towers, two 8-story midrises, and a podium building to rise on the site pictured above were approved and issued. While now waiting for sign-off on the permit to commence excavation and shoring, the building(s) should soon begin.

The Arquitectonica Redesigned 201 Folsom Street Rendering Scoop [SocketSite]
201 Folsom Street Timing: Immediately (Upon Approval Of Permits) [SocketSite]
Timing For Tishman’s 201 Folsom Street Towers: Imminent [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:15 AM | Comments (13)

Mayor On Proposed Union Square Apple Store Plan: iSpoke Too Soon?


Having admitted "we weren't necessarily focused on that side" with respect to how the proposed Union Square Apple store would affect the existing Grand Hyatt Plaza and Ruth Asawa fountain on the site, Mayor Ed Lee has said he'll now go visit the site in person to see whether the design he already deemed "quite simply incredible" might actually fit in.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Comments (21)

May 29, 2013

We Can Rebuild Her: Better, Stronger, And Sold For Nine Million More


As we first highlighted last month, the old Queen Anne at 2504 Jackson Street traded for $3,650,000 two years ago. Having since been taken down to the studs and rebuilt "piece by piece, system by system, from the foundation to the roof," the now 7,260 square foot Pacific Heights home returned to the market 33 days ago listed for $13,750,000.


And today, the sale of 2504 Jackson Street closed escrow with a reported contract price of $13,000,000. While "under asking," call it roughly $1,791 per rebuilt square foot.

Rebuilt Piece By Piece And Back On The Market For Ten Million More [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM

SOMA Grand Homeowners Follow And File Suit

SOMA Grand homeowners at 1160 Mission Street have just filed suit against the building’s developer, builder and architects claiming "construction defects and building standard violations," primarily stemming from common waterproofing issues.

The defects were identified by forensic architects and consultants retained by the homeowners association through counsel, The Miller Law Firm. The same law firm has filed construction defect claims against the developers and builders of 255 Berry Street, Park Terrace (325 Berry), 888 7th Street, 88 Townsend, and Cubix (766 Harrison) as well.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:30 PM | Comments (29)

SFMOMA’s Snøhetta-Designed Expansion Has Broken Ground

SFMOMA Expansion Detailed Rendering

SFMOMA’s Snøhetta-designed 225,000-square-foot expansion officially broke ground this morning. Tomorrow, a free four-day public countdown celebration begins. And starting June 3, the museum will be under construction and closed for two and a half years.

SFMOMA Expansion Rendering: Night

When SFMOMA reopens in early 2016, the museum’s gallery space will have more than doubled, including a new glass enclosed gallery facing Howard Street to showcase Richard Serra's monumental sculpture "Sequence" which has been on display at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center since 2011, on loan from the Fisher Collection:


SFMOMA Expansion Design: New Details, Renderings And Video [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 AM | Comments (30)

May 28, 2013

Apple's Union Square Store Design: Simply Incredible, Indeed


As a number of readers quickly noted a couple of weeks ago, the preliminary designs for Apple's proposed store on Union Square would kill the Grand Hyatt Plaza behind the existing Levi's store and build an 80-foot long wall along Stockton Street. Ruth Asawa’s "San Francisco Fountain," a fixture of the plaza, would appear to get the axe as well.


In the words of John King today, while there’s plenty of time to take the strong points of the design and "make it into something that feels like it belongs," that could be tough:

Apple's desire to move to Union Square from its current shop at 1 Stockton St. was announced by Mayor Ed Lee, who didn't stop there.
"Apple's new store is quite simply incredible," Lee gushed. "I can think of no better location for the world's most stunning Apple store. ... I want to thank Apple for their investment in this city and continued commitment to growing jobs in San Francisco."
With that kickoff, the City Planning Department can't send Apple and [Foster + Partners] back to the drawing board. It's another example of a task-oriented mayor's office putting an emphasis on upbeat press releases over a long-term commitment to the city's physical environment.

At the very least, both proponents and opponents of the proposed design are likely to agree, the proposal is simply incredible, indeed.

Apple's Plan For A Flagship Store On Union Square [SocketSite]
Boxy Apple store could shrink popular plaza [Chronicle]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:30 PM | Comments (51)

Full-Court Press Postpones Bay Commission's Opposition To Arena Bill

As proposed, Phil Ting’s Assembly Bill 1273 would revise the existing authorization to develop Pier 30-32 for use as a cruise ship terminal and authorize the Port to approve its development as a multipurpose venue (i.e., the proposed Warriors Arena) instead.

The bill which has already been passed by the Assembly’s Natural Resources, Local Government, and Appropriations committees would effectively bypass the Bay Conservation and Development Commission with respect to oversight of the development of the pier for an arena. As such, the commission's staff is opposed to the bill’s passage.

While the commission was slated to vote on its staff's recommendation to formally oppose Ting's bill, and the commission's meeting wasn't going too well for the Warriors, following a full-court press from the Mayor and local labor leaders, "the commission agreed to simply send a letter to legislators expressing their concerns about the attempted end run - and give the Warriors another month to try to work out their differences over the arena project with the commission's staff."

Pier 30-32 Revitalization Act Aims To Clear The Way For The Warriors [SocketSite]
Redesigned Warriors Arena Unveiled: A Peek Inside And Out [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Comments (15)

Planning For A Permanent Mercado Plaza In The Mission


Building on the success of the weekly Mission Community Market, plans for a permanent Mercado Plaza on Bartlett between 21st and 22nd streets are starting to take shape.


The conceptual plan for the plaza is to create permanent pedestrian zones and a flexible urban space to accommodate the weekly Market and other neighborhood gatherings:


With $1,600,000 in funds already dedicated to pedestrian and public space improvements along Bartlett Street, San Francisco’s Planning Department will co-host a community workshop on the plans for the Mercado Plaza tomorrow, May 29, from 6-7:30pm at 3543 18th Street (The Women’s Building, Room A).

Mercado Plaza Design Overview [missioncommunitymarket.org]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:15 AM | Comments (16)

San Francisco House And Condo Prices Soar In First Quarter

San Francisco home and condo values jumped in the first quarter of 2013 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 3.9% from February to March 2013. Up 22.2% year-over-year, the San Francisco Index remains 29.5% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite (CSXR), home values gained 1.4% from February to March 2013, up 10.3% year-over-year, 28.6% below a June 2006 peak.

Phoenix again had the largest annual increase at 22.5% followed by San Francisco with 22.2% and Las Vegas with 20.6%. Miami and Tampa, the eastern end of the Sunbelt, were softer with annual gains of 10.7% and 11.8%. The weakest annual price gains were seen in New York (+2.6%), Cleveland (+4.8%) and Boston (+6.7%)...
Other housing market data reported in recent weeks confirm these strong trends: housing starts and permits, sales of new home and existing homes continue to trend higher. At the same time, the larger than usual share of multi-family housing, a large number of homes still in some stage of foreclosure and buying-to-rent by investors suggest that the housing recovery is not complete.

On a month-over-month basis, prices jumped across all three San Francisco price tiers.

S&P/Case-Shiller Index San Francisco Price Tiers: March 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

The bottom third (under $397,383 at the time of acquisition) gained 2.6% from February to March (up 25.7% YOY); the middle third gained 4.6% from February to March (up 23.5% YOY); and the top third (over $697,398 at the time of acquisition) gained 3.5% from February to March, up 15.1% year-over-year versus up 12.9% in February.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to March 2001 levels (51% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back to January 2004 levels (29% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third is back to just below October 2004 levels, 17% below an August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA jumped 4.5% from February to March 2013 and are up 28.5% year-over-year but remain 18.2% below a December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: March 2013 (www.SocketSite.com)

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 See Strong Gains Q1 of 2013 [Standard & Poor's]
San Francisco Single-Family Home Prices Tick Up, Condo Values Jump [SocketSite]
Housing Starts Slump But Permit Activity Jumps To June 2008 Levels [SocketSite]
San Francisco Home Sales Well Above Average In April [SocketSite]
San Francisco Foreclosure Activity: Falling As Forecast In 2013 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Comments (56)

May 24, 2013

Democratic Party Endorses No Wall On The Waterfront Ballot Measure

San Francisco's Democratic Party Central Committee has voted 15-4 to endorse the November "No Wall on the Waterfront" ballot measure which is designed to quash the 8 Washington Street development by overturning the partial upzoning of the site to 136 feet in height as was approved and upheld by San Francisco's Board of Supervisors.

As we first noted last year, should the upzoning for the 8 Washington Street development be overturned at the ballot box, the project might still be viable at 84 feet, but don't expect anyone to admit to such prior to the vote.

And should the measure pass, keep an eye out for any unintended, or perhaps intended, consequences with respect to the proposed Warriors Arena upon Pier 30-32.

8 Washington Approval Upheld But Now On Hold Until 2013 Election [SocketSite]
8 Washington Opponents Deliver On Anti-Development Threat [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:30 PM | Comments (38)

Memorial Day Mansion Sale: Morgan Estate Reduced To $27 Million


When the list price for Kelly Porter’s 30,000 square foot renovated Tudor mansion in Los Altos Hills was reduced from $45 million to $38 million at the end of 2008, the venture capitalist commented: "It’s worth every bit of $45 million, and I reduced it reluctantly."

Having been withdrawn from the market without a sale in 2010, 12335 Stonebrook Drive (a.k.a. "The Morgan Estate") has just been listed anew for $27,000,000.


Sitting on nearly 8 acres with outbuildings and parking for over twenty cars, the property is listed on the Federal Historic Register and as such benefits from a rather low property tax rate. How low? In 2011, the property tax bill for the estate was $20,750.

Purchased for $3,000,000 in 1989, the renovation of the Morgan Estate spanned over seven years and included the rather spectacular wine cellar.


Go grab a few bottles, it's time to barbeque.

∙ Listing: 12335 Stonebrook Drive, Los Altos (7/8) 30,000 sqft - $27,000,000 [Sotheby’s]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 PM | Comments (22)

Plans For Landmark Tower(s) At First And Mission Are Powering Up


Having been on hold for a few years, the plans for a few big towers to rise at First and Mission, a.k.a. the 50 First Street site, have been reworked and resubmitted to Planning.

As currently envisioned, the existing office/retail buildings at 50 First, 62 First, and 76-78 First would be razed to make room for a 850-foot tall, 59-story tower fronting First Street as well as a 605-foot tall, 56-story tower fronting Mission Street.

The 850-foot First Street Tower One would contain 1,220,000 square feet of office space over ground-floor retail, as was previously proposed, with a garage for up to 187 cars.


Plans for the 605-foot tower fronting Mission now call for 500 residential units over ground floor retail and a five level subterranean parking garage with 136 parking spaces. Earlier plans to include hotel and entertainment components in the tower have been dropped.


Plans for a third tower on the corner of First and Mission have also been dropped and the existing building at 88 First Street would be rehabilitated as part of the 50 First project.


Noting that because of its height, "the proposed [850-foot] Tower One would stand out as a major landmark on the skyline," and as such, "the design should exceed conventional standards and should be a stellar piece of contemporary architecture comparable to the best tall buildings worldwide," the Planning Department has offered a few suggestions for the tower's design, the images of which above are simply placeholders at this point:

Consider design options that sculpt the building to create a unique feature on the skyline. The top of Tower One should feature a dynamic and interesting top that presents an interesting profile. To the extent that shadow considerations, based on further analysis, might prevent major additional decorative rooftop elements from rising above a height of 850 feet, the Department expects a reduction of sufficient occupied space at the top of the building below 850 feet to allow for a satisfying sculpted building top within the 850-foot height envelope.

As part of the project, Jessie Street would be rerouted and the portion of Tower One that spans the existing Jessie Street route would be converted into a three-story public galleria (Jessie Street Galleria); Elim Alley would be converted to a two-story galleria with lobby and retail uses (Elim Alley Galleria); and a public plaza would sit at the base of Tower Two.

A Trio Of Renzo Piano SOM Towers At 50 First Street As Proposed [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 AM | Comments (27)

Bouncing Back In Presidio Heights

3577 Pacific Avenue (www.SocketSite.com)

Having traded for $4,900,000 in 2009, the modern 4,264 square foot Presidio Heights home at 3577 Pacific Avenue returned to the MLS listed for $6,500,000 29 days ago.

On Wednesday, the sale of 3577 Pacific closed escrow with a reported contract price of $7,000,000, up $2,100,000 (42 percent) versus early 2009.

The Modern Home At 3577 Pacific Comes Bouncing Back [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:00 AM | Comments (5)

May 23, 2013

Miraloma Park Remodeled, Reviewed, And Record In The Works?


Purchased for $890,000 six months ago having been listed as a fixer for $895,000 with four bedrooms and 2,332 square feet, the Miraloma Park home at 535 Teresita Boulevard has returned to the market as a renovated five-bedroom home with 3,184 square feet.


A few pros, cons, and "eye catchers" for the property by way of a plugged-in Miraloma Park homeowner who has taken a tour and is keeping a close eye on the listing:


Pros: Newly renovated; 5 bedrooms, some en-suite; large family room; good for entertaining with easy access to level back yard; attractive landscaping; close to transportation – freeways and public transit; decent Bay and downtown views.
Cons: Relatively small kitchen, bedrooms, living room and dining room for a five-bedroom home; limited storage in the kitchen and one-car garage; questionable remodeling choices (vinyl windows, front steps, cable deck railing on a Tudor House); busy street.
Eye Catchers (flashy, but only an asset if they are what you are looking for): Pot filler over the stove; wet bar and "wine cellar."


The most expensive Miraloma Park home sale to date is 321 Marietta Drive which sold for $1,488,000 in early 2009 with five bedrooms and 4,170 square feet. The asking price for the remodeled 535 Teresita Boulevard is $1,699,000.

And of course, as 535 Teresita looked before the remodel:


∙ Listing: 535 Teresita Boulevard (5/4.5) - $1,699,000 [535teresita.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Comments (9)

Proposed Security Deposit Legislation: New Penalties And Payments

As it stands, security deposits for unfurnished apartment rentals in California cannot exceed two months’ rent, must be returned or accounted for within three weeks of a tenant vacating, and any disputes are heard in small claims court.

Under the proposed Senate Bill 603 (SB603), landlords would be required to hold security deposits in separate insured accounts and pay interest on deposits (which the city of San Francisco already requires) at the Federal Reserve six-month CD rate (currently 0.26%).

The proposed Bill would also impose a penalty of twice any amount that's deemed to have been improperly witheld from a deposit or interest owed by a landlord. Passed in committee on May 7, SB603 is scheduled for its third reading in the Senate this afternoon.

UPDATE: To clarify a bit of confusion with respect to the required interest payments on security deposits, the proposed payment of interest at the Fed's six-month CD rate "shall not apply in any city, county, or city and county that by charter, ordinance, or regulation requires the payment to tenants of interest on security, nor does it preempt a local ordinance that requires the payment of security deposit interest."

Security deposit rules in Leno legislation [Chronicle]
Senate Bill 603: Landlord and Tenant Security Deposit Legislation [ca.gov]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:15 AM | Comments (12)

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