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February 28, 2014

Designs For 94 New Dogpatch Dwelling Units Along Third And Illinois


Plans for a six-story residential building to rise at 2051 3rd Street will be presented to San Francisco's Planning Commission next week. The proposed Dogpatch development would raze two mid-block industrial buildings between Mariposa and 18th Streets, merge the parcels, and construct 94 new dwelling units with an underground garage on the site


The development would front both Third (above) and Illinois (below) with a courtyard between.


As proposed, the 94 units would be rentals for at least 30 years with a mix of 35 studios, 21 one-bedrooms, 37 two-bedrooms and 1 three-bedroom. Two of the one-bedrooms would be ground floor "flex spaces" along Illinois:


Access to the garage with space for 74 cars would be by way of Illinois.


Parking for up to 102 bikes in the building is included as well.

Posted by socketadmin at 6:15 PM | Comments (17)

Pending Home Sales Drop While Inventory Is On The Rise

While the National Association of Realtor's Pending Home Sales Index edged up 0.1 percent in January, it's down 9.0 percent on a year-over-year basis with a lack of inventory continuing to be fingered for much of the decline.

At the same time, the inventory of existing homes on the market was up 10.9 percent on a year-over-year basis and the inventory of new homes on the market is up 23.5 percent year-over-year.

And while "ongoing disruptive weather patterns" is also sharing the blame for a lack of sales, the pending home sales index for the West is down 17.5 percent year-over-year and our weather has been relatively mild.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:30 PM | Comments (6)

Cathedral Hill Demolition Watch: No Rooms At The Inn, Offices Next

Our plugged-in photographer reports the old Jack Tar Hotel's event spaces, garage and hotel rooms have mostly been razed and the wrecking crew is staring to work on the remaining office section of the block (click photo to enlarge).

As the Cathedral Hill site looked last month and two months before that. And of course, the rendering for CPMC's Cathedral Hill Hospital that's going to rise on the site.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Comments (1)

Award Winning Gang Hired To Design San Francisco Tower


Award winning Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, the architect of Chicago's undulating 82-story Aqua, has been engaged by Tishman Speyer to design a tower in San Francisco.

While the Chronicle reports that Gang's engagement is "for an as-yet-undisclosed site in the Transbay district," we'd be willing to bet that it's Tishman's site at the corner of Folsom and Spear, which includes the parking lot at 100 Folsom Street and a couple of adjoining parcels across from the Infinity which is zoned for a tower to rise up to 300 feet.

Tishman still needs to acquire an adjacent city-owned parcel in order to proceed with the development, which is likely why they're being tight lipped about the engagement.

UPDATE: For those celebrating Tishman's engagement of Gang but lamenting the idea that she'll be constrained by a site that's zoned for only 300 feet, we're going to hedge our bet above and offer some hope for additional height.

While the developer has yet to be selected, as we first reported in December, the Tishman team did attended the pre-submittal meeting for Transbay Block 8 proposals and was expected to bid for the site's development rights. And if it is Block 8 for which Gang has been engaged, she'll have 550-feet with which to work, assuming that Tishman wins the competitive bid.

UPDATE: Our original bet is in the money as the 100 Folsom Street site has since been confirmed as the location for Gang's design.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Comments (21)

Decision To Downsize Mission District Development Reversed

1050 Valencia Street 2012 Rendering

San Francisco’s Board of Appeals has reversed their December decision which had required the previously approved five-story project at 1050 Valencia Street to remove a full floor and three units in order to move forward with development

As we first reported last month which led to the reversal this week:

With San Francisco's Board of Supervisors having narrowly upheld the Planning Department's approval for the five-story development at 1050 Valencia Street to rise, a subsequent appeal of the project's building permits resulted in 5-0 vote by San Francisco's Board of Appeals to issue the permits, but under a couple of conditions, including that the developer only build four stories rather than five as approved.
The problem for the Board of Appeals, they might have overstepped their legal bounds.
Following their public meeting, the Board of Appeals will move behind closed doors this evening to meet with legal counsel in anticipation of having to defend against litigation. The likely action would be based on the California Housing Accountability Act which prevents local agencies from reducing the density of code-complying residential projects.

Apparently counsel was convincing and the developer's argument sound as the Board voted 4-0 to reverse their previous decision and allow 1050 Valencia to rise a full five floors, the height for which the parcel is zoned. That being said, attached to the Board's ruling was a mandate that the project be redesigned with the fifth floor setback from the street.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:15 AM | Comments (16)

February 27, 2014

Agents Take Next Step Toward Razing The Elbo Room


As we first reported last month, the owners of 645 Valencia Street which is currently leased to the Elbo Room have filed preliminary plans to raze the Mission district building and construct a five-story condominium development in its place.


While some felt our initial report overstated the seriousness of the plans and owners' intentions, our report was actually understated. As we outlined the following week:

A detailed set of architectural plans has been drafted for the project and the building’s owners have authorized the architects to act as their agents in submitting applications for environmental reviews, a historic resource evaluation, variances and Conditional Use. That's every step required to get the project formally approved.
In fact, a month after the Planning Department provided their feedback on the preliminary plans, the application fee for which was nearly $5,000 alone, a follow-up meeting was scheduled between the Planning Department and architects to discuss next steps and plans for submitting the Environmental Evaluation and Historic Resource report for the project to move forward.

While it has yet to be assigned within the Planning Department, the application for Environmental Evaluation has been submitted for the development, a geotechnical report has been completed for the site, and a Historic Resource Evaluation form has been signed with planning for a full Historic Resource Evaluation Report underway.

Once again, while it's possible that the building's owners will abandon their plans at any stage, the extent of work, forward progress and expense to date would suggest that this is more than simply an exploratory exercise, as some have suggested and (been) played.

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Comments (11)

Google Owns Over 10% Of Mountain View And Plans To Expand

Including 42 acres upon which Google has proposed to build a 1.2 million square foot Bay View campus (click to enlarge), Google now controls 250 parcels in Mountain View and owns over ten percent of the city’s taxable property, all of which The Verge has mapped.


Google's stated plans for developing nearly four million square feet in Mountain View would provide enough space for an estimated 24,000 people, double its current workforce. And all of which raises some great questions and concerns.

Welcome to Googletown | Interactive Map Of Google's Land [The Verge/Google]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Comments (39)

Designs For New Condos On Clement Street Slated To Be Approved

3038 Clement Street

As we first reported back in 2012 with respect to a Clement Street development which was quietly in the works at the time:

While the neighbors and neighborhood groups haven't yet been notified, the owner of the single-story building at 3038 Clement Street is quietly working on plans to raze the "European Food" market and build a four-story, 40-foot tall building with six three-bedroom condos over ground floor retail and parking for six cars on the site between 31st and 32nd Avenues, from which San Francisco's first Fresh & Easy is a fifty-foot walk.

With the design for the project having since been modified to include three two-bedrooms and three three-bedrooms along with parking for ten bikes (in addition to the six cars), this afternoon, San Francisco's Planning Commission is slated to decide whether or not to approve the development as proposed:


The Planning Department, which recommends approval of the 3032-3038 Clement Street project, has received eight letters in support of the development and none opposed.


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

Fixed Mortgage Rates Tick Up, Jumbos Remain Relatively Cheap


The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked up from 4.33 to 4.37 percent over the past week and is within 21 basis points of the 33-month high rate of 4.58 percent recorded this past August.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.51 percent at this time last year while the all-time low of 3.31 percent was recorded in November of 2012.

In terms of the rate for Jumbo loans, Wells Fargo is currently advertising a rate of 4.125 percent for mortgages over $625,500, a discount of 0.375 percentage points as compared to the 4.5 percent rate they're advertising for both regular conforming and super conforming loans over $417,000 in high cost areas like San Francisco.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:45 AM | Comments (2)

February 26, 2014

The Modern Maniscalco On 27th Street Fetches $3,775,000


Speaking of Maniscalco designed Noe homes, having been listed for $3,095,000, the sale of 630 27th Street has just closed escrow with a reported contract price of $3,775,000.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 PM

New Homes Sales Up In January, Inventory Up Even More

The seasonally adjusted pace of new single-family home sales in the U.S. increased to an annual rate of 468,000 in January, up 2.2 percent year-over-year and the highest rate since 2008. The pace peaked at 1,309,000 in July of 2005.

The inventory of new single-family homes for sale is up 23.5 percent year-over-year. Inventory is up 33.3 percent in the West while sales in the West were down 23.4 percent.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:15 PM | Comments (0)

Apples To Apples And Peak To Peak?


Purchased for $2,700,000 in August of 2007, the John Maniscalco designed home at 836 Alvarado is back on the market and listed for $2,599,000, a little under $800 per foot.


The main level of the four-bedroom Noe Valley home features Avodire wood cabinets and accent walls, behind which a secondary staircase to the master suite is hidden.


The kitchen is open to a family room which overlooks the yard designed by Paxton Gate:


Keep in mind that Noe Valley home prices didn't actually peak until 2008, but the end of 2007 was pretty close. And if you think you know the Noe market, now's the time to tell.

∙ Listing: 836 Alvarado (4/3.5) 3,280 sqft - $2,599,000 [836alvarado.com]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:45 PM | Comments (11)

Home Loan Purchase Activity At Lowest Level Since 1995

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Mortgage Bankers Association's Purchase Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume for home purchases in the U.S., has fallen to its lowest level since 1995. On an unadjusted basis, the index is down 15 percent year-over-year having ticked up a nominal 0.1 percent over the past week.

To quote MBA's Chief Economist, Mike Fratantoni: "Purchase applications were little changed on an unadjusted basis last week, but this is the time of a year we would expect a significant pickup in purchase activity, and we are not yet seeing it."

While a lack of inventory is certain to be fingered for the slowdown in applications, according to the National Association of Realtors' own data, inventory levels of existing-homes for sale are up 10.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:15 AM | Comments (8)

Condos Rather Than Cold Ones On Divisadero Street


A proposal to add four floors of residential space over the existing two-story garage at 834 Divisadero Street is making its way through Planning (click rendering to enlarge).

Designed by Ian Birchall & Associates, the proposed development would rise 65 feet in height and create seven condos across the top four floors, seven parking spaces on the second, and 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail space along the street.

And yes, this is Little Star adjacent building between McAllister and Fulton into which some were expecting Barrel Head Brew House to go.

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

February 25, 2014

A Couple Of Interesting Notes For Tomorrow's Home Price Reports

A couple of things to keep in mind when reading tomorrow's reports of home prices in San Francisco having gained 22.6 percent in 2013.

The rate of appreciation has been on the decline for the past nine months and 98 percent of 2013's gains were recorded in the first nine months of the year. In fact, the price index for single-family homes gained less than half a percent in the last quarter of 2013.

And with respect to San Francisco index for condo prices which gained 24.6 percent in 2013, 100 percent of the gain was recorded in the first nine months of the year. The condo price index actually slipped a nominal 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2013.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 PM

$2.4 Million For A Mission Dolores Diamond That's Still In The Rough


Purchased as a "diamond in the rough" for $1,350,000 in November of 2012, plans to add 1,400 square feet of living space to the Mission Dolores home at 29 Dorland have since been approved, the permits have been issued and "the project is ready to go!"


Now on the market and listed for $2,400,000, the project includes a garage for four cars with six bedrooms and three levels over the garage and an elevator connecting every floor.


Not included in that $2.4 million list price, however, is the actual cost of construction. And yes, the first floor is one big great room as envisioned (click to enlarge):

∙ Listing: 29 Dorland "(6/3.5) 3,455 sqft" - $2,400,000 [Zephyr]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:45 PM | Comments (51)

Designs For Mission District Development At 15th And Shotwell

1450 15th Street

As we first reported early last year with respect to plans for development at the intersection of 15th Street and Shotwell in the Mission:

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 [in October of 2012], 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.

Designs for the proposed development have since been drawn (click to enlarge), the project's environmental review is underway, and building permits have been requested.

Assuming the plans and permits are approved, the development at 1450 15th Street could break ground as soon as this spring.

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Comments (26)

San Francisco Home Price Appreciation Slows, Condo Values Stall

According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, single-family home values in the San Francisco MSA ticked up a nominal 0.2% from November to December 2013, gaining a total of 0.5% in the fourth quarter of the year. Up 22.6% on a year-over-year basis, the San Francisco Index remains 17.3% below a May 2006 peak.

For the broader 10-City composite, home values were unchanged from November to December and remain up 13.6% year-over-year. At the same time, S&P's summary headline has changed from "Winter Shows No Signs of Cooling in Home Prices" to "Home Prices Lose Momentum" in the course of a month.

"The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index ended its best year since 2005," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "However, gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of the recovery in home values may be over. Year-over-year values for the two monthly Composites weakened and the quarterly National Index barely improved. The seasonally adjusted data also exhibit some softness and loss of momentum.
After 26 months of consecutive gains, Phoenix posted -0.3% for the month of December, its largest decline since March 2011. Phoenix once led the recovery from the bottom in 2012, but Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco were the top three performing cities of 2013 with gains of over 20%. The Sun Belt, with the exception of Dallas, Miami and Tampa, saw lower annual rates in December when compared to their November numbers. The six cities with the highest year-over-year figures saw their rates decline (Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Diego and Detroit) and most cities ranked at the bottom improved (Denver, Washington and New York) – Charlotte and Cleveland were the two exceptions."

While home values ticked up for the top and bottom thirds of the San Francisco market, they slipped again for the middle, the second monthly decline since February of 2012.

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

The bottom third (under $492,740 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.9% from November to December (up 33.5% YOY); the middle third dropped 0.5% from November to December (up 24.6% YOY); and the top third (over $793,393 at the time of acquisition) gained 0.4% from November to December, up 17.8% year-over-year.

According to the Index, single-family home values for the bottom third of the market in the San Francisco MSA are back to July 2003 levels (37% below an August 2006 peak); the middle third is back to September 2004 levels (18% below a May 2006 peak); and the top third is just below June 2005 levels and 5% below its August 2007 peak.

Condo values in the San Francisco MSA were unchanged from November to December 2013, the third month in a row without any gains. That being said, condo values remain up 24.6% year-over-year and within 4.8% of their December 2005 peak.

S&P/Case-Shiller Condo Price Changes: December 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).

Posted by socketadmin at 6:45 AM | Comments (31)

Rebuilt Noe Home Fetches $2.5 Million, $939 Per Square Foot


Purchased as a 1,630 square foot Noe Valley home for $1,350,000 in February of 2013 and then stripped to studs, expanded to 2,662 square feet and rebuilt with a bit of contemporary flair, the sale of 545 Valley Street has closed escrow with a reported contract price of $2,500,000 having been listed for $2,595,000 at the end of last year.


Posted by socketadmin at 6:30 AM

February 24, 2014

State Bill Targeting Speculative Evictions In SF Introduced, Again

As expected, Senator Mark Leno has introduced Senate Bill No. 1439, designed to prohibit speculators from buying tenant occupied buildings in San Francisco, evicting the tenants by way of the Ellis Act, and then selling the individual units as a Tenancy in Common (TIC) or together as de facto single-family homes.

Existing law, commonly known as the Ellis Act, generally prohibits public entities from adopting any statute, ordinance, or regulation, or taking any administrative action, to compel the owner of residential real property to offer or to continue to offer accommodations, as defined, in the property for rent or lease.
This bill would authorize the County of San Francisco to prohibit an owner of accommodations from withdrawing accommodations or prosecuting an action to recover possession of accommodations, or threatening to do so, if not all the owners of the accommodations have been owners of record for 5 continuous years or more or with respect to property that the owner acquired after providing notice of an intent to withdraw accommodations at a different property. Among other things, the bill would also permit the county to require an owner of accommodations notifying the county of an intention to withdraw accommodations from rent or lease to identify each person or entity with an ownership interest in the accommodations and to identify all persons or entities with an ownership interest in an entity, which information would be available for public inspection.

As we noted last month, a state bill to amend the Ellis Act so that only property owners who had owned a property for at least 5 years would be able to invoke the Ellis Act to evict tenants was also proposed back in 2007 but died on the Senate floor.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 PM | Comments (19)

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