CATEGORY ARCHIVE: Interesting Opportunities

March 4, 2014

Two Designer Dogpatch Condos For Under $300K Apiece


Two of the new condos in the Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects designed Dogpatch building at 616 20th Street were designated as Below Market Rate (BMR) units and will be sold for $223,988 and $264,207.

Priced to be affordable to San Francisco households earning up to 90% of the area's median income, and available to households earning up to 100%, a single person making up to $67,950 or a couple making no more than $77,700 may qualify.

Both units are 770 square feet in size and one of the buyers will have the option of securing a deeded parking space in the building for an additional $30,000.

Applications for the 616 20th Street condos are due April 17, a lottery will be held on April 24, and the keys will be handed over on July 1. The two units share the same floor plan:


Coming Soon: Sixteen Modern Condos On 20th Street [SocketSite]
616 20th Street Below Market Rate Program []

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (24) | (email story)

February 21, 2014

611 Tax-Defaulted Properties In San Francisco Facing Public Auction


While mostly timeshares but including houses, condos and undeveloped parcels of land, including the Telegraph Hill parcel facing the Filbert Street steps outlined above, there are currently over 600 properties in San Francisco which have been in a tax-defaulted state for over five years and which the City's Tax Collector would like to sell at public auction.

With the backing of its Budget and Finance Committee, next week San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is poised to authorize the sale which would occur in May.

The list of all 611 properties which could be sold:

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

December 4, 2013

A Luxury Two-Bedroom Dogpatch Loft For A Grand


A 712 square foot Potrero Launch two-bedroom loft with polished concrete floors, stainless steel appliances, barn style bedroom doors and a whole host of building amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi is now available for $1,078 per month. And yes, there's a catch or two.

As part of San Francisco's Below Market Rate (BMR) Affordable Housing Program, the income for the tenants of the Dogpatch two-bedroom cannot exceed 50% of the Area Median Income, a maximum household income of $40,500 for two people or $45,550 for three. At the same time, the minimum household income to qualify for apartment E305 is at least $32,340 a year.


Applications for the two-bedroom BMR are due on December 9 with a lottery to follow depending upon the number of applicants. A market-rate two-bedroom of 852 square feet is also available in the building at 2235 Third Street for $3,950 a month, no lottery needed, and a 360 square foot studio for $2,425 which is nine dollars less than average in San Francisco these days.

Posted by socketadmin at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

November 26, 2013

Former Giants Party Pad Facing Strike Three

3157 Baker Street

The one-time Marina party pad of former San Francisco Giants' pitchers Brian Wilson and Barry Zito, 3157 Baker Street was on the market in 2008 for $5,000,000 before being relisted for $3,695,000 in 2010 as the "former residence to celebrity chef, CEOs, [and] professional athletes" and then offered for rent at $13,500 a month via Craigslist.

Having avoided being foreclosed upon 2011 despite being in default since 2009 when $35,875 behind on a $2,283,000 loan, the five-bedroom "Marina Mansion" at 3157 Baker Street is once again scheduled to hit the courthouse steps this afternoon in San Francisco with what would appear to be over $800,000 in past due payments and fees now owed on that aforementioned loan.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

October 23, 2013

What Would You Do With 57 Acres 20 Minutes From SF And SFO?


A twenty minute drive south from the heart of San Francisco and twenty minutes from SFO, a 57-acre parcel overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Pacifica is on the market with a "suggested offering price" of $6 million and offers due by November 15.

The marketing notes an "opportunity for future development of residential community with ocean views or use as a private estate," or perhaps a commune for startups? The marketing also notes a "potential tax credit for conservation easement of $14M available this year."

If you pick it up, don't forget to tip your dealers and feel free to throw an acre or two our way.

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

October 9, 2013

Got Cash? Noe Valley Home Scheduled For Foreclosure (Again)


Purchased for $1,450,000 in 2006 with a first mortgage for $1,000,000, a second mortgage for $304,500 and $145,500 (10 percent) down, the owner of the Noe Valley home at 4287 23rd Street has been in default since 2010.

While the past due amount on the one million dollar mortgage was $23,376 back in 2010, there's now $1,279,499 owed including past due payments, interest and fees.

With five scheduled auctions having been cancelled over the past three years, 4287 23rd Street is once again scheduled to hit the courthouse steps Thursday afternoon with an expected opening bid of $1,284,686.

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

August 15, 2013

Nine New Hayes Valley Condos For As Little As $237K A Piece


Nine of the 63 new Hayes Valley condos under construction at 300 Ivy (aka 401 Grove Street) will be sold for as little as $236,862 for a 624 square foot one-bedroom and $355,404 for one three-bedroom with 1,605 square feet.

So what’s the catch? As part of the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development Below Market Rate (BMR) Inclusionary Housing Program, applicants for the 9 BMR units cannot make more than 90 percent of the area median income, which means a single person can make no more than $63,750 a year, a couple can make no more than $72,850, and a couple with a child can have a current annual income of no more than $82,000 to qualify.

While the prices above do not include a parking space, five spaces will be made available by lottery to the buyers of the nine units for $75,000 each.

Applications are due by 5pm on September 24, 2013. Pass it along.

401 Grove Street Gets Its Groove On Despite Intimations Otherwise [SocketSite]
300 Ivy Street Below Market Rate Housing Program []

Posted by socketadmin at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (29) | (email story)

August 5, 2013

38 Brand New Apartments In San Francisco Renting For A Grand!


While the going price for a new studio apartment in San Francisco is averaging over $2,300 a month, and NEMA’s model unit would rent for closer to $2,500, twenty-two of the brand new studios in the luxury building at the corner of Market and Tenth will be rented for $939 a month and sixteen one-bedrooms will be rented for $1,066.

So what’s the catch? As part of the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development Below Market Rate (BMR) Rental Program, applicants for the 38 BMR units cannot make more than 55 percent of the area median income, which means a single person can make no more than $38,950 a year, a couple can make no more than $44,500.

Other restrictions for the 38 below market rate mid-market units include a credit score of at least 600; no record of a previous eviction for the applicants; and the ability to pass a federal background check. And while the maximum income for a single person is $38,950 a year, the minimum income is $28,170.

Applications are due by 5pm on August 30, 2013. Pass it along.

Average Rent For A Studio In San Francisco: Over $2,300 A Month [SocketSite]
Your First Real Peek Inside NEMA At Market And Tenth [SocketSite]
NEMA (18 10th Street) Below Market Rate Apartment Program []

Posted by socketadmin at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (19) | (email story)

June 5, 2013

A Competition To Rethink The Space Beneath Highway 280


With a conceptual plan to take down Highway 280 north of 16th Street in San Francisco, eliminating the ramps at Sixth and Brannan and at Fourth and King and building a street-level boulevard in its place, a design competition to rethink the use of the space beneath the highway in San Francisco is underway.

Competition participants are invited to submit concepts for public art, buildings, landscape treatments, public amenities and infrastructure, or other urban design interventions that are made possible through the replacement of the elevated Highway 280 north of 16th Street. Suggested areas of focus are the parcels of land freed up by this transformation, especially along the western edge of Mission Bay, as well as the open space/landscape opportunities at the west end of Mission Creek to unify both sides of the creek.


In the words of the design competition’s organizers: "The tradition of removing freeways is not a new one for our city– two neighborhoods, the Embarcadero and Hayes Valley, have enjoyed a renaissance through freeway demolition that healed scarred communities."

And in the words of a plugged-in reader, might some of San Francisco's elevated highway have the potential to become the equivalent of New York's High Line?

A Bold Plan To Tear Down I-280 North Of 16th Street In San Francisco [SocketSite]
280 Freeway Competition []

Posted by socketadmin at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (66) | (email story)

May 29, 2013

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 | Permalink | Comments (30) | (email story)

January 2, 2013

Past Due In Presidio Heights

3829 Clay Street (

As plugged-in people should be well aware and positioned to take advantage, the majority of foreclosures in San Francisco have occurred outside the boundaries of the oft maligned District 10 over the past few years.

Speaking of which, in and out of foreclosure since 2009, the 3,480 square foot Presidio Heights home at 3829 Clay Street is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps tomorrow with roughly $170,000 past due on a $1,725,000 loan.

Foreclosures In San Francisco Peaked In 2012, Set To Fall In 2013 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

November 16, 2012

The Historic Atherton House Is Headed For The Courthouse Steps


The Atherton House at 1990 California Street was built in 1881, commissioned by Dominga de Goni Atherton, widow of land speculator Faxon Dean Atherton after whom the town of Atherton down in San Mateo was named.

The house was subsequently divided into 12 apartments and landmarked in 1974, "despite the modifications, and notwithstanding the City Planning Commission's own objections to its fundamental lack of a cohesive style."

On the market in early 2007 asking $6,500,000 having been purchased for $1,670,000 in 1988, 1990 California failed to sell and was refinanced with a loan for $3,569,500 instead.

Currently in default with over $450,000 past due, the Atherton House was scheduled to hit the courthouse steps yesterday but a bankruptcy filing has delayed the foreclosure auction for at least another two weeks.

And yes, as was reported by a reader back in 2009, supposedly the house is haunted:

I lived with my then partner Edward Kitson in [the] Ballroom for 1 month back in the late 70's. Before we moved in we were asked by the then caretaker to stay in his apartment while he was away for a short time.
One very early morning we woke up and Edward had left the room, I remember rolling over in bed and there standing in a door way leading to a part of the house that was under construction was the blurry figure of a male figure. Non threating and still very sleepy I thought nothing of it.
It was not until the next day or so that we had found out that the mansion was possibly haunted and was told the story of George Atherton. I then remembered what I saw that morning and to this day I still believe I saw his ghost and from what I have read and now know, I know I did.


The Atherton House (1990 California) [SocketSite]
The Atherton House: 1990 California []

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

November 1, 2012

Postcard Row On The Courthouse Steps

722 Steiner (

As we wrote about the San Francisco Postcard Row home at 722 Steiner in 2010:

First listed for $3,999,999 in February, reduced a few times, and last asking $3,199,000 before being withdrawn from the MLS in [September 2010], 722 Steiner has been relisted asking $2,950,000. And the listing now notes: "Seller MUST sell, will consider all offers."
Once again, Matthew Kavanaugh developed the 700 block of Steiner Street between 1892 and 1896, now known as San Francisco’s Postcard Row. Originally the developer's own home, 722 Steiner at Grove was slated for demolition in the 1970’s but survived and was restored.

In default since early 2011 on a $1,740,000 first mortgage from 2007 (hence the "Seller MUST sell, will consider all offers" note in 2010, a sale which never occured), 722 Steiner is once again scheduled to hit the courthouse steps tomorrow with $2,046,876 now owed on that first alone. A courthouse sale would wipe out a $290,000 second as well.

"Seller MUST Sell" 722 Steiner [SocketSite]
Postcard Row's Postman's Home Hits The Market (722 Steiner) [SocketSite]
722 Steiner: Reduced Again (By Postage For 750,000 Postcards) [SocketSite]
Somebody Get Gekko On The Phone... [SocketSite]
While A Big One Sells, Another Is Scheduled For The Steps [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

September 20, 2012

Hipster Hotelier Wannabes Take Second Note

385 9th Street

As we first reported and warned this past May:

…the Vagabond Inn at 385 9th Street is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps in San Francisco this afternoon with an opening bid of $269,612. But budding hipster hoteliers take note, it’s the $250,000 second mortgage that’s foreclosing.
While a courthouse sale today would wipe out the $120,000 third, the $1,462,500 first mortgage on the property would remain. And yes, the first is currently in default as well, by $1,183,244 as of last month.

The move by the second mortgage holder to foreclose was subsequently cancelled.

As a plugged-in tipster notes, and no plugged-in reader should be caught by surprise, the first mortgage holder is now foreclosing with an auction scheduled for this afternoon, $1,344,714.78 now owed, and the second and third mortgages likely to be wiped out.

Hipster Hotelier Wannabes Take (Second) Note [SocketSite]
Failing Grades In Auction Buying 101 (And Commenting) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

June 11, 2012

Luke Feels The Foreclosure Force (As Do Lenders Number Two)

224 Sea Cliff Avenue

While the 6,375 square foot home at 130 Sea Cliff Avenue has sold for a reported $13,000,000, down the street at 224 Sea Cliff Avenue the 5,552 square foot home is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps tomorrow with $7,983,898 owed on a 2007 era first mortgage for $6,000,000.

Owned by Brugnara Properties VI, a name which might ring a few bells (or perhaps bars), in addition to the foreclosing first, a note for $11,350,000 was added in 2008.

If you see some suits on the steps tomorrow, say hello to lenders number two.

Old School Silicon Valley Wealth And San Francisco Views [SocketSite]
Brugnara Properties Headquarters Headed For Foreclosure? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (32) | (email story)

February 27, 2012

Do You Gotta Have (137) Faith?

137 Faith Street

Purchased for $650,000 in July of 2005 with a first mortgage for $417,000, a second for $125,000 and $108,000 down, a year ago a notice of default was first filed for the property at 137 Faith, the first mortgage for which was already $19,666 past due at the time.

Postponed once before, tomorrow the small northern Bernal Heights home is once again scheduled to hit the courthouse steps with $447,041 owned on that first as of this past July.

As we reported back in 2009, the short sale of 110 Faith Street closed escrow with a reported contract price of $550,000 that September, 24% under its $720,000 purchase price recorded in October 2005.

You’ve Gotta Have Shouldn’t Have Had Faith: The Follow-Up [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

June 23, 2011

Off The MLS And Onto The Steps For 40 27th Avenue?

40 27th Avenue

Listed for sale asking $3,500,000 last June ("First time on the market in 29 years"). Relisted and reduced to $3,300,000 in October. And last asking $2,995,000 before being withdrawn from the MLS this past April, the Sea Cliff home at 40 27th Avenue which was "completely remodeled in 2004 with top of the line materials" is scheduled to hit the courthouse steps this afternoon with a little over $2 million owed on a $1.8 million first.

40 27th Avenue: Master

In default since September of last year, keep in mind the forced sale of the Sea Cliff home has been postponed due to a bankruptcy filing before and might be once again. But it pays to be prepared. And of course, plugged-in.

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | (email story)

March 23, 2011

$581,000 Down And Currently At Risk

The four-unit building at 559 27th Street was purchased for $1,730,000 in June 2007 with two long-term tenants in place, one of which was protected, and two "renovated corporate rental units with views" which were due to become vacant that summer.

The 2007 purchase was financed with $581,000 down and a $1,149,000 note which has been in default for a year. Having already been postponed a few times, the Noe property is once again scheduled to hit the courthouse steps tomorrow afternoon with a published opening bid of $1,336,740, the total now due on the aforementioned note.

In 2003 the building traded for $1,325,000 with the protected tenant in place and one other unit tenant occupied.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

March 21, 2011

Eight Days To Apply For A $206 Per Square Foot Pacific Heights Condo

It was three weeks ago that we first plugged our readers in to the 1,220 square foot Below Market Rate (BMR) Pacific Heights condo at 2760 Sacramento.

Purchased for $211,500 as a resale restricted unit in 2003, the condo was refinanced with $712,014 in debt over the next five years before being taken back by the bank.

Applications to purchase 2760 Sacramento #6 for $250,765 are due in eight days.

∙ Listing: 2760 Sacramento #6 (1/1) - $250,765 [MLS]
A Bank-Owned BMR (No, Not BMW) In Pacific Heights [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

March 2, 2011

Let The Courting Begin For Pier 70’s Historic Core

Pier 70 Building 101

With six suitors lined up to bid on the core redevelopment of San Francisco’s Pier 70, the Port of San Francisco has just opened up the interest list for the rehabilitation of six historic buildings along 20th Street.

These six [buildings] form the portal to a 69-acre historic shipyard site where a recently completed Master Plan calls for 3 million square feet of new development, two new parks along the Bay, retained ship repair operations, and a new national historic district.

Pier 70 Historic Core

Five of six buildings were built during the earliest period of San Francisco’s shipbuilding era – from the late 1880s through the early 20th century. Two were office building supporting the shipyard, the rest are industrial structures.

Pier 70 Building 115/116

They are extraordinary, one-of-a-kind structures calling for creative approaches to reuse. The [Request for Interest] is explicitly to locate a variety of novel, interesting, lively, public-oriented uses at the entrance to the historic street to link Pier 70 to the adjacent Dogpatch neighborhood near Potrero Hill.

The historic core includes the Bethlehem Steel Office Building (Building 101), the Union Iron Works Office Building (Building 104), the Union Iron Works Machine Shop (Building 113/114), the Union Iron Works Foundry & Warehouse (Building 115/116) and the Powerhouse (Building 102) which is not to be confused with the Power Exchange.

Letters of intent are due by June 1 after which the Port will invite detailed proposals.

San Francisco's Pier 70 Redevelopment Attracts Six Suitors [SocketSite]
Pier 70 Area - 20th Street Historic Buildings Request for Interest (RFI) []
Now Calling All Developers For San Francisco’s Pier 70 [SocketSite]
Pier 70 (Q)uestions, (A)nswers, And Interested (D)evelopers [SocketSite]
Six big developers vie for San Francisco's Pier 70 [Business Times]
Pier 70 Deadline Extended (Prior To Any Punking) [SocketSite]
Did They Say November December? Make It January. [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

January 4, 2011

Ritz-Carlton (690 Market Street) At 39 Percent Off This Afternoon

San Francisco's Ritz-Carlton Residences (

Scheduled to hit the courthouse steps at two this afternoon, it’s a plugged-in tipster that notes the previously published opening bid of $1,407,739 has just been dropped to $1,144,024 for the two-bedroom Ritz-Carlton condo known as 690 Market #2003.

Purchased for $1,890,000 ($1,320 per square) in September 2007 with what would appear to have been a $1,322,978 loan and 30 percent ($567,022) down, the 1,431 square foot luxury unit was listed for $2.35M in 2008, reduced to $1.9M in 2009, and then reduced to $1.69M before being withdrawn.

We don't consider courthouse auction prices to be "apples-to-apples" on account of their all cash and no contingency nature, but as our reader notes, it will be a 39 percent haircut in value if it sells for its opening price of $799 per square.

That being said, 690 Market #1502 which was purchased for $1,481,000 in October 2007 ($1,239 per square) and then taken back by the bank is currently pending having last been listed for $949,905 ($795 per square), a sale at which would represent an apples-to-apples 36 percent decline in value for the luxury unit over the past three years.

And once again, while "still not cheap" at almost $800 per square, we’re guessing that’s of little solace to those who were sold on $1,200 $1,300 per square or more.

UPDATE: While still noted as pending on the MLS, a plugged-in reader reports that 690 Market #1502 actually "sold for $805K, plus the auction fees, in early December." Once again, the condo originally sold for $1,481,000 in October 2007.

UPDATE: With no bidders yesterday at $1,144,024 ($799 per square foot), 690 Market Street #2003 is now bank owned. Once again, the luxury two-bedroom Ritz-Carlton condo had originally been purchased for $1,890,000 ($1,320 per square) in September 2007.

Puttin' On The Ritz (And Pressure) At Under Eight Hundred A Square [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

October 1, 2010

Seeking Bids Brought To You By The Letters H And J

In addition to the City’s sale of 909 Tennessee (the next tour of which will be October 12 at 2 pm), two of the City's Octavia Boulevard parcels are on the block and seeking bids.

Octavia Parcel H

The minimum bid for the 11,275 square foot Parcel H on the southwest corner of Gough and Grove is $2,950,000 while the minimum bid for the 17,398 square foot Parcel J on the north side of Hayes between Gough and Octavia is $4,450,000.

Octavia Parcel J

Sealed bids on the two parcels are due by October 26. Both parcels are zoned for mixed use housing under the Market Octavia Plan.

909 Tennessee Scoop: Spruced Up And Soliciting "Fire Sale" Bids [SocketSite]
RFPs For Housing Along Octavia Boulevard [SocketSite]
Invitation to Bid: Parcel H (Block 0793/103) []
Invitation to Bid: Parcel J (Block 808/039) []
Market-Octavia Plan And Requisite Rezoning Approved By The Board [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | (email story)

September 3, 2010

So You Want To Be In Animated Renderings Redux

Potrero Hill Studio Green Screen

Two years ago Steelblue invited plugged-in SocketSite readers the opportunity to be immortalized in live action animations for San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center.

And now they’re doing it again, shooting green screen scenes ("sitting in a park, observing art, shopping, playing with their kids, reading on a bench”) from a studio in Potrero Hill.

If you’re around tomorrow (September 4, 2010) and would like your shot at the big green screen, email steelblue ( to schedule a slot between 10 and 4.

Next time, in 3-D…

So You Want To Be In Renderings… [SocketSite]
Transbay Transit Center Video: The Director’s Cut With Smooth Tunes [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | (email story)

October 27, 2008

Mission Walk (330/335 Berry): BMR Applications Now Available

Mission Walk (10/27/08): Under Construction (

It might still be wrapped in scaffolding, but applications are now available for the 131 Below Market Rate (BMR) condos that will compose Mission Walk (330/335 Berry Street).

Mission Walk Rendering: View from across Mission Creek (

25 one, 82 two, and 24 three bedroom units priced from $159,474 to $302,735.

Mission Walk Rendering: View from across Berry Street (

Qualified buyers will have incomes of up to 80%-100% of the area median. Applications are due January 22nd, 2009. And a lottery for the 131 units will be held on January 28th.

Mission Walk (330/335 Berry): Application and Overview []

Posted by socketadmin at 5:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

October 9, 2008

Homes On Esprit Park: Now Offering Refundable Purchase Deposits

While no longer offering price guarantees (sign of the times one), the Esprit Park sales team is back with another offer: refundable purchase deposits (sign of the times two).

When you purchase a residence at Homes on Esprit Park and secure a loan commitment to purchase, you should be moving forward towards a positive and exciting close of escrow and move-in. However, if your lender should change their qualifications or loan programs or your financial situation should change and you no longer qualify for your loan (up to 10 days prior to close of escrow), we’ll guarantee the full return of your 3% deposit* no questions asked.
In addition, should you simply change your mind about purchasing your home, find another home that you prefer to purchase elsewhere or just need to walk away for any personal reason whatsoever, we’ll guarantee the return of 75% of your deposit, again, no questions asked.

A bit of the fine print (i.e., asterisk): “Less an escrow processing fee of $500…Deposits made for buyer selected flooring upgrades and glass enclosures are not refundable.”

No word on whether or not those who acted early will benefit from the program as well.

A Price Guarantee From (And Proof Of Price Reductions At) Esprit Park [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

August 18, 2008

JustQuotes: Potential For Below-Market-Rate Housing Priority

"Descendants of people displaced during the redevelopment of San Francisco's Western Addition and Hunters Point decades ago would be given first priority for the city's affordable housing under a measure pending before city leaders.

The proposal, which is scheduled for a vote by San Francisco's Board of Supervisors on Sept. 9, would give housing reparations citywide to people forced out of the Fillmore area in the 1950s and 1960s and Hunters Point in the 1970s, as well as their children and grandchildren. They would be put at the top of the city's lottery system that awards much-coveted affordable housing units."

Some evicted in 'renewal' may get housing help [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (15) | (email story)

July 22, 2008

For A Select Few First-Time Buyers Willing To Cross The Bay

2450 65th Avenue, Oakland

San Francisco County doesn’t qualify for the new CalHFA Community Stabilization Home Loan Program, but Alameda and Contra Costa counties do. In a nutshell (but with plenty of devilish little details): below market 30-yeard fixed rate loans (5.5%) and up to 103% financing (CLTV) for qualifying first-time buyers of select bank owned properties.

One such home: 2450 65th Avenue in Oakland (above and below). Currently listed for $310,000, but available through the program for $272,800.

Keep in mind that the qualifying properties are likely the dregs of each lenders portfolio (we haven't had a chance to look at them all). And while you'll save on the below market rates and the properties are to be priced 12% "below market," there's a good chance that many most are worth even less (i.e., if you have the means, it might make more economic sense to act outside the program).

CalHFA Community Stabilization Home Loan Program [CalHFA]
∙ Listing: 2450 65th Avenue, Oakland - $310,000 [Better Homes Realty]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

June 30, 2008

Tomorrow Night At The Commonwealth Club: Buy, Sell Or Wait 2008

It’s another real estate redux (Buy, Sell or Wait, Part II: Real Estate in the Bay Area 2008). It’s another great panel:

Joseph Perkins, President and CEO, Home Builders Association of Northern California
Rich Arzaga, Financial Planner; Professor, Real Estate Investment, UC Berkeley Extension
Tom Davidoff, Assistant Professor of Real Estate, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
Joske Thompson, Agent, Pacific Union GMAC Real Estate

And it's a moderator (Adam Koval, Founder, SocketSite) that won’t be asking about lapel pins. Tomorrow night (7/1/08), the Commonwealth Club, tickets are required.

Buy, Sell or Wait, Part II: Real Estate in the Bay Area 2008 [Commonwealth Club]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:00 AM | Permalink | (email story)

June 26, 2008

The SocketSite Scoop On 900 Folsom/260 Fifth: Condo Idol Comes!

900 Folsom/260 Fifth: Project Site

Avant Housing, a joint venture between AGI Capital and TMG Partners, has launched a website providing some unique insight into the development process and soliciting community feedback for a trio of interconnected buildings in the works at 900 Folsom/260 Fifth Street.

The two adjacent parcels at 900 Folsom Street and 260 Fifth Street are the locations of a new mixed-use development project. What is currently a large surface parking lot, office building and adjoining small parking lot, will be transformed into a transit oriented, green, residential project. Airy 19 foot high, neighborhood-serving retail will be located at the ground level.

The two buildings, which are aiming to be LEED Gold certified, will bring 466 units, 466 parking spaces, and over 10,000 square feet of retail to the neighborhood.

900 Folsom/260 Fifth: Draft Design

And while Architecture International is driving the exterior design, here’s where it gets really interesting:

Word on the street is that the project sponsor has not designed the [interiors of the units] yet, and will be eventually using this site [for] polls on different floor plans, types of stone for counters, appliance brands, public amenity space, etc.. And the winners will actually be constructed. The American Idol of condos…

Actually involving potential buyers early on in the design process? What a novel concept. And a big hallelujah (and it's about time) assuming they can actually pull it off.

900 Folsom & 260 Fifth Street []

Posted by socketadmin at 3:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (28) | (email story)

June 17, 2008

Scoop: Next Wednesday’s (6/25) Gathering For Plugged-In People

Eight month ago we moderated an exclusive panel and Q&A for 150 plugged-in people entitled, “The REAL (e)State of SoMa’s emerging midtown.” And next Wednesday (6/25), we’re doing it again.

Returning panelist Daniel Hurtado (Executive Director, Central Market Community Benefit District) will account for the CBD's progress to date and future plans; Walter Schmidt (Chief Financial Officer, Trinity Properties) will dish the developer's scoop; Nina Gruen (Principal, GRUEN GRUEN + ASSOCIATES) will talk neighborhood evolution; and Astrid Haryati (Director of Greening, Office of the Mayor, City of San Francisco) will answer: “the Greening of SoMa’s Midtown, buzzword or real beauty?”

SomaGrand is once again providing the venue and sponsoring the event (beer, wine and snacks). And you’re invited to network with other plugged-in people and secure the neighborhood scoop.

This gathering will be on June 25th from 6:00-7:30pm in the lobby of SomaGrand (1160 Mission Street at Seventh Street). Attendance will be limited to the first 100 individuals to email (See UPDATE below). And no, this isn't going to be a sales pitch (to which others can attest).

We’ll see you on the 25th. And as always, thank you for plugging in.

Editor’s Note: Space availability countdown in the comments (and an update to the post when we've reached capacity).

UPDATE: Sorry folks, but our 100 spots have been filled. Please drop us a note if you received a confirmation but need to cancel so that we might offer your spot to another. And if you never received an email confirmation but swear you beat the cutoff (2:12pm), please forward a copy of your original email and we’ll get you on the list. Regardless, and as always, thank you for plugging in.

The Scoop On Wednesday’s (10/24) Gathering For Plugged-In People [SocketSite]
Last Night’s Week's Gathering: A Reader Driven Wrap Up (We Hope) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (26) | (email story)

June 16, 2008

Save The Date (Wednesday, June 25) And Details This Afternoon

Details this afternoon and signups tomorrow morning All tomorrow. For now, just save the date: Wednesday, June 25 at 6:00 p.m.

UPDATE: The details.

Posted by socketadmin at 12:00 PM | Permalink | (email story)

June 6, 2008

It Was Twenty Thirty Years Ago Today, Prop 13 Came Into Play...

Prop 13 at 30 Conference

It’s the 30th anniversary of Proposition 13. And if you don’t already have plans, UC Berkeley is holding a free all-day conference titled, “Proposition 13 at 30: The Political, Economic and Fiscal Impacts.”

This conference on the thirtieth anniversary of the passage of California's Proposition 13 examines the political, economic, and fiscal legacy of this revolutionary amendment to the state constitution. Proposition 13 imposed a 1% cap on the local property tax rate for Californians and launched a national tax revolt movement. The one-day conference will consist of three panels, with a mix of academic, policy experts, and journalists, that will assess the varied fiscal, economic, social, and political ramifications of this watershed tax movement.

And as a special bonus (we know, it's a full day of tax talk), the results of a new statewide survey of voter attitudes regarding Proposition 13 will be released for the first time. Or perhaps the third (see UPDATE below).

Our apologies in advance to the Beatles, but not to those who spend the rest of the day singing Sgt. Pepper’s (which is encouraged to be done out loud).

UPDATE: From the aforementioned field poll: "Across the state, 57 percent of voters said they would vote for Prop. 13 if it was on the ballot today while just 23 percent would vote against the measure. Support for the initiative was even stronger among homeowners, with 64 percent saying they support it."

Proposition 13 at 30: The Political, Economic and Fiscal Impacts []
Poll shows Prop. 13 still has strong support [SFGate]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (57) | (email story)

April 10, 2008

The Circle Of Life In Pacific Heights: 1817 California Street #2E

1817 California Street (Image Source:

If you happen to be the tenant(s) of 1817 California Street #2E and you’re not yet aware, your days are likely numbered. Two bedrooms, one and one-half baths, 787 square feet, one parking space, and listed at $498,000. Only one showing (this Sunday 4/13 from one to three) and offers thereafter.

UPDATE: Make that circles (plural). From a plugged-in reader:

11/18/05: property listed at $750,000
1/11/06: listing expires
2/08/06: listing comes back on, now up to $799,000
7/08/06: listing expires
7/11/06: listing comes back on, still $799,000
9/05/06: price reduced (back) to $750,000
9/28/06: listing is withdrawn by agent (owner)
7/27/07: property listed at $710,000
8/27/07: price reduced to $699,950
1/01/08: property withdrawn by agent (owner)
2/13/08: property listed at $675,000
3/10/08: price reduced to $665,000
4/08/08: property withdrawn by agent (owner)
4/07/08(huh?): new listing! new agent! new price! $498,000.

UPDATE: And as another plugged-in reader ads, purchased for $650,000 on 9/23/05.

∙ Listing: 1817 California #2E (2/1.5) - $498,000 [Century 21 via Pacific Union] [Map]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (41) | (email story)

March 31, 2008

Another Non-Comp Comp Along The Booming Van Ness Corridor

151 Alice B. Toklas Place #708

There's no longer a kitchen (or even really a bathroom). But the listing is touting “instant equity” and a “motivated” seller for this “unfinished” loft in the Marquee building along the booming Van Ness corridor.

Currently listed at $620,000, 151 Alice B. Toklas Place #708 changed hands on 9/30/04 for $607,500, on 10/05/06 for $865,000, and most recently on 1/9/08 for $708,933. Of course that last “sale” was to Merrill Lynch Mortgage Lending.

It's also interesting to note that #808 last changed hands on 4/27/2007 for $819,500. And at the time, the buyer likely counted on the sale of #708 in 2006 (at $865,000) as a comp.

∙ Listing: 151 Alice B. Toklas Place #708 (1/1) - $620,000 [MLS]
JustQuotes: A Reminder That They’re Not Just Building Down In SoMa [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

March 24, 2008

Going Once, Going Twice (For Real?*) At Shore|Line: 41 Federal #42

41 Federal #42: Auction

From a list price of $939,000 to $869,000 to $850,000 to $830,000 to $813,400 to $797,150 to an auction this Wednesday (3/26/08) at 4:15 PM.

As you might recall, 41 Federal #42 had been offered by the developer for $850,000 sixteen (16) months ago before being purchased and then lost to the bank. The opening bid this week will be $100,000*. Care to forecast the final price?

And in case you didn't catch it, our 41 Federal headline almost three months ago: “Going Once, Going Twice…Going Five Times At Shore|Line: 41 Federal.” Boo.

*UPDATE (Redux): While we originally noted the lack of a “reserve” price and intimated that “it will sell,” it appears as though ex SF-er correctly parsed the auction's "subject to approval" language, and tipster demonstrates how being the highest bidder isn't always high enough.

Real Estate Auction: 41 Federal #42 []
Seller Motivated Drastic Price Reduction Penthouse Unit [SocketSite]
And Now We’re Back Below Where We Started [SocketSite]
Savings At Shoreline (41 Federal) [SocketSite]
Going Once, Going Twice…Going Five Times At Shore|Line: 41 Federal [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (40) | (email story)

March 6, 2008

JustQuotes: Might It Draw Demand From Way Over In San Francisco?

8 Orchids Oakland

"The developer of the recently opened Eight Orchids condominium mid-rise in Oakland hopes to auction off nearly a third of the units, with some starting bids $300,000 below prior asking prices, as builders struggle to unload new properties in the current housing climate."

"The auction of 41 units is scheduled for March 30....The minimum bid for one-bedrooms is $245,000, down from as high as $520,888; two-bedrooms will start at $325,000, down from as high as $630,888; and three-bedrooms will begin at $475,000, discounted from as much as $805,888. There is no "secret reserve," meaning any unit that receives at least the minimum offer will go to the bidder."

Prices cut for Oakland condo auction [SFGate]
8 Orchids (Oakland) []

Posted by socketadmin at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (38) | (email story)

February 14, 2008

Lunchtime Concert/Central Market Community Benefit District Event

From the folks at the Central Market Community Benefit District:

The Central Market Community Benefit District (CBD) and Friends of Mint Plaza invite you to celebrate Central Market and the launch of our long-awaited neighborhood services during Love Thy Neighbor(hood), a special lunchtime concert for the community on February 14, Valentine's Day.
The noontime neighborhood concert will be held from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the new Mint Plaza (on Fifth Street between Market and Mission Streets).
Find out how the Central Market CBD's new programs will help create a cleaner, safer and more inviting neighborhood. Learn about community organizations that are helping to enhance the environment in Central Market. Find out about volunteer opportunities in the community and how you can get involved in improving the neighborhood.

Central Market CBD []
JustQuotes: Care To Quote The Odds On The Success Of Mint Plaza? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | (email story)

January 16, 2008

Homes On Esprit Park: Now Accepting Refundable ($3,000) Deposits

From a plugged-in tipster (and on the heels of yesterday's Esprit Park expose):

“With our model homes expected to deliver in February and more models following in months to come, The Homes on Esprit Park team is thrilled to offer an opportunity to reserve your favorite unit for up to 45 days with a refundable $3,000 deposit. Offered for the first time since the sales office opened in late ’07, our refundable reservations are designed to help our most interested buyers move closer to the unit they want before it’s complete without the risk of a binding contract.”

If you're interested, you might want to act now (there's nothing wrong with a free option), but also keep the offer in mind the next time you hear a stat about "sales." Oh, and also noted, 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath homes "now priced from $595,000 to the mid $600,000’s."

Homes On Esprit Park: The Foreshadowing Comes To Fruition [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)

January 11, 2008

Figure Out How To Fix The Façade And You’ll Probably Fare Quite Well

2550 Greenwich (

Compared to 2045 Quesada, it’s really not that bad. But then again, that’s not saying too much (or a design benchmark to which we would aspire). And perhaps that’s part of the reason the list price for 2550 Greenwich was just dropped $550,000 (15.7%).

And while we’re still trying to decipher the listing, it does appear that in addition to the three bedroom two and one-half bath main home (with elevator), the list price includes a guest cottage of 2,068 square feet as well (not to mention five parking spaces).

Figure out how to fix the façade and you’ll probably fare quite well (and garner the gratitude of more than one neighbor on the block).

UPDATE (2/22): 2550 Greenwich closed escrow on 2/21/08 with a reported contract price of $2,850,000.

∙ Listing: 2550 Greenwich (3/2.5) - $2,950,000 [MLS]
At Least It Has The Requisite Bay Windows, Right? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

January 9, 2008

Another Opportunity For “Instant Equity” Over At One Rincon Hill?

While it’s not the first, and it’s not likely to be the last, a plugged-in tipster forwards a Craigslist ad for a “re-sale” (re-contract?) condo in the first tower of One Rincon Hill:

Looking for someone to take over my purchase agreement for a great price that you won't find again, ever, for a building like this. Unit will be ready for move-in around March 2008.
I'm looking to find a co-signer who I will sign over my initial deposit AND deed/title to. I now need a house outside the city, but I reserved this unit for the original low price a long time ago (above price [$700,000] not actual price). You can now secure a home for undermarket value.

We’re always more than a little weary when “under market” (a.k.a. “instant equity!”) is involved (and doubly so when closings are right around the corner). But then again, if you honestly feel like you initially missed out, perhaps it's an interesting opportunity to pursue (with the help of an excellent attorney of course).

$700000 1 Rincon Hill - Original Purchase Sale [Craigslist]
A Quick Flip At One Rincon Hill? [SocketSite]
Not Exactly A Flip, But Possibly A Push, Over At One Rincon Hill [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | (email story)

January 3, 2008

A Chance To Peek Inside San Francisco’s Pier 48 Tomorrow At Ten

Pier 48 and Seawall Lot 337

From the Port of San Francisco (and related to the redevelopment of Seawall Lot 337): “If you are interested in viewing the inside of the Pier 48 facility, please join us this Friday, January 4th at 10:00 a.m. in front of Pier 48. No RSVP is required.”

Could This Be Curtains For Cirque Du Soleil In The City? [SocketSite]
Request For Proposals For San Francisco’s Seawall Lot 337 [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | (email story)

November 30, 2007

Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House Officially Opens Its Doors

As a plugged-in tipster notes, Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House officially opened its doors to the public today and will be open from 11/30 to 12/16 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (9am-4pm). And yes, it looks like its ten week run has been reduced to two.

Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: A Few Facts [SocketSite]
2007 San Francisco Idea House [Sunset]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | (email story)

November 26, 2007

The Cost Of Failing To Accurately Manage (Market?) Expectations

723 Bay Street Patio

It was almost two months ago that we noted the ceiling of 723 Bay Street (with which we were quite enamored along with the master bath and patio).

And while we didn’t point out the $155,000 (7.2%) price reduction last month, we are pointing out the additional $220,000 (11.0%) price reduction that occurred last week. And the situation (which might make it an opportunity, and also serve as a warning, for a truly plugged-in person): “…must sell…owner in escrow on another property….”

∙ Listing: 723 Bay Street (2/1.5 and 1/1) - $1,775,000 [MLS]
What Can We Say, We’re Suckers For A Nice Ceiling (723 Bay) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

November 8, 2007

If This Is Old News (And You Know Even More), Then Drop Us A Line

AXIS San Jose: Exterior Rendering

AXIS San Jose: Penthouse Rendering

One: while the 22-story "Axis" in downtown San Jose (38 Almaden Boulevard) will officially open its sales and presentation center to the public this weekend (November 10th), they will not start taking reservations/deposits until late January 2008 (with priority given to those pre-registered/qualified).

The 329 condos will range from around 655 (studio) to 1,863 (three bedroom penthouse) square feet and will be priced “from the $400,000s to more than $2 million.” Initial closings and occupancy staring in May (2008). And yes, floor plans are available online.

And two: speaking of San Jose, we still need a couple of outstanding editors to champion our Silicon Valley coverage. So drop us a note ( if you’re plugged-in, analytic, and articulate.

Axis San Jose (38 Almaden Boulevard) []
SocketSite Silicon Valley Coverage Coming Soon ( [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (20) | (email story)

November 6, 2007

Now Half Off (And Lender Owned) In Pacific Heights? (2990 Clay #1)

2990 Clay Street

It’s a “lender owned” condominium “in need of renovation” two blocks off of Alta Plaza park in Pacific Heights. And while it appears that 2990 Clay Street #1 last changed hands for $1,061,444 on 6/6/2007 (in the sale to the lender) and prior to that for $1,490,000 on 5/31/2006, it’s now on the market for $699,900.

2990 Clay #1

Granted “[t]he prior owner removed many items” (as those who have been foreclosed upon are prone to do), but unless those items included solid gold fixtures and outlet coverings, something doesn’t quite add up. Perhaps a plugged-in reader can help us out with the math (and the inside scoop).

UPDATE: And a reader comes through: “Okay, I got the scoop - looks like the unit is actually closer to 1k sq feet, even though the tax records show 1500. The additional sq ft and the fact that it "sold" for close to 1.5M is all most likely fraud...Sounds like this place is VERY rough, and 699k isn't a price they're hoping to get bidding wars over, but rather is the generous starting price they think they'll have to come down from....”

∙ Listing: 2990 Clay #1 (2/1) - $699,900 [MLS] [Redfin]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (49) | (email story)

November 2, 2007

Prime Pacific Heights Single Family For Under Five Hundred A Square!

2201 Baker Street

Okay, so it’s “almost fully” gutted, unreinforced masonry, and over five thousand square feet of really raw space for $2,490,000. And in case you were wondering, 2201 Baker was built as a single-family (around 1904), was converted to a boarding house in the 1940’s, and then was apparently Ellis Acted in 2002 (“details not yet verified” according to the listing).

No word on whether or not the evicted tenants were responsible for any of said gutting…

∙ Listing: 2201 Baker Street (?) - $2,490,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 6:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

October 24, 2007

A Quick Reminder: Tonight’s (10/24) Gathering Of Plugged-In People

Cocktails start flowing at 6:00 and the panel discussion at 6:30. If you’re on the list, we’ll see you then. If not, perhaps we’ll see you at the next event (stay tuned). And if you’re on the list but have had a change of plans, please let us know (email as we have a long list of people waiting in the wings for any last minute cancellations.

The Scoop On Wednesday’s (10/24) Gathering For Plugged-In People [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 1:19 PM | Permalink | (email story)

October 22, 2007

50 Spots Have Been Added To This Wednesday’s (10/24) Gathering

Negotiations for a larger cocktail budget were a success (okay, so we really didn’t have to twist anybody’s arm) and we’ve opened up another 50 spots for this Wednesday’s (10/24) gathering and discussion. And once again, don’t fret if you can’t make it on Wednesday or aren’t interested in the topic, our next gathering is already in the works.

UPDATE: The 150 spots have been filled (and the registration is now closed).

The Scoop On Wednesday’s (10/24) Gathering For Plugged-In People [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:40 AM | Permalink | (email story)

October 19, 2007

The Scoop On Wednesday’s (10/24) Gathering For Plugged-In People

As promised, we’re hosting another gathering for plugged-in people next Wednesday (10/24). The topic of the evening: SoMa’s emerging midtown/mid-market neighborhood.

We’ll be moderating a panel discussion and Q&A (which will include Sarah Karlinsky of SPUR and Chip Conley of Joie de Vivre amongst others); SomaGrand will be providing the venue (as well as the cocktails and snacks); and you’re invited (to get the inside scoop on the neighborhood and network with other plugged-in people).

The gathering will be held from 6:00-7:30pm at the SomaGrand Sales and Marketing center in San Francisco (1085 Mission Street at Seventh Street). Attendance will be limited to the first 100 150 people to sign up: And no, this isn't going to be a sales pitch.

We’ll see you on the 24th. And as always, thank you for plugging in.

UDPATE: Yes, the 100 spots have been filled but we’re negotiating for a bigger cocktail budget and will add some more spots (exact number TBD) first thing Monday (10/24) morning. And if you can’t make it on Wednesday or aren’t interested in the topic? Fret not, our next gathering is already in the works.

UPDATE (10/22): As of 6:30 AM another 50 spots have been added.

Got Plans For Next Wednesday (10/22) Evening? Cancel Them Now. [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

October 17, 2007

Got Plans For Next Wednesday (10/24) Evening? Cancel Them Now.

We promised a “grander” gathering of plugged-in people in October, and damn it if we’re not going to deliver. So pencil ink your calendars for next Wednesday (10/24) from six to eight. We’ll publish full details later today (or early tomorrow), but suffice it to say, if you have any interest in the future of San Francisco’s mid-Market neighborhood, you might want to plan on plugging in.

Unplugging Tonight’s Gathering (But Planting The Seeds For October) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:35 PM | Permalink | (email story)

October 1, 2007

The Next Era In San Francisco’s Development: It’s All About Density

Going green might be trendy (and we’re all for it), but as far as we’re concerned it’s a focus on density (and infill) that will define the next era in San Francisco’s development, neighborhoods, and lifestyle.

Speaking of (or on) which, David Baker will be delivering a "Better Living Through Density" lecture next Monday (10/8/07 @ 7pm) at the California College of The Arts (Timken Lecture Hall, 1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco).

Denser neighborhoods are more active, more interesting, safer places that support local retail and services and foster community. But what makes urban housing beautiful and functional for residents and neighborhood alike? David Baker will describe—using some of his own work as examples—the components of good urban design, including active pedestrian edges, the hierarchy of open spaces, sensible parking strategies, and sustainable approaches that make higher densities better for all.

It’s free, no RSVP is required, and additional information is available by phone (415.703.9562) or email (

California College of the Arts: Calendar of Events [CCA]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (91) | (email story)

September 28, 2007

The SocketSite Scoop: Half Of The Sunset Idea House Hits The Market

A plugged-in tipster forwards an email exchange between two incredulous San Francisco real estate watchers. The basic gist:

A: Half of that “freaky-eco project” on Alabama and 25th just hit the market. Open this weekend. For free!
M: $900/sqft for a TIC in this part of the Mission? And after selling tickets to see it this past Sunday? That’s so wrong.
A: No, that’s some funny sh&*! [And destined for SocketSite]

That’s right, 1303 Alabama (half of Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House) will be open this Sunday (9/30). No ticket (or donation) necessary. Although tips (email are always appreciated.

And no, we can't imagine Sunset is all too pleased.

∙ Listing: 1303 Alabama (2/2.5) -$1,089,000 (TIC) [MLS]
Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House: 3027 25th Street [SocketSite]
Lotus House Rising (And A Plug For SF’s Build It Green Home Tour) [SocketSite]
An Early Peek Inside “La Casa Verde” (a.k.a. The Future Idea House) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (33) | (email story)

September 21, 2007

Not Exactly A Flip, But Possibly A Push, Over At One Rincon Hill

One Rincon Hill: '02' Floor Plan

According to a plugged-in tipster, a coveted “02” series two-bedroom/two-bath condo at One Rincon Hill is quietly being shopped by a contract holder.

The 1,300+ square foot unit is reported to have been secured with a non-refundable deposit of $65,000 and at a contract price of $1,595,000. And apparently the contract can be amended to reflect a new buyer prior to close (which we haven’t confirmed).

The asking price? $1,595,000. Or more accurately $65,000 to make the contract holder whole on his deposit. It's a bit different story than a reader reported fourteen months ago, but it's also but a single data point. (And we're at least waiting until after the first wave of closings before drawing too many conclusions on the health of the hill.)

And at the same time, we have been hearing rumors of a rather significant waiting list of buyers willing to pay big money for penthouse units that should happen to fall out of contract prior to closing. Again, unconfirmed (but no real reason to be doubted).

UPDATE: There’s a reason we originally filed this one under “Interesting Opportunities.” If you believe in the building, and like the floor plan, then it is (and as a plugged-in person, you now have the number to call). And if not, at the very least it's another interesting opportunity for some unique insight (into One Rincon Hill) and discussion (about the market).

A Quick Flip At One Rincon Hill? [SocketSite]
What Happens When It’s Time To Fund? We’ll Have To Wait And See [SocketSite]
One Rincon Hill: An Unofficial Update On The Timing Of The Two Towers [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (174) | (email story)

September 6, 2007

Mo' Modern, Mo' Modern, Mo' Modern (But No Nelly) Over In Noe

8 Kronquist Court

8 Kronquist: Wall O' Doors

A few quick details on 8 Kronquist Court: glass, steel and stucco; roof terrace, radiant floors and solar panels; and a wall of fold away glass doors that make us want to cry (in a very good way). The architect: Jonathan Feldman.

UPDATE: And yes, a "Garden Party" preview showing this evening (9/6) from 6 to 8. And no, we don’t accept any compensation for highlighting these places, open houses, or opportunities.

∙ Listing: 8 Kronquist Court (3/3) - $2,295,000 [Vanguard] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 10:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (25) | (email story)

August 29, 2007

A SocketSite Save The Date/Time: September 18, 2007 at 6PM

Don’t ask too many questions (details next week), but you might want to pencil it in.

Posted by socketadmin at 9:05 AM | Permalink | (email story)

July 24, 2007

Transbay Design Competition: The Revised Schedule And Unveiling

Transbay Terminal And Tower Design Competiton Schedule

Frederick has heard rumblings of a 1,500 foot tower (despite the current height limits of 550 feet), and as Jamie notes, you can watch the unveiling on SFGTV (channel 26) if you can’t make it in person (on August 6th).

The public is invited to a Special TJPA Board Meeting on Monday, August 6th, 2007 from 6 pm to 9 pm in San Francisco City Hall Board Chamber Room where we will be unveiling the proposed design concepts for the new landmark Transbay Transit Center and Tower in downtown San Francisco.
Presentations will be given at the August 6th, Special TJPA Board Meeting, at City Hall, 6:00 to 9:00 PM, (in order) by the following teams:
* Richard Rogers Partnership/Forest City Enterprises/MacFarlane Partners
* Skidmore Owings and Merrill/Rockefeller Group Development Corporation
* Pelli Clark Pelli Architects/Hines
The design models will also be on display for the public Tuesday, August 7th, 2007 from 8 am to 6 pm in the North Light Court at San Francisco City Hall.

And while we have no interest in stealing the city’s thunder (and are probably aiming even higher than the tower), we are calling on all plugged-in tipsters that might have access to initial sketches, ideas or design concepts that were never submitted. Heck, we’ll even settle for homemade renderings (Godzilla anyone?) or additional rumors.

Transbay Terminal Design Update: And Then There Were Three [SocketSite]
Transbay Terminal (And Tower) Design Competition: The Teams [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (7) | (email story)

July 11, 2007

JustQuotes: Sunset’s 2007 San Francisco Idea House


“Sunset, in a joint venture with Meridian Builders & Developers, Inc., will create a 2007 Idea House in San Francisco that will take the magazine's Idea House Program into a dense urban area for the first time, and demonstrate how to maximize construction on a compact site. Opening in August 2007, the Mission District home will be one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified residential remodeled homes in the nation."

UPDATE: We now have the actual address (and a photo of the work in progress).

2007 San Francisco Idea House: Dates And Details [Sunset]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (37) | (email story)

June 13, 2007

Special Guests Confirmed: We’ll See You Tomorrow (6/14/07) In SJC

The special guests are confirmed for Thursday’s gathering of "plugged-in" people in San Jose. So please consider joining us, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, Vice Mayor David D. Cortese, Councilmember Sam Liccardo, San Jose Redevelopment Agency Deputy Director John Weis, Mesa Development Director Charles Young and a host of other readers as we delve into the residential real estate renaissance of downtown San Jose.

A Silicon Valley Gathering Of Plugged-In People (June 14, 2007) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:00 AM | Permalink | (email story)

June 8, 2007

Weekend Reminders: SocketSite Survey And San Jose Gathering

1. Two days left to take the SocketSite reader survey (which ends Sunday at 5).
2. Thirty (or so) spots left for our San Jose gathering (next Thursday at 6).

Posted by socketadmin at 6:00 PM | Permalink | (email story)

June 6, 2007

A Silicon Valley Gathering Of Plugged-In People (June 14, 2007)

If you’re interested in (or located around) San Jose, we hoped you saved the date, as next Thursday (June 14) we’re holding a gathering for plugged-in people in Silicon Valley. The topic: the development and renaissance of downtown San Jose (San Jose 2.0 if you will).

We’ll be moderating a panel discussion and Q&A (which will include the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, Mesa Development, and a potential special guest or two); Three Sixty Residences will be providing the venue (as well as drinks and snacks); and you’re invited (to get the scoop on all the new developments and network with other “plugged-in” people). And yes, we’ll be making a little announcement as well.

The gathering will be held from 6:00-7:30pm at Three Sixty Residences' Sales and Marketing center in San Jose (170 South Market, Suite 120 in the Fairmont Annex). No, this isn't going to be a sales pitch. And yes, attendance will be limited to the first 75 people to sign up at

Please feel free to forward this to anyone who you think might be looking for the scoop on San Jose. And as always, thank you for plugging in.

A Hint Of Things To Come: Three Sixty Residences (And San Jose) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 3:15 PM | Permalink | (email story)

May 23, 2007

"Excellent Potential" (And We Just Might Have To Agree)

1447 Funston

We haven't been inside (or seen the disclosures) be we are seeing the "excellent potential" in 1447 Funston (not to mention what appears to be the makings of an “unwarranted in-law” on the ground floor).

UPDATE (6/18): Sold on 6/15/07 for $920,000 (26.2% over asking).

∙ Listing: 1447 Funston (2/1) - $729,000 [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 4:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (12) | (email story)

May 8, 2007

733 Front Street: Pre-Opening This Weekend (5/12/07)

733 Front Street: Rendering

Thanks to a plugged-in tipster, we (and now you) know about 733 Front Street's “Pre-Opening” event this Saturday (5/12/07) from 11am to 6pm. Reservations will be taken (along with $5,000 reservation checks or 3% deposits), tours will be available, and “[t]his exclusive opportunity arrives prior to opening our doors to the public.”

Luckily you’re "plugged-in" (and the "public" be damned).

733 Front Street: A SocketSite Forum Inquiry (And Answer) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (18) | (email story)

April 19, 2007

To BMR Or Not To BMR At 3208 Pierce: Two Neighboring Condos

3208 Pierce #403: Floor plan

While it was originally designated as a market rate unit with a price of $1,119,000, 3208 Pierce #403 was just listed as a BMR unit with a price tag of $202,590. Applications are due by 5pm on 5/8/07 and the lottery for the condo will be held on 5/11/07. And no, we don't know what happened to #201 (which we were led to believe was the original BMR unit in the new development).

And if a BMR isn’t your thing, but you do like the building, 3208 Pierce #404 remains available for $1,079,000.

∙ Listing: 3208 Pierce St #403 (2/2.5) - $202,590 (BMR) [] [MLS]
∙ Listing: 3208 Pierce St #404 (2/1.5) - $1,079,000 [MLS]
3208 Pierce: New Website And Photo Gallery [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

March 19, 2007

Serenity Now, Serenity Now

940 Duncan #D307

A “plugged in” reader notes the “extreme marketing” for 940 Duncan Street #D307 in Diamond Heights. We note some nice photography, a great use of space (not to mention a handy floor plan), and a relatively low maintenance fee of $393 per month.

∙ Listing: 940 Duncan Street #D307 (1/1) - $497,000 [] [MLS]

Posted by socketadmin at 5:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

March 14, 2007

Picture This: One Big One-Bedroom

BIG HOUSE studios: Kitchen

At first blush, $3,750,000 for a one-bedroom might seem a wee bit over the top. (Yes, even in San Francisco.) But this isn’t just any one bedroom, it’s the 8,200 square foot BIG HOUSE studio. It’s one hell of a live/work space. Or at the very least, a bachelor car collector's dream come true (think indoor parking).

∙ Listing: 1417 15th Street (1/2.5) - $3,750,000 [Zephyr] [Virtual Tour]
BIG HOUSE studio []

Posted by socketadmin at 4:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (9) | (email story)

March 7, 2007

Your Chance To Slip Inside 2901 Broadway

2901 Broadway

2901 Broadway: Reception Hall

For those of you that have to ask (and unfortunately we do), chances are you haven’t been invited to take a tour inside 2901 Broadway. And while the virtual tour is comprehensive (additional photos added since we last checked), it’s simply not the same as wandering the halls or gazing out the windows (or so we’ve been told).

So either get busy building up that bank account, or simply swing by the mansion between April 28th and May 28th with $30 in hand. That’s right, 2901 Broadway is the 2007 San Francisco Decorator Showcase House. We'll see you there. (And we're bringing our tennis racquets...)

∙ Listing: 2901 Broadway (7/6.5) - "Make Your Best Offer" []
If You Have To Ask (2901 Broadway) [SocketSite]
The San Francisco Decorator Showcase []

Posted by socketadmin at 5:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

February 8, 2007

Yesterday’s Gathering Of “Plugged In” People (Recap And Thanks)

SocketSite Gathering: February 7, 2007

Our thanks to all the “plugged in” readers who braved the weather to join us last night for an evening of candid real estate talk, insight, and networking. And a special thanks to Redfin for doing a fantastic job of coordinating and sponsoring the event (and all the kind words).

If you missed the gathering, not to worry - we’ll update this post with a full recap later this afternoon soon (apologies for the delay, but we’ve been hindered by a server meltdown). And better yet, the next gathering is already in the works…

Another Gathering Of “Plugged In” People (February 7, 2007) [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 9:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | (email story)

January 29, 2007

Another Gathering Of “Plugged In” People (February 7, 2007)

It’s been two months since our last gathering of “plugged in” people, and we’re long overdue for another. And while our last theme was quite specific (contemporary renovations), this time it’s quite broad (what the heck is going on in San Francisco).

We’ll be talking (about San Francisco real estate trends, developments, and what to watch in 2007); Redfin will be buying (beer, wine, and snacks); and you’re invited (to meet us and other “plugged in” people). The gathering will be held next Wednesday (February 7) from 6:30-8:30pm at Fluid (662 Mission), and attendance will be limited to the first 100 200 people that add their name to the attendee list (

We'll see you then/there. And as always, thanks for “plugging in.”

UPDATE (1/30): Okay, we probably should have seen this coming, but the first 100 spots were filled within 24 hours. And we say “first,” because Redfin has agreed to double the size of the beer/wine tab. And as such, we’re maxing out the capacity of the venue and opening up the attendee list to the first 200 “plugged in” people to add their names. What have we gotten ourselves into…

UPDATE (2/2): Sorry folks, but we’ve maxed out capacity and the attendee list is now closed for this gathering.

SocketSite Gathering: November 15th, 2006 [SocketSite]
Redfin: New Maps (Virtual Earth), Areas, And More [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 8:56 AM | Permalink | (email story)

December 18, 2006

Not For The Faint Of Heart (Or Wallet)

1232 Treat: Fireplace

The “Italianate Victorian Fixer” at 1232 Treat is not for the faint of heart (or wallet). Seriously. We’re talking about a single family house that's been carved up into five units with two additional units over the carriage house out back (think commercial financing), two protected tenants and two vacancies, and quite a bit of deferred maintenance.

At the same time, we’re talking about an interesting pedigree (built in 1885 by John McCarthy, the masonry contractor who built the Palace Hotel and Mills Building), some beautiful original detailing, and intriguing “bones.”

UPDATE (1/16): The asking price has been reduced to $1,099,000, and as the agent notes, “[t]he property is squarely located *across* the street from Garfield Square Park.” (And a new “soccer field, children's playground and…security cameras installed by the City.”)

∙ Listing: 1232 Treat (7 units) - $1,199,000 [] [Property Statement (pdf)]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | (email story)

November 30, 2006

Lundberg, ClockTower, And Cocktails…Oh My!

Inside 461 2nd Street #557

We’re huge fans of Architect Olle Lundberg’s design aesthetic (and happen to covet the Norwegian car ferry he inhabits near China Beach). And seeing as how we're not expecting an invitation to tour the inside of Ellison’s San Francisco pad (a Lundberg designed home), we’re jumping on the opportunity to explore a ClockTower loft that Lundberg designed along with interior decorator Linda Lee.

461 2nd Street #557 took four years to complete and features "2 tons of River Rock, $400,000 worth of fabricated glass and steel, and reclaimed Navy Turret ship mirrors on opposing sides of the windows to capture the partial water views."

You had us at the Hobart (refrigerator).

UPDATE (12/1): Okay, we’ve been and we’re fans (the storage space, built-ins, and level of detail/finish are fantastic). And yes, that sofa has got to go...

Lundberg Design [2620 Third Street]
New York Times Slideshow: Debris Decor [NYT]
Friday Fun: Name This House [SocketSite]
The ClockTower Lofts (461 2nd Street) [SocketSite]
∙ Listings: 461 2nd Street #557 (1,815 sq.ft.) - $1,195,000 [Meredith Martin]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | (email story)

November 16, 2006

PropertyShark Launches San Francisco Foreclosure Listings

PropertyShark Map: 311 Marina Boulevard

Forget that rogue sea lion, it’s the shark that captures all of our attention today. PropertyShark added free foreclosure listings for San Francisco to its site this afternoon (fourteen currently listed).

For example, according to PropertyShark, 311 Marina Blvd last changed hands on 6/2/2004 for $2,350,000 and the property was refinanced on 6/14/2005 using two variable rate loans (one for $1,950,000 and another for $530,000). The property is currently in foreclosure (with an estimated unpaid balance of $327,573.97) and will be auctioned off on 11/27/2006 at City Hall.

At the other end of the spectrum is 3018 Casto Street which was purchased on 11/09/2005 with a $569,000 variable rate mortgage. A year later, the current unpaid balance on the loan is now $609,014.48 and the property is scheduled to be auctioned off on 12/04/2006 (once again, at City Hall).

If you’re not familiar with PropertyShark you’ll probably be a bit shocked by the depth and breadth of information that’s available for the vast majority of residential and commercial properties in San Francisco (not just foreclosures). Also added to the PropertyShark site today, a number of San Francisco property maps including land use and property outlines.

Rogue sea lion in S.F. menaces swimmers [SFGate]
Circling The Waters [SocketSite]
PropertyShark: San Francisco Foreclosures []
PropertyShark: San Francisco Maps []

Posted by socketadmin at 2:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (14) | (email story)

November 9, 2006

SocketSite Gathering: November 15th, 2006

Our thanks to all the “plugged in” readers who expressed an interest in attending a casual gathering for those considering a contemporary renovation (or tackling a modern new build). The date (Wednesday, November 15) has been set. And you do need to RSVP...

As we previously wrote, this gathering will be an opportunity to share ideas, insights, and inspiration; to exchange notes on architects, builders, and buildings; and to help develop a network of “plugged in” potential partners (for those who might need them).

And while we have a date (11/15/06), and even a time (6:30 PM), the exact location (most likely SOMA/Transbay) is still up in the air (it depends upon the size of the crowd). As such, please RSVP by sending an email to by Monday evening (11/13/06). We’ll announce the location on Tuesday and hope to see you Wednesday.

And not to worry, if contemporary renovations aren’t your thing, we’re working on a couple of other gatherings that we'll announce shortly. Regardless, thanks for “plugging in.”

A Gathering Of “Plugged In” People [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 2:26 PM | Permalink | (email story)

November 2, 2006

Coming Soon: Another Possibility In Potrero?

2130 24th Street (Image Source:

Two months ago we gave 2130b 24th Street two thumbs up (“A Possibility In Potrero?”) and provided our readers with the inside scoop: 2130a (the top two floors and ~1,800 sqft) would hit the market in a couple of months.

Well, according to a tipster, 2130b sold after just 15 days on the market and at a contract price of $965,000 (slightly under the list price of $979,000). And yes, 2130a should hit the market within the next few weeks at a list price of ~$1.3M.

Also noted, the “Architect/Developer is Michael Levitt.”

A Possibility In Potrero? [SocketSite]

Posted by socketadmin at 12:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | (email story)

October 16, 2006

A Gathering Of “Plugged In” People

We’ve been working on a number of gatherings for our “plugged in” readers, and we’re off and running with a reader’s email as a theme for the first:

My fiancée and I are interested in finding, buying and, using an architect we respect very highly, expanding and doing a substantial, contemporary renovation of a two-unit building in the Mission District (or building from scratch on a vacant lot). The catch is that we need a partner to make the project financially viable for us--someone to share the risk and enjoy the benefit of occupying the other unit. (We're good for up to ~$1M...) I imagine that there are many other regular readers of your site who share our (your) aesthetic sensibilities and our energy and ambition to do something really special. But the question is, how to find them?

We love the vision and want to help. So here’s the deal, send us a note (tips@socketsite) if you’re interested in exploring this opportunity (or something similar). Be sure to include a brief background (vision, style, budget, etc.) and contact information (which we will NOT share with anyone without your permission).

We’re looking at early November for a casual gathering of like-minded readers. Pass it along.

UPDATE: Based on a couple of emails, perhaps we should clarify. The “theme” of the first casual gathering will likely be contemporary renovation and construction. The gathering will be an opportunity to share ideas, insights, and inspiration; to exchange notes on architects, builders, and buildings; and to help develop a network of “plugged in” potential partners (for those who need them).

Posted by socketadmin at 12:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | (email story)