Onyx in Potrero Knows Its Target Buyers

onyx_livingroom
I guess it was only a matter of time before someone decided to build a condo development with the look and feel of an Apple store. Sharing its name with an OS X utility app and saturated in white, Onyx in Potrero Hill certainly knows its buyer demographic.

I visited Onyx this week on my broker tour, and I do like the finishes and the location within the neighborhood. Onyx will ultimately house 41 one-, two- and three-bedroom condos across three stories and two buildings. (The second building will rise at the corner of 17th and Carolina, and will be completed in Fall 2015.) The two-story lobby has white porcelain flooring and “signature, ONYX stone.” You may stop momentarily to look for the Genius Bar, but the best bet is to either head up the stairs or take the elevator to the second floor to check out the available units.

One of my favorites was #206, which faces 17th Street and has city skyline views from the living area and bedroom. That’s a 2BR/2.5BA unit with about 1237 square feet listed for $1,325,000. (Knock $40,000 off the price if you don’t want the parking.) HOA dues range from $383-$443/month.

Finishes include wide plank European oak floors with radiant heat, as well as built-in Liebherr refrigerators, Bosch dishwashers, Bertazzoni professional series gas cooktops, quartz countertops and high-gloss white cabinets by Barbosa:
onyx_kitchen

Bathrooms are large and have similar finishes:
onyx_bathroom2

onyx_bathroom

Other perks in Onyx include bike parking, storage lockers, a rooftop terrace with downtown and Bay views and elevator access to all levels. And oh, yeah–we can’t forget the CAT6 internal wiring, security system, and high speed internet access by Webpass.

Pricing for the first release of ten units ranges from $875,000-$1,325,000 with parking, and are averaging between $1,000-$1100/sq foot. Offers on these first ten units will be considered on March 25th.

As I mentioned earlier, the second building in the complex will be finished next year. That one will have outlooks onto Jackson Field and views toward Mission Bay. It will also knock out what outlooks exist to the north for a few of the units in the existing building, with an approximate distance of 20 feet between structures.

I like Onyx’s location, as It’s on a quieter street, but is only a block from Whole Foods, World Gym and is near many restaurants and services. You’re limited to bus lines around the immediate area, but Google shuttles stop nearby. Downtown commuters can hoof it a dozen or so blocks to the T line on Third Street in Dogpatch.

And if you’re seriously interested and would like your own agent representation, please give me a shout at 415.823.4656 / ebermingham@zephyrsf.com.

Pricey Prospects for New Condos in SF Pipeline

thecentury
It’s been quite a year for developers of new construction condos and houses in San Francisco. After an economic downturn during which very few new projects were built in the city, construction lurched ahead again—particularly along the Market Street corridor, in Hayes Valley, the Mission and many other popular neighborhoods.

And oh, what a reception these new developments received! Projects such as 300 Ivy in Hayes Valley and ICON in the Castro sold out in record time, and at record prices. Buyers seemed very willing to pay a premium of $1,000-$1200/sq foot for new and shiny, particularly in transit- and retail-friendly communities. And 3500 19th Street at Valencia took advantage of the tech-buying boom and Mission mania by largely selling out all of its 17 condos with sales prices in the $1.3M-$2.3M range.

There are 1800 new construction units on tap for 2014, with more than 50,000 new units in the pipeline for the next six or more years. But if you’re a buyer who’s thinking about holding out until a unit in a particular building becomes available, be aware that prices will only go up from here. For example, currently being built is 35 Dolores, the former car repair warehouse across the street from the recently built rental building with Whole Foods as its anchor. 35 Dolores will likely finish construction in the summer, but will start selling in April. A majority of the units will be two bedrooms, and pricing for premium units will be $1500/sq foot.

Another very high-end project is 1645 Pacific, which is focusing on its handcrafted construction style that mimics an old-world, north-end-of-town architectural style. Final pricing hasn’t been released, but $1200/sq foot+ would seem to be the minimum starting point. The ultra luxury Park 181 at 181 Fremont will be asking $6M-$8M per unit, and Lumina (a.k.a. Infinity 3 and 4 at 201 Folsom) expects a $1B sellout by the time buyers finish snapping up all 651 units.

Not everything will be as stratospheric in price, though. But you can expect buildings like Fifteen Fifteen in the Mission, Onyx in Potrero, and Millwheel in Dogpatch to be in that $1,000/sq foot range. I believe upcoming Hayes Valley projects such as 400 Grove and 450 Hayes to be in the $1100+/sq foot range, based on 300 Ivy’s sales.

So if you’ve got you’re heart set on shiny and new, be prepared to pay a premium. If you want more space for the money, set your sights on the resale market. And if you have any questions on what’s in the works for new condos in any part of the city, please get in touch. Keeping track of all these cranes is a part-time job, and I can get you the scoop on whatever interests you.

5 Things To Know About Negotiating New Development Contracts

marlow
San Francisco is experiencing a construction boom these days, with new developments going up in neighborhoods on a rolling basis—with many more to follow in the next five years.

There are two ways to handle contract negotiations if you’ve decided to buy a newly built—or not-quite-finished—condo. You can go directly to the sales office, or work with a local Realtor. Some buyers feel that they can handle things on their own, while others appreciate the guidance of a seasoned professional who’s negotiated contracts on other developments in the past.

Regardless of how you approach your purchase, here are five things to know before you sit down with the sales office to negotiate your contract:
1. We’re in a seller’s market, and developers are not discounting their list prices. Most developments are selling out quickly, and at prices that the developer wants. There will likely be another buyer breathing down your neck as soon as you decide which unit you’d like to buy. Of course, you may be able to negotiate a lower price on a less desirable unit that ends up sitting on the market longer.

2. Most of the contingencies are passive. The San Francisco Realtor Association (SFAR) purchase agreement allows for contingency timeframes that require the buyer to remove the contingency on a certain date. That’s usually not the case for the new-construction condo contracts. If the sales office doesn’t hear from you by the time the particular contingency deadline arrives, the escrow marches on and you technically do not have that contingency to fall back on anymore. I provide an escrow timetable to all my clients so everyone is aware of all deadlines, and no one risks losing a deposit.

3. Make sure the parking details in the paperwork match up with what you see in the garage. Will you own your parking space, or is it leased or assigned? Does your space show up on the condo map? Is there a separate HOA just for parking?

4. You should have a final walkthrough prior to closing. The SFAR contract provides for a walkthrough on the property within five days of closing. You’re able to ensure that what you’re buying is in acceptable condition. New home contracts sometimes omit that walkthrough, which can be particularly problematic if you’ve been promised that certain items will be installed by close of escrow. It’s a good idea to insist on a walkthrough.

5. You may be able to negotiate concessions. If the price is firm, has the developer been throwing in any appliances or upgrades? Typical concessions are refrigerators or upgrades on finishes if a unit hasn’t yet been completed. If you’ve decided to work directly with the sales office, they will not usually be forthcoming about concessions because they’re representing the seller and are trying to get him or her the best deal possible. On the other hand, a well-connected Realtor (like me) can confer with colleagues who have sold units in the building to see what you may be able to request and likely achieve.

Sales offices always require that your agent register with you upon your first visit to the building. So if you would prefer the benefit of working with a Realtor and want to see condos in a particular building, make sure to schedule a time to go to the office together.

There are probably another 20 items I could add to the list above, and I’d be happy to provide my guidance if you’re interested in one of the many new developments that are selling now or will be releasing units soon. Give me a shout at 415.823.4656 or ebermingham@zephyrsf.com if you’d like to talk.

Marlow 70% Sold Out, Sight Unseen


One of the fastest-selling condo developments has been the 98-unit Marlow at 1788 Clay in Nob Hill, which kicked off sales in the Spring . The building is 70% sold out, according to the sales office, and buyers continue to make purchasing decisions without actually seeing the condos in person. Instead, they’re referencing floor plans and the model in the sales office.

Marlow is one of the rare new developments in the north end of town, so that makes it a popular choice among buyers who are looking for an easy commute downtown or to the North Bay, as well as to 101 via Van Ness. The building is also situated in the heart of the Polk retail corridor, which makes things extremely convenient for residents who want to be able to walk to shops, restaurants and cafes.

So it’s not surprising that buyers are committing to purchases without physically seeing units first. The best condos sell quickly; in this case, higher floors facing north, south & east have been popular.

Interior framing is complete up to the seventh floor, and window installation is almost complete on all floors. Progress is also being made on the courtyard, interior painting, and elevator system.

Nine 1BR condos remain, ranging in price from $725,000-$837,000, and 11 2BRs are available, from $984,000-$1,510,000. In general, you’re looking at just over $1,000/sq foot for the 1BRs, and between $1100-$1200/sq foot for the 2BRs. Parking is included in these prices, though you can knock $40,000 off the price if you don’t want the space.

Give me a shout if you’re interested in exploring your options at Marlow. I’d be happy to negotiate the best deal possible for you.

Linea Releases Pricing, Spotlight on Noe Valley

One of the hottest new condo developments is Linea, a 115-unit property at Market and Buchanan. The building is situated on the cusp of Mission Dolores, Hayes Valley, the Castro and Duboce Triangle. In the latest MarketTracker, we survey pricing on all the various units (hint: we’re talking $1,000+/sq ft).

We also focus on Noe Valley and the variety of housing available there, and give you a snapshot of some cool events and activities coming up this summer in San Francisco.

And this is probably not news, but sales prices are up over the past six months from 10-19%, depending on property type. Check out the details and recent sales, too!

It’s all here in this edition of the Zephyr MarketTracker.

Suburbia Sets Foot in SF, Dogs Rule & Prices are Up

Developers have broken ground on Summit 800, a 182-unit development on Brotherhood Way near Lake Merced in San Francisco. The 7.7-acre parcel will have a mix of attached and detached homes, some with yards and a decidedly suburban feel.

Where does San Francisco rank in the United States for the top dog cities? And how much have home prices in the city increased in the past six months? It’s all here in the latest Zephyr MarketTracker!

Hayes Valley’s 8 Octavia Breaks Ground


Construction kicked off this week on the 47-unit condo development 8 Octavia, situated at Market and Octavia in Hayes Valley. The Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects-designed project will sit where the Central Freeway once ran, and the site has been vacant since that roadway was torn down in 2002.

Octavia Boulevard was thoughtfully reworked in 2005 to create a more pedestrian-friendly stretch, and having a new residential development will give the area a boost where it’s needed. 8 Octavia will sit in the midst of a very busy intersection that includes motorists heading to the 101 on ramp from Octavia, as well as the usual Market Street traffic and Muni flow.

But DM Development and DDG, the forces behind 8 Octavia, are working to build a sleek, smartly designed building on a pie-shaped slice of land. The goal, according to Saitowitz, is to present the project as a modern-day interpretation of the Victorian-era homes that pervade Hayes Valley. He says that the exterior will feature a fluid, changing facade, units with flexible space and lightwells that will be like urban versions of the traditional yard.

Floor plans include junior one bedrooms and one-, two, and three bedrooms. There will also be three 3BR penthouses and one 2BR townhome. Among the available floor plans at 8 Octavia is a “pod” concept, designed to maximize living space by containing the kitchen, bath and washer/dryer within a single efficient module. The “flex space” floor plan offers a living space that can be portioned into multiple rooms by sliding movable wall panels.

Innovative features at 8 Octavia include keyless entry into the building and individual homes via smartphones. The building also features user-controlled window louvers to modulate solar heat and privacy. Residences include efficient lighting and appliances alongside finishes that include wood flooring, European cabinetry and floor-to-ceiling windows.

There will reportedly be approximately 24 parking spaces for the residences, and 26 bike stalls. Two ground-floor retail spaces will be included.

For buyers looking for a central location near the Castro, downtown, Duboce Triangle, Civic Center and the mid-Market district, 8 Octavia is an excellent option. I’m thinking the design may trump other more cookie-cutter condo developments which are on the way.

200 Dolores Approaches Spring Launch


A much anticipated condo development on the Mission Dolores/Duboce Triangle/Castro borders is 200 Dolores, which has been in the works for some time.

200 Dolores offers 13 elegantly appointed condos. Three of the units are located within the historic Victorian home that’s been moved and renovated, and the other ten units were constructed on the adjoining parcel and surround a central courtyard. Features include gas fireplaces, built-in television cabinets, recessed lighting, radiant heat floors, Ann Sacks tiling throughout and Wolf/Sub-Zero/Bosch appliances. There is an elevator in the building, as well as garage parking for all units.

Here’s a breakdown of the units, as per listing agent Anne Herrera at Sotheby’s International Realty:

One 1BR/1BA, approximately 680 square feet

Two 2BR/2BA, approximately 1015 and 1180 square feet (lower and middle units in the Victorian)

Nine 2BR/2.5BA, approximately 1095-1540 square feet, some with private roof decks.

One 3BR/3.5BAs approximately 2000 square feet (upper unit in the Victorian).

The project is expected to be complete at the end of May, with tours kicking off after the units are complete and showing at their best. Pricing will be approximately $1000 per square foot, subject to a final discussion with the developer as the units get closer to market.

I am a huge fan of this development and location. Of all the projects being constructed in San Francisco, I believe 200 Dolores will have the most “neighborhood” feel, given that it’s off Market Street and will provide a more peaceful environment than projects located at busy Market Street intersections. It’s also one block from the new Whole Foods that will be in the 2001 Market rental building (currently under construction), as well as Safeway. You can walk to the 16th & Mission BART station from here, as well as catch the Muni rail or bus lines along Market.

Give me a shout if these units are in your price range and you’d like to initiate a loan preapproval so you’re in position to make a purchase. At the risk of sounding like a used car salesperson, these condos will most likely sell out very quickly, so the more prepared you are, the more likely you’ll be able to beat out the competition.

Nob Hill’s Marlow Launches Condo Pre-Sales

I visited the sales office for Marlow, the 98-unit condo development currently under construction at the corner of Van Ness and Clay in Nob Hill. The building will be move-in ready in early 2014, but the sales office has started selling units and already has ten units under contract.

Marlow is a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, as well as three-bedroom townhomes across eight stories. Floor plans include either units with or without dens, which is the main distinction.

Finishes include white quartz countertops, natural walnut cabinets, porcelain backsplashes and tiling, and stained maple floors. (Refrigerators, microwaves, and washer/dryers are not offered in the purchase prices.) The kitchen counter features a media station for charging your electronic devices:

Bathrooms have equally nice finishes:

Amenities include independent parking for each unit, bike storage (but no additional storage), three carshare spaces, air conditioning (in San Francisco, no less), and half of the homes have some sort of balcony for outdoor space. Windows are “double-, triple- and quadruple-paneled,” as per the sales office. And the common area is “Marlow Park,” which is an open space on the ground level that will feature a bocce court, grill, and firepit. There’s no roof deck.

Pricing is at a premium, ranging from $922-$1200/square foot. Units being offered now range in square footage from 671-1267 square feet, with the least expensive condo being a 746-sq foot 1BR + den on the second floor listed at $689,900, and the most expensive being a 1231-sq foot unit on the fifth floor listed for $1,232,900. Monthly HOA dues are $540-$667.

Buyers who want first pick of the available units will have to be content making their decisions based on floor plans and depicted views and other details via the sales office’s touch screen display. Those ten buyers already in contract are betting that Marlow’s condos will be worth current prices when the building is finally ready for occupancy in early 2014.

I like Marlow’s design and amenities, and believe that the units facing north, east and south will be the best ones. West-facing units that front Van Ness are the ones with the quadruple-paned windows, no doubt, and will require buyers who are less sensitive to noise—or ones who’d be happy running air conditioning and keeping the windows closed. The location is extremely central to the Polk Street corridor’s shops and restaurants, and is in walking distance of the Financial District. Given the limited new development opportunities in the well-established neighborhoods of Russian/Nob Hills, Marlow offers a good opportunity for buyers looking for shiny, new finishes in a convenient location.

If you’re interested in independent representation at Marlow, please contact me and I will schedule a visit to the sales office for us. The sale process in new construction is unique, and I can use my experience in this area to help you make the right decisions, as well as navigate all the ins and outs of the process.

Update: ICON’s Floor Plans, VIP Loan Preapproval

One of the more anticipated Market Street condo developments at 2299 Market, ICON, is now welcoming loan preapprovals for its units. Though the sales office is not yet open and the project is still under construction, you can complete a preapproval with the development’s in-house lender. This will certainly launch you to the top of the VIP list when it comes to purchasing one of the 18 one- and two-bedroom condos that will be available.

And while we’re at it, here’s a look at a few newly released floor plans, courtesy of the development’s marketing team of Suzanne Gregg and Jason Gorski at Paragon Real Estate. I’m liking the separation between the bedrooms in the two-bedroom plans:

If you’re interested in getting in before the masses, please contact me and I can help you navigate the preapproval process via the ICON in-house lender. Please note that I am not part of the ICON sales team, but can work with you in the event you’d like independent representation.

New Condos on Tap for Potrero, Dogpatch

Potrero and Dogpatch are the sites of two new condo developments currently under construction—Onyx and Millwheel North. Both are situated in very different locations, and have unique appeals:


1717 17th Street / Carolina
The Homes: Phase 1, 20 units, divided among one-, two- and three-bedroom plans
The Scoop: “Onyx” is located in a great part of Potrero, within walking distance to Whole Foods, World Gym, restaurants, cafes and bars. It’s across the street from Jackson Playground, so you get some green to look at. You can expect high-end finishes that will command top dollar, as well as parking for each unit and commercial spaces on the ground level. There will reportedly be 21 more units coming in Phase 2 of this project next year.
Buy If: You want a home in the heart of Potrero, as well as in proximity to Mission Bay and the freeways.
Developer: Paragon
Sales Begin: Spring 2013


1275 Indiana/1260 Minnesota
The Homes: 39 condos, mix of one-, two-, and three bedrooms for sale
The Scoop: Millwheel North follows the success of Millwheel South, which sold out rapidly in 2012, and is located right next door. Similar to Millwheel South’s layout, the North building will have addresses on Indiana and Minnesota, and both buildings will be linked by a common courtyard. A bulk of the units will be two bedrooms. There will be parking for each condo. The Indiana building faces 280 and a public green area, and the east-facing Minnesota side will be quieter. You’ll be in proximity to the Third Street rail, freeway and a healthy walk to the Dogpatch restaurant and cafe area on 22nd Street.
Buy If: You’re looking for a spacious condo with high-end finishes in a constantly developing neighborhood.
Developer: R Group, Inc.
Sales Begin: Late 2013/Early 2014

If you’re interested in taking a look at any of these condos, please let me know and we can schedule an appointment or get your loan preapproval going as soon as the sales office is in place. I can only assist you if I accompany you on your first visit to the sales office, and am happy to arrange for that at your convenience.

Market Street Alive with New Housing

If you’ve recently driven, walked, or taken public transportation along Market Street in the Castro/Duboce Triangle neighborhoods, you’ve seen the cranes and construction sites that belong to a number of new condo and rental buildings. Our economy has bounced back, and with that comes financing for developers both big and small.

Depending on how the developers of new condo projects structure their investments, some buildings may be sold as condos, while others will be leased. Yes, we’re in a seller’s market, but if a developer raised funds for a long-term rental investment, attempting to switch over to a sales strategy doesn’t mesh with what was originally presented to investors. And everyone has to answer to Wall Street at one point or another.

Regardless of whether a building has condos for sale or lease, trends among Market Street residential projects are similar to those in the Hayes Valley developments: one parking space for every two units, as well as landscaped courtyards and “zen” gardens. Developers are positioning these properties to take advantage of a transit-rich corridor, where residents will be commuting downtown or to the Peninsula. You can expect high-end finishes, and premium $900-$1,000+ per square foot pricing in the buildings that will be selling units.

Here’s a preview of the major residential buildings that are on the rise. I will update this post as I confirm lease vs sale offerings:


1998 Market / Buchanan
The Homes: 115 residential units, consisting of one-, two- and three-bedroom condos for sale
The Scoop: Dubbed “Linea,” this development is designed by Arquitectonica—which also designed The Infinity, as well as many other buildings nationally/internationally—and was formerly a gas station and auto repair shop. The building will consist of nine stories, two roof decks and a very cool “glass curtain” design. There will be approximately 90 parking spaces.
Buy If: You want to live in a cool-looking building that’s a block away from Whole Foods, Safeway and near all the bars, restaurants and shops in the Castro, as well as Hayes Valley. Oh, and being able to grab a street car outside your building is a nice perk, too.
Developer: Brian Spiers and Canyon Johnson Urban Funds (Magic Johnson’s company)
Sales Begin: Second quarter, 2013


2001 Market / Dolores (above)
The Homes: 82 units, mix of two and three bedrooms. Though many real estate Web sites have classified the property as one that will involve condo sales, I have confirmed with multiple industry sources that this will be a rental building.
The Scoop: This former Ford auto dealership will feature a Whole Foods on its ground level, and will feature resident gardens, gathering spaces, and rainwater catchment. The parking garage will include 43 spaces for the residences, and 64 spaces for the retail component.
Rent If: You want to be able to walk downstairs to Whole Foods. And oh, yeah, have every possible store, bar, and restaurant at your doorstep. Did I mention great public transportation and freeway access?
Developer: San Francisco- based Prado Group
Leasing Begins: Mid 2013


200 Dolores/15th Street (above)
The Homes: Ten condos, three additional flats in the adjacent single-family house on the same parcel
The Scoop: One and a half blocks from Market Street, this project has been in the works for a few years. It consists of a renovated and relocated single-family house that has been transformed into three 2BR condos, as well as the new building which will feature nine 2BR units and one 1BR across four floors. There will be parking for each unit (surprise!), with private roof decks for select units. Shared landscaped courtyard for both buildings.
Buy If: You’re looking for a smaller building in a hot location, just up the street from the Castro, Mission Dolores, and plenty of public transportation and freeway access.
Sales Begin: Spring 2013


2200 Market / 15th Street (above)
The Homes: 22 condos in a five-story building; leasing or sales availability not yet announced.
The Scoop: This project is being constructed on the site of the former Leticia’s Mexican restaurant, and is at the crossroads of the Castro, Duboce Triangle, and Hayes Valley. There will be two commercial spaces, as well as a dozen parking spots.
Rent or Buy If: You’re looking for a slightly smaller building that’s nonetheless in the thick of things.
Availability: TBD


2299 Market/Noe, 16th Street (above)
The Homes: Eight 1BRs; 8 2BRs
The Scoop: “Icon” will feature units with high-end finishes, and will have a common area with a zen garden. The 18 parking spaces will be stacked, meaning there are lifts in the garage that will allow cars to park above and below each other.
Buy If: You’d like to be in the middle of the Castro, with a bird’s eye view of everything going on in this vibrant intersection. What was recently once a part-time Christmas tree lot will be a welcome batch of residences.
Sales Begin: April 2013. Sale preapproval is happening now for serious buyers who want to vault themselves to the top of the VIP list. Give me a shout and I will work with you to put your preapproval in place.

Please contact me if you’d like info on any of the developments which will have units for sale. I have extensive experience representing buyers of new construction condos, and can assist you with all purchasing details. Of course, I can only be of help if you visit the project with me, so contact me and I’ll get things going.

New Condo Projects Rise in Hayes Valley

New condo construction in San Francisco is in full force these days, and Hayes Valley is one of the epicenters of new development. I thought I’d take a look at four of the most heavily anticipated projects, and will be following their progress over the next several months.

One new developer is behind three of these projects: DM Development, which formed in 2010 and has been busy snapping up parcels of land in the neighborhood.

Trends in Hayes Valley new construction appear to be interior courtyards, which will offer a nice urban refuge and sense of community. You can also expect a ratio of one parking space for every two condos, which means these developers are counting on transit-reliant buyers.

Pricing will likely be in the $900-$1,000 per square foot range.

If you’re interested in getting in before the masses, please contact me and I can make it happen. I’ve represented many clients in new construction sales, and am responsible for looking out for your best interests. But know that I can’t lend you my expertise and experience unless I accompany you to the sales office on your first trip.


300 Ivy
Southwest corner of Gough & Grove
Alternate address: 401 Grove
The Homes: 63 homes total. Among them are one studio; 23 1BRS; 34 2BRs; 5 townhomes.
The Scoop: The crew is finishing up the framing of the five townhomes fronting Ivy Street, and has started work on the roofs. In the main building, all the concrete and framing work is done on the third floor. Amenities include lush, landscaped courtyard, along with a living roof garden with outdoor grill, seating/dining areas, and sun deck. Lock in one of the 32 parking spaces early if you need one. There will also be room to accommodate 68 bikes.
Buy If: You want to be in the heart of the neighborhood, and are okay living alongside Gough’s three lanes of traffic. There’s also opportunity here to purchase a unit that faces either Ivy or Grove, which will be quieter and feel more residential. Also buy here if you’re looking for a location that offers proximity to Muni.
Developer: Pocket Development
Sales Begin: April 2013


400 Grove (above)
Grove and Gough, adjacent to Performing Arts parking garage
The Homes: Mixed-use building, with 34 residences.
The Scoop: This one hasn’t broken ground yet, and is across the street from 300 Ivy. The building will reportedly be called WaveHouse, due to Fougeron Architects’ design that features a wave-like exterior facade intended to be a modern reinterpretation of the classic San Francisco bay window. Landscaped interior courtyard.
Buy If: You want a centrally located home with a bit of style on the outside, and a courtyard within that will provide a bit of an urban refuge.
Developer: DM Development
Sales Begin: January 2014


8Octavia (above)
The Homes: 13 1BRs; 33 2BRs. 25 parking spaces, and a 925-square foot average size
The Scoop: Stanley Saitowitz-designed residences arranged around interior courtyard. This slice of land right at the intersection of Market and Octavia hasn’t become a construction site just yet.
Buy If: You’d appreciate living along the Market corridor, and having really easy freeway access. You’re only a few blocks away from the Hayes Valley retail area, and public transportation is literally at your doorstep.
Developer: DM Development
Sales Begin: Spring 2014

Hayes450 (no photo)
Located on Hayes between Octavia and Gough
The Homes: 50 one- and two bedroom condos
The Scoop: Smack dab along the Hayes Street retail strip, Hayes 450 has a prime location in the neighborhood.
Buy If: You’re looking for a home with everything outside your door, and which has less lanes of traffic.
Developer: DM Development
Sales Begin: January 2014

First Look: The Heights Condos in Pacific Heights

I toured The Heights yesterday, a 13-unit, two-building condo development on California and Divisadero on the border of Pacific Heights/Lower Pacific Heights. There are two- and three-bedroom residences available, all with parking and unique floor plans. Finishes are all high-end, running the gamut from Bertazzoni ranges and Liebherr refrigerators to Carrera marble and quartz countertop islands and Heath Ceramics backsplashes.

The more desirable of the two buildings fronts California Street and has nine condos over a commercial space (and an elevator). Four of the units have list prices ranging from $1,249,000 for a 2BR/2BA, 1273-square foot condo to $1,949,000 for a 3BR/2BA, 1920-square foot unit. (They’re waiting to see how sales go on these initial units before pricing the remaining condos, which range in square footage from 1,371-1,693.)

I liked the least expensive unit of the bunch, which was #3C. This is a 3BR/2BA for $1,249,000 and it had a great patio that spans the width of the unit and is situated right off the main living area:

The bedrooms in #3C all face a small interior courtyard, so you don’t get any views. But this unit is all about the outdoor space. The master is one floor up, so it’s pretty private if you want separation from a guest bedroom.

I also walked through the top-floor units, many of which have large private rooftop spaces accessed via staircase within the condo. The floor plans vary; for example, in #8C (listed for $1,949,000) the bedrooms have south-facing outlooks and get great light.

The building that fronts Divisadero has four condos and is a little less posh. Its units range from 1,768-2,000 square feet. There’s no elevator, for example. #1 has a small kitchen area, though nicely done:

There were two bedrooms on the main level, and a staircase down to a family room and bathroom:

#1 didn’t get great natural light, but it does have usable space.

I liked #3 a bit better. That has two bedrooms on the entrance level, and includes a master bedroom with a cute bathroom “window” that reminded me of a hotel I stayed in during a Bali holiday:

The upper level in #3 has the same open living/dining/kitchen floor plan, with a skylight over the dining area and a staircase to the private rooftop area. There’s also another room that has a closet and is being called a bedroom. But as there’s no window, I would define this as a den.

There’s no pricing available for the Divisadero building just yet; they’re basically seeing how things go with the first four California building unit sales. Offers on the first four units will be reviewed on January 21st or 28th, depending on which condo you’re interested in.

HOA dues are between $300-$500/month. The commercial spaces so far include a vegan restaurant, dentist’s office and “something really exciting” that’s not been announced yet. There’s storage available and there are 18 parking spaces, which means you can try to arrange for more than one space if you get in early enough.

Overall, I liked the California building and thought the units were priced realistically (a bit more than $1,000/sq foot) for new construction in a central area that doesn’t often see much “in-fill” development. (It’s not as if you can plop a 13-unit development in the middle of a prime Pacific Heights block.) Based on my recent sales in other new developments, I can say that $1,000/sq foot is roughly the going rate, particularly if you’re getting parking and private outdoor space. You can check out the Web site here for floor plans and more details on the development. I’m a fan, and would be happy to take you through the project if you’d like. Just give me a call at 415.823.4656 or email at ebermingham@zephyrsf.com.

Just Sold: 380 14th #504 in The Mission


My client just closed on a beautiful 2BR/2BA condo at 380 14th Street, otherwise known as 299 Valencia in the Mission. #504 boasts sunny southern exposure and views of downtown and the San Francisco hills. It also has lovely finishes such as CaesarStone counters, stainless-steel appliances, and wood floors. Included are in-unit washer/dryer, one-car parking and storage room. List price: $840,000.

It seems like every other day there’s a new business setting up shop along Valencia, so my client is thrilled to be moving to such a convenient location.