Archive for August, 2006

Kroger to sell 11 markets in S.F., Marin

It looks like the remaining Cala/Bell Markets in San Francisco will remain open, and under new ownership… From today’s Chronicle,

After months of negotiation, the Kroger Co. has agreed to sell 11 Cala Foods and Bell Markets in San Francisco and Marin County to supermarket veteran Harley DeLano.

DeLano, who had been negotiating with Kroger since December, said he entered escrow Tuesday. If all goes well, the stores will be transferred to DeLano Retail Partners — the company he runs with his son and daughter — this year, he said.

A Kroger spokeswoman confirmed that agreement had been reached, but did not offer further comment. Neither Kroger nor DeLano would disclose the cost of the transaction.

DeLano, 69, said he has already talked to union representatives to assure them that he will keep the union intact. “We will work with the employees in the stores there already,” he said. All 11 stores will remain open during the transition.

Although Kroger will still own the names for Cala Foods and Bell Markets, DeLano said he has the option of keeping them or changing them to something else, but has not yet decided which he will do. He noted he must still receive landlord approval to sublease the stores. [more…]

There’s no mention in the article about the Cala/Bell Markets that have already closed (such as Haight/Stanyan), and whether those might be part of the transaction. I’ll let you know if I find anything out.

Kroger to sell 11 markets in S.F., Marin [SFGate]
Cala leaves, political impasse arrives [SFHomeBlog]
City’s grocery stores grow increasingly rare [SFHomeBlog]
Noe Valley Residents Hunger for a Locally Owned Grocery [SFHomeBlog]
50+ units of housing to replace Cala @ Haight & Stanyan [SFHomeBlog]


Just how crowded is San Francisco?

Density Map
Caught this first on MetrobloggingSF, which links back to the source, SFCityscape

Turns out SFCityscape did a little number crunching from the US Census Bureau’s data, and put together a nice map showing where the majority of people live in San Francisco.

Not surprisingly, the highest density is in the Tenderloin, Chinatown, and Nob Hill. I would say that in short-order South Beach should pass most of these higher-density neighborhoods as the high rises get fully-occupied.

Another interesting comparison is to look at the density from this map against the price per square foot map that Zillow published back at the end of May. Currently, a lot of the highest prices per square foot come in the less-dense parts of town. And I think this will shift a bit towards SOMA/South Beach as those communities become more stable and the services/parks/restaurants fill in.

SF Population Density [Metroblogging SF]
Density Chart [SFCityscape]
Interesting Price/Sqft Maps [SFHomeBlog]

Image from SFCityscape


Surge in Home Prices Leaves Homeowners Underinsured


It’s the downside of the housing boom: Many homeowners are now significantly underinsured.

Americans have been pouring money into their homes in recent years, adding everything from marble bathrooms to fancy backyard barbecues: Last year alone, spending on improvements like these hit an estimated $155 billion, up 27% from two years earlier. At the same time, the global boom in commodities prices — lumber, copper piping and other necessities — as well as rising labor costs has pushed up replacement costs by 7% a year since 2001.

As a result, people who haven’t updated their insurance policies in a few years may now be underestimating what it would cost to rebuild their homes, particularly in high-priced markets.

According to a survey to be released soon by Marshall & Swift/Boeckh LLC, a firm that supplies building-cost data to insurers, 58% of houses are undervalued for insurance purposes. Of those, the average homeowner has enough insurance to rebuild only about 80% of his or her house, according to the survey. [more…]

In my personal experience, I would expect to spend about $250/sqft for replacement or new construction costs in San Francisco. That’s potentially a high estimate, but if you have nicer finish work in your home, you won’t want to replace it with builder-grade finishes in the event of a total loss. For example, if your house is 1650 sqft, that would equal $412,000 in rebuilding costs. I wouldn’t want to have anything less than that to rebuild my house, knowing how much construction and labor costs have escalated in the past couple of years.

It might be a good idea to apply this $250/sqft figure to your house and cross-check that with your insured value. If you’re much lower than that, you might want to consider upping your coverage. The difference in the yearly cost isn’t that much compared to the headaches you might go through if you’re under-insured.

And don’t forget to double-check your liability coverage as well. If your net worth exceeds your liability coverage, you could be at risk in the event that someone were to trip over a crack in the sidewalk in front of your house, for example.

Surge in Home Prices Leaves Homeowners Underinsured []
Ways to Avoid Getting Dropped By Your Home Insurance Provider [SFHomeBlog]
Insurers Offer Special Protection To High-End Homeowners [SFHomeBlog]
Quake insurance could get cheaper [SFHomeBlog]


Residents pushing for redevelopment of Schlage factory site

From today’s SFGate,

A closed factory on San Francisco’s Bayshore Boulevard has become the blight of Visitacion Valley, but a redevelopment plan could bring new housing and retail space to the site.

The Schlage Lock Co. shut in 1999, and city officials say they envision the company’s 12-acre site transformed into an extension of the existing community, with 800 housing units, 15 percent of which would be designated as affordable housing, and 100,000 square feet for a much-needed major grocery store, plus other retail and open space.

Plans, however, are in the very early stages — the property is still owned by Schlage’s parent company, Ingersoll Rand Co. Ltd.

Planning Department and Redevelopment Agency officials will hold the first of four community meetings to discuss the redevelopment possibilities of the site tonight at the Church of the Visitacion.

Many residents in the neighborhood welcome plans for renewal, frustrated by the seeming lack of progress in razing the factory and rebuilding on the site.

“Right now we have a big gaping hole in the neighborhood,” said Fran Martin, chair of the Visitacion Valley Planning Alliance. “It’ll never develop or become whole until this issue is taking care of. People definitely want something to happen there.”

Planners hope to be able to add an additional 8 acres to the Schlage site for development, for a total of 20 acres. [more…]

Next meeting:
August 28, 2006 | Monday 6:00 – 8:30 PM
@ the hall of the Church of the Visitacion
655 Sunnydale Ave. (@ Rutland Ave.)

Residents pushing for redevelopment of Schlage factory site [SFGate]
Visitacion Valley / Schlage Lock Master Plan [SFGov]
Visitation Valley vs. Ingersoll Rand [SFHomeBlog]


Architecture and the City – Tours and Parties!

The San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects is organizing a series of “architectural tours, film screenings, exhibitions, design lectures and more”…

Celebrating San Francisco’s unique built environment and design community, Architecture and the City is the first series of its kind in the Bay Area to feature architectural tours, film screenings, exhibitions, design lectures and more. Now in its third year, the month-long celebration engages members of the public, design enthusiasts and architects and designers with a deeper appreciation for San Francisco’s rich architectural and design community.

Whether you hope to become more involved with the local architecture and design community, are looking for an architect, or want to learn more about San Francisco’s impressive architectural past, present, or future, Architecture and the City is bound to offer you an unparalleled opportunity to experience our city in a new way. In honor of the annual series, Mayor Gavin Newsom has officially proclaimed the month of September a time for San Franciscans to celebrate “Architecture and the City.” [more…]

The series includes a party on September 1st (RSVP required), a home tour on September 16-17, and walking tours all month long.

Architecture and the City [AIA SF]
San Francisco Living: Home Tours [AIA SF]