Archive for August, 2010

SF-Lowest Percentage of Homes Underwater in the Bay Area

The SF Chronicle put out an article about the percentage of homes that are still underwater according to Zillow (for what that’s worth). The useful part is that SF has the lowest percentage of anyplace in the Bay Area.

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High Tech Parking Meters Premiere in San Francisco

Find parking faster. Pay more easily. Avoid tickets. SFMTA’s SFpark project is a two-year federally funded pilot of new parking management technologies and approaches. Less circling and fewer double-parked cars give us cleaner air and safer streets for bicyclists and pedestrians. With less traffic, public transit and emergency vehicles move more easily.

 The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will roll out the first large-scale test of SFpark in the Hayes Valley neighborhood just west of City Hall with the installation of 190 high-tech meters, part of a two-year experiment to find out how pricing affects drivers’ parking choices in commercial corridors.

SFpark Overview from SFpark on Vimeo.

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Calif Revokes Real Estate Licenses Right and Left

The California Department of Real Estate said Wednesday it revoked a record number of real estate licenses in its most recently completed fiscal year.

The department revoked 633 licenses for cause in the 12 months ended June 30, up from 574 in the prior-year period, the state said.

It also collected 90 licenses surrendered by real estate professionals facing disciplinary action and 163 from individuals who had their license suspended.

In all, 886 real estate brokers and others licensed in California lost or gave up their license, up from 826 in the fiscal year ended June 2009.

The revocations have increased the past four fiscal years as disciplinary actions against licensees have risen, fueled by abusive practices and scams related to loan modification and short sales, among other schemes, the state said.

The department now has nearly 5,400 open investigations.

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SF Association of Realtors Rolls Out New District Map August 10th

The San Francisco Association of Realtors is slated to release the new district/neighborhood map at the end of the summer. Boundaries are changing whether we like it or not. A summary of the changes are listed by Socketsite:

Boundary Changes

∙ 5a (Glen Park) expands to include portions of 4s (Sunnyside), 4h (Miraloma Park) and 5c (Noe Valley).
∙ Dividing line between 5c (Noe Valley) and 9c (Inner Mission) moves from Guerrero to San Jose between 24th St to 26th St.
∙ 5e (Parnassus/Ashbury Heights) changes to include a portion of 5b (Haight Ashbury) which is commonly known as Cole Valley, and is renamed Cole Valley/Parnassus Heights, accordingly.
∙ 5f (Buena Vista Park) expands to include Ashbury Heights, and is renamed Buena Vista/Ashbury Heights, accordingly.
∙ Dividing line between 6b (Hayes Valley) and 8f (Van Ness/Civic Center) moves from Gough to Franklin. Dividing line between 6c (Lower Pacific Heights) and 8f (Van Ness/Civic Center) moves from Gough to Franklin between Sutter and California.
∙ Dividing line between 7b (Pacific Heights) and 7d (Cow Hollow) jogs south for one block at the west end and changes so that both sides of Green are in 7d (Cow Hollow) between Lyon and Divisadero. The boundary between Divisadero and Van Ness remains the same, keeping both sides of Green in 7b (Pacific Heights).
∙ Dividing line between District 8a (Downtown) and 8j (Tenderloin) moves from Geary to O’Farrell.
∙ 9a (Bernal Heights) expands to include portions of 9c (Inner Mission) south of Cesar Chavez between San Jose and Mission.
∙ 9h (South Beach) expands into portions of 9f (SOMA) and 9d (Mission Bay).

Renamed Districts

∙ 1d (Lake) is renamed Lake Street (the word “Street” is added).
∙ 5e (Parnassus/Ashbury Heights) is renamed Cole Valley/Parnassus Heights.
∙ 5f (Buena Vista Park) is renamed Buena Vista/Ashbury Heights.
∙ 8b (Financial District) is renamed Financial District/Barbary Coast.
∙ 9j (Central Waterfront) is renamed Central Waterfront/Dogpatch.

Newly Added Districts, Carved Out of Existing Districts

∙ 9G (Yerba Buena), carved out of portions of 9f (SOMA).
∙ 10M (Candlestick Point), carved out of portions of 10K (Bayview Heights).
∙ 10N (Little Hollywood), carved out of portions of 10K (Bayview Heights)

San Francisco’s New Neighborhoods And Boundaries Come August 10 [Socketsite.com]
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Be the King of your Own Castle….and bottle your own spring water too!


On the market for almost a year now (beginning asking price $2,950,000 and currently listed at $1,799,000),  the Albion Castle is an anomaly in San Francisco with a rich history, waiting for an eccentric buyer with vision, and a good business plan.

Despite its long history and six-story stone tower, most residents of San Francisco, even those that drive by it daily, have no idea that Albion Castle exists.

Built in 1870 by John Hamlin Burnell, a young English immigrant with plans for a brewery to supply the over 800 saloons serving the growing city. Beer was already a popular choice in San Francisco, with several local breweries already competing for business. But Burnell’s new property had a secret advantage: An underground aquifer that provided pure cold water, perfect for brewing – not to mention free. He built himself not only the work spaces for the Albion Porter & Ale Brewery, but also a castle home. Although relatively petite and built into a hillside, it features a distinctive tower built from stones pulled from cargo ship’s ballast, modeled after Norman fortifications Burnell loved back home.

Under the castle, Burnell dug out two stone cisterns, each capturing 8,000 to 10,000 gallons of spring water per day. The 200 foot pools are accessed by a cave entrance, and still provide fresh clean water today.

I’m not sure what water rights are going for today, and no doubt you’d want some stiff water quality testing done, but with the price of water selling for more than a gallon of gas these days…I’m surprised no one has made a stab at an offer.

Albion Castle  [Atlas Obscura]

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