Posts Tagged ‘New Developments’

Million Dollar Affordable Housing. Only in San Francisco.


No San Francisco neighborhood has so squarely positioned itself at the epicenter of opposition to rising housing costs than the Mission District. Of course, housing un-affordability is but one of many rapid changes in the neighborhood, and seeking legislative action is but one response (sidebar: remember when protestors were blocking tech shuttles?) — and median home prices have soared 76% citywide since 2011! For now, let’s take a focused look at some of the real estate sales dynamics in the Mission.

August 2007, at the peak pre-recession height of local real estate, a TIC at 901 Guerrero Street (below) sold for $955,000. The 3-bed and 1.5-bath Edwardian was purchased for 12.5% more that its list price and in 26 days on the market.




Earlier this year, in February 2015, I represented the buyer of 901 Guerrero Street sold for $1,650,000. This time, the property returned favorable to the market with a fresh coat of paint, a successful condo-conversion on the record, and convenient proximity to “every tech bus.” The winning bid (of course there were competing offers!) after only eight days on the market came in at 18% over asking. The San Francisco Chronicle even wrote about it.




Given that 901 Guerrero did have a significant value-adding improvement between 2007 and 2015, consider still that its 2015 price is nearly 75% higher than at the previous peak. It’s not uncommon for properties to be improved from one sale to the next, and it makes sense that those properties will sell for higher prices, all else equal. Couple that with record-low inventory and cash investors, and now not even techies (let alone teachers) can compete as homebuyers. Since 901 Guerrero Street sold, I’ve seen comparable properties in the neighborhood sell for even higher. What’s a city like San Francisco with its economy supercharged by the high-tech boom to do?

There appears to be a “try everything” approach in the works for the Mission.

First, a ballot initiative calling for an 18-month moratorium on new market-rate residential developments in the Mission has been approved for the November 2015 ballot. If passed, the effect of the moratorium on neighborhood home prices can be debated. Because the overwhelming majority of housing in the Mission is market-rate which is favored by homebuyers, constraining supply could drive prices of existing homes higher. Alternately, negative attitudes toward an influx of affordable housing could lead residents to leave for other neighborhoods and influence homebuyers to buy elsewhere, ultimately hurting market-rate resale values.

Second, the city is feeling pressure to build more affordable housing units right now. Such developments, like 490 South Van Ness at 16th Street, are permanently reserved for low-income, median-income and moderate-income residents. Below Market Rate housing is purchased for a fraction of market value– not a single unit has sold in the Mission since March 2014 (and a 2-bedroom BMR condo in the Inner Mission is listed right now for just under $450,000). Plus, projects like these can take a year or more to construct once ground is broken, meanwhile the price of affordable housing continues to rise with $15 minimum wage.

Lastly, flood the market with new housing units of all kinds to help meet demand and stabilize prices as quickly as possible. There are 26 residential developments planned for the Mission and a few have begun construction (see the entire pipeline of residential projects in San Francisco here). Still, the pace of new units coming to the market pales in comparison to the city’s growth of employed residents (yes, people can afford to relocate to San Francisco even with housing costs as they are). Some sites available in the Mission could be bought by the city for affordable housing, and the proposed moratorium would give it enough time to organize and fund the investment.


A 2015 Yale School of Management survey of recent home buyers found that a quarter of San Francisco respondents has the extravagant expectation for annual home price increases of 10% or more annually for the next 10 years. Although more likely be closer to 5%, it could happen. In 20+ years working locally in real estate, I’ve learned to never underestimate the voracity of the San Francisco market. I’m of the opinion San Francisco median price trends are headed the direction of Tokyo, Sydney and London toward $3,000 per square foot. Before we get there, though, we may find ourselves asking sooner rather than later: When does an affordable housing unit cost a million dollars?


Meredith Martin is a Broker Associate at Paragon Real Estate Group and can be reached at


Public Housing, Community Friend or Foe?

Join the conversation!

Join the conversation!

Affordable housing in San Francisco may be an urban legend. Since 2000 the Bayview Hunter’s Point Community Revitalization Concept Project Area Committee has started to write history. Striving to return balance to a desperate community, historically labeled by crime, gang activity and under employment, the Project Area Committee (PAC) has stepped forward to repair these neighborhoods. Drawing in hungry developers with the promise of $95million residential construction contracts, the committee has lobbied on behalf of this struggling environment.

The project guarantees 25% of all new structures to be dedicated to the public financial assistance Housing and Urban Development program, or HUD vs the standard 10%. Additionally, the committee has secured the allocation of project funds to renovate existing properties and to safeguard historic structures to be reused for the public. The Bayview College Track Center and Opera House anchor restoration efforts for the area and will soon be joined by senior community centers, medical buildings and services.

Focused on economic development, community enhancement and the vital opening of affordable housing, local residences have had their first taste of this new beginning. May 2013 marked the official start of turning dreams into reality as stage 1 of 5 housing sites by HOPE SF reached completion. 107 lucky home winners qualified for entry into a lottery by meeting a maximum income of $50,600 for a household for 4. With a long road ahead and the need for an additional $250million to complete the project, the mark of positive change has set into motion Green Streets, a safety and aesthetics movement, bringing landscaping and lighting of district streets and public spaces. This stimulus plan has created diverse opportunities for local citizens to fight for more than just survival, however in early 2014 Bayview Hunter’s Point faces its next phase of transition.

Stage 1 New Residences Complete

Stage 1 New Residences Complete

The new homeowner’s reside in a zone protected from eminent domain, however with the pending destruction of Candlestick Park and rising land prices, what is the next chapter for this district of San Francisco?

Rita Roti is a broker associate / assistant manager at Zephyr Real Estate and can be reached at


Blanc, A Sneak Peak Into One of San Francisco’s Newest Developments

Blanc, at 1080 Sutter, is a new San Francisco development with occupancy expecting to fill by early December. This 35 unit two- and three-bedroom boutique residence designed by award winning San Francisco Architect, Stanley Saitowitz, is one of 17 new developments on the market or coming up in the next 6 months. I was able to take an early hard hat tour of the development and get a sneak peak into what residents can expect in this new condominium and with over 30% of these luxury homes sold already, this property is going fast.

Exterior shot of Blanc under construction.

Saitowitz and developer JS Sullivan have created something truly interesting with this TenderNob building. As Sean Sullivan has stated in a Blanc Q&A, there is a focus on spacious floorplans, reasonable city pricing (a majority of the 2-bedroom floorplans are being priced at under $1 million), and strong consideration of the city and Nob Hill neighborhood. The building is located in an incredibly bustling part of San Francisco. With a walking score of 100, a transit score of 100, and a bike score of 77, this address is a winner in terms of having everything the city has to offer at your fingertips.

The design of this building has brought in real excitement and has much to do with star-architect Stanley Saitowitz. As a beloved Bay Area architect and professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, Saitowitz has brought his signature monochromatic aesthetic to Blanc. The balance of modernization with San Francisco’s classic feel was paramount in the direction of this design and has led to a focus on light and views. Throughout each unit large and interestingly spaced windows frame the rooms and draw in light. The interiors contain sleek and simplistic lines with warm wood finishes, while the common areas utilize uplighting and white Italian porcelain.

Blanc interior rendering

Interior shot of model residence at Blanc. 

Blanc also features such high-end amenities as air conditioning, a design center to customize your space, lotteried bike parking and car parking. Units range in size from 750 to 1300 square feet and prices for initial release range from $680,000 to $920,000. HOA dues are currently ranging from $487 to $594. A link to the buildings various floor plans can be found at the Blanc website. Appointments with the sales office are required at this time, as it is a hard hat construction site at this time.   Feel free to contact me if you are interested in a tour in this or any of the other new San Francisco developments.

Some great examples of Saitowitz’s work that can be found locally:

Beth Sholom Synagogue, San Francisco

Yerba Buena Lofts, San Francisco

1110 Green, San Francisco

Rita Roti is a broker associate / assistant manager at Zephyr  Real Estate and can be reached at





Citadine Reenters the Market as Axis-SF

Originally listed in 2009 and running headlong into the real estate meltdown, the developers of 1299 Bush Street pulled their prized 26 unit development from the market, while the bank liens stacked up.  Re-emerging today with new pricing and a brand spanking new name, comes back to market with a mandate – sell em!  Price drops from the original price list (picked up by yours truly) are impressive on some of the units.  #201 listed as a 1531 square foot 2bd/2.5ba townhouse with decks was priced under Citadine for $1,259,000 and officially hits the MLS today at $1,079,000.  Less impressive cuts are the 1bd/1ba 558 square foot #204 listed in 2009 for $495,000 listed today $445,000.

I actually like the building, although acknowledge the location is a bit of no mans land – TenderNob I affectionately called it when I lived a few blocks away; and the uber-modern Scavolini style kitchens are not going to be for everyone.

Citadine Debuts in Lower Nob, Holds Out for Actual Buyers []

Meredith Martin is a life long resident of the bay area and a real estate professional with over 15 years experience. She can be reached at