One Cool Thing
San Francisco Headlines
September 27, 2019
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:
52-unit short-term rental building 'Sonder Residences' opens today
Editorial: Vallie Brown for SF District 5 Supervisor
Planning Department recently updated its development pipeline
Pending home sales rebound in August across country
Average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage down to 3.64%
New Church & Market building to become part of housing subscription scheme
"In July, the developer of a new 52-unit apartment building at Church and Market streets announced that he would be leasing all of its market-rate units to Sonder, a San Francisco-based startup specializing in short-term, furnished apartment rentals... Today, Sonder will be opening up the units for rent as part of its subscription-based product, Sonder Residences."
Editorial: Vallie Brown for SF District Five supervisor
"Vallie Brown was an inspired choice to represent San Francisco’s District Five, an eclectic collection of neighborhoods that includes Inner Sunset, Haight-Ashbury, Fillmore/Western Addition, Japantown and Lower Pacific Heights. Brown knows the area well, having lived in the district for more than 20 years and advocating for it in City Hall as an aide to two supervisors, Ross Mirkarimi and London Breed... Brown identifies as progressive, but she also is pragmatic and committed to 'bringing people together.' The distinction between the two — realist versus ideologue — is particularly evident when it comes to housing. They both advocate a push for more affordable housing, but Brown recognizes that “we need all types of housing” and that city requirements on percentages set aside for lower-income residents cannot be so severe that projects don’t pencil out."
Ellis Partners snags $200M to invest in Bay Area real estate
"San Francisco development firm Ellis Partners just secured a $200 million fund fueled by the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The company plans to use the money to buy up Bay Area office, industrial and retail properties. Ellis Partners plans to “identify well leased core assets with durable long-term cash flow in locations that reflect the Bay Area of the future,” said Melinda Ellis Evers, managing principal, who runs the company with her brother, Jim Ellis."
Where SF plans to build its next 40,000 homes
"The San Francisco Planning Department recently updated its 'development pipeline'—an exhaustive disclosure of every new building project entitled or seeking entitlements in the city—to reflect the balance of upcoming housing. In theory, the pipeline is quite busy these days with some 73,502 new units listed as incoming, with 14,346 of them designated affordable housing. However, looking at the full breakdown, which lists over 2,000 individual development projects, the biggest housing boons are all multi-phase projects that will take years—or in some cases decades—to complete. A few of the projects haven’t even gotten permits. In all, said projects comprise 63 percent of planned new housing."
$83M Mission Street affordable housing project closer to breaking ground
"After a setback and redesigns, a more than 130-unit affordable housing project at 4840 Mission St. may finally break ground next year. Supervisor Ahsha Safai on Wednesday praised Bridge Housing Corporation’s 137-unit development on the site of a former funeral home as the “the first opportunity in the history of District 11 to do 100 percent affordable housing.” The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee approved an additional $12 million loan for the development Wednesday. The loan funding comes from The City’s Inclusionary Affordable Housing fees, which developers pay in-lieu of providing onsite affordable housing, and is about “21 percent of the fund balance for the Inclusionary Affordable Housing Fee program,” according to the budget analyst’s report."
Revised Designs for New SRO Development Slated for Approval
"... Plans to raze the white two-story garage/warehouse building at 262 7th Street, adjacent to Sightglass Coffee, between Folsom and Howard, are in the works... Plans to preserve the existing building’s Langton Street façade have since been scrapped, as newly rendered below, and the project’s below market rate (BMR) component has been bumped up to 17 units, or roughly 18 percent, as required."
New Plans for Pyramid Adjacent Parcel Have Been Drawn
"Plans to raze the nine-story office building at 545 Sansome Street, which abuts the privately-owned Redwood Park at the base of the Transamerica Pyramid, between Washington and Clay, and construct a cylindrical 38-story residential tower dubbed “555 Washington” on the corner parcel were in the running to be approved back in 2010 but were thwarted by an appeal of the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR). And while plans for an infill tower to rise on the corner parcel haven’t been resurrected, Aegon, which acquired Transamerica back in 1999 and is currently entertaining offers for the iconic Pyramid... As massed by Gensler, the footprint of 545 Sansome would be extended to Washington Street and upon a majority of the undeveloped portion of its parcel behind, an approach which would add 49,999 square feet of office space to the current building."
Pending home sales rebound in August as the slump in the West appears to be over
"Buyers are back in the housing market, but they are still having a hard time finding what they want and what they can afford. The pending home sales index from the National Association of Realtors rose 1.6% in August, compared with July, and was 2.5% higher year over year. This index measures signed contracts to buy existing homes. August’s gain reversed a slump in July and was likely fueled by falling mortgage rates."
Mortgage Rates Retreat
"Having jumped 17 basis points last week, the average rate for a 30-year mortgage has since shed 9 basis points and now measures 3.64 percent, which is 108 basis points (1.08 percentage points) below its mark at the same time last year and back to within 23 basis points of a three/six-year low. At the same time, the average rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage has shed 5 basis points for a current rate of 3.16 percent, which is exactly one percentage point lower than at the same time last year, while the average rate for a 5-year adjustable has dropped 11 points to an inverted 3.38 percent, which is 59 basis points lower than at the same time last year."
September 20, 2019
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:
SFO runway renovation ends eight days early
KQED breaks ground on HQ renovations
Mission Street development redesigned to include 321 units
392-unit development in SoMa seeks go-ahead
New timeline for major Visitacion Valley redevelopment
SFO runway renovation ends eight days early
"The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announced Wednesday that, unexpectedly, its renovation of a key runway intersection will finish more than a week ahead of schedule. The runway will return to regular use by 9 p.m. Thursday, September 19. That’s great news for SFO flyers, who experienced mass delays and flight cancellations ever since runway 28L went down earlier this month for repairs that were supposed to last through September 27."
KQED breaks ground on major renovations for its headquarters
"After more than 25 years at Mariposa and Bryant in the Mission, KQED broke ground on a new renovation plans for its headquarters at 2601 Mariposa. The NPR and PBS affiliate’s old, nearly windowless headquarters will be stripped to its bones to make way for a glassy, cube-fronted concept conceived by EHDD Architecture."
Big Mission Street Development Redesigned, Back in Play
"While plans for a 21-story building to rise up to 200 feet in height on the SoMa parcel upon which the since shuttered SF Pizza Café and parking lot at the corner of Mission and Laskie, between 8th and 9th Streets, were approved back in the fourth quarter of 2016, the ground has yet to be broken. And while the development had been 'on hold,' IwamotoScott Architecture was engaged to redesign the approved project, eliminating the previously proposed 15-foot setback along Mission Street, adding 22 units to the project for a total of 321 (25 percent of which will be offered at below market rates) and adopting a decidedly more contemporary aesthetic, eliminating the previous use of brick. With the changes expected to be administratively approved by San Francisco’s Zoning Administrator, the preliminary review of which has already been completed, the building permits for the 1270 Mission Street project have just been approved by the City."
Bonus Plans for a Big Development on the Edge of the Mission
"...Plans for 7-story development to rise upon the 1458 San Bruno Avenue parcel, adjacent to Potrero del Sol Park and the Meadows Livingstone School, on the southeastern edge of the Mission, have been drafted... And while the site is currently only zoned for development up to 40 feet in height, the project team is planning to claim a State Density Bonus in order to build up to 70 feet in height and yield 205 units of housing (a mix of 122 studios and 83 two-bedrooms), with 23 of the units to be offered at below market rates (BMR) and no off-street parking for any cars."
Nearly 400 units in SoMa seek go-ahead
"Nearly 400 housing units could soon hit San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood. Trammell Crow Residential is seeking final approvals for its 42-story tower at 95 Hawthorne St., consisting of 392 apartments and about 3,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. The project, which will replace an existing five-story office building on the site, will include 199 one-bedroom units, 144 two-bedroom units and 49 three-bedroom units. About 14 percent — or 55 — of the units will be designated as below-market-rate for residents making up to 50 percent of area median income... This is the project’s second time hitting the Planning Commission for approval. In June, the item was continued."
New New Timing for Major Visitacion Valley Redevelopment
"...Shuttered back in 1999, the old Schlage Lock factory and Southern Pacific Railyard parcel along Bayshore Boulevard, near the heart of Visitacion Valley, was leveled 10 years later in order to clear the way for a proposed 20-acre transit village to rise. As approved back in 2014, at which point it was expected to break ground the next year, the development is slated to include nearly 1,700 units of housing, up to 47,000 square feet of new retail and restaurant space...Since dubbed “Baylands North,” the project team still has yet to start building, but that should soon change. Work on the dormant site is now slated to re-start by the end of this year."
CONTINUE READING ON SOCKETSITE
Mortgage Rates Jump
"Having started to inch up last week, the average rate for a 30-year mortgage has since jumped another 17 basis to 3.73 percent but remains 92 basis points below its mark at the same time last year and within 32 basis points of a three/six-year low. At the same time, while the average rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage has ticked up another 12 basis points to 3.21 percent, it remains 90 basis points below its mark at the same time last year, and while the average rate for a 5-year adjustable has ticked up another 13 basis points to an inverted 3.49 percent, it remains 43 basis point below its mark at the same time last year."
San Francisco commercial development fees to rise by 143 percent
"San Francisco’s planning commission approved a bill that will more than double fees on new office construction to help pay for affordable housing. The bill raises the current fee for most new commercial space to $69.60 per square foot from $28.57. Fees for lab space will rise to $46.43 per square foot from about $19. For example, on 100,000 square feet of new commercial space, a developer would now pay $6.96 million instead of $2.86 million — a 143 percent jump. "
September 13, 2019
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:
City offers PG&E $2.5 billion infrastructure buyout
District 5 supervisor's race takes surprising turn
SF's cable cars shut down for 10 days due to repairs
California bill AB5 makes app-based companies treat workers as employees
San Francisco offers PG&E $2.5 billion infrastructure buyout
"San Francisco has offered to buy $2.5 billion worth of electrical equipment from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), a crucial step in an evolving plan to yank control of power distribution from the bankrupt utility in favor of a city-controlled municipal power company... In response, the San Francisco Chronicle quotes PG&E spokesperson Andy Castagnola saying, 'We don’t believe municipalization is in the best interests of our customers and stakeholders, [but] we are committed to working with the city and will remain open to communication on this issue.'"
Former Misison Police Station Has Sold
"Having hit the market with an $8.4 million price tag early last year, as we first reported at the time, the former Mission Police Station and jail at 1240 Valencia Street, between 23rd and 24th, has finally sold to Mission Neighborhood Center (MNC), a local non-profit, and closed escrow with a $6.8 million contract price. In the near-term, MNC is planning to convert the roughly 8,000-square-foot building – which was decommissioned in 1994, acquired by way of a surplus site auction for $560,000 in March of 1997 and converted into a private live-work space for the Tomb family – into preschool, infant-toddler and Head Start classroom facilities."
SF's D5 Supervisor's Race Takes Surprising Turn
"Until last week, San Francisco’s District 5 Supervisor’s race between appointed incumbent Vallie Brown and Dean Preston was on a predictable course. Preston was running as the progressive champion portraying Brown as the candidate of “big developers.” Brown was citing her record of district accomplishments and long D5 history going back to her days as an aide to progressive supervisor Ross Mirkarimi. But the framing of this race as “progressive” challenger vs. “moderate” incumbent was shaken last week by two big endorsements. First, SEIU 1021, which has endorsed San Francisco’s version of the “progressive” candidate in every election I can remember, backed Vallie Brown as their sole D5 endorsement. Brown has largely swept the labor endorsements, which undermines claims that the supervisor is an opponent of working people... Second, the San Francisco Democratic Party, headed by progressive icon David Campos (who voted No Endorsement), also gave Brown their sole endorsement."
San Francisco Cable Cars Shut Down For 10 Days For System Repairs
"San Francisco’s iconic cable cars will stop running for 10 days starting Friday while they undergo repairs. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said Wednesday that instead shuttle buses will run along the three cable car routes."
Salesforce Transit Center Getting Rooftop Restaurant From Iyasare Chef
"SF’s $2.2 billion dollar Salesforce Transit Center is finally getting a tenant for its rooftop restaurant space. The elevated park, which reopened in July after a surprise 10-month closure for repairs, will welcome an upscale Japanese restaurant from the chef behind Berkeley’s Iyasare, one of Eater’s 38 Essential East Bay restaurants. The SF Chronicle reported the news, with the SF Business Times also reporting that the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), which runs the Salesforce Transit Center, had to sweeten the deal to attract a tenant."
California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees
"California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a years long debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. The bill passed in a 29-to-11 vote in the State Senate and will apply to app-based companies, despite their efforts to negotiate an exemption. On Wednesday morning, the Assembly gave its final approval, 56 to 15." CONTINUE READING ON THE NEW YORK TIMES
September 6, 2019
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:
Ferry Building to undergo two-year restoration
SF decides to not ban tech company cafeterias
Laurel Heights development now planned to include 744 homes
Tourism on the rise in San Francisco
Ferry Building to undergo two-year restoration
"Sixteen years after reopening to the public as both a transit hub and a gastronomic destination, the San Francisco Ferry Building will receive a light renovation starting later this month. Portions of the 1896 building’s facade, battered due to natural weathering, will be repaired and brought back to their original splendor. The entire exterior will also get a fresh coat of paint sporting a new color."
San Francisco decides not to ban tech company cafeterias
"Supervisor Ahsha Safai made a surprise move on Tuesday to chuck his own, long-planned new law curtailing company cafeterias, just as it would have come to a vote at the full Board of Supervisors. Safai says that the city’s labor landscape has changed since 2018, and the proposed regulation may not be necessary now. Speaking at Tuesday’s board meeting, Safai said that he introduced the cafeteria ban partly out of concern over labor conditions at billion-dollar tech companies."
Biggest housing proposal on S.F.'s northwest side now calls for 744 homes
"A proposal for the largest new housing development on San Francisco’s northwest side is nearing approval. The plan for 3333 California St. calls for 744 homes — a mix of apartments, townhomes, single-family houses and 186 units for low-income seniors — as well as 35,000 square feet of retail, a childcare center and 5 acres of public open space. A quarter of the total homes will be subsidized for low-income residents earning up to 80 percent of the area median income. The 10-acre site is currently a 455,000-square-foot office campus occupied by the University of California, San Francisco, surrounded by mostly homes in Laurel Heights. "
Storied North Beach Venue in Play
"Built for an Italian men’s club in 1919, complete with a gym, boxing ring, and private social/supper club space, the ornate “Garibaldi Hall” at 435/443 Broadway, which is now on the market, has a storied history to tell... The price for the entire building has been set at $9.75 million, which doesn’t include the liquor licenses for FAME and Broadway Studios, which are being sold as well, as the two establishments are currently operated by the owner of the property and are slated to 'cease upon sale.'"
Tourism on the rise in SF
"The number of people visiting San Francisco this year and the amount they are spending is expected to suprass last year, according to the San Francisco Travel Association. Marketers with the association are predicting 26.2 million travelers will come to the city in 2019, a 1.5 percent increase over 25.8 million in 2018. Total spending is expected to rise 2.6 percent from $9.3 billion last year to $9.56 billion this year. Three million international travelers are expected in 2019, up 2 percent from 2018."
Benchmark Mortgage Rate Nearing a Six-Year Low
"The average rate for a 30-year mortgage dropped 9 basis points over the past week to 3.49 percent, which is down 145 basis points (1.45 percentage points or 29.4 percent) since the fourth quarter of last year and is now within 8 basis points of both a three and six-year low. At the same time, the average rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage has dropped to 3.00 percent, which is 99 basis points below its mark at the same time last year, and the average rate for a 5-year adjustable is down to an inverted 3.30 percent, which is 63 basis point below its mark at the same time last year."
August 30, 2019
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:
Muni adding two new bus lines in preparation for Chase Center
Fix for Millennium Tower clears first hurdle
Plans drafted for 23-unit development in Mission
Average rents up in San Francisco and Oakland
In preparation for Chase Center opening, Muni to add two new bus lines
"With the opening of the Chase Center just two weeks away, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has announced the implementation of two new bus routes: the 78X-16th Street Arena Express and the 79X-Van Ness Arena Express. The 78X is expected to depart from 16th and Mission streets, serving the same stops as the 55-16th Street. The 79X will run along the Van Ness corridor (starting at North Point), stopping at the existing stops for the 47-Van Ness and 49 Van Ness/Mission before heading to the Chase Center."
Fix for leaning Millennium Tower clears first hurdle
"The proposed fix for San Francisco’s tilting Millennium Tower has cleared its first significant hurdle. A panel of experts hired by the city has approved a $100 million retrofit that the Millennium Tower Association submitted last December to stop the 58-story Transbay high-rise from sinking and tilting, according to a memo submitted to the Department of Building Inspection."
Mission District Corner in Play
"Plans to convert the former used car lot turned Firepie parcel on the northeast corner of Valencia and Cesar Chavez have been drafted.And as envisioned by Kerman Morris Architects, a six-story, 32,000-square-foot building could rise up to 65 feet in height on the skinny site and yield 23 residential units over 5,000 square feet of retail space. That being said, the plans have yet to be approved, much less submitted to the City for a preliminary review. But the 1535 Valencia Street/3460-3480 Cesar Chavez site, which includes the mid-block “Zavala’s” window tinting garage and hasn’t traded hands in over three decades, is now in contract to be sold. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in."
Height of Proposed Tower(s) Likely to Be Reduced
"...Bonus plans for a 245-unit residential building to rise up to 294 feet in height on the northwest corner of Harrison and Hawthorne have been drawn. And in order to build up to 294 feet in height upon the650 Harrison Street parcel, which was recently up-zoned for development up to 130 feet in height per San Francisco’s challenged Central SoMa Plan, the project team is planning to request a building height waiver based on California’s Density Bonus Program."
Different Drivers Pushing Average Rents up in SF and Oakland
"The weighted average asking rent for an apartment in San Francisco, including one-off rentals as well as units in larger developments, has inched up to around $4,350 per month, which is roughly 2 percent above its mark at the same time last year and within a percent of its current cycle peak which was set back in the fourth quarter of 2015."
August 23, 2019
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:
Tunnel-Top Park under construction in Presidio
Apple acquires $290M of real estate in Cupertino
36-unit development in the Excelsior redesigned
Plans drafted for 204-unit development in Potrero Hill
US home sales climb as mortgage rates fall
Massive amounts of dirt moved to link San Francisco's Presidio with bay
"Crews were moving mountains in San Francisco's Presidio -- 50,000 cubic yards of soil that will be the foothold for one of the most unique destinations in the Bay Area. Half park, half freeway, and 100 jaw-dropping... Presidio drawings show what the new Tunnel-top Park will look like when it's finished, swirling green ovals of open-space, surrounded by trees. It will also include barbecue circles, a four acre youth campus, and an environmental learning center for kids and families. Now, all that's required for the dream to become reality is hard work and tons and tons of dirt."
Apple snaps up $290M in real estate in its own backyard
"Apple Inc. has paid $290 million for a pair of office buildings near its Cupertino headquarters, the Mercury News reports. The iPhone maker bought the two office buildings at the corner of Stevens Creek Boulevard and Torres Avenue from Los Angeles-based American Realty Advisors, the publication reports, citing county property records filed last week. The buildings, called Cupertino City Center 1 and Cupertino City Center 2, sit two miles from Apple Park, the company's new 2.8 million-square-foot circular headquarters, and about half a mile down the street from its former Infinite Loop headquarters."
Planning Pushing for a Higher-Rise in the Excelsior
"...Planning has completed its preliminary review of the proposed seven-story building to rise upon the site of the shuttered Club Tapatio building at 4742 Mission Street in the Excelsior. As we first reported at the end of June, while the club site is only zoned for development up to 65 feet in height, the sponsors of the proposed project are planning to leverage San Francisco’s HOME-SF program to build up to 74 feet and six inches in height upon its parcel, an approach which would yield 36 residential units over 6,000 square feet of commercial space and a basement garage for 7 cars."
Big Plans for Odd Shaped Lower Potrero Hill Site
"Plans to level the odd shaped, low slung commercial complex at 300 De Haro Street (which is currently home to Sally’s Deli, Torraku Ramen, Bunn Mike, El Sur, Unspuntech, Tip Toes Nail Salon, Mike and Maaike, and Roadster) are in the works. And as envisioned by DM Development, which is currently in contract to purchase the utilitarian complex, a 13-story development could rise up to 141 feet in height upon the Lower Potrero Hill site as massed by BAR Architects below. The development as envisioned would yield 204 apartments (a mix of 60 studios, 60 one-bedrooms and 84 twos) over 6,200 square feet of new retail space fronting 16th Street (versus a total of 14,700 square feet of retail/commercial space as the site is currently configured) and stacked parking for 49 cars."
US home sales climb as mortgage rates plunge
"Low mortgage rates helped boost existing-home sales in July, including “vast growth” in the West, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops rose 2.5 percent after a slump in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.42 million, according to the association. Overall sales were up 0.6 percent from a year earlier."
PG&E on the hook again for Santa Rosa fires, faces $18 billion in damages
"On Friday, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the SF utility company that provides power to roughly 16 million people throughout Northern California, got a shock as the judge overseeing its bankruptcy proceedings ruled that victims of the 2017 Santa Rosa Tubbs Fire can move forward with legal action. This could result in as much as $18 billion in liability."
Prepared by: VANGUARD PROPERTIES - FORWARD THINKING REAL ESTATE