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San Francisco Headlines
March 15, 2019
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:
Transit-housing bill SB 50 gets revisions
Plan to stabilize sinking Millennium Tower closer to reality
New housing units down 42% year-over-year
SF rents declared highest worldwide
Benchmark mortgage rate drops to lowest rate in 13 months
Sen. Scott Wiener makes sweeping revisions to transit-housing bill
"Change is coming to SB 50, the major transit-housing bill that could radically alter zoning standards across California by zapping “hyper-low-density zoning” near major transit hubs out of existence, resulting in more housing development near bus and rail lines. On Tuesday, Sen. Scott Wiener, the SF-based lawmaker who composed the bill, announced a series of amendments to his work. The new version of the bill (available in full here) makes a few key changes ahead of upcoming Committee on Housing hearings."
Plan to Stabilize the Sinking Millennium Tower Closer to Reality
"With the initial round of testing having proven successful, the plans to permanently stabilize the sinking Millennium Tower by adding a series of 52 new piles around the tower’s perimeter have been further refined, building permits for the fix have been requested, and a final round of pre-fix testing is about to get underway... And while the stabilization project is currently expected to take around two years to complete, the perimeter approach will minimize the impact on the building’s residents and garage, neither of which will need to be vacated for the project to proceed."
The Latest Inventory of San Francisco’s Housing Stock and Development
"Including finished new construction projects and conversions, 2,579 net-new units of housing were added to San Francisco’s stock of housing in 2018, down 42 percent from 4,441 in 2017 and 3.6 percent below the 10-year average of 2,676 net new units but 12 above the 20-year average of closer to 2,300 per year, figures which are slated to be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission next week. At the same time, plans for roughly 6,100 units of new housing were authorized by the City over the past year, down 9 percent from 6,700 in 2017 but still twice the 20-year average of roughly 3,000 units, leading to San Francisco’s record housing pipeline, and bump in actual building, as we first reported last month."
San Francisco rents declared highest worldwide—again
"...SF-based rental site Zumper has, once again, declared San Francisco rents the highest worldwide, publishing its results with the headline, 'San Francisco is the most expensive city in the world...SF comes in No. 1 on the list with an average of $3,690 per month, followed at No. 2 by New York City’s $2,870 per month. The highest rents outside of the U.S. in Zumper’s analysis are in Hong Kong, which came in at No. 4 with $2,350 per month. The highest in Europe goes to fourth-place London at $1,967 per month.'"
Benchmark Mortgage Rate Drops, Odds of an Easing Up
"Having ticked up 6 basis points last week, the average rate for a benchmark 30-year mortgage has since dropped 10 basis points to 4.31 percent, which is 13 basis points below its mark at the same time last year, down 63 basis points since hitting a 7-year high this past November, and the lowest 30-year rate in 13 months, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Mortgage Market Survey data."
Drought Monitor declares California drought-free
"The most recent drought map, released Thursday, declares the entire state of California drought-free for the first time since 2011."
March 8, 2019
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:
Supervisors pass legislation to register vacant storefronts
Plans drafted for 20-unit Candlestick Park development
576-unit senior housing development planned for Parkmerced
Lyft files for IPO, beating Uber to the punch
Airbnb buys HotelTonight to build 'end-to-end travel platform'
Board of Supervisors passes legislation to register vacant storefronts citywide
"[Tuesday] afternoon, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve new legislation that would improve the accuracy of the city's vacant storefront registry. The measure, introduced by District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, is intended "as a crucial part of an ongoing effort to increase the vibrancy of commercial corridors" and combat retail vacancies, said Fewer's legislative aide, Ian Fregosi."
Plans for 20 New Condo Buildings Overlooking Candlestick Point
"Plans for 20 new residential buildings to rise on a vacant 7-acre slice of land fronting Jamestown Avenue, a former Candlestick Park parking lot which overlooks the massive Candlestick Point redevelopment which is now underway below, have been drafted by Hunt Hale Jones Architects for Strada Investment Group. As envisioned, the 20 buildings would rise up to 40 feet in height, the maximum for which the site is zoned, and yield a total of 122 condominiums, ranging in size from 1,200 to 1,600 square feet, with 81 two bedrooms and 41 threes, a network of shared open spaces, and parking for a total of 180 cars (including 17 spaces for guests)."
New Plans for Three Towers to Rise on Shopping Center Site
"With the master plan for redeveloping Parkmerced having been drawn, approved and underway, new plans to raze the adjacent Parkmerced Shopping Center at 33-85 Cambon Drive, which backs up to 19th Avenue, have now been drafted as well... As envisioned, the “Park Heights” development, for which the site’s zoning, which is currently limited to 105 feet in height, would need to be changed, would yield 576 units of market rate “senior housing” (a mix of 32 studios, 384 one-bedrooms and 160 twos) over 77,000 square feet of new commercial space (which is roughly three times as much commercial space as currently exists), with an underground garage for 330 cars (including 176 parking spaces for the new residences)."
CCA Breaks Ground On Affordable Student Housing Project In S.F.
"The California College of the Arts held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new student housing project at 188 Hooper St. in San Francisco Thursday. The $80M, 134K SF building will provide more than 500 students with below-market-rate, on-campus housing. It is CCA's first on-campus housing, and will be able to house about 25% of CCA's students upon its completion in 2020. The building has 280 single- and double-occupancy rooms."
Lyft files for IPO, beating Uber to the punch
"The company filed paperwork on Friday to raise as much as $100 million in its public offering. That placeholder amount could change, depending on investor demand. It will list on the Nasdaq under the stock ticker 'LYFT.' After years of investors waiting for the long list of startups with billion-dollar valuations to come to Wall Street, 2019 is shaping up to bring a stampede of so-called unicorns. Uber, Airbnb, Slack, Pinterest and Postmates are all expected to go public this year."
Airbnb buys HotelTonight to build ‘end-to-end travel platform’
"Airbnb has signed an agreement to acquire HotelTonight, the San Francisco-based company that uses an app to sell last-minute, unused inventory at boutique and independent hotels. Negotiation talks were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, though at the time, the story suggested talks had “gone cold.” The purchase illuminates how Airbnb, which is planning a public IPO, may be looking to boost growth potential and diversify, as a means of attracting investors. Purchasing a hotel booking site, or even buying hotels, analysts suggest, is an important step before going public, now likely to happen in 2020."
March 1, 2019
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:
City meets deadline to clear ADU permit application backlog
Civic Center new vision includes soccer fields and shaded gardens
7-unit development on Franklin Street closer to reality
Asking rents inch up to an average of $4,200 a month
Master schedule for modernization of Caltrain officially slips
More housing on the way: SF meets deadline to clear huge application backlog
"...The city has managed to clear a backlog of more than 900 permits for accessory dwelling units that had been languishing in the approval pipeline. Breed handed down an executive order in August instructing city departments to dramatically cut down on the time it takes to assess, revise and approve permits for ADUs — often referred to as in-law units or granny flats.Breed wanted the 919-unit application backlog cleared by the end of February, and the departments met the deadline."
SF Mayor Breed’s housing bond moves closer to November ballot
"San Francisco’s Capital Planning Committee voted Monday to put a $300 million affordable housing bond on the Nov. 5 ballot. Mayor London Breed announced last month that she’d be pursuing the bond, but until Monday it wasn’t known whether voters would take up the issue this year or in 2020."
SF Civic Center’s new vision: soccer fields, shaded gardens and people
"San Francisco’s new vision for the core of Civic Center strikes an ambitious, inventive balance between Beaux-Arts grandeur and small-scale welcome. The present and the past. This doesn’t mean it is flawless. Or that design alone can solve the social challenges that now mar the procession of spaces from City Hall east to Market Street. But it’s a provocative starting point if we’re to be serious about the troubled district’s long-term health and not just pushing squalor out of sight."
Sexy Time Redevelopment Closer to Reality
"Plans to raze the recently shuttered Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality building at 1523 Franklin Street and construct a decidedly modern building designed by Alan Tse and Charles Chan Architectural Studio upon its corner parcel... are moving forward. And as newly rendered by RG-Architecture for JS Sullivan Development [above], a setback six-story addition to the building’s shell, which would be renovated, could now rise up to 84 feet in height upon the parcel, with seven full-floor condos (six three-bedrooms and one four) over a 650 square foot café space fronting Franklin Street and a basement garage for six stacked cars, assuming a variance from having to provide a rear yard, as mandated by San Francisco’s Planning Code, is approved next week."
Asking Rents Inch up in San Francisco, Slip in Oakland
"Having reversed course last year, the weighted average asking rent for an apartment in San Francisco has inched up over the past two months and slipped in Oakland. Including one-off rentals, as well as those in larger developments, the average asking rent for an apartment in San Francisco is now running around $4,200 a month, which is around 4 percent higher than at the same time last year."
Master Schedule for Modernization of Caltrain Officially Slips
"...While the projected Revenue Service Date (RSD) for Caltrain’s electrification and modernization project hadn’t been moved from December of 2021, the projected timeline to complete the first eight miles of electrified track and begin testing was running six (6) months behind schedule. And based on the latest progress report for the project, the expected Revenue Service Date has just been officially pushed back from December 2021 to May of 2022, not including any leeway for potential project risk factors or troubleshooting, and the milestone previously known as “Pre-Revenue Testing” has been renamed “Phased Revenue Service” to maintain an official “service” date by the end of 2021."
February 22, 2019
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:
Stockton Street reopening today after 7-year closure
Construction to begin on new police building in Bayview
Virgin opens its first San Francisco hotel in SoMa
Plans revealed for a 25-story micro-room hotel in Transbay District
New rail line over the bay expected to break ground in 2022
Stockton Street to reopen in San Francisco after 7-year closure
"Stockton Street in San Francisco will be back open to traffic starting at 8 a.m. Friday after a seven-year closure. The street was blocked during the construction of the Central Subway project. The Muni tunnel and underground station from Ellis to Geary streets at Union Square triggered detours, which hurt local retailers."
Construction to begin on new police building in Bayview after years of delays
"Nearly five years after voters approved $165 million for the project, San Francisco is finally expected to break ground on a new police building in the Bayview to house motorcycle officers and the crime lab. Construction on the Traffic Company and Forensic Services Division Facility at 1995 Evans Ave. near Toland Street is scheduled to begin by June and continue for two years until the end of 2021, according to Department of Public Works Project Manager Michael Rossetto."
Bay Area's Strong Industrial Market Mirrors Strength Of Sector Across U.S.
"The national industrial market is hot, and the expectation among those in the industry is that it will remain the strongest sector in the Bay Area for the next few years. Job growth and strong consumer confidence are driving demand for industrial nationwide, according to a new report from Transwestern. Even though nearly 1B SF of industrial has delivered in the past three years, vacancy is at 4.7% and average asking rents are on the rise."
Plans for Slender, 25-Story Micro-Room Hotel Revealed
"Plans for a slender 25-story hotel to rise up to 260 feet in height on the 4,000-square-foot parking lot site at 36 Tehama Street have been submitted to Planning. And as envisioned by J Street Hospitality and designed by Handel Architects, the new Transbay District hotel would be outfitted with 185 'micro guestrooms' measuring an average of 180 square feet apiece, 'offering an efficient, stylish and affordable option for travelers.'"
Virgin opens its first San Francisco hotel
"...Located across from Yerba Buena Gardens and Moscone Center on Fourth Street in SoMa, the new property, a mid-rise with a predominantly glass facaded, features 192 guest rooms, two penthouse suites, and dining and drinking options like Commons Club and Funny Library Coffee Shop. Of special note, the hotel comes with a rooftop bar called Everdene, as well as a VIP lounge, christened the Secret Garden Lounge, which is accessible via a red garden gate crowned with foliage from the surrounding lattice. Intriguing."
The building of San Francisco: Historic construction photos of our famous structures
"Walking down Columbus Avenue toward the Transamerica Pyramid or under the dome of the Palace of Fine Arts, we tend to take in the structures that define San Francisco as fully-formed. But the truth is that almost every major project has a complex backstory that put it on the map. Bill Van Niekerken, the director of The Chronicle's archives and library, has dug up many of those stories over the years. Frequently, they start with the discovery of a single photo."
Proposed Timeline and Route for New Rail Line over the Bay
"As envisioned by Cross Bay Transit Partners, which is private affiliation between Facebook and Plenary, in conjunction with the San Mateo County Transit District, the Dumbarton Transportation Project would yield a new high-capacity rail link 'between residential neighborhoods in the East Bay and job centers on the San Francisco Peninsula.' The proposed line would initially link Redwood City and Newark, with a Menlo Park/East Palo Alto stop and the potential to extend to the line from Newark to Union City. Andwith a target of breaking ground in 2022, the public-private partnership is slated to start hosting a series of community meetings this weekend, to acquaint the community with the team, goals, funding, timeline and process, as outlined below:"
February 15, 2019
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:
Salesforce Transit Center could re-open as early as June
New poll shows SF residents want to maximize housing
Mayor Breed wants to eliminate fees for affordable housing
12-unit development in Tenderloin closer to reality
High-speed rail from LA to SF still on, says Governor
Early Re-Activation Sequence for the Salesforce Transit Center
"With repairs to the fractured Salesforce Transit Center now officially underway and expected to be completed by the first week of June, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) is expected to release an official re-opening schedule for the center next month. But according to a preliminary framework for the center’s re-activation presented to the TJPA’s Board of Directors yesterday, in addition to a “probable” early opening of the center’s bus plaza on the ground floor, an early opening of the rooftop Salesforce Park is now “plausible” as well."
San Franciscans want city to ‘maximize housing,’ according to new poll
"On Tuesday, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce released its annual City Beat poll, with unsurprising yet consequential results: By large margins, San Francisco residents favor more housing and more transit... Among the dizzying array of results were calls for more housing, greater density, and support for most major transit initiatives facing the region."
Mayor Breed wants to ax fees for affordable housing
"In another effort to prod housing in San Francisco, Mayor London Breed says she wants to eliminate Department of Building Inspection fees for 100 percent affordable housing projects and for new in-law apartments (or ADUs—“accessory dwelling units”—in City Hall parlance.) On Monday, Breed announced that she’ll introduce new legislation to cut fees at this week’s regular Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday ."
Slow approval process not only obstacle for city housing goals
"Plans for close to 45,000 potential homes are currently approved in San Francisco — the highest number tracked by The City’s Planning Department to date — but many of these projects have yet to break ground... 'The planning process is very complicated. You have architects who don’t know planning code that well, there are so many nuances. Administratively [The City] has to figure out how to make the process simpler and less cumbersome,' said Jonathan Moftakhar, a realtor with Vanguard Properties. 'The amount of power they give to neighborhood groups complicates the process. You have a public that opposes practically everything that’s submitted — I don’t think it’s responsible urban planning,' he said."
Eight-Story Development in the Tenderloin Even Closer to Reality
"...Opposed by a number of local residents seeking to have the development limited to no more than 5 or 6 stories in height, “in keeping with the immediate adjacent buildings” and to minimize “the anticipated loss of light and air” to their neighboring residences, San Francisco’s Planning Department is recommending the project be approved as proposed, without any required Planning Code variances or exceptions, by the City’s Planning Commission next week. And if approved as proposed and the ground is broken, the 8-story development at 820 Post would yield a total of 12 apartments – a mix of 5 one-bedrooms, 6 twos (one of which would be offered at below market rates) and 1 three-bedroom penthouse unit with a private balcony – over a new 1,200-square-foot retail or café space and off-street parking for 12 bikes but no cars."
California high-speed rail from LA to SF still on, says governor
"On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared to pull the plug on the long-planned high-speed rail connection between San Francisco and Los Angeles during his first State of the State address... Despite Newsom’s statements, the governor’s office insists that the SF-to-LA connection is still on. In fact, it appears that little about the high-speed rail project’s plan has changed."
Prepared by: VANGUARD PROPERTIES - FORWARD THINKING REAL ESTATE