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Richmond District Homes & Lifestyles - Street Safety Project -- Upper Market

SFMTA Releases Final Proposal For Upper Market Street Safety Project |...

Here's a rundown of the changes being proposed for Market, from Octavia Blvd. to Castro Street.

9 hours ago

Richmond District Homes & Lifestyles - UCSF's New Proposal for Mt. Sutro Forest

UCSF Unveils Draft Proposal For Managing Mt. Sutro's Ailing, Aging...

Because of drought and insect infestations, the tree mortality rate inside the "cloud forest" has doubled since 1999.

1 day ago

Richmond District Homes & Lifestyles - San Francisco's Residential Development Pipeline Take a look at the most recent Residential Development Pipeline in San Francisco - as published by the San Francisco Business Times in June 2016. The article provides an overview of residential construction in San Francisco, whether under constructio ...Read More

2 days ago

Richmond District Homes & Lifestyles - MTA's Red Lanes to Stay in the Mission

Mission community says Muni’s red lane tanked local businesses

The Mission District community is looking for a referee to call foul on Muni’s new red bus-only lane, and they’ve found a sympathetic ear: the San...

3 days ago

San Francisco Neighborhood: SOMA & Yerba Buena

September 20th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

San Francisco Neighborhood  SOMA and Yerba Buena

South of Market (SOMA) is a huge district, sprawling from the Embarcadero to Eleventh Street, between Market and Townsend. The neighborhood is a patchwork of warehouses, swanky nightspots, residential hotels, art spaces, loft apartments, furniture showrooms and small and large Internet companies.

Although a lot of building has gone on in recent years, it is still not densely developed. SOMA landmarks consist of te Metreon, Yerba Buena Gardens, SF MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), the Moscone Conference Center, and a number of other museums.

Due to the history of SOMA and the way the neighborhood has been developed since the late 1980s/early 1990s, most buildings here are contemporary. While there are some (few) single family homes left in the neighborhood, they sit in the less developed part of SOMA, which is the area west of 5th Street. However, since the arrival of Twitter headquarters at 9th and Market Streets, that area is currently undergoing considerable development, much of which involves rezoning.

For a sense of what SOMA once looked like and the forces at work then and now, read Yerba Buena: Land Grab by Chester Hartman (published in 1974), and see Janet Delaney’s South of Market images.

Property values in SOMA vary in accordance with whether the condo, TIC or home is located east or west of 5th Street. The condos east of 5th Street, many in hi-rise buildings such as the Infinity, and One  Rincon Hill, tend to be pricey and hi-tech. In the area west of 5th Street, exact location plus an individual property’s appeal and amenities tend to drive prices.

©SFRE 2016

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San Francisco’s Cole Valley

September 15th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

San Francisco s Cole Valley

San Francisco’s Cole Valley is tucked away a few blocks away from the south-eastern end of Golden Gate Park. It’s proximity to the USCF Parnassus Campus as well as to Ashbury Heights and the Upper Haight make Cole Valley a sought-after neighborhood, especially because Cole Valley consists of only a few charming tree-lined streets and often stunning homes.

Cole Street is the commercial vein of Cole Valley; it offers cafes, restaurants, and some small shops as well as the historic and amazing Cole Hardware store. Craig Newmark of Craigslist once called Cole Valley home. The neighborhood attracts families and young professionals, has a community vibe, and is quiet. Homes in the hills surrounding the Cole Valley generally offer spectacular views. Home values tend to be high as the homes here are well-maintained and inventory tends to be low.

Recently, Cole Valley has seen several of its mom-and-pop stores abdicate to development. The Cole Valley Garage is currently undergoing renovation and becoming, among other things, a yoga studio. Cole Valley’s blog provides additional info.

The neighborhood is centrally located and offers various public transportation options, including the N-Judah stop at Cole & Carl..
©SFRE 2016

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San Francisco’s Millenium Tower

September 8th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

San Franciscos Millenium Tower

San Francisco’s Millenium Tower, the prestigious 2009 hi-rise building in SOMA, is sinking. While some settlement is natural to all buildings, the Millenium Tower has sunk a considerable amount to date. Ordinarily a building of the size of the Millenium Tower ought to be built on piles that are drilled to bedrock but it appears that this is not the case here.

The tower sits adjacent to the massive Transbay Development and the Millenium’s developer has asserted that the building’s sinking is directly linked to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority’s construction activities. Other buildings adjacent to the Transbay Development include the Salesforce Tower and 181 Fremont, another hi-rise under construction, have piles drilled to the bedrock in place (according to TJPA).

Both the developer Millenium Partners and the Millenium Tower HOA assert that the building is safe. However, inquiries, review actions, and lawsuits are just beginning. The San Francisco Association of Realtors has created a special Millenium Tower Advisory.

The Millenium Tower owners may face sinking property values, given that uncertainty does not appeal to real estate buyers and that lenders may decide to hold off on loans for the building..
©SFRE 2016

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San Francisco’s Duboce Triangle

September 2nd, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

San Francisco s Duboce Triangle

The Duboce Triangle neighborhood is located near the center of San Francisco, California just below the hilly slopes of Buena Vista Park between the neighborhoods of the Castro/Eureka Valley, the Mission District, and the Lower Haight (Wikipedia)  Although Duboce Triangle’s main attraction is its humble namesake park, this quaint residential neighborhood’s centrality contributes to its sought-after status. While this put-together neighborhood is distinctly tranquil, the bustling nightlife and shopping options of The Castro and the Mission are mere steps away. When you want to trek to more distant San Francisco destinations, Duboce Triangle’s multiple MUNI lines make it easy.


©SFRE 2016

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San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park

August 26th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

San Francisco s Buena Vista Park

San Francisco’s beautiful Buena Vista Park which affords 360 degree views of the city from the top defines the Buena Vista Park neighborhood. Buena Vista Park is adjacent to the Haight Ashbury as well as to Ashbury Heights. NoPA lies to the north of the neighborhood.


Many homes here are stunning, high-end single-family Edwardians and Victorians. There is also a large condo complex that is worth mentioning. Buena Vista Park is a small and charming neighborhood. Property values in Buena Vista Park are on the higher end with the median sales price for single family homes at $2,250,000 as of June 2016. Inventory tends to be low.


Buena Vista Park dates back to 1867 and is San Francisco’s first park in the park system. The Buena Vista neighborhood association’s efforts to make the park accessible and well-maintained have thus far been effective. The neighborhood has no commercial thoroughfare but is in walking distance to Cole Valley, the Upper and Lower Haight, and NoPA. Public transit options exist in those neighborhoods and the closest bus line is right on Haight Street at the northern edge of the park.
©SFRE 2016
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Is Subprime Back?

August 18th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

Is Subprime Back2

In spite of the meltdown that subprime was involved in In 2008, subprime appears to be back. Quietly. Essentially, those with credit scores below 680 will be in the subprime category. Those with credit scores between 680 and 739 for prime and those above that score qualify for super prime. Those classifications reflect the kind of risk that is involved with the individuals whose credit scores are reflected here.


A number of banks, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America, offer what is essentially subprime under different names. These loans allow people who have poor or no credit to qualify – and with  3% or less of the purchase price. And the Federal Government is in on this, which in essence means that the taxpayer coughs up money when loans go bad. Interesting times!


©SFRE 2016


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Outer Sunset Development News

August 11th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

Outer Sunset Development News

San Francisco’s Outer Sunset’s largely residential development is currently in the building phase. The five-story complex that will offer 56 residences at 2800 Sloat Boulevard is a short walk away from Ocean Beach. The complex has both Sloat Garden Center and the San Francisco Zoo as neighbors. It is easily accessible by public transit as well.

2800 Sloat will also include commercial space when complete. Get an idea here about what this new development will look like when done in mid-2017.  

This new addition to the Outer Sunset is the first large development in the neighborhood, which is primarily composed of single family homes and some apartment buildings.

©SFRE 2016


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SF Traffic & Mission Bay

August 4th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

SF Traffic and Mission Bay

It may come as no surprise that traffic in the Bay Area and in San Francisco has taken on somewhat nightmarish dimensions. In Mission Bay in San Francisco there are plenty of discussions about transit and of what it should look like. Some forces there say that the neighborhood should restrain growth but others claim that is not the answer. However one group has filed a lawsuit to block the development of the Golden State Warriors new arena in Mission Bay on the grounds that transit is not sufficient.

Mission Bay is of course one of the neighborhoods on the waterfront that has grown incredibly over the last 20 years. A lot of development has happened there after the clean up that cost billions of dollars – a toxic dump that the Navy left behind. Once cleaned up, this meant that now there was land available to build on in Mission Bay.

Development there started first around Townsend and the Caltrain station with luxury apartments and condos, the new AT&T Stadium, then some development of lofts along 3rd Street, followed by the UCSF building’s new campus which spreads through almost the entire neighborhood.  These developments have encouraged a huge building rush.

The Beacon and the Altera (Mission Bay condos), the Avalon apartments, the Edgewater, Channel Park, 1 Mission Bay, the Arden, the Madrid and the Radiance dot the landscape of Mission Bay.  UCSF continues to build more there. Several other developments (commercial and recreational) are in the works, including Mission Rock.

While Mission Bay is a biotech and medical hub, the Golden State Warriors plan to build a new sports arena and office complex on the waterfront which is slated to open in 2019. The San Francisco Giants are developing Mission Rock. There’s also a new hotel that is currently estimated to be completed in the summer of 2018.

This is a fast changing neighborhood and there will likely be additional items to address. The city has newly appointed parking meters on almost all streets in Mission Bay now, a sure sign that there is traffic and growth continues. Note that there is virtually no parking on 3rd Street, although 3rd Street serves as a commercial corridor.

Traffic here is likely to grow worse and the gridlock that happens in Mission Bay on game days could well become a more regular occurrence.

©SFRE 2016

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The Hot Issue of Housing in San Francisco

July 28th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

The Hot Issue of Housing in San Francisco

It is no secret that San Francisco sorely needs more housing. While there has been much new development and there is more in the development pipeline, most of what is being built fall into the luxury category. Even though every developer must provide a certain number of affordable units or pay the city in lieu of offering the prescribed number in their buildings, affordable housing is a hot button. There is simply not enough of it.

Affordable housing is likely a misnomer because it mainly affects the vanishing San Francisco middle class, which now needs to be subsidized to live here.  In order to have a vibrant city, more housing that is affordable to middle-income people is essential. Yet the city has no overall plan or vision for providing this, or at least not one that is working.

That, in turn, means that the issue of housing, whether affordable or not, is a political issue at this time. San Francisco supervisors debate about and propose solutions for affordable housing.

In order to build middle-class housing the city would likely have to make major changes because at this point developers are unmotivated to build middle-class housing (the numbers do not work out for them), market-rate housing costs too much for middle-income earners, and they do not qualify for subsidized housing.

That said, the Prop A housing bond passed in November 2015 and will provide $310 million in bonds for affordable housing. Additionally, Prop C (passed in June 2016) now requires developers to increase the number of below-market rate units from 12% to 25%. – However, these types of subsidies are bandaids versus an actual long-term solution to San Francisco’s affordable housing crisis.

©SFRE 2016


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Visitacion Valley Construction Project

July 21st, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

Visitacion Valley Construction Project

Construction on the former Schlage Lock Company site has finally started after the site has sat empty for almost twenty years. This housing project in Visitacion Valley, a southerly San Francisco neighborhood, will add 1679 units to San Francisco housing stock. It is noteworthy that this is the first large­scale housing development in Visitacion Valley, formerly a sleepier neighborhood of San Francisco but one that has garnered home buyer interest in the last decade.

The Bayside Development LLC is completing the project in phases and the first 200 housing units will be built in 2018. Two other developers also had input into the project ­ Visitacion Investment LLC andUniversal Paragon. Universal Paragon, however, is no longer involved in the project. The site is being developed in an agreement with the city. A total of 15% of the units being built will be affordable housing.

This Visitacion Valley housing project will include retail space and a grocery store, and sits adjacent to Bayshore Caltrain. The project stalled on several previous occasions but appears to be on track now.

Visitacion Valley is one of San Francisco’s neighborhoods which are seeing large­scale housing projects. Other planned developments of a similar nature are planned for India Basin, Mission Rock, and the Bayview.

©SFRE 2016

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