How is Lumina Rising?

Lumia continues its ascent, with prices increasing in the homes for sale as the towers get closer to the clouds. You can compare it to our “growth chart” from November 18, 2014 when the Lumina was at about 27 stories plus the wrapped portion above.

Lumina, Tower B, photo taken on December 11, 2014 by Matt Fuller, GRI. We are not the Lumina listing agents.

Lumina, Tower B, photo taken on December 11, 2014 by Matt Fuller, GRI. We are not the Lumina listing agents.

As you can see from the image above, since November 18 (roughly 4 weeks), Lumina has added five stories to the height of Tower B.

In addition, in the above picture you can also see the beginning of the glass installation at the base of Tower B, and the installation of the walls and windows at the bottom of the Plaza C building.

Tower B is the taller of the two Lumina towers, coming in with about 42 stories of space for live, work, and play. Even with all the rains, I predict that they’ll be topping out sooner rather than later, but probably not before the end of the year.

Lumina Tower D

Tower D, along with Plaza building A, was one of two Lumina buildings where initial sales of homes began. Because Tower D and Plaza A will be occupied before the other two buildings, you would expect them to be further along.

In the photos below, you can see that Tower D was past the 20th floor by late September and is now past the 29th floor. It will be the shorter of the two towers, with 37 stories dedicated to live, work, and play for Lumina residents.

LTDSep

Tower D at Lumina, photo taken September 22, 2014 by Matt Fuller, GRI

LTDDec

Tower D at Lumina, photo taken December 11, 2014 by Matt Fuller, GRI

You can also see that they have gotten the glass curtain walls installed up to the 12th floor on Tower D. Progress!

My team does not represent the developer of Lumina, that honor goes to the fine team at Polaris Pacific. If you’d like independent buyer representation to help you shop at both Lumina and neighboring buildings (either recently built or under construction), please take a moment to get in touch.

Congrats to new residents at 1180 Fourth St. in Mission Bay

Congrats to the new Mission Bay residents at 1180 4th St. – the newest addition of homes to the Mission Bay neighborhood are these 150 homes built by Mercy housing for very-low income, low-income, as well as those formerly homeless.

More details from the fine folks at Bisnow:

Following March’s blazing fire down the street that sparked some obvious delays, Mercy Housing’s $55M 150-unit affordable housing projectis officially complete. It’s among the 2,078 apartment units completed in S.F. this year, up from 1,750 in 2013, according to Polaris Pacific. 1180 Fourth is leased out and move-ins have been underway since late summer. There were no material delays due to the fire, we hear. The project houses low income, very low income and formerly homeless individuals and families. With building design by Mithun|Solomon and Kennerly Architecture, the lobby has a framed view of the bay, and there’s a space to accommodate giant outdoor movies. There’s also 11k SF of retail lining Fourth Street, anchored by a corner restaurant (all up for lease) and a community building facing Channel Park. via TieryBisnow Newsletter

Congrats!

3 Things to Know about a New Home Inspection

Should you have brand new construction inspected? Over at jacksonfuller I’ve been writing about the disclosure packages that typically accompany home sales, so it seemed like a great time to post my thoughts here about new home inspections.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 4.59.37 PM

An example of a document a buyer may be given when purchasing in a new construction development.

While there are a variety of compelling reasons for new home inspections, there is also some smart thinking about why hiring the “typical” inspectors is a waste of money. Because pretty much all new home construction in San Francisco consists of condos, the answer is very similar to the advice I give buyers considering inspections in a condo in a larger building.

What’s the point of inspections? 

In a perfect world, the point would be to know everything that has ever happened at or near a property that could have an impact on the condition of the home. In the real world, that isn’t possible, so… I’d say a more realistic goal of inspections is to help a buyer understand the present condition of what they are buying and understand what expenses could they be responsible for if they buy the home.

In new home inspections, the present condition is rarely a concern because it’s NEW!

The bigger concern is how long will it last? And no inspector can predict the future.

What can you inspect in a condo? 

A lot of the answer to this question has to do with access and ownership. The contract we typically use in SF gives a buyer the right to do non-destructive testing within the exclusive-use areas of the condo (every new construction project also has it’s own unique contract, and few give the buyer an inspection contingency). If the use and maintenance of an area will belong exclusively to you, you are generally welcome to inspect it.

Typically, though, all of the major structures/systems are located outside of exclusive-use areas:

  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Framing and Structural Supports
  • Most building plumbing
  • Most building electrical

All of the above items are owned in common with all of the other building owners. Building owners normally delegate responsibility for common areas, as well as the day-to-day running of the condominium project, to the the homeowner’s association (HOA). Which means the items you might most want to inspect are the responsibility of the HOA.

Since you don’t (entirely) own any of the items in the above list, and you aren’t (solely) responsible for their upkeep, you can’t inspect them without the permission of the HOA. And I’ve never seen an HOA in a larger building give permission to inspect any of the common areas.

In an optimal world, though, the HOA has a well-planned replacement and repair budget that is used to fund a well-funded reserve account so that as items need repair, funds are on hand to do so without any special assessments. California state law requires the seller of a condo to provide the buyer with all relevant condo docs, including one year’s worth of meeting minutes, the budget, information about assessments (your monthly HOA bill, or any planned/pending special assessments). And these are the things  you want to inspect in a condo! 

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 5.00.23 PM

What should you know about a new home inspection?

What Should You Inspect in a New Home Inspection?

Let’s recap where we are: In a condo building, you can’t inspect the roof, foundation, or structural elements without HOA permission. HOA’s never grant that permission. And even if they did, in new construction, all of those items are going to be brand new and look great! So what should you inspect? You should work with your agent (that’s a subtle plug for us) to understand the developer’s history, which could include items like:

  • How many projects has that developer done?
  • Where?
  • How many ended up in litigation?
  • What’s the reputation of their other buildings?
  • Is the developer a “one-off wonder” that is going to cash the checks and move to a 3rd world country with no extradition treaty?
  • Or do they have a solid reputation for standing behind their work?

So are inspections in new construction important? Absolutely. But what you will be inspecting might be very different than what you thought you would be inspecting.

How Quickly is Lumina Rising?

The Lumina is growing up. Literally. As in, Lumina Rising.

LTBAug

Lumina – Tower B – August 15, 2014

We were the only real estate group invited to the groundbreaking for The Lumina, and it has been a pleasure watching the site grow from a parking lot into two towers and two mid-rise buildings.

LTBNov

Lumina Tower B – November 11, 2014

As you can see from the above pictures, in the middle of August Tower B had made it to 14 stories plus a few under wraps (I believe the wrap at the top covers up about 3 floors, but if you’ve got more precise information I’d love it if you could leave a comment and let us know). By November 11, Lumina Tower B had risen to 27 visible stories plus those under wraps. How fast is Lumina rising?

In the 12 weeks (plus a few days) between the pictures I took on August 15 and the pictures I took of The Lumina on November 11 the Tower had risen by 13 stories. So, for the sake of simplicity we can say that Lumina is rising by roughly a floor a week on Tower B.

Given that Tower B will be the taller of the two towers, coming in at 42 stories, I would expect it to top out in the late February time frame, assuming there are no weather or other delays. Tower D will rise to 37 stories, and I’m going to go back and dig through the photo library for a similar post looking at the speed at which Tower D is rising, but I would expect it to top out by the end of the year.

Sales at Lumina so far have been in Plaza A and Tower D, which will be the first two buildings to be completed – look for a release of more homes in Plaza C and Tower B in early 2016. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to be in touch if you’d like to help understand what an investment at Lumina means given the surrounding buildings and neighborhood plans.

New Construction Update & Availability

It’s going to be a black and orange evening, and whether or not the Giants can buck historical and statistical trends and win Game 7 of the World Series in Kansas City remains to be seen. While I don’t know much about Baseball, I know that regardless of what happens tonight this Friday evening will involve free candy. And lots of it. I also happen to know a lot about new construction homes in SF, so I’ll switch gears to a new construction update. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about the buildings that seem to be the home runs and those that are walking their way towards the finish line.

35 Dolores is moving full speed ahead, with scaffolding down and the exterior beginning to take shape. The bronze/burnt orange color feels to me like it probably has a bit more “staying power” than the orange we’ve seen on some of the other buildings (yes, 2299 Market, I’m thinking of you). Homes in the development are moving quickly, and occupancy is still slated for before the end of 2014. If a new home in the heart of central SF is on your shopping list, get in touch and we can update you with the specifics of particular homes, floor plans, and prices at 35 Dolores.

Across town at The Arden, the un-official city bird is hard at work. The building is pretty much sold out, but with long escrows things happen. If living in a brand new home in Mission Bay is important to you, let us know and we can work our network of off-market and private listing opportunities to see if something might be possible.

 

The Vida in the Mission continues to sell, and occupancy is slated for early 2015 (January), which keeps them on track with their original scheduled completion timeframe. The developer has updated the building address to reflect the fact that the building entrance will be on Barlett – the official mailing address for the building will be 45 Bartlett St. The building has both one and two bedroom homes remaining, some with nice north facing (downtown) views. It’s a changing neighborhood, and if you’d like to be a part of the change, our team can help make that a reality.

8 Octavia, meanwhile, is the closest of the current new construction buildings to new-resident occupancy. If all goes as planned, new owners will be getting their key fobs and moving in November. The building has a great selection of homes, and if you are looking for modern, minimalist, and Hayes Valley it’s the only game in town.

The Amero in Cow Hollow just announced that they’ve passed the 50% sold mark – no surprise given the relatively scarcity of new construction on the north end of town. We had the opportunity to attend an exclusive tour a few weeks ago, and we’d be happy to share the additional information we learned.

 

The Amero & Vida SF Begin to Take Shape

The Amero and Vida SF are both doing their best impressions of a Beverly Hills housewife recovering from plastic surgery, with the exterior wraps slowly coming off of both new buildings:

While the two buildings have very little in common other than the fact that they are both being built in 2014 and their scaffolding is coming down, in this blog post we’ve given you a two for one special!

Over in Cow Hollow, The Amero still has scaffolding up on the Filbert side of things but the wraps have come off on the Van Ness side, revealing a rather conservative design ethos that probably won’t win any awards but also is fairly unlikely to raise the hackles of anyone. Although, let’s face it – if you live in San Francisco you seem to have some duty to object to the look of any new building.

While the Amero design aesthetic may be mellow, over in the Inner Mission the design of Vida SF is anything but subtle. The building facade features a multitude of colors and panels of glass that alternate between pivoting towards or away from the building in a vertical design. When it’s time to do the rendering vs. reality on Vida, I’d say the renderings got it pretty darn accurate.

We are not the listing agents for either of these buildings, but we do offer buyers independent representation at new and existing construction across San Francisco. The Amero is listed by the fine team at the Mark Co, while the equally fine team of Polaris Pacific represents the developer of Vida.

What are your thoughts on the look and feel of these two new additions to their respective San Francisco neighborhoods? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, on our facebook page, or on twitter.

New San Francisco Home Sales Update

How is inventory looking at new construction developments across the city? Here’s what we are hearing about San Francisco home sales, let us know what you’re hearing in the comments below, on facebook, or twitter. We’ll start with what was once Hunter’s Point Naval Base (but was many things before that) and is now The Shipyard down in District 10.

The Shipyard hasn’t given out any numbers (to us, at least), on how The Olympia townhomes or Merchant homes are selling. We also haven’t been inundated with requests about independent buyer agency at the building. If you’ve heard of how they are selling, we’d love to know what you know. Feel free to shoot us an email, and we’ll of course keep any information confidential unless mutually agreed otherwise. But if you are interested, they’ve got a new release of homes this week, and prices are still in the $400,000’s. Meanwhile, at Millwheel North…

 

Move-ins are happening at Millwheel North, and the building is 75% sold from what we hear. They were out of one-bedrooms pretty much the day they opened their doors, but they have some two and three bedroom homes remaining, but given how aggressive they’ve been with their pricing, they probably won’t be around for much longer. Up 3rd St. and a little to the west we find Arden by Bosa.

 

Arden by Bosa is the largest of these three projects, but has sold by far the most number of homes. From what we hear, they are out of one bedrooms, and the pickings on the two and three bedroom homes are getting down to the final choices. We’ve been able to offer buyers some opportunities that have arisen when current purchases switch units or don’t complete their initial deposit. So if you’ve got interest in the building, sooner is probably better than later.

Linea: From Rendering to Reality

The major thing that stands out to me in the Linea renderings vs reality comparison is that the as-built Linea has a heavier, darker feel to me. Many of the renderings seemed to suggest a lightness and transparency that I don’t think made it into the final build.

The Linea hasn’t quite sold out – but they are mighty, mighty close. With that in mind, we offer you these comparisons between architectural renderings of the Linea and reality.

Market-Buchanan-v01-r08-1024x903

Image courtesy Polaris Pacific

The Linea at 8 Buchanan as envisioned and rendered (above), and as built (below). It’s pretty tough to duplicate the angle of the above rendering because that would require either using a drone right next to the US Mint facility, or being in the US Mint facility. We’ll swing by again and see how the Buchanan side of the building photographs from street level.

 

Market-street-June-4th-1024x745

Image courtesy Polaris Pacific

Linea as rendered from the Market St. perspective, and as built from a similar perspective.

What are your thoughts on the Linea building? I’d call it an improvement over what was last at the site (gas station), but as with every building in San Francisco, some people tend to love the design and others can’t stand it.

 

400 Grove begins to take shape

400 Grove has been slowly rising across the street (just to the north) of 300 Ivy, at the intersection of Grove and Gough. Quick referesher: 400 Grove will be home to 34 condos (30 market rate, 4 BMR homes) in a five-story mid-rise c-shaped building with a central courtyard.

When complete, the exterior or the building is rather angular, and you can begin to see that in the angled lines of the concrete floors.

The above picture was taken from Gough, looking to the west and south. you can see 300 Ivy in the far left side of the picture.