Two weeks ago I attended the South Beach Mission Bay Neighborhood Association. Alan Mark of The Mark Company was the speaker for the evening, and if you do not know who he is, just think of sales and marketing for The Infinity, The Brannan, The St. Regis, 200 Brannan, The Arterra, The Montgomery, 733 Front, and the soon to be released One Hawthorne.

Alan Mark and his company represented the sales of all of the above buildings in the South Beach and SOMA areas of San Francisco and many more since his company was founded 11 years ago. So I was dying to hear his perspective on the sales activity in the South Beach area that night.

What did he say? He said that within 2 years he sees us with a shortage of inventory in South Beach. Why? New construction loans are extremely tough to get these days. But let’s say an entity was fortunate enough to get a loan. Getting the entitlements to the land is another time-consuming hurdle that could take years. Then there’s the time it takes to build.

What is available today in new construction? As of February 2010:

  • Only 14 units are left at The Infinity
  • One Hawthorne is going to open soon with just 119 units
  • The Montgomery is sold out, and
  • The Arterra is also close to being sold out

If an entity gets that new construction loan and the entitlements to build, it could be up to 10 years before the building would be complete and ready for sale.

Realtors get accused of being overly optimistic. So I’m not going to make any recommendations; I’m just reporting this is what Alan Mark sees on the horizon. He’s pretty credible in my book. Like I said, think The Infinity, St. Regis, The Brannan, 200 Brannan, One Hawthorne….

Millennium Tower

Millennium Tower

The word is that the Millennium Tower  in San Francisco, located at 301 Mission, just inked a sale for 10.6M! This is apparently a 5000 square foot shell with beautiful views.

They recently slashed their prices by 15% and extended it to their existing buyers in response to the slower market. I wonder if this $10.6M Buyer took advantage of this discount?

Alan P. Mark of the Mark Company will be speaking to the South Beach Rincon Hill Mission Bay Neighborhood Association about how the South Beach Mission Bay neighborhood has changed, how the economy has affected the various developments/projects in the area including the Infinity, and about the launch of the second Infinity Tower.
When:  Monday, February 9th 6-7PM. Please email me if you are interested in attending!

It is safe to say we are in a buyer’s market in San Francisco. There are a few buyers out there aggressively looking for that right home. Other buyers are sitting on the fence. Is the market going to decline further? Or has there been enough softening to indicate that there is value in purchasing a home today?

Time is on one’s side whenever a real estate purchase is made. This recent NYT article  sums it up well. Ten years from now we will look back at this period as the golden age to purchase real estate. 

Talk to your lender/mortgage broker. Find out what you can qualify for.

San Francisco’s South of Market is rapidly evolving into a hot neighborhood.  As quoted in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, ‘South of the Slot’ was the original name of this industrial area located on the wrong side of the cable car tracks.  Today over 50 residential projects have been completed and many of the buyers are in high tech or finance.  What can explain the growth of this area in spite of the housing woes across the country? 

Richard Florida, author of ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’ has recently come out with the book “Who’s Your City?” This book is also covered in this recent SF Chronicle article. He states that it is the creative class that has driven our economy. San Francisco and Silicon Valley are home to some of the most brilliant entrepreneurs, scientists and artists.  Florida’s argument is that it is where you live that fuels this kind of creativity which is counter intuitive to our growing global economy.  One may believe that we can remain connected and productive anywhere in the world thanks to the internet, but ‘megaregions’ such as the Bay Area are central to this kind of innovation.

I recently read ‘Bowling Alone – Collapse and Revival of the American Community’ .  He writes in depth about the decline in social networks that tied communities together such as bowling leagues, church outings, monthly picnics and more .  People are feeling disconnected from their families and communities and the impact is a decline in education, creativity, and our overall happiness.  Perhaps the draw to the new and improved ‘South of the Slot’ aka ‘SOMA’ is the pull of social connectedness in a community that fosters creativity. I look forward to the new residents of this neighborhood.