I was wowwed!  LEED Certified Platinum construction meticulously designed by Handel Architects.  The development is called NOVE and it contains nine homes, each with outdoor space, direct connect parking (not a common garage), bright white modern finishes, private outdoor spaces and views and lots of bright sunlight.

My favorite features were the shiny orange epoxy garage floors and the completely real looking artificial grass in the “backyards.”  That and the fact the solar panels are cleverly integrated into the curved roof design to catch more of that south sun.

These 3 and 4 bedroom homes are all designed on two levels and are well located on Guerrero between 21st and 22nd (where the Palm Broker used to be).  Just the right place for a low-carbon footprint pedestrian lifestyle.  Bargain priced at between 1.1MM and 1.6MM, but they seem to be going fast.  the two top corner townhomes are already sold.

Please let me know if you want to take a look!

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In a quick survey of adults I have taken, it appears that most of you have forgotten all about the 1938 Shirley Temple classic “Little Miss Broadway.”  In this fine film, Miss Temple plays an orphan (of course) who is adopted by the manager of a hotel populated by show business people.  She lives on the top floor (or is it the wealthy villian who does?).  In any event, drama and tap dancing ensue before the predictable happy ending.  While I never wanted to be an orphan, I did covet the real estate.

The Hamilton reminds me of this film because it is a 1930, 21 story, Art-Deco hotel that now houses 185 gracious studio condos and one gigantic, fabulous, full-floor penthouse.  While showing a studio last summer, I was told by one of the residents that the penthouse had a lap pool on the east end.  Naturally, when it came on the market, I needed to go check!  As you can see from the picture of the atrium at right, there is no pool, but there is one heck of a 360-degree view.  Add to this original marble and parquet floors, tromp o’lei backdrops and “wallpaper,” his and hers master baths (with matching view bathtubs carved of a single piece of Carrera marble), antique fireplace mantles, an outdoor space with fountain, two car parking, and a wonderful gourmet kitchen and you have over 3,800 square feet of sophisticated urban living.  Any takers?

925-fultonAs you walk up Fulton Street approaching Alamo Square, you might think that this magnificent home is a mirage caused by too much Vueve Cliquot. But no.  La Grande Dame is real and can be yours for $2,995,000… Considering what you get for $3MM just a few blocks north, this is a steal.  (Did I mention there are “grounds” and downtown views at the same time.)

This Queen Anne Mansion was built in 1895 and restored lovingly to historically appropriate modern luxury condition in 2006-2008. She’s not one of the postcard row beauties, but she’s much bigger – 4,188 perfectly sited square feet. There are six bedrooms, three full and 2 1/2 baths AND PARKING. If you want to see more, click here. And please let me know ASAP if she’s the one you can’t resist!

60-clarendon1If you have ever driven up Clarendon from Laguna Honda, you are familiar with the thrill of the City suddenly spreading out before you as if you are on the very top of the world.  If you lived at 60 Clarendon, this surreality would be a constant.  With 180 degree City and Water views from all five levels, this home is worth a peek.  It will be open this Sunday from 2 to 4 and is priced at a mere $799,000 per view story (or $3,995,000 total).  Don’t be vexed by all the stairs – it has an elevator.

123-laurel123 Laurel is elegant and well located, but architecturally pretentious, in need of bathroom and kitchen updates and a bit cramped (especially for the maid, whose room in the basement is about 8 x 10). This French Revival jewelbox was designed by architect William Gunnison and built in in 1927. At just over 2700 square feet on a 24×67 lot, this is might be the smallest house I’ve ever seen in Presidio Heights. It is on the market for the first time in 42 years for $3.75MM. This seems like a lot compared to past homes of the week in the 3MM plus range located in Noe Valley or St. Francis Woods, but in 123 Laurel’s defense, it’s located on a desirable block in Presidio Heights, one of the most expensive subdistricts in San Francisco. 2008 average sale price is $4.8MM – and that’s with 5 out of 15 sales refusing to release the sale price publically. Generally undisclosed sale prices are a fair bit higher than asking price. Incidentally, the average sale price for this type of home in 2007 was at just $4MM with 12 out of 16 sales releasing their closing price.  To see more pictures, click here.

Presidio Heights is not the only area continuing to thrive despite all the national and statewide news. I had occasion to study the much more affodable NOPA neighborhood recently and found these results for 2 bedroom/2 bath condos:

the median price in 2006 was 720,500 with six sales
In 2007 it was 745,000 with 10 sales, a 3.4% increase; and
In 2008 it was 780,000 with 4 sales, a 4.6% increase.

How about that?

Designed by Arthur Brown Jr., who also designed San Francisco”s Opera House, Veterans Building, Temple Emanuel, Coit Tower and 50 United Nations Plaza and Dedicated December 28, 1915 by Mayor “Sunny” Jim Rolph, San Francisco City hall is a quintessential example of Beaux-Arts architecture and a beacon of the “good government” era in California.  City Hall’s architecture emphasizes democratic government: the grand staircase leads not to the mayor’s office as you might expect, but to the people’s chamber -the board of supervisors meeting place. I also mention the “good government” era because the previous City Hall collapsed 1906 in its seventh year of occupancy because it’s supports were filled with newspaper and other debris due to civic corruption.

Since the retrofit following the 1989 earthquake, San Francisco’s City Hall also has a moat.  Yes, a moat.  A four-foot moat around the building allows it to move side to side without being attached to the earth.   This is called “base isolation” and City Hall is now the largest base isolated building in the world and the only isolated national landmark. It has now been designed to remain operational even after a great earthquake.

All of which makes it an exceptional place to go and vote early, should you be so inclined.  I encourage you to do so because it’s easy to get too busy to go to the polls on Election Day – and with so many crucial local, state and national issues on the ballot every vote does matter!

“Early Voting Hours at City Hall”
outside Room 48 in City Hall
8 AM to 5 PM Monday –  Friday,  
10 AM to 4 PM Saturday – Sunday (On weekends MUST enter on Grove St)

Home of The Week

September 26, 2008

This is the 3rd floor landing of 2730 Fulton Street. The stairs go up to a fabulous pentroom with roofdeck overlooking Golden Gate Park. This home is situated in the middle of a row of truly elegant homes set back from busy Fulton Street and protected from the traffic by mature street trees. I find, out looking for homes with many of you, that San Francisco is rather short on full-sized family homes. This one has it all – 5 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths on 4 levels, parking, huge kitchen and living spaces and a killer family location near the about to open Academy of Sciences, some of the best schools in town and all the activities the park has to offer. It is priced at 2.3MM, which is a bargain when you compare it to the same size house in, say, Noe Valley, or even Pacific Heights. To see more pictures, click here.