The Infinity Takes Shape (www.SocketSite.com)
Our previous post on The Infinity has generated some great comments from both prospective and actual buyers of The Infinity and One Rincon Hill. The early sentiment: The Infinity has a better location, One Rincon offers a better value (i.e., price), and navigating rush hour traffic will probably suck for both. A couple of other interesting snippets:

“They didn’t even have the terms of the contract yet. Even the sales agent mentioned that people were surprised at how high the prices were [at The Infinity]. We passed, but they’ve called us back about 6 times already telling us to come in.”
“I don’t know why (marketing?), but the Infinity doesn’t attract crowds like the Rincon. I’ve been there on Sats and Sundays and there’s never more than a few customers there at a time. It’s quiet and relaxing and the salespeople there are very friendly and knowledgeable.”
“…there is a one-year holding period where the buyer is not permitted to sell the unit at The Infinity.”

And it’s true, they still haven’t figured out what refrigerators will come standard (which seems a bit bizarre), and it’s possible that wall to wall carpeting will be standard on the lower floors (but upgradeable to hardwood). But as far as the initial release being nearly sold out, we seriously doubt it (still looking for hard numbers) guess it all depends upon how you define “release” (see update below). And the potential for 50% discounts? Don’t hold your breath. (Free upgrades or other incentives on the other hand…)
Let’s keep the comments going on the other post with regard to sales center experiences, building feedback, and opinions, and see if we can’t focus in on the hard numbers (inventory, prices, sales, etc.) here. We have been told that The Infinity sales center is generating between 200 and 300 registered visitors a week, but they are being incredibly tightlipped about everything else (unlike One Rincon).
UPDATE: Word on the street is 115 reservations to date, or roughly 1/3 “sold.” (Thanks for the tip!) And while it’s hard not to get jaded by the blowout over at One Rincon, 1/3 in one week is still a strong start. But don’t forget, these are $5,000 refundable “reservations” with the 3-5% deposits being made upon completion of a purchase agreement (which we confimed won’t be available until August). [Thanks to asuen435 for clarifying!]
The Infinity Starts Selling [SocketSite]
The Infinity Sales Center: SocketSite’s Inside Scoop [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by asuen435

    One correction… to reserve an unit only require a $5,000 check which is not going to be cashed. The 5% (2 bdrm +) and 3% (studio & 1 bdrm) deposit is not required until contract time, you can back out at anytime ’til then.

  2. Posted by RinconResident

    I was in the sales center last weekend and they had roughly 70 reservations and ongoing appointments so 115 to date seems correct. Contract time is estimated 30 days out…
    Judging from the previous Infinity post:
    http://socketsite.com/archives/2006/07/the_infinity_starts_selling.html
    There’s a pretty heated discussion on traffic and location between OneRincon and Infinity. It’s great reading!

  3. Posted by 1RinconBuyer

    So here’s a question. Why is it that the Infinity thinks it can get away with requiring a 5% deposit? Doesn’t the whole thing come down to what can be retained as liquidated damages under AB728 if the buyer breaches? 3% is the statutory safe harbor amount so why are they asking for 5%? To me, that’s a definite negative in the Infinity column.
    An additional 2% deposit, as opposed to 3% ,as required as 1Rincon, is not exactly chump change. On a $1MM place, that’s an additional $20K that someone needs to plunk down.

  4. Posted by RinconResident

    It’s only 5% for 2bd.
    “5% (2 bdrm +) and 3% (studio & 1 bdrm) deposit”
    I’m guessing Infinity is *prescreening* or *prequalifying* prospective buyers. A buyer that is able to come up with 5% cash at contract time may be in better position to fund when it’s time to close…

  5. Posted by Sexy & Sassy in SF

    “An additional 2% deposit, as opposed to 3% ,as required as 1Rincon” — a perfect example of what I’ve been saying from the start. I concur with you entirely, 1RinconBuyer!!!

  6. Posted by John

    Oh Sexy & Sassy, you’re all over the map! 2 days ago you were bashing Infinity. Then yesterday, you said you’d consider buying in the second Infinity building. Now it’s bashing again.
    Where do you really stand? Or are you sore you missed out on Rincon when you had a chance, and now you’re stuck with nothing?

  7. Posted by Sexy & Sassy in SF

    Not sore at all, John. And, no, not stuck with nothing either. I have been pre-qualified for both, so if I wanted to waltz into either place with a check, I’m sure they’d both be happy to take my deposit as I would be dropping a 50% down; it’s just a matter of whether or not I want to. I’ve “chosen” to pass, remember. Also, passing doesn’t mean it’s the end from the development’s standpoint. I will still get my pick of upcoming releases.
    And, no, I’m not all over the place. If you’ve read carefully — apparently, you have not — I said I’d be willing to pay a higher $ for the views of the second buildings. My comments all along have been with regard to the overall quality of the finishings and lack of preparedness of The Infinity in comparison to 1 Rincon. So get your facts about my posts straight before going into a tizzy fit, huh?

  8. Posted by John

    No, not in a tizzy fit. Just wanted to get you all riled up as your comments are both funny and entertaining! 😉
    I’m sure most readers and posters over the last couple days get a kick reading all these strong opinions, rants and raves.
    Now really, since you’re pre-qualified on both, where are you leaning?? The longer you wait, the higher prices will go…

  9. Posted by Save Your Money

    Sexy & Sassy: save that 50% deposit! For that amount, you’ll be able to buy one of these units outright in a few years.

  10. Posted by Amen Corner

    “The longer you wait, the higher prices will go…”
    Because real estate prices only go up, right?

  11. Posted by John

    “The longer you wait, the higher prices will go…
    Because real estate prices only go up, right?”
    Well, in Rincon and Infinity’s case, the answer is “YES”. Now, will prices be the same or higher (or lower!) in 2 years when the buildings are finish?? Well that’s a question no one can answer…

  12. Posted by 1RinconBuyer

    “Well, in Rincon and Infinity’s case, the answer is “YES”. Now, will prices be the same or higher (or lower!) in 2 years when the buildings are finish?? Well that’s a question no one can answer…”
    Well said, John.
    It totally depends on your outlook. If a person is merely looking to flip the unit and make a profit, that’s a pretty risky proposition at this particular point in time.
    However, for someone looking to either hold or live in the unit for 5-6 years, that’s an entirely different proposition.

  13. Posted by SaveYourMoney

    Just because a building has nice views, doesn’t imply that it will only go higher in price. What are the monthly condo fees on these units? Are there any restrictions from turning these units into rentals?

  14. Posted by Anonymous

    Probably not a blanket restriction against renting……but there are likely some restrictions on renting out units. A blanket ban might constitue an unreasonable restraint on the owner’s property right.
    Also, it’s not just the views., it’s supply and demand. The bottom line is that the demand is not going to just dry up. It will most certainly outpace the supply in the area for some time. It’s not like this is Miami or Manhattan where there are high-rise luxury condos all over the place.
    This is the wave of the future in this part of San Francisco and it will take quite some time before a price equilibrium is established, if it ever does at all.

  15. Posted by John

    Both Rincon and Infinity are allowing a very, very limited number of investors, if any at all. Also, seems both will have a one year restriction on selling so flipping is not an option. Renting will probably be restricted somewhat by the HOA.
    So will these 2 buildings turn into a flippers dream or apartment city?? I seriously doubt it… I think in the long run they will become a much sought after place to live and will hold their value quite well.
    As Anonymous said, there are only so many luxury highrises in SF, unlike Manhattan or Miami…

  16. Posted by Amen Corner

    “Well, in Rincon and Infinity’s case, the answer is “YES”. Now, will prices be the same or higher (or lower!) in 2 years when the buildings are finish?? Well that’s a question no one can answer…”
    So in other words the answer is not “yes” but “don’t know”. They very well may be seliing for more when the actually exist, but there are also plausible arguments that that might not be the case.
    “Also, it’s not just the views., it’s supply and demand. The bottom line is that the demand is not going to just dry up. It will most certainly outpace the supply in the area for some time.”
    Could well be the case. Otoh, the interesting time is when these towers are finished and folks have to come up with real money to buy. Are they going to sell existing condos in other buildings to do so? Are they going to rent an existing property to move here? Or are they buying 2nd/3rd homes etc?

  17. Posted by SaveYourMoney

    Amen Corner, these condo salesfolks will tell you that the buyers are mostly wealthy foreigners who just want a place to hang their hat when they are in town. I choose to believe otherwise.
    Even with a one year restraint on selling and flipping, I imagine at least 30-40% of people buying are doing so with the intention to flip after that first year or prior to closing by reassigning their contract.

  18. Posted by highrise

    Hi.. can anyone tell me what the price range is for these units? There’s no info at all on their webpage. I can afford about $800K… do i even have a chance for a unit with a view?

  19. Posted by John

    For 800k, you probably can get a 1bd with a view. If you’re looking for a 2bd with a view, it’ll cost you in the mid to high 900s for sure for a floor in the teens…
    If you go to the sales center, they can give you more concrete pricing…

  20. Posted by Christopher

    There’s already someone on Craigslist trying to flip a unit at One Rincon…
    $920000 – 1BR w/Water Views and Balcony at Once Rincon Hill (SOMA / south beach)
    Reply to: hous-185690303@craigslist.org
    Date: 2006-07-24, 11:00AM PDT
    One Rincon Hill will be one of the tallest residential buildings “west of the Mississippi” and has the potential to become a landmark building, changing the San Francisco skyline. With over 80% sold in the first week, there are only about 70 units left in the 1st and taller tower. Completion is not scheduled until 2008, which leaves only a 3% deposit down, until completion in another 1.5-2yrs.
    I have a 1 bedroom 1 bath unit above the 40th floor, with a balcony, aproximately 750sqft(not including balcony) reserved in the highly sought after 08 stack(which is the a corner facing Downtown and the Waterfront). My reserve price is $870k, but 1)developer has raised them $60k 2)you probably could not even get this stack because they are all reserved 3)if you go through sales office, you must owner occupy for at least 1yr, but this one is grandfathered because reserved early.
    I am asking $920k, or best offer for my unit. We would sign purchase agreement together and close escrow, from which I’d quit claim off title.
    No agents/commissions/solicators please!

  21. Posted by Sexy & Sassy in SF

    Hey, highrise: Nope, sorry. If you’re looking for something in The Infinity, the only units in the 800K range are in the mid-rises, not the highrises, in which case, they told me they’re all sold out. You wouldn’t even be able to get one in the teen floors, as the 9th floor, 2 BD starts at $1.2 MM.
    Like “Save Your Money Says,” I’m willing to speculate that what goes up, must come down. I bet in a couple of years, you’ll be able to pick one (or two) up in a fire sale!!!
    And to answer your question, John, I’m not leaning towards either building. There are so many great projects in the pipeline; I’m keeping my options open. I don’t “need” to buy; I just would like to.

  22. Posted by InterestedBuyer

    Does anyone know the square footage for floorplan 06 at One Rincon?

  23. Posted by Frederick

    1 Rincon Hill Future offered on Craig’s List for $920K. 1 bedroom 1 bath unit above the 40th floor, Seller holds a reserve price is $870k.
    It is assumed the Seller would pay the City Transfer tax of .75% or $6,900. Netting the Seller $913,100. With the Seller holding the property for 1 day to 1 week, to close the resale, the Seller would get to pay the IRS a 50% short term capital gain and the State 10+-% or 60% of his gain. So a net return to the Seller of $17,240.
    Also the Seller is asking for a price, to be agreed upon now, of $920K or $50K over his price. Assuming the unit will not be occupied for 2 1/2 years that represents an annual gain of 2.2%.
    What happens if the market turns down by the time the sale closes? Who losses the 3% deposit if the Buyer(s) do not close the sale?
    1 Rincon Hill is on today’s leading edge of SF high-rise construction, just ask the owners at the Metropolitan, 1/2 block away, where 16 units are on the market for sale today.
    How many of the 342 owners were told by the developer/broker that 1 Rincon Hill or the 2 phases of the Infineon (600 units in 2 towers and 800 units in 2 additional towers) were going to happen, when the Met was 1st occupied in 2004? What is going to happen to the views at the Metropolitan when the 4 towers at The Infineon are completed?
    Now, what is going to happen to the views at 1 Rincon and its sister tower? How high is the new building at the 76 gas station across the street to be (40+)? How about the new building at the Union Hall on the other corner (40+) and The Californian, further down Harrison? Will these new buildings block views to the east and north, from units on the 40th floor and lower at 1 Rincon Hill? How about the 4 towers at the Infinity, how will they change the views from 1 Rincon Hill? How about the new 40+ story (400+ condos) Millennium Partners building, now under construction across from the Trans Bay Terminal on Mission St?
    And the best is yet to come. How will the two 850 foot tall buildings on Mission St, next to the Trans Bay Terminal change the views?
    And finally, how about the 1,000 ft tall building that the Planning Dept & the Mayor are supporting? Will that block the 50+ story – 1 Rincon Hill?
    The City is exploding, with the 350+ reservations at 1 Rincon Hill and 200+ reservations at The Infinity. With the leverage offered to buyers with a 3% deposit, no wonder 500 gamblers have played their cards.
    But, those possible buyers better do some research, to find out what they are really going to get for a view.
    Frederick

  24. Posted by John

    Frederick, you sure have a lot of knowledge about what’s happening in Rincon/Soma area! I can see the Met being almost completely surrounded in 2-3 years. That’s why they’re selling…
    Which development would you buy if you had your pick? I’m betting on the Infinity (Bay views, or S Bay views as nothing will block those views in the future…) The 2nd building especially will have unobstructed views from S Bay all the way to Golden Gate. But that’s a year or so away from opening sales…

  25. Posted by Frederick

    As far as the building that has the most promise, as the owner/user building in the next 5 years, in the Rincon SOMA area, you have to consider if this facination with high rise living in San Francisco is going to be long lasting. If you look at the entire SF market for condominiums and coop apartments, the sales of high rise apartments is still a small % of the total SF sales.
    You must remember that most of the sales of new construction since 1995 were done directly between the developer/sales marketing team and the buyers. The real estate brokerage community has been discouraged from representing buyers of new product for over 11 years.
    The developer/sales marketing team as usually paid a 1% commission to an agent representing a buyer, as compared to the 2 1/2% to 3% commission that an agent representing a buyer is normally paid in the re-sale market. Thus an agent representing a buyer, faces two issues in trying to assist a buyer in SOMA.
    (1) They have to work for a 67% discount (when was the last time your boss said “Work for 1/3 of what you are use to getting?”. and (2) any agent representing a buyer found it near impossible to find out recent comparable sales to help their buyer’s as to what the current market price to pay for units in the same building that sold in the last 6 months to a year. It was and is, Buyer Beware.
    The developer had no responsibility to share with future buyers, what actually had been the selling prices for closed units, including any discouts or credits, that the developer may have had to credit the other buyers with to close the previous sales in the same building.
    In addition, each project from the Oriential Wharehouse to all 3 towers of The Brannan, to 200 Brannan, to Embarcadero South, to The Four Seasons, The St Regis, and virtually all the new projects built in the past 10 years, worked with the assessors’s office to keep the acutal sales quite, from the public. Each project had it’s own special manner of keeping the actual sales prices from the public. So a real estate agent could not help a buyer with advice as to how to make a competitive offer.
    Therefore Buyers were often not represented, when they purchased. Just ask your neighbors in SOMA/Rincon Hill, if they had ever heard of the projects under construction, approved or being considered (over 25,000 units according the the SF Planning Department).
    If fact, today, the orignial purchase price of over 4,000 units in San Francisco have never been credited as being sold by Data Quick or Metro Scan, which buy data from the assessor’s office, but which data the assessor’s office makes it difficult for these data processing companies to find out about or publish. Even though the St Regis has closed escrow on the sale of 106 condominiums, last week, at an average price of $2.4M, no one knows. Not Metro Scan, not Data Quick, not the San Francisco MLS and certainly not the public. But there are people living in most of these 4,000 condominiums.
    Getting back to the building with the most promise, a Buyer should consider (1) what buildings have been approved by the Planning Department and the height/size/number of units/floor plan size/parking & amenties that are near the building the buyer is interested; (2) what buildings are proposed in the Rincon Hill and TransBay Terminal plans and (3)what other projects that may be approved/built that may be competitive with those properties including, but not limited to The Ritz, 8 Washington at Drumm(180 units across the street from the Ferry Building with water views), The Musto Builing on Battery and 55 Francisco St.
    Who knows what will happen with the Port of SF properties on each side of their sea wall lots from Pier 39 to Candelstick Point (some are specualting housing, similiar to the deal the Port made to build the Watermark).
    In the end, if future buyers can adjuct to the congestion/density of the new Rincon/Transbay area, then TODAY, I would bet on the 2nd tower of the Infinity. It sould not have the traffic gridlock that most other Rincon Hill buildings will have to deal with AND, if you get a floorplan that is over the Hills Brothers buildings (20_+ floors) you should be able to keep the view of the Ferry Building and Bay to the north and the Bay Bridge to the east/south.
    Each of the other buildings to be built will have it’s own special issues both positive and negative.
    Another factor to consider is the wave of new retail that is about to “blow apart the SF Retail market”. Since the 1950’s & 1960’s when the SF Retail market was king in retail sales in Northern California, the City has not dominated the retail market. The emergence of retail centers in the Peninsula, the South Bay, East Bay and Marin satisfied consumers.
    Now, within a month or two the new Westfield San Francisco Centre is set to open. The project will feature the second largest Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom in the country. In addition, the project will maintain a mix of 200 specialty stores and exclusive boutiques, a state-of-the-art Century Theatre Multiplex, an International Gourmet Marketplace, and first-class office space on the top three floors, making Westfield San Francisco Centre a self-contained business hub that answers the call for commerce, couture, community, cuisine, culture – and more.
    Rumor has this complex will tripple the number of shoppers to come to SF. How exactly will this new flow of commerce affect the proposed mid-Market housing boom?
    If you live here, enjoy the ride, if you don’t live here yet, the best is yet to come, even the Giants may win the World Series.
    Frederick

  26. Posted by Alex1whn

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