CFAH

Soma Grand (Image Source: somagrand.com)

Soma Grand Floorplan.jpg

Soma Grand represents San Francisco based Joie de Vivre’s entrée into the world of condominium developments. Designed by Architecture International, Soma Grand will consist of 246 “lifestyle condos” above four floors of parking and offer residents a full compliment of Joie de Vivre style luxury hotel services.

As Damion Matthews reports, “construction is moving along at a nice pace”:

The exterior and windows are going up. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 22-story building meets the scheduled completion date of November 2007. Not as high-profile as the Rincon Hill buildings, this well thought-out project should be the hot new thing on the 2007 condo market (I believe it’s the largest new development to be ready for completion in 2007, as well.)

Services at the Soma Grand will include a full-time concierge team, housekeeping services (“executed by hotel-trained room attendants”), on-site yoga classes, and around the clock “complimentary Peet’s coffee and tea” in the lobby (hey, it’s the little things).

A couple of design features that caught our attention include a “Spa Room and Meditation Garden,” “South Beach-style cabanas, lush landscaping and water features,” and “BBQs and a community fire pit.” And did we mention that it will be a City Car Share location?

The sales office is slated to open “Early 2007” and the condominiums will range in size from Junior one bedrooms to three-bedroom two-bath units. No official word on pricing, but we’ll keep you posted.

Condominiums offer an increasingly popular alternative to traditional homes. However, if you live in a condo, it is still important that you take out insurance to protect your property and your belongings.

When you buy a condo, you do not own the building or the land your condo sits on, but you do own everything on the inside of the condo including the internal walls. This is why people get confused about the amount of dwelling coverage for condominiums and why condominium insurance is vital.

There are a wide variety of insurers out there that offer condo insurance, so do not be afraid to shop around by looking online using websites such as simplyinsurance.com. Once you are on their site, you should be able to find a policy that provides the coverage you need at the best possible price.

Ultimately, because you are not renting the unit, and you do not own the building, you need coverage for your personal property and therefore, a condo insurance policy can help protect the interior of your home.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by 49Giants

    Housekeeping?! Holy cow. Man, now THAT’s swanky. Will these services by complimentary (included in the HOA dues) or do you gotta shell out to get them?

  2. Posted by 1RinconBuyer

    See…..here’s a perfect example of what I’ve been talking about……that floor plan above is doggy doo doo…..it’s almost as though no thought went into it whatsoever.
    The bedrooms and the bathrooms are all squooshed together (technical term, I know) on one side of the condo and the kitchen is basically a galley kitchen that is located right next to the front door. Absolutely terrible. Why would anyone pay serious coin for that?
    If you want to know what a real floor plan looks like, check out the 06 plan (Floors 8-27) at 1Rincon (unfortunately, it’s not on their website). Now that’s a thoughtful design.

  3. Posted by Anonymous

    I’m sure it will be as lot less expensive than One Rincon.

  4. Posted by Anonymous

    I agree. I just can’t stand having rooms without ANY windows. Many of the smaller units in this development and the Infinity have not windows. It’s basically like calling a large walk-in closet a den. The only thing I could think using rooms with no windows for would be a media room but how many people buying these smaller units have a dedicate media room?

  5. Posted by 1RinconBuyer

    If so, I’m fine with that…..but please don’t insult a buyer’s intelligence by saying things like, “this well thought-out project should be the hot new thing on the 2007 condo market.”
    If by “well though-out” and “hot new thing”, that merely means the newest thing, then I have no argument with that. If it’s meant to mean anything more, that’s just plain silly.

  6. Posted by Anonymous

    If it’s a bedroom without a window then technically I believe it IS a storage room, but it’s being used as a bedroom.

  7. Posted by tipster

    8th and Mission? What a wonderful, wonderful location –NOT. Free coffee in the lobby should prove popular for the neighborhood (ahem) non-locational residents.
    This property is coming soon, to a rental agency near you.

  8. Posted by redseca2

    I just noticed the address. Is this the construction that is going on just west of the new Federal Building on the Mission street side? If it is, hopefully better than average security.

  9. Posted by 1RinconBuyer

    Wow……is it as far down as 8th Street???
    Good luck, guys.
    Any takers for the old reliable “sub-optimal” neighborhood reference?
    I personally am revising “toilet” and “war zone” just to hammer the point home.

  10. Posted by Anonymous

    The location is not much better than 1Rincon’s. Both are “sub-optimal”, though 1160mission is more of a war zone area, 1Rincon will have lots more traffic than 1160mission not to mention the gas station across the street that attracts homeless ‘window washers’.

  11. Posted by Anonymous

    Once One Rincon is done that area is going to change. I did not buy but you can not compare this corner to Rincon hill. This area is really out of control. And now Trinity is not going to be built is a major bummer for the prospects of this block. I hear there is less homeless in SF but it seems to me there is more random mayham and violence as I travel around the mid market area. Will be an interesting next few years.

  12. Posted by Anonymous

    The location is not much better than 1Rincon’s. Both are “sub-optimal”, though 1160mission is more of a war zone area, 1Rincon will have lots more traffic than 1160mission not to mention the gas station across the street that attracts homeless ‘window washers’.
    Your comparison between Rincon Hill, the area (and specifically where 1Rincon is located) versus 8th and Mission is cause for hysterical laughter….thank you, truly, I though my day was going to end on such a boring note.

  13. Posted by greg

    I just took a walk past this the other day. So far, I’m very unimpressed by the design.
    And it’s smashed between the new Federal building and the Trinity Plaza Apartments. From some vantage points it almost looks as if it’s attached to the Federal complex.
    It will be interesting to see what happens to Soma Grand when (if?) the Trinity Plaza complex is demolished and the new 1900 unit Arqitectonica complex (1177 Market) is built in its place.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/08/08/DDGQVKBO1T1.DTL

  14. Posted by Michael

    While I’ll be the first to agree that the neighborhood is currently sketchy, it’ll change. So the real question is, at what price is it worth dealing with the current “sub-optimal” location and waiting (in one hell of a little haven) for the neighborhood to change? (At $400/sqft they could probably sell the place out ten times over, while at $1,000/sqft it’s not going to happen.)
    Keep in mind that ten years ago Mission Bay as a wasteland (anyone remember the RV park?), and you probably would have been laughed out of town for suggesting anyone build one of the most expensive developments in the city five blocks down at 3rd and Mission (the St. Regis).

  15. Posted by Anonymous

    Very true Michael. Between SOMA Grand, The Hayes & Trinity this neighborhood is on the cusp of a sea change. Appropriate pricing will be the key to these projects success. Hayes is currently pulling atleast 1K per square foot so the SOMA Grand sales peeps will most likely be thinking in the same pricing vein.

  16. Posted by Anonymous

    Maybe it’s me……..but even for the off its rocker SF market, given what else is out there……$1000/sq ft for this place would be just plain nuts.

  17. Posted by Damion

    Why are people mentioning $1000 psf for SomaGrand? They said it’s “midrange” — which would be in the $600s psf on the low end up to the $800s at the high end. 140 South Van Ness, which is the nearest comparable property, is at $650 psf right now, with views and amenities that aen’t nearly as nice.
    Re. the neighborhood — it’s not as bad as 6th and Mission, and with the Fed Building there it’s going to get better. Aside from that, do condo owners hang out in front of their building? You leave and you come back, you don’t hang out in the front. I mean, I don’t think anyone has seen Al Gore or Terry Semel walking down 3rd and Mission.

  18. Posted by Anonymous

    “do condo owners hang out in front of their building? You leave and you come back, you don’t hang out in the front. I mean, I don’t think anyone has seen Al Gore or Terry Semel walking down 3rd and Mission.”
    I see where you’re trying to go with that….but that’s kind of a stretch….unless you’re planning to build a helicopter pad on top of the building and pull a Trump every time you need to leave, you’ll still need to do a minimal amount of walking in and around the area and that could get sketchy.

  19. Posted by deshard

    Aren’t there already plans in the works for tearing down the Trinity Apts to make way for new construction? I think, if priced right they’ll be a great investment as that area is defnitely on the cusp of regentrification. As well, you’re less than a block from the BART/Muni Civic Center Station and three blocks from Westfield Center and much more.

  20. Posted by tipster

    Mission Bay development started twenty years ago. If you want a maybe good investment for the year 2026, buy this place if it’s $400/sq ft, otherwise, good luck selling it for the next 15 years.
    And if they bought the land for what I think they bought it for, they won’t be able to part with it for anywhere near that price.
    And before you compare too favorably with Mission Bay, Mission Bay had a SINGLE LANDOWNER for the entire place. They could develop it using a single master plan in which all the landowners (all one of them) could agree on the development plan.
    In contrast, this place is in a sea of small absentee landlords, most of whom aren’t going to gentrify anything. The Mission Bay model aint gonna happen here. What’s gonna happen here is nothing. This place will remain as an island in an ocean of crappy run down places.
    Trust me, this place will be rentals in a year.

  21. Posted by greg

    Yes deshard, Trinity Plaza is slated to be demolished and replaced with a 1,900 unit development. See my previous post.
    That means that Trinity’s current 360 rent-controlled apartments may ultimately be replaced by 1,900 units, all on 4 acres. Plus the existing 246 units of Soma Grand on the adjacent parcel. That comes to at least 2,146 units on the block bounded by Market/Mission/7th/8th.
    That’s residential density for you.

  22. Posted by curmudgeon

    “do condo owners hang out in front of their building? You leave and you come back, you don’t hang out in the front.”
    that makes me laugh..but it just shows we all have different priorities. I wouldn’t consider buying a place that I didn’t WANT to hang out in front of. I hang out in front of my place all the time. Gossip with my neighbors, enjoy the view, take care of my little patch of greenery. I live in a city like SF so I can live in a community…not an isolated fortress.

  23. Posted by Christopher

    This building is going up right outside my office window. As someone who is in this neighborhood on a daily basis, I can assure you that it is a complete and utter toilet. New buildings will not have the power to change what permeates this block and the far-stretching areas around it. Sorry for the bleak outlook.

  24. Posted by Anonymous

    So are developers supposed to stick to Rincon Hill and Mission Bay, where one building ends up blocking the view of the next, where streets get more and more clogged, and prices for new developments get further and futher above the $1000 psf range?
    Meanwhile, there’s blocks and blocks and blocks of development opportunity in the heart of the city being absolutely neglected.
    Fine, do that — just develop at Rincon, and continue to cater to the rich and investor class. But I applaud the Soma Grand developers for seeking a different buyer. Soma Grand isn’t about ego, about being in the tallest building with the biggest views and the highest price. Soma Grand is about city living. You know, CITY — a place where there’s rich, poor and in-between. Where you take the bus or the subway to work.
    I think this is a fantastic opportunity for people who actually live and work in the city to be able to have a high-rise experience and great views in a new property for a more reasonable price than something at Rincon Hill.

  25. Posted by Anonymous

    To the last poster……I don’t know this for a fact….but I imagine the idea is that in 10-15-20 years, the two areas will have developed in the direction of one another such that you will have one contiguous new residential area.
    Does anyone have any hard data to support my theory?

  26. Posted by Anonymous

    I don’t know if South Beach is going to combine into mid-Market, but what is going to happen is the redevelopment of the mid-Market/Civic Center area. Symphony Towers is being built not too far away as well (on Van Ness). But that area from 5th to Van Ness just can’t be ignored anymore.

  27. Posted by Dude

    I agree the area isn’t great. I personally would be scared to wander around there at night right now. Also, I’m pretty bearish on real estate as an investment and would never buy a property I didn’t plan to live in. But would I buy in this building at $400/sq. ft.? You betcha. $450? Maybe. $500? Likely not….might need to throw some plasmas and pergo at me.
    Compare “desirable” areas in SOMA today to what they looked like 10 years ago. Startling difference, right? I don’t think this area will ever be Nob Hill – you’ll always have some post-skid-row grit. But it could be an extension of what you find in the eastward areas of SOMA in a few years.

  28. Posted by tipster

    I can tell you exactly what is going to happen. The developer will come out at $775 psf. No real buyer will be found. The developer will lose his shirt and rent them for half the mortgage.
    The other developers will see this, and no one will come near that area for a very long time.
    Will the two areas “grow together”? Not in your lifetime. And certainly not soon enough to make anything over $400 psf worth the risk.

  29. Posted by Anonymous

    With the new Bloomingdales, bars and clubs on 6th Street, the beautiful (Green) Federal building, Harvest Urban Market on 8th, all the artists in the area – this feels to me like a REAL San Francisco location…
    Remember how terrible 4th/Mission was before Yerba Buena Gardens opened in the early 90s? Now look at it. I think this is fast becoming a hot new neighborhood – and somewhere for those of us who love this City to live.

  30. Posted by Anonymous

    $400/sq ft is never gonna happen. Especially with the cost of contruction these days as well as the cost of purchasing the land.
    Say a 2 bedroom 1100Sqft condo @ $400/sqft comes out to $440k. Even at $500/sqft comes out to $550k. Now when have we seen those kind of prices in SF for brand new condos?
    I say they start at $650/sqft minimum and even going up to $1000/sqft for upper level view units.

  31. Posted by Damion

    An average-sized (700 sf) one-bedroom condo at $775 psf would be about $550,000. That’s just a little more than the price of a junior one-bedroom resale at The Beacon (no view, no ac, pending lit., etc etc.) Not a bad price at all and very achievable.

  32. Posted by Anonymous

    “With the new Bloomingdales, bars and clubs on 6th Street, the beautiful (Green) Federal building, Harvest Urban Market on 8th, all the artists in the area – this feels to me like a REAL San Francisco location…”
    Totally agree. This project and the one on Hayes Street, the big one by the DMV… these are the ONLY condos being built in areas with access to the city. Want to be out front of your building? Would you rather be under the Bay Bridge or walking distance to Hayes Valley, all the new restarants at 5th and Mission, etc.

  33. Posted by Dude

    “Say a 2 bedroom 1100Sqft condo @ $400/sqft comes out to $440k. Even at $500/sqft comes out to $550k. Now when have we seen those kind of prices in SF for brand new condos?”
    People have short memories. 2001/2002. Right before a few consecutive years of unprecedented real estate investment/speculation driven by negative real interest rates. $400 might be a stretch, I agree, but I could see this particular property going down to $500.

  34. Posted by deshard

    I still think it’s got real potential [Removed by Editor: We love you deshard, but please no fanning the flames…]

  35. Posted by Anonymous

    The importance of the price per square foot is such a subjective issue because, although any buyer wants to purchase for as low as possible, it all really depends on the particular buyer’s outlook…..is the buyer a flipper? is the buyer planning to live in the home for 1-2 years, 3-5 years, 7-10 years?

  36. Posted by Damion

    I asked Chip Conley (of Joie de Vivre) about the project this evening during his presentation at the Book Passage (he has a new book coming out.) He was very enthusiastic about it, and likes that it’s an opportunity to improve the area.
    For those who have their doubts about the neighborhood, keep in mind that Mr. Conley just bought four hotels a block away, at 7th Street! So he is comitted to a long-term improvement the area, not just selling some condos.
    He mentioned that included in the HOA fee is free maid service twice a month.
    There’s also going to be a pod for a City Car Share in the garage.

  37. Posted by Damion

    (Correction: since the maid service is included in the HOA fee it isn’t actuall “free” — it’s just that it’s an extra service that other condos don’t offer, and you can take advantage of it without paying an hourly fee, etc..)

  38. Posted by Anonymous

    Damion..when you say “take advantage of it without paying an hourly fee”…what are you saying?? that I can take advantage of the maid without paying an hourly fee!! Sign me up!!

  39. Posted by Damion

    I’m not sure if you need a realtor to answer that… or a pimp.

  40. Posted by tipster

    He’ll only be able to continue “improving” the area for as long as the banks or other investors continue to loan him money. If he sells out the place, they will. If he has problems, he may not have such a long term committment.
    And I have a real concern that these kinds of islands don’t really improve an area at all. When you create that great of a disparity between the current residents and the new ones, the new ones treat the new residence as a fortress to which they drive back and forth.
    They don’t patronize the retail in the area, and so the retailers actually LOSE business from the new residence and the area suffers. He’s be better finding something that moves up a bit, without creating such a huge disparity.
    Look at all those SOMA lofts around 6th street and Natoma. That’s exactly what has happened with them. They went up 5 years ago and the neighborhoods haven’t gotten one iota better. And the lofts are still a difficult sell, falling first in a difficult market.

  41. Posted by Damion

    I think the redevelopment of the area is going to count on several different kinds of actions — more loft condos, upgrading of the hotels (Chip Conley’s four projects), new commercial (like the Fed building), new retail, further attention to landscaping (like the recent changes to 6th and Mission), more quality rentals (like the Trinity project), further attention to the needs of low-income folks (like the new low-income housing on 6th), new high-rise developments, street cleanup, further attention from the City in terms of public safety.
    It’s not just one thing. It takes time, and it takes commitment, but we’re slowly seeing all these different factors coming together. SomaGrand is a big part of it, and if it works it will lead the way for more developers and more ideas of how to create what SHOULD be a vibrant, exciting part of the city.

  42. Posted by pshaw

    I am submitting an offer today for a gorgeous TIC unit in that immediate area. People think it’s a crappy area but that probably helps make it affordable for average-income me, so fine. It’s close to places where I spend a lot of time: Downtown, the Mission and my current neighborhood, Hayes Valley (which has become chi-chi, but still has issues, just like anywhere). I think my soon-to-be new ‘hood is fine, and will improve. It’s not for everyone obviously.

  43. Posted by nk

    No amount of new construction can substitute for a modicum of public order and safety. That’s the job of city authorities, and they’re not even attempting to control the chaos in the neighborhood. If anything, Chris Daly recently sabotaged a plan to form a community-benefits district which would have involved more security patrols. Sorry, I agree with the description of SOMA Grand as an island in a sea of chaos, and I can’t see that changing in the forseeable future.

  44. Posted by Meredith

    I’ve lived on Natoma between 7th & 6th for 8 years. I tell people I LOVE the location, hate the neighborhood. Which isn’t entirely true. On my block there is a strong neighborhood community and a lot of ‘flow through’ from 6th Street. Kids play ball on my street, every Sunday people are out washing their cars…it’s true mix. I never intend to sell my place as I bought it low and do believe in 20 years I am going to be sitting on prime real estate. But I have a very long term position on the neighborhood and always have. 6th Street has been skid row for a few decades and may or may not be cleaned up ala South Park which still has a drug flavor on one end.
    I do however frequent the local bars, restaurants, and shops as do all my neighbors and the other residents I sold to in the area. I walk most places during the day, only walk at night with friends which is good advice even in the Marina where 2 of my friends have been mugged. Dont let pretty trees and clean streets give you the illusion of safety…that being said I could do with Power washing of the streets on a weekly basis – haven’t gotten around to organizing that one yet, but it’s on my to do list.

  45. Posted by anonymous

    “Hanging out” in front of one’s building is one thing, being able to walk outside your building and go a block or 2 to a decent restaurant, bar, lounge, bookstore, etc is a another. Until condo owners in the SomaGrand are able to have those amenities, the price per square foot should remain on the low side.

  46. Posted by Anonymous

    I also spoke with Chip Conley about this project. He explained that there are other MAJOR projects either underway or recently done which will have a dramatic effect on this area. From above: “go a block or 2 to a decent restaurant”… this project is exactly 2 blocks from the new Bloomingdales project which has an upscale Bristol Farms grocer, the new Slanted Door, and Bradley Ogden’s new restaurant- one of Calirfornia’s best restauranteurs (One Market Restaurant, etc.) It is one block from Harvest Urban Market – one of the best neighborhood markets in the city. It is also one block from BART and MUNI. Those are conveniences that seem pretty meaningful to mne.

  47. Posted by deshard

    I think that the Joie de Vivre plans for the nearby hotels and the tear down of the Trinity Apts. will have a huge effect on turning that neighborhood around. Especially the Trinity Apts. I walk that corner coming up from Muni to walk 8th St. home (at Harrison- in the Ironworks Lofts) and the worst part is that brick wall that fronts that parking lot. It stinks to high heaven from urine and once that’s gone things should improve. Will it be as pristine (and some could argue, soul-less) as South Beach or Rincon Hill? Probably not. And how long will it take? Overnight? By 2008? No one knows for sure, but we think it will happen.

  48. Posted by greg

    I agree with deshard that the Trinity property redevelopment will have a huge positive impact on the neighborhood.
    And it can’t happen fast enough, in my humble opinion. The Trinity Apartments are a sprawling suburbanesque eyesore (and nose-sore) as well as an incredible waste of land.
    There’s another parcel on the southwest corner of Mission/8th that’s just as “ripe” for development.
    It’s also interesting to note that none of the posters here have yet mentioned the proximity to the Orpheum Theater, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, SFMART, City Hall, the Asian Art Museum, and the Main Library.

  49. Posted by greg

    …not to mention Davies Symphony Hall, War Memorial Opera House, and Heart of the City Farmer’s Market.

  50. Posted by Dan

    But will the new Trinity apartments get built– with the Board of Supervisors rejecting the project this week?
    http://www.examiner.com/a-386191~Board_rejects_Trinity_Plaza_deal.html

  51. Posted by Anonymous

    They just have to add more BMR housing. The developers are stupid if they’re going to let that hold them back.

  52. Posted by a guest insight

    What makes for the right convergence of the forces of change to make it the right time to invest in a traditionally blighted area?
    What levels of design and service within the programmed parameters of a condo-tower compensates for being a first-mover in a transitional neighborhood?
    All questions which new residents of the SomaGrand should have the answer.

  53. Posted by Teacher

    I just bought a small, very small studio loft in that neighborhood and the BCB building on McAllister. The idea of all of this new development going up in near my new Civic Center neighborhood is all news too me. I had no idea the neighborhood was planned for so much potential change. I’ve walked five to six blocks in virtually every direction, North, South, West ane East from those less then pristine fountains. I’ve been there at least 10 times in the past 10 weeks, checking out the neighborhood from noon til midnight, and I have to admit, it’s a lot better than I thought it was. I felt pretty safe. Of coarse, I’m male and over six feet tall. It’s true the neighborhood is not for everyone, but the are where the Soma Grand is going up isn’t as scarry as many paint it. There are a lot of us who can’t afford places like Rincon, but we love living in the city, and we love buzz of a busy district. That place is going going to be great for a lot of us who prefer BART and MUNI and don’t mind a little grit. I personally am looking forward to getting out of my burby Noe Valley location and moving into the fringes of the urban core.

  54. Posted by PaleGail

    I live near 7th and Folsom and am VERY happy about the changes in the ‘hood. The federal building brings a new cafe and hopefully new businesses around it. I think Chip Conley has a wonderful philsophy about building affordable (for SF, of course) places in formerly or currently blighted areas. Changes aren’t happening as fast as I had hoped — I’ve been in my place for 12 years — but all upgrades are applauded.

  55. Posted by anon

    From Feb to Apr of 07, my company put me up @ 4th & King: 2 bed, 2 bath, ~600+ sq ft. We enjoyed living in the ~ 1 yr old condo-tower — having come from an 1820s Ct farmhouse — but by the time we left, 2 doors no longer fit their doorways, and there were cracks in the ceiling drywall. Is this common to the area (soil type), construction-type, builder (quality-dependent), or even San Fran? Is it wise to wait and “let the dust settle”?

Comments are closed.

Recent Articles