464 Tehama
UPDATE (3/19): Okay, so we’re adding a couple of words. As a number of “plugged in” readers have noted, the architect was Jim Jennings, the interior is featured on the cover of “Creating the New American Townhouse,” and it was one of Architectural Record’s 2002 Record Houses. And yes, we’re still drooling.
∙ Listing: 464 Tehama (3/4) – $3,250,000 [MLS]
Jim Jennings Architecture: Soma House [jimjenningsarchitecture.com]
Architectural Record: Record Houses 2002 [Architectural Record]

31 thoughts on “No Words (Just Drool)”
  1. This building looks more like a high end office suite than a house. The architecture is awesome but it needs some stuff to go inside.
    Does this house have any windows to the outside or is it essentially an urban fortress/oasis whatever you want to call it?

  2. “House, office, courtyard and freestanding studio span between a heavily trafficked street and a narrow alley in a gritty neighborhood. The street front of this introverted environment (light and calm substitute for a view) is Cor-Ten steel and translucent glass, with the steel spaced away from the building wall so that small holes in each panel focus light inside. In a camera obscura effect, multiple images are projected onto obscure glass walls, which when viewed from inside display the kinetic energy of the street. Contrasted with the visual complexity of this abstract projected motion, the interior spaces are large, simple and serene: a link with and refuge from the chaos of urban life.” Cool.

  3. That is one of the best houses in SF. It’s in a location in which I wouldn’t even buy a loft, so rather than being the worst house in the neighborhood, it’s by far the best, making its purchase “error #1” in any real estate investing guide.
    But wow, what a stunner. If it has an open house, I’d be there. Just wow.

  4. Interesting how people will make the best situation out of the worse but the adage of location, location, location is alive and well. So is the general rule of not being the best house on the block.

  5. “…rather than being the worst house in the neighborhood, it’s by far the best, making its purchase “error #1″ in any real estate investing guide.”
    If you’re trying to maximize the return on your investment, then you’re absolutely correct. If you’re more interested in buying a house you love to live in, then it’s completely irrelevant.
    I’m guessing whoever buys this place won’t be looking at this as a major “investment” but rather a simple purchase.

  6. Modern. Simple. Clean lines. Looks spacious. Love it.
    LOCATION … however, is a different story …

  7. People are a bit too fixated on the location.
    When Donald Judd invented the idea of the loft in the in Soho 50+ years ago, it was a demilitarized zone. That was part of the point. As we all know now, $/sf in Soho routinely top $3000. On top of that, there are an army of tastemakers who wouldn’t think of living there, and have considered it “over” since the late 80’s. No, I’m not trying to compare the 6th street corridor with Soho, but just making a point about lifestyle.
    One should also consider the other amenities nearby: downtown (work), SFMOMA, Union Square, Yerba Buena, and arguably the best density of interesting places to eat and drink. As convenient as Chestnut Street is (I’m no Marina basher), sometimes you need a more… urban experience.
    This place would be $8-10M in Pac Heights. I think it’s in many ways far more interesting right where it is.

  8. “People are a bit too fixated on the location.”
    “This place would be $8-10M in Pac Heights.”
    The reality is, (1) this place is NOT in Pac Heights, not even close. I am NOT going to pay $3.25M to live in Crackville and wait 50+ years to feel safe in my neighborhood and/or for the immediate area to “look up.” (2) THIS is no Soho, nor will it ever be any time soon.

  9. “The reality is, (1) this place is NOT in Pac Heights, not even close. I am NOT going to pay $3.25M to live in Crackville and wait 50+ years to feel safe in my neighborhood and/or for the immediate area to “look up.” (2) THIS is no Soho, nor will it ever be any time soon.”
    I said it wasn’t Soho. You did read that part, right? And the point was about the space that can be had for $722/sf… which buys a teardown in Pac Heights.
    And thank god it isn’t in Pac Heights. Pac Heights is picturesque (in some places) and boring as all hell (in all places). Quick! Name a great bar in Pac Heights (tick, tick, tick). If it weren’t for Quince and D&M Liquor, I’d never go there at all. It’s great for old money and embassies, but it’s also cold and windy. And boring.
    You DO know that people sometimes choose to live in areas that have more edge and grit than boring-ass Pac Heights, right? Provided you have the means, you can have a 4500 sf gem in a “challenged” area, or a ~2200 sf place in the most northern parts of the city. It’s a choice, and a valid one.
    Have you considered Walnut Creek? Very little crack there. You might enjoy it. I think they have an Applebees as well.

  10. The fact remains that this SFR is selling for $722/sf in SF! People have been spending millions to live in small, cheap “lofts” all over this neighborhood for the last 10 years! Why would buying this be considered any different? If this place is priced at $722/sf (location or not), then everything else in SF needs to be priced below $400/sf – cuz ya ain’t gonna get any better than this in this architecturally insignificant city!
    To stir up old topics: San Francisco is NOT a “world-class city,” but if you’d like to live in a house that people all over the world have dreamed of for years, here’s your chance – it was featured as Architectural Record’s home of the year a few years ago. That’s free, international marketing for you blabbering about “investments”
    I may not be able to afford $3 million, but I see a cheap SOMA “loft” in my future! – the neighborhood is never going to be able to charge over $700/sf ever again after THIS! And some of you spent over $1000/sf for Rincon, ha.

  11. I love the dichotomy between Walnut Creek and SOMA. If you’re not 24, childless, going out four nights a week, and looking for a “gritty urban experience” your only option is to move to the suburbs. You have to be pretty focused on alcohol to reduce the housing decision-making process to “how many bars are within stumbling distance of my front door?”. How about some additional questions like:
    Would I feel comfortable with my wife walking home alone at 10:00 p.m.?
    Would I ever let my ten-year-old child play with a friend on the sidewalk in front of my building?
    Is there any green space with a 20 minute walk of my building? Would I lie down on the grass there?
    How far would I have to walk to buy a box of pasta?

  12. LookAround –
    You certainly took a lot of license with my post. Bars are indicative of the presence of nightlife. No reference was made to being hammered. What were the quotations marks in reference to? Your internal thought process? I don’t think those go in quotation marks, unless you’re doing a weird third-person thing.
    As for Walnut Creek, it was there for emphasis. Thanks for the insightful reading.
    I know this will shock, but my girlfriend moved here from NYC and walks around near our place in SOMA at night. Sometimes after 10 p.m., even. It’s her choice.
    And neither of us want to have kids. Seriously, though – I wouldn’t let one of my nephews play on the sidewalk on Broadway @ Fillmore, much less Franklin. Would you? That’s nutz. As for grass, take a look at my previous post and then have someone translate “Yerba Buena” for you. It’s two blocks away. Kind of like Alta Plaza, except warm and chock full of interesting art and architecture. And food and drink.
    As for the pasta, why not buy it fresh at Bristol Farms? (less than one block).
    It’s amazing how reactionary people get when faced with the thought of *actual* urban living.

  13. Oh please, have any of you actually been by the front of this beautiful place? The inset entry (where the big divided-into-four-square-pane window looks out from the interior shot with the first picture in the listing) has become a refuge for homeless, with endless debris and grafitti on the Cor-Ten the result.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the architecture and if you want to live in this neighborhood amidst all the modern splendor of the interior, fine, but the facade is forever ruined and the homeless camp is not likely remove-able. My take-away: no inset entries in SOMA…

  14. The inset entry was just gated within the last few days, and, appropriately enough, a realtor’s for-sale sign now hangs on the new gate. I have lived within a block of this place since it was built (I’ll save the neighborhood discussion for another time) and always assumed it was a commercial space. I also wondered why the inset was never gated before now since it indeed attracted the homeless who used the space for all the unmentionables….

  15. As the IC has been over 10 years in the making I’m betting the developers have done their homework. With that jewel at 5th and Howard, and the SOMA Grand/Federal Building/Best-Westerns-to-convert-to-upscale-hotels on 7th and Mission, maybe 464 Tehama’s neighborhood won’t seem so “gritty” in 5-10 years. As a homeowner and longtime resident in that stretch of land, I’m admittedly a bit biased, but people forget that, as bad as it looks now, it has made a HUGE transformation in the last ten years and continues to move upscale.

  16. I quite like Walnut Creek, thank you. If it weren’t such a commute to the City, I would certainly consider it. But as I live in the City, I’ve admittedly become commute lazy.
    As for the Sixth Street corridor, when it cleans up and goes “uptown,” I’ll be more than willing to pay the higher price and take another look. Until then, I’m just not going to hold my breath.

  17. “As for the Sixth Street corridor, when it cleans up and goes ‘uptown,’ I’ll be more than willing to pay the higher price and take another look.” (Posted by: Sexy & Sassy in SF at March 20, 2007 10:45 PM)
    Higher than what?

  18. i live on that block of tehama. fougeron architecture is doing an AMAZING project right across the street — the fougeron office occupies the first floor, a 5000sf single family residence on the second floor with a brand-new 3rd floor steel penthouse they dropped in with a crane. check out the tehama residence on fougeron.com. also, just down the street on the odd-numbered side, another brand-new(ly remodeled), architected single-family live/work residence. the blocks of tehama between 5th and 6th and 4th and 5th have an organized, active neighborhood associations. we are steps from of bloomingdales, bart, union square, restaurant lulu. there is a fantastic new park on folsom between 6th and seventh — dog heaven as soon as they take down the fence. the new “mint plaza” will be a block away. sure, 6th sucks, but this is the city, and this neighborhood is so up-and-coming it’s not even funny.

  19. Sexy & Sassy –
    You confirmed my suspicion. You’d prefer to live in a suburb. They’re safe, quiet, etc. That’s entirely reasonable.
    But I think it disqualifies you from making grand statements about how you’ll never live in “Crackville”, since you’d never live down here in any case.

  20. Pete, I’m a former resident (’93 – ’04) of that block of Tehama–435 #1 to be exact. Since then I have lived on Minna btwn. Russ and 7th. My family loves the new park. The fence looks permanent and is probably there for security, but dogs still seem to love the mini-hill next to the playgrounds. Agreed, Mint Plaza will be a welcome addition. And don’t write off Sixth Street just yet; there has been a dramatic decrease in the amount of drug trafficking as of late.

  21. Pardon for asking, but I keep reading about:
    “…rather than being the worst house in the neighborhood, it’s by far the best, making its purchase “error #1″ in any real estate investing guide.”
    Can someone (probably for the millionth time here) give me a quick primer on why this is so? Thank you.

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