CFAH

Buchanan Lane in San Francisco (Eddy & Buchanan): Now Selling (www.SocketSite.com)
Buchanan Lane, a new development of thirty (30) “single family 3 bedroom 2 bath homes in a gated community,” opened its sales office doors this weekend at 1303 Buchanan (corner of Eddy & Buchanan). Pricing currently starts at $729,000 for 1340 Eddy (a ~1,400 square foot three bedroom two bath), and according to the sales office they’re hoping to hit as high as $900K for a few of the homes post “Grand Opening” in September.
And while the interior finishes are rumored to be quite nice (limestone and granite with Bosch appliances), the starting price per square foot (~$520) relatively inexpensive (for San Francisco), and they are single family homes (not condos), we’re still struggling to see the value (based on the absolute price point, target audience, and tough location).
Also worth noting, three Below Market Rate (BMR) units will be priced at $279,000 and applications “must be received or postmarked no later than August 9th, 2007.”
Buchanan Lane in San Francisco (Eddy & Buchanan) [buchananlane.com]
Buchanan Lane BMR Unit Ad (pdf) [sfraaffordablehousing.org]
Living in the cross fire [SFGate]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Anon

    Holy scary neighborhood, batman.

  2. Posted by Sleepiguy

    Wow… Probably the worst neighborhood in central SF. It’s the epicenter of the area controlled by the so-called Eddy Rock gang. Fun!

  3. Posted by zig

    surprised that anyone is building SFH such as these

  4. Posted by redseca2

    …And the first 5 buyers to asign a contract will receive a hardened HUMVEE!

  5. Posted by eddy

    My god; “starting price per square foot (~$520) is relatively inexpensive”. For the life of me, I cannot imagine who would put down this kind of money to live there. You couldn’t pay me 50k/ year to live here. Of course, then I could afford the BMR units….
    More evidence that I will never fully comprehend SF real estate and its buyers.

  6. Posted by Sleepiguy

    I seriously don’t think anyone is going to buy these properties. [Removed by Editor]

  7. Posted by David

    The pervasive “every building is a luxury building!” mindset is one of the things that drives me up the wall about developments in this town. You have a neighborhood that will scare off all but the bravest of families and anyone who can afford to live elsewhere. You build three-bedroom apartments, the size that is desperately needed by people with a kid who can’t afford any of the condos featured on this blog. Then you put in high-end “gourmet” kitchens and price it at $720,000 to $900,000. Who exactly is the target market for this place?

  8. Posted by anon

    I think the pervasive mentality among builders is “build it and they will come/buy.”

  9. Posted by bdb

    Perfectly located right by the unsafeway, this was quite the gamble. There is a TIC or 2 for sale on Golden Gate btw Fillmore and Webster, and I wonder who will buy it, and that spot is almost better than buchanan lane. Mostly based on the amount of traffic on GG. which is usually a bad thing.

  10. Posted by anon

    This is a terrible area. Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s there used to be the housing projects there. They were torn down and replaced with [subsidized] townhouse style apartments.

  11. Posted by Observer

    This is the single family home equivalent of SOMA Grand!
    Promising but with obstacles to overcome.

  12. Posted by anon

    LOL. Observer – I was just counting the minutes waiting for someone to say this was a great buy! Lots of potential! What a steal!
    Maybe you should consider buying!

  13. Posted by Michael

    I’m all for buying in tough neighborhoods that are on their way up or have the potential to change, but without some major intervention and investment by the city this isn’t one of them. I went by yesterday and this development looks and feels more like a compound than a community.

  14. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    is it just me or is the 450k spread between the ‘market rate’ and BMR prices seem rather large to others.
    This isn’t something I normally pay attention to but that is just a huge differential. That 450k is a jumbo mortgage all on it’s own. I know in Chicago, where I lived for many years, BMR units were always substantially cheaper but this just seems unreal.
    Is this typical for BMR units to be 1/3rd of the market rate?

  15. Posted by Brutus

    Is this typical for BMR units to be 1/3rd of the market rate?
    Yes.
    BMR units are priced depending on what they were built for – 50% AMI, 60% AMI, 80% AMI, 100% AMI, 120% AMI, and so on. The pricing of the unit is based entirely on what someone in that income range can afford and has NOTHING to do with the market-rate prices. In some places, BMR units are less than 1/3 of the market rate – and in many of the SOMA highrises, if the BMR units were actually put in the building, they would be much, much, much less than 1/3 market rate.
    [Editor’s Note: Another example: To BMR Or Not To BMR At 3208 Pierce: Two Neighboring Condos]

  16. Posted by Mark

    I toured the model on Sunday and thought it looked great . . . but, when you look out the window, it’s pretty depressing. If you wanted to buy here, I would pick a unit that has no view of the street but instead would look straight out to another unit.

  17. Posted by anon

    $900k for a view of your neighbor and for the chance to get shot at. No thanks.

  18. Posted by Adam Smith

    You can live in an Eichler 3bd home with pool in Lucas Valley (Marin) for $900,000, but then I guess you would not get to enjoy the nightly “magic” of walking around this neighborhood. And my friends wonder why I sold my condo and bought a home in the “burbs”.

  19. Posted by Anne

    Although it is a good idea to build more single family homes in SF, these need a significant price reduction before seeing any buyers. Kind of makes the $850K Richmond or Sunset district homes seem like a bargain by contrast.
    Good luck to the developer who will need to continue paying construction loans, taxes, and insurance for the next two years.

  20. Posted by Paul E. Ester

    Does anyone know what – “State of the art wiring” – is about?

  21. Posted by redseca2

    …or “Direct Access Car Parking”?
    Is that referring to the guy who sleeps in his car across the street?

  22. Posted by jeccat

    Direct access car parking- I think that means that you can walk directly from your garage into your house. Definitely a plus in a neighborhood this dangerous.

  23. Posted by Mark

    yup, you go straight from the garage into the unit. well, first get out of your car and then walk into the unit.

  24. Posted by Noe

    Once upon a time, I was offered an expat position in Jo’burg, SA.
    One of my to-be colleagues told me about their living situation. A beautiful gated community with alarms and guards et al. and precisely what is mentioned above: Direct access car parking. Like a 5 star prison, essentially.
    We decided not to move.

  25. Posted by anon

    Tell your friends you live in “Lower Lower Pacific Heights.” They’ll just assume you’re stuttering.
    Maybe if a Democrat gets elected and HUD starts behaving responsibly, instead of letting its properties decay and its residents dodge bullets, this neighborhood will see some reinvestment in the form of mixed-income housing.

  26. Posted by Bystander

    A welcome addition and improvement to the neighborhood! Hopefully this the “tip of the iceberg” & a sign of the improvements to come…

  27. Posted by Sleepiguy

    Maybe when we get a new police chief, a new DA, and a new supervisor we might see a modicum of change…. but holding your breath isn’t recommended.

  28. Posted by Miles

    Agreed – units priced at this level in this neighborhood are a bad mix. Super affordable small condos might have been a better call, but really, this (and the nearby Fillmore/Heritage property) begs the question if new construction of any kind is really feasible at all in some parts of the city.

  29. Posted by Observer

    Dear anon at August 6, 2007 12:56 PM
    I said promising and compared it to SOMA Grand of which I think this site has concluded is a building 5 years too early for the neighborhood, I think it’s the same here.
    I’m not rushing out of South Beach for either.

  30. Posted by Jim

    wow, awesome. i can buy a condo for 700K and dodge bullets every night. Who in the hell would buy here?

  31. Posted by David

    I’ve got to disagree with the Bystander. I hope this is NOT the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg I see in my fantasies consists of condos this size with modest finishings and no luxury pretensions. They’re located out of the city center, where these places don’t pencil out. Build them out in the avenues on infill where the empty nest types and millionaires would never want to live. Build apartments with three genuine bedrooms (small is fine), Kenmore appliances, linoleum kitchen floors, and Home Depot sinks. No doorman, no exercise room, no movie screening room.
    Price that around half a million dollars and hordes of people in my income bracket would buy a place and upgrade the finishes. We can change out the stove later. No matter what happens to the credit market, you could never build enough apartments even in the ballpark of that description to satisfy demand for non-luxury housing.

  32. Posted by anon2

    I agree with David. Why can’t these be built out in the Avenues? Enough with everyone trying to do the next “luxury” project in a “sub-optimal” location. If these were $200,000 less, and in the Avenues, they would be sold out during construction.

  33. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    They can’t be built out in the avenues because the Richmond and the Sunset are packed with NIMBYs. In the last twenty years only about 200 housing units have been built west of Arguello, net of housing lost. Meanwhile thousands have been built in SoMa.
    I don’t have anything against Buchanan Lane except this: they plastered my neighborhood with illegal signs for their sales office. Damn, I hate that.

  34. Posted by Brutus

    If a place could be found in the Avenues where the NIMBYs there would allow development, they could be priced $100,000 MORE than they are here and sell out before completion – there would be absolutely no reason for a developer to discount new SFHs in desirable neighborhoods. The Richmond and Sunset may not be Pac Heights, but they are safe, family-friendly, and typically well kept. New SFHs out there would be $1 mil+

  35. Posted by David

    Sure Brutus, go and ruin my fantasy. But part of the fantasy is that people can’t borrow $800,000 just because their credit is good enough to qualify for a Safeway Club card. Hey, that part of the fantasy might come true!
    If money actually cost something to borrow, only wealthy people could afford to “pay” one million dollars for a home. Those people would rather live in a house than my theoretical low-rise boring condo unit with no view and a cramped bathroom. Even now you can still buy a small house for that kind of money.

  36. Posted by Phil

    I agree with David’s comments at 11.40 and 9.21; why can’t we get some basic housing built in San Francisco that would be accessible to middle-class incomes, rather than attempting to make everything “luxury?” For the past two years I’ve carried a monthly rent equivalent to a $250K mortgage, and would have gladly ponied up for a decent studio or one-bedroom that I could improve upon if there was absolutely *anything* available. The fact that the rental occupancy rate is so high, and that most rents are edging toward the equivalent of a monthly mortgage for similar spaces, should be a good indication of the pent-up demand for basic middle-class housing. If developers could figure out a way to address this market, there would be no housing slump in San Francisco.

  37. Posted by Brutus

    Phil,
    It’s certainly a multi-part issue, but much of it is because the combo of NIMBYs disrupting/preventing/slowing down development, the market for luxury being rather large here, tenant’s issues, and the requirements to include BMR housing collide to prevent middle class housing from being built.
    One sign of hope – if we can get a mortgage implosion while rents continue to rise, perhaps many buildings will be green-lighted as rentals, but condo-mapped – which could then be converted to sale later on.

  38. Posted by fred

    Re luxury vs. non-luxury, I don’t think the price of housing can be brought down that much by going with non-luxury vs. luxury features. Most people expect a certain level of “luxury”, even at the low end. Most units anywhere today will have granite countertops and reasonably nice kitchens and baths. No one goes for Formica or Corain or whatever anymore. Nicer units can go with designer appliances, flooring etc. but I don’t believe the difference is that great in t he overall cost (maybe 5% of the total cost). The biggest cost of course is getting the structure up. The rest is mainly gingerbread.

  39. Posted by Ben

    The biggest cost is taking down the land which also is the greatest risk. Vertical costs are minimal in comparison.

  40. Posted by cd

    Yes fill the city streets with middle class families! If they make 3rd Street/Bayview/HP development a real neighborhood design with lower-moderate housing, I really think it could work in the long run.
    But do you think that the City will let some working-class family pay under 400K for a pad and miss out on the taxes that a 5 story 20 unit building with 750K units would bring in?
    Does anyone know if this play a factor in whose contract proposals get approved – as you can see I have no clue on this…And if there is some loophole to make affordable housing, I say Socketsiteers unite and build a building we can all live in. =)

  41. Posted by Phil Kaplan

    I lived in the monstrosity at the corner of Fillmore & Eddy Street in the late 90’s. One day I was sitting on my balcony talking to my mother on the phone when some punk drove by and took some pot shots at a drug dealer standing on the corner. He missed and sped away but 10 seconds later, slammed on the brakes, backed up and let fly with a second fullisade. My mother asked what the noise was and I told her not to worry, just a car backfiring.
    You live in the hood you learn to deal. On the upside, you can order in for dime backs and crack.
    Can’t imagine paying to live anywhere close to that area though. It’s about the nastiest in SF with exception of Bayview Hunters Point.

  42. Posted by tipster

    They build for the market. When lenders are throwing money at anyone with no proof they can pay it back, no one buys midmarket, everyone buys luxury and just refinances when the price goes up by an automatic 20% per year. Suck out cash and use it to make the payments the next year.
    As that dries up (or more like evaporates), the mix of housing will change to accommodate the market.
    But in the past, even a janitor could get a $1M loan, so why build anything cheaper?

  43. Posted by MysteryRealtor

    Buchanan Lane??
    I don’t even want to contemplate who thought up that name. This neighborhood will remain [Removed by Editor] as long as those housing projects remain. No amount of [alleged] luxury housing is going to change that.
    Let us all also not forget the big condo development at 1401 Eddy that was sold at auction due to lack of buyers…
    M.R.

  44. Posted by Ben

    Does anyone know who the construction lender is? I would love to see the pro-forma that the developer sold to the bankers….”um, yeah, these will sell at ‘X'”….

  45. Posted by BobN

    Location, location, location… I wonder how many posters talking about “the neighborhood” have any idea of just how localized the problem is. The housing project IS an awful place but it’s one square block and a half a block. Of course, that only makes one wonder why the City won’t/can’t clean it up.

  46. Posted by Lex

    I went by there yesterday and took a look around. Not only was I really scared walking over there (e.g., I was nearly eyed down by every person I passed … in a not-so-welcoming of a way), but I felt like anything bad could happen at any minute. As a young woman, I tried imagining leaving at night (or even during the day for that matter) and it would just never work. No way. In addition, the fences to the backyards are low enough for anyone to jump over and break in through the window. If I lived there, I would always be in fear.
    Setting aside all of this, the one unit I liked was a four bedroom, three bath, and had a really great layout and nice fixtures. If only they could move that unit 5-7 blocks south! I would totally go for it then. Even with a raise in price to match a new location.
    If only …

  47. Posted by Curious

    Does anyone know if the city has any plans to do something with the housing projects in that neighborhood? They tore down/rebuilt the projects near Pier 39 on Bay Street, and that area seems a lot better now. Same result with the projects in the Mission. Why not these? Any plans? Any way to find out? Anyway to lobby for it?

  48. Posted by Brutus

    It’s in the plans, and with current levels of funding will probably happen around the year 2175. The Bush Administration hasn’t exactly been a big funder of public housing programs and revitalization – including big cuts to Hope VI funding. You can find out more at http://www.sfha.org
    Here’s a recent article as well:
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/09/BAG4AQCJPP1.DTL&type=politics

  49. Posted by Anon

    You could buy into this development…or just volunteer to go to IRAQ. Either way you will have extensive training in urban warfare. SFPD is posted on the corner of EDDY and LAGUNA-24 HRS a day to prevent shootings in the neighborhood. Even so, shootings have happened with the police on the same block. The police will not be there forever and then the real fun will start. The eddy rock gang is at war with just about every other gang in the city. Buy Now!

  50. Posted by Joseph Wykoff

    I’m An Armed Security Officer For The San Francisco Housing Authority(SFHA) Except For This Developement Everything On Eddy Between Laguna And Webster Steets Is Owned By The Sfha.HUD Has once again cut funding*Therefore,There Is No Longer,At This Time, Any Security At Plaza East.Though Plaza East Was Developed By Private Developers It Is Still Owned By The San Francisco Housing Authority, As Well As Hayes Valley And Rosa Parks.There Are Also 22 Section 8 Developements Within This Area Involved Street Gangs.

  51. Posted by Joseph Wykoff

    As We Can See From My Last Posting I’m Half-Awake when typing I Worked A 14 Hour Day. Here Is A Partial List Of Western Addition Developements With Ties To Street Gangs: PLAZA EAST ON EDDY ST/HAYES VALLEY NORTH ON WEBSTER AND HAYES ST/HAYES VALLEY SOUTH ON WEBSTER AND HAIGHT ST/THOMAS PAINE ON LAGUNA AND TURK ST/ROBERT PITTS ON SCOTT AND EDDY ST/AMMEL PARK ON LAGUNA AND FULTON ST/PRINCE HALL ON FILLMORE AND MCALLISTER ST/FREEDOM WEST ON MCALLISTER AND LAGUNA ST/BANNEKER HOMES ON FULTON AND WEBSTER ST.

  52. Posted by jenny

    I wouldn’t live in this neighborhood if they paid me. The chances of getting shot or your home broken into is to great of a risk in this part of town.

  53. Posted by Rillion

    Did these places actually all sell?

  54. Posted by JuanLove

    Hmmmm…I own a home about 3-4 blocks from there. According to the agent, they had sold about 55% of the homes, by summer of 2008. Then, the national real estate market went sour real quick…remember? Which effected sales in San Francisco, also. So, they closed the Sales Office and leased the remaining homes, for 3K+ per month each. As of, September, 2009, I’ve noticed on ziprealty that their selling homes again. I think they’re 800K and up. Although, it’s not best the neighborhood in the city, it’s still downtown San Francisco. Plus, it’s right around the corner, 3-4 blocks, from Pacific Heights. Hayes Valley is maybe 2 blocks away too, in the other direction. A block away, on the same street as Buchanan Lane, you have new $1million+ apts, and multi-million flats in the same neighborhood. It’s the most walker-friendly neighborhood downtown (rating=98), second to the Financial District. Buchanan Lane was built in the right neighborhood. San Francisco is the only place I’ve ever owned property, where you can sell million-dollar homes across the street from government projects…location, location, location.

  55. Posted by anonn

    The Buchanan corridor is one of the city’s trouble spots and it will remain that way until the entire four block or so run is changed. Anybody who knows the area knows what I’m talking about. It’s like four, or three and a half blocks of foot traffic surrounded only by projects, and a too easy corridor for trouble. This development might be OK in 10 years or so, after the entire area is redesigned. I swear, some of the institutional design ideas that got green lighted in this country, let alone this city, are so stupid. The freeway system under Eisenhower. Robert Moses and the dumb way he screwed NYC became like the model. And this one. Hey let’s put a four block long corridor in the middle of public housing, sans commerce. All bad ideas and equally dumb, albeit with varying degrees of opressiveness.

  56. Posted by Simply Beautiful

    Hey, I bought a new home in Buchanan Lane last year, based on all the wonderful feedback about the suibdivision. My husband and I walk and jog through the neighborhood, go shopping at Safeway a block away, walk to dine in Pacific Heights a few blocks away, etc. We love it! I neighborhood next door listed his home a month ago for 95K more than we paid for our’s. It sold in two and a half weeks, for 20k more than his list price. That’s what we call another good San Francisco investment. The people who can’t afford to buy in San Francisco, are simply invious. So, they try to claim that the neighborhood is too troubled to buy into. Bull! This is the best real estate investment we have EVER made. Some folk are just green with envy…oh well. We are blessed, in esp., in this economy, to live in a property that’s worth more than 100K more than we paid for it, in less than a two years. Blessed!

  57. Posted by Simply Beautiful

    Hey, I bought a new home in Buchanan Lane last year, based on all the wonderful feedback about the suibdivision. My husband and I walk and jog through the neighborhood, go shopping at Safeway a block away, walk to dine in Pacific Heights a few blocks away, etc. We love it! I neighborhood next door listed his home a month ago for 95K more than we paid for our’s. It sold in two and a half weeks, for 20k more than his list price. That’s what we call another good San Francisco investment. The people who can’t afford to buy in San Francisco, are simply invious. So, they try to claim that the neighborhood is too troubled to buy into. Bull! This is the best real estate investment we have EVER made. Some folk are just green with envy…oh well. We are blessed, in esp., in this economy, to live in a property that’s worth more than 100K more than we paid for it, in less than a two years. Blessed!

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