Reductions (And A New Release) At Citrino (566 South Van Ness)August 2, 2007
Originally advertised as priced “in the $500’s – $700’s,” a tipster notes that Citrino has started advertising one-bedrooms “now starting at $475,000,” two-bedrooms “now starting at $675,000,” and a “New Release!!!”
And we note reductions on listed units ranging from $10,000 (1.4%) on 566 South Van Ness #1, to $24,000 (4.6%) on 566 South Van Ness #12.
∙ Listing: 566 South Van Ness #1 (2/2) – $729,000 [MLS]
∙ Listing: 566 South Van Ness #12 (1/1) – $495,000 [MLS]
∙ New San Francisco Condo Developments: Citrino & The Lambourne [SocketSite]
∙ Citrino (566 South Van Ness): Website Update And A Few Prices [SocketSite]
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
I am still at a loss as to why San Francisco projects need a “name” brand. Why the lemon fresh scent of “Citrino”? Why not just call the project “566 South Van Ness”?
Do buildings on Park Avenue or Central Park West have names like “Radiance” or “Blu”? Most new projects I see in Chicago and New York are named after the address of the building. The day will come when some developer wakes up with the “original” idea of giving the building address as the identification. But will this ever work when projects are located in areas such as this?
We walked through these a few weeks back. The developer must know they have a turkey on their hands. They are small, the courtyard and entry layout is odd, the western view buildings are shabby, the bathrooms look institutional and the neighborhood is rough. I can’t imagine why a buyer would choose these without a significant pricing advantage.
just from looking at the pics, you can tell the place is pretty bland and certainly not luxury. The pricing is going to have to come down to get people to buy a small one bedroom with mid range finishing (at best) a galley kitchen in the living room and is that window behind the chair looking into another building???
I think these are a good buy. They tend towards the smallish side, but the pricing is right. I agree the location is a bit spicey, it’s a lot better than it used to be.
“I am still at a loss as to why San Francisco projects need a “name” brand. Why the lemon fresh scent of “Citrino”? Why not just call the project “566 South Van Ness”?”
Thanks Morgan. It’s Candyland’s marketing BS. It’s as annoying as each sub sub sub neighborhood having to have cloying and silly monikers.
The only urban, historical, respectful and long-lasting label should indeed be the building number and street name.
Otherwise it’s an ephemeral, name du jour, which will be changed by a new owner. Temporary marketing names as this get changed all the time. As soon as “Citrine” doesn’t overlook two gas stations it will not need the marketing distraction which evokes a better smell than exhaust.
566 South Van Ness is far more a respectful, compelling, and enduring reference than its temporary pop happy cool name.
“naming” a property doesn’t irritate me as much as using “adjacent” to falsely describe location.
Have the new developments started using “adjacent” in their descriptions yet?
For instance, calling something in the Mission “Noe Valley Adjacent”.
“Priced in the 500s” means 599. Did these really drop from 599 to 475?
These are on South Van Ness. There isn’t a single stretch of that street that’s even decent. So they mask it using a different name so you don’t have to tell your friend you bought a condo in the slum for half a mil.
They could call this project “Painful Rectal Itch” and it would still be better than any association with South Van Ness.
In case you haven’t figured it out, let me be the first to let you in on this little secret: real estate marketing is theater. It isn’t there to help the buyers in any way: it’s there to make them spend as much as possible on a transaction most people don’t usually repeat for a very long time. If you have a good address, you use it. If a name will make more people want it, you use that.
this is actually the most depressing block of a depressing street
Stupid marketing names are universal. Suggesting they’re endemic to SF is completely inaccurate. A very brief time on Google reveals the following names in NYC alone:
The Hit Factory
… and it goes on. Bad branding/marketing decisions are by no means exclusive to SF.
It does look small, even by SF standards. Showing the map with that particular BART station alerts me to steer clear.
Is it me or is that fridge entirely too big for that “kitchen”??
I really wanted to say something positive, but I can’t stop laughing about “Painful Rectal Itch.”
This project will do fine over time. The 1BR’s started at $510K and are now 475K, a nice reduction and actually cheaper than most anything out there.
I think one big factor that will come into play in a slowing market is that people will rediscover that 100-200K is a lot of money. People seemed to forget the last several years that there is a huge difference between spending 700K and spending 850K. There is a market for people who want newer condos but can’t afford SOMA/SoBe/Rincon where everything is over $800/sq. ft. with high HOAs. 17th & South Van Ness is not a good location, but it’s the only type of location where buyers are going to find nice 1BR’s for around 500K or nice 2BR for around 700K.
i think the building names are only used during the marketing phase and initial occupancy phase of a building, because they have potential buyers’ attentions. 5 years from now, you tell someone you live in the Citrino, it’s not gonna work, not gonna register with anyone, as nobody cares.
Oh… I hadn’t looked at the address closely.
My best friend lived between 18th and 19th on S. Van Ness (new townhomes built next to the Whizburger)
I recently told the harrowing tale of walking from 18th and S Van Ness to the BART station at 430am on a Wednesday.
There were so many drug dealers and gang members in the door alcoves on Mission that I (literally) walked down the middle of the street because I was a little worried about my well-being.
And I’m not a chicken either.. I grew up in a bad part of the Tenderloin before it got spiffed up…
There are a some good restaraunts down that way… but not worth the security IMO
Citrus trees? This isn’t Southern Cal.
Those trees will be dead and gone within a year.
Nice use of tiny furniture to make the unit look bigger.
Agree with ex-SFer on this one. This is a really sh**ty neighborhood at night (although there is some fun stuff nearby for daytime and evening activities). You can buy 1-2BR condos and TICs in very nice neighborhoods for not that much more than asking here, and these are pretty tiny, bland places. A huge discount off these prices would be in order for these to be reasonably-priced unless you’re a well-healed dealer just looking for a good spot in the middle of the action to store your inventory.
where you can you buy 1BR condos in nice neighborhoods for 500K?
The citrus trees will grow just fine in the Mission. The concept is corny, but they won’t die. More likely the residents will get sick of paying for the care, switch them for other plants and change the name of the association to 566 South Van Ness.
All the negativity surrounding this development is disappointing. A location like this won’t improve until market rate housing moves in. Perhaps you don’t want to move there, but there are a lot of people who would like to own a place in the City that can’t afford all those new towers and luxury lofts/condos is SOMA/Mission Bay etc…
17th and South Van Ness is not a good location, but should that foreclose all development there? This project seems like the market at work: small places, mid range finishes, among the lowest entry price points of any new condos in the city, in exchange for a poor location that has been slowly improving over the last few years and hopefully will continue to improve.
So anono, where did you purchase your condo?
Let’s face it. There are certain areas of the city where it will be difficult or next to impossible to change.
“in exchange for a poor location that has been slowly improving over the last few years and hopefully will continue to improve.”
I am not sure about that. I lived on 19th and South Van Ness a few years ago and it seemed to be improving but from what I have seen and read it has taken a turn for the worse lately
really a bad area on so many levels. Other than the street life South Van Ness is an ugly traffic sewer
I was wrong though about this being the most depressing block on the street. That would actually be 15th so it does have that going for it
If the trees are well looked after they could do quite well. This is near the sunny side of the City and the nearby freeways generate a fog clearing hot zone. Maybe they could sell some of the fruit as local organic to offset those HOA fees.
This area makes Jesus weep, but it could gentrify and it is only like ten or fifteen blocks to civilization, so it’s not like Oakland or South City.
How are are trees inside of the development going to help? It doesn’t change the neighborhood when you walk outside.
“This project seems like the market at work: small places, mid range finishes, among the lowest entry price points of any new condos in the city, in exchange for a poor location that has been slowly improving over the last few years and hopefully will continue to improve.”
good point anono.
I agree, it’s good that they are at least TRYING to bring better housing options to that area!
And I remember long ago when many people (including me… gulp) said that Potrero Hill was a wasteland… it sure did change!
who knows what South Van Ness will be like in the future!!!! There certainly is a fair amount of new development along that street.
Just so long as it doesn’t push out the Whizburger… (my absolute all time favorite burger ever)
Named buildings are commonplace in other countries like Japan, India, and England. The English tradition of naming buildings goes back centuries. Many English buildings don’t even use a street number on their postal addresses.
As for NYC, ‘amused’ provided a nice list though left out The Beaver House.
Back to Citrino : I don’t understand why so many complain that this is a bad street. Should we expect no development and just let this block stagnate further ? Or build affordable options and let the market decide its value ?
I’m thrilled that they are building housing and improving this area. The point is that this is priced at a point that reflects a state of improvement that is still far from being reached.
As someone who has lived at 19th and South Van Ness, where two 3 bedroom units were converted to condo, I am pretty sure I know who buys these places and it isn’t locals or families. It’s people who work in Silicon Valley and like access to the freeway.
One 3 bedroom unit was purchased by a single guy who had no roommates. The other by a couple. Both drove BMWs (no kidding) into and out of the heavily fortified building on their way South.
Mind you I am not against Tech people or the free market or rich people but it seems that since we are manipulating supply anyway why can’t we encourage developers to build more working class family appropriate units? Perhaps with density bonuses, reduced parking requirements, streamlined approval processes and an exemption from the current affordable housing req. in exchange for pricing the units below median and working with local Mission first time home buyer groups.
Some would go for it and it would be greatly preferable for families over BMR housing
Zig, I know it won’t be at the price points you want, but the 3400 Ceasar Chavez developers are including some form of financing assistance to first time buyers who live in the Mission as part of that project (among other neighborhood friendly aspects).
1.The units started at 485k not 510k
2. the trees will do just fine, they are on automatic watering and ther are hundreds of lemon trees in backyards all over the city, only potential problem is that the homeowners will have to have fresh lemons all the time
3. There is a special financing option because the property is in a Special Census Tract to encourage new development in the city (call Yilam Kang for details 321-70160
4. The finishes are far above the quality in several new developments in the city
5. SF needs housing, there aren’t very many places left anymorein SF to build
6, Before slamming anything , make sure you really know the fact
What’s up with all this bashing about the lemon trees? Including more trees in a development is a very good thing. It reduces our CO2 footprint. Besides being pretty and symbiotic with the home owners I guess you don’t like trees. That’s weird. Who doesn’t like trees. I’d rather live where there’s trees rather then in one of those huge glass impersonal high rises everyone is so goofy over. Small projects are more personal and create a sense of “home” rather then a box just on top of another box
I would rather see cheaper finishes and lower prices personally but like I said I have nothing against Silicon Valley or people living where they want. Thanks for the the stating the fact that SF needs new housing. I wonder who will be living in it
I guess the name Centrino was already taken by Intel. So why not Citrino. Lemonino would have been an alternative, but that’s too close to Lemon – which is what this place is.
christina marie – Comments are typically 90% negative, usually bashing real estate agents, the new developments in SoMa, and the city. Positive comments are rare.
Christina – You sound like a politician. Of course people aren’t against trees in general but these lemon trees and marketing are akin to lipstick on a location pig.
Will – Marginal projects, designs and locations consistently take a beating on this site – as they should – but I haven’t found comments in general to be mostly negative.
Three cheers for Citrino because while maybe it’s not perfect it’s built for those who disagree, there are two choices grow up and accept that the world isn’t perfect – market rate housing in this city is a big compromise, wish it was otherwise but it isn’t and it I don’t see it changing materially anytime soon, the second choice… is the choas that is MAC.
Let’s take the little successes of new infill in our petty little city and move on!
For those who are lucky enough to buy in Citrino, good luck and well done, don’t forget to send invites to the house warming!
susan jane mulacek – you should be ashamed of yourself! Will you sleep better at night knowing that little Latino children ate fresh lemons for DINNER?
Anono – The only place to “find nice 1BR’s for around 500K or nice 2BR for around 700K.”??? Your perspective is SO detached from the reality of the world and this city that I’m baffled.
The “fact”: 25% of Latinos in San Francisco live below the poverty level (I’m simply focusing on them because this is a historically Mexican neighborhood). 40% of ALL San Francisco households make less than $50k/year. Give me a development that caters to THEM and I’ll come by to water the lemon trees myself!
rg – I like your comment for once. I was expecting you to start demanding parking garages in the Mission – you know, for the children.
Actually, rg, the Mission was historically an Irish neighborhood. Then came a wave of Hispanic immigrants and changed the demographics. The Castro was originally an Irish/Scandinavian enclave; gays moved in in the 1960’s. Change occurs, nothing stays static in San Francisco. Well, except Pacific Heights.
I have seen Citrino, and think it is like an upscale prison.
rg- the Mission was NOT a historically hispanic neighborhood. And where are your “facts” to support any assertion that nice 2BR 2BA 1Pkg condos are prevalent in this city for under 700K. Just do your own MLS search and check out new development pricing. your comments regarding pricing on this board are the only ones consistently detached from reality.
plantguy – true, but none of those past shifts ECONOMICALLY displaced the neighborhood the way this is doing. Even today, the Castro is being taken back by straight families, but that’s not driving out the gays financially. Planning needs to stay reasonably true to the existing demographics of the neighborhood.
brutus – thanks, but I’m going to use this opportunity to open your eyes a bit. You reminded me of an important lesson I learned years ago. At UCB, I had a brilliant professor who has been very instrumental in low-income housing design. I worked under her on a low-income housing project built on Minna near 7th. The project was focused on housing single-parent families. A basis of “affordable by design” thinking is that parking can not be below grade. The excavation of such a garage is just way too expensive to keep the units priced low. This made it very difficult to fit the required parking spaces all on one level, so many of us were trying to get them to fit by using minimal dimensions. The professor yelled at us! She said (in the practical way that only the Chinese seem to think in), “You have to have parking spaces large enough to fit a mini-van! If you’re a parent and you don’t own a mini-van, then you can’t do the carpool, and none of the other kid’s parents will like you!” So true, so rational. We can’t avoid it, Brutus. It IS “for the children.” 🙂
anono – read above my comments on the history of SF neighborhoods. But, if you are denying that the Mission is a Mexican enclave, then you haven’t been to the Mission in the last 20 years!
Furthermore, I never said that 2/2s are not PRICED in SF for 700k+, I said that for you to assert that only people who can afford these prices should be worthy of a “nice” home is insulting! A $700k condo is out of reach of 90% of San Franciscians. A $500k condo is out of reach of about 80% of San Franciscians. ALL of these Citrino condos are out of reach of the existing neighborhood residents – look at demographics of the Mission!
why don’t you take your comments to your Supervisor because they are the ones that are directing why, when, and how regarding housing. It’s not the developers fault, they are just people like you who are trying to eak out a living for themselves
rg- of course the Mission is now heavily hispanic. I know because I live there. But Plantguy is right that it was a historically Irish neighborhood, the evidence of which is everywhere. No matter- to suggest that somehow the ethnic demographics of a neighborhood should preclude market rate housing is a very troubling argument. What about Bayview, Chinatown and other neighborhoods? Only market rate housing in Pac Heights I guess in your view.
And noone here that I’m aware of has ever suggested that only people who can afford 700K deserve a nice home. Frankly, that’s an assinine statement you are using to try to create a controversy where there is none. This thread has been debating the merits of a market rate building in a less desirable location and somehow you have interpreted this to be an attack on poor people. Your posts are so illogical and hyperbolic that it is practically a waste of effort responding to them.
Anono – my comments are not directed to anyone on this thread but YOU. You casually state – “but it’s the only type of location where buyers are going to find nice 1BR’s for around 500K or nice 2BR for around 700K” like everyone should be GRATEFUL to the developer for giving us such great prices! Like such a measly sum of money shouldn’t get you more house than THIS. *Thank you for allowing me to pay $4000/month to live in a small, poorly finished condo, too small to even fit my family, in a marginal location! Somehow, I’ll find that extra $4000 every month even though I only make $8.50/hr!* If you live in the Mission, then you should have a better grasp on the economic demographics of your neighborhood. But this isn’t just a Mission/Hispanic argument. Everyone on here should have a better grasp of the economic demographics of the ENTIRE city. Furthermore, I find your comment “A location like this won’t improve until market rate housing moves in” plain insulting. It’s saying that it takes gentrification to “improve” (subjective) a neighborhood. When everyone living around S. Van Ness and 19th makes over 100k/year, THEN people will take better care of the neighborhood? Right.
The lower Mission is historically a lower income neighborhood I think we can all agree on that (and I am of Irish and Mexican heritage, both from the Mission, so I know the history well)
The real issue (if you think there is one) is a regional jobs/housing balance and type. Because the majority of the Bay Area is so low density suburban and not appealing to a large number of people who work in Silicon Valley we end up housing tech workers who drive down south. These are the majority of people I believe these places are marketed to
Whether right or wrong and whether we want to be the bedroom community for the Silicon Valley I don’t know
Perhaphs I’m just not getting some part of this debate. We’re talking about 17th & Van Ness. There cannot be any serious disagreement that this not a good location. I think some of the comments here are a little over the top on how bad it is, but it is certainly not good.
A developer comes along, goes through the time-consuming, expensive and risky process of building a market rate building here- new housing that no government agency or non-profit is willing to build. Many people are willing to go hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, likely putting their life savings into down payments, to live in this location.
This, somehow, is viewed as a bad thing. Those of us who support this project and others like it are somehow viewed as being anti-working class, or worse. That makes no sense. I think that the fact that developers are willing take on millions of dollars in risk and buyers are willing to take on many millions more in debt shows that a segment of our community views this as a good place to live (though they likely want it to get better).
Look at 17th & Van Ness now- how can anyone say that the neighborhood is taking care of this location? How can anyone say that its current state is desirable? Why don’t we want to encourage those who are willing to move there and work to make it better- if even by just demanding more policing and city services? We might not like the reality, but the reality is that the police/city/public works etc… will pay more attention when 30+ homeowners at Citrino raise an issue than they are right now.
I have a perfectly fine grasp of the economics of the city: only 30% homeowners, the lowest of any major metropolitan area in the country. I think homeownership is important and a higher level of ownership would particularly help S.F. with issues of better services and accountability for officials. I just don’t understand the opposition to market rate housing when no one else is stepping up to provide housing. At least there will be some BMR’s in the new buildings. What is the city doing? What are the “non-profits” doing?
Nothing. And that’s basic Economics/Politics 101.
anono – Excellent post, the only problem I had with it was the 30% homeowner statement – yes, the City has homeownership rates that are low, but not the metro area – and there are other small parts of metro areas where homeownership rates are lower (Manhattan is 33.2%, SF is 35%)
rg – Are you suggesting that employers in the Mission are paying their employees below minimum wage? (Minimum wage in SF is $9.14/hour) If so, do you have any proof?
I meant to say the City has 30% homeownership rates, which is the lowest of any major city (even below Manhattan).
My point is that “market rate” in SF means only affordable to 10% of residents and foreign investors. That’s never going to improve anyone’s situation. Let’s face it, “market rate” in SF is only “market rate” to people speculating, taking out shady loans, and spending over 70% of their salary to a mortgage. By comparison, only 30% of people in NYC may CHOSE to buy (which is a main reason that NYC has low homeownership, it’s a personality trait of New Yorkers to not want to buy), but those who do spend far less income. I don’t know the % of NYC owners, but I do know that Chicago’s owners pay on average only 20-25% of their incomes to a mortgage. Smart. The “market” in this neighborhood can’t afford these prices, and it’s not fair to drive them out for the sake of a developer making millions.
rg – source please for the following:
1. Low ownership rates in NYC are a “personality trait”, but low ownership rates in SF are only because of prices – that might be the most laughable comment you’ve ever made.
2. Chicago owners on average pay 20-25% of income on mortgage – where did you find this number?
Brutus, you’re just making yourself look stupid by making such foolish personal attacks as “are you saying Mission employers paying below minimum wage?” We all know that we voted in 2004 for a minimum wage of $8.50 (maybe you voted against it). I’m so sorry that I forgot to include this year’s measly 3% increase. Btw, one foot outside of SF, the CA min. wage is only $7.50 and the country’s is $5.15 – I guess those people aren’t coming home to the Citrino either.
New York City comment – I AM a New Yorker, and therefore I know from personal experience, Brutus. What’s your experience that makes you disagree? My parents even choose to rent. I have dozens of friends in NYC that don’t care to have the responsibility of homeownership, you simply don’t move to a dense city like that expecting to own a piece of land. I’ve never heard a friend here say they didn’t wish they could afford to buy.
And Chicago’s median % income is 23.3%: http://www.housingtracker.net/affordability/. It’s been published on this site many times.
I guess we’ll just have to take your word for it that New Yorkers don’t want to own a house. Sounds bizarre, and certainly doesn’t match the feelings of anybody that I know from New York (many of which moved from the City to buy a house and the others of which bought in Brooklyn)
And yes, I know MANY people in SF that have no intention of buying a house here – must be a personality trait thing as well – it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with prices (here or NYC).
And rg – please do your homework a little more – the Federal minimum wage went to $5.85 on 7/24/07 and will go up each summer in 08 and 09. There was nothing in my post that was a “personal attack” – but there was in yours.
Thank you for the source for Chicago incomes.
Brutus, you amuse me with how petty you are. A true, weird San Franciscian you must be. Thanks for correcting me. I usually think that I’m YEARS behind the trends, thanks for confirming that I’m only 12 DAYS behind!
RG, don’t mean to intrude on your discussion with others, but the housingtracker link is very interesting, thanks for putting it up. It is an interesting guide for those of us who are being recruited for positions in other cities. I now understand why some of my co-workers in other cities seem to live a lot more “rich” than I do even though my salary is higher than theirs.
500K for a tiny one bedroom in the ghetto? No thanks
500K for a tiny one bedroom in the ghetto? No thanks
It is a rehash of all the comments around 140 South Van Ness from several years ago. No, South Van Ness is not a great location, but there are many people who are willing to live there if there is “value” in the product that they are buying or renting. Hell, Church Street and Dolores park was a stomping ground for gangs and drug dealers a decade ago. It was an urban adventure going east of Valencia St. Well take a look at the building beside the Latin American Club on 22nd and Valencia. It is much nicer, but the 2/2 of similar size is almost $900,000 and right beside a bar. Maybe Centrino is a bit on the expensive side, but nearly all developments in the city are offering incentives to lure buyers. It will sell out and it will appreciate in the medium/longer term.
A few comments:
1 – Housing is so expensive in San Francisco because there is no supply. In all other cities, when it becomes expensive to buy and (relatively) cheap to rent, developers change rentals into condos. Here that is illegal. Also, because organizations like MAC stop new development, we have no new units, either. If people would just let developers increase the housing stock, prices would come down. This relationship is documented beyond objection.
2- To call the area a ghetto is crazy. I live south of there on S. Van Ness. Sure the Mission/16 area has its share of homeless and drug dealers, but it’s not particularly violent. I’ve lived in the various parts of the Mission for four years, incl. on S Van Ness for three, walk around at night, and haven’t ever been hassled. Now, I’m from New York and I pay attention, but so what? My reward is to live in a vibrant neighborhood full of artists, entrepreneurs, great restaurants, and bars… A trade I will make any day to avoid the sleepy stroller-brigade of Noe…
Back to the pricing….even if these units sound affordable, some of them are close to $900/ft2 (at least before early-August price adjustments). Pricey for any neighborhood.
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