Cubix (766 Harrison) Banner (

As we (and a plugged-in tipster) noted last month:

It’s a plugged-in tipster that first notes that the ninety-eight (98) studios of 766 Harrison aren’t going the rental route but are rather about to hit the market as condominiums. Additional details when we have them.

A few of those additional details: 766 Harrison has been dubbed “Cubix Yerba Buena” (our unfortunate first thought, sprockets) and a placeholder website has been launched (let’s just say we appreciate the architecture a lot more than the graphic design); prices “starting in the high $200s;” and coming “Summer 2008.”

And once again, additional details when we (or our tipsters) have them.

The 98 “Sophisticated/Stylish” Apartments Condos Of 766 Harrison [SocketSite]
From Rendering To Reality (Although Not Quite Finality): 766 Harrison [SocketSite]
Cubix Yerba Buena (766 Harrison) []

82 thoughts on “766 Harrison: Condos Indeed And A Brand New Brand (“Cubix YB”)”
  1. Studio condos? Yes! Future SROs? Maybe.
    “Summer 2008” means near the end of September, right? Assuming they stay on schedule, which appears to be the case.

  2. The question is not “Do we really need studio condos?” The question is “Do we need condos priced in the $200,000’s?”
    The answer is “yes.”

  3. I think this building is fun, but what is with this city and making all new projects BROWN? And not even a subtle brown, but mud and dirt and you can think of what else brown. Ick. It’s even worse than all of the gray I’m seeing. Seriously, if you want to play it safe, there is nothing wrong with offwhite, or pure white. ENOUGH WITH THE BROWN!!!

  4. Might there be concern for the long term mental health of someone who dives a Smart car and lives in one of these? I would wager that growth might be stunted, at the very least.
    On the other hand, if you are rich and live elsewhere, one of these would make a very cute pied a terre for trips to the city.

  5. I don’t think you can calculate the surface of a building by its roof deck. On One Eckert, the rook deck is only a fraction of the building.
    I looked at the construction site on Google Maps and tried to figure the SFootage.
    The lot looks like 40ft wide and 175ft deep give or take 10%, or approximately 7000sf. I don’t know how much you can remove in surface from walls, shafts, hallways. 30%? That would make each unit at around 350sf. Then again, with the approximations, I’d say the units are 300-400sf each.

  6. Looks like about 332 sq. ft. per unit from Dec. 2005 information
    The Development will include 4,500 square feet of retail uses, five parking spaces for the residential units, a landscaped 581-square-foot side yard, along with 4,370 square feet of common resident open space on a roof deck. The average unit size is 332 square feet, including a private bathroom and kitchen area for each unit. Each kitchen area will include a stove, oven, and refrigerator.

  7. they should have all BMRs to be this small and in one building rather than part of the market rate building.

  8. Might there be concern for the long term mental health of someone who d[r]ives a Smart car and lives in one of these?
    You might have more space by living in the smart car.

  9. 332 sq ft? Totally live-able for a single person, especially straight out of school, though for that reason I think it makes more sense as a rental than a condo.
    As a point of reference, high-end cruise ships do some pretty nice things with this amount of space. I’ve spent a good amount of time in this one:
    which was a perfectly comfy 254 square feet. (If an apartment, I’d swap the verandah for a mini-kitchen, of course.)

  10. The space is definitely tight. When I lived at the Portside my junior one bedroom [the ‘junior one’ was basically an alcove for a twin sized murphy bed] was really cosy at 515 sq. ft. However, it did face the bridge and thus got a ton of morning sunlight and had a small balcony which also helped. Studios at 332 sq. ft would be about 2/3 the size and thus really small, and I’m not sure how much light they get. Aren’t most hotel rooms bigger that this?

  11. Is there any kind of loft space? I think that’s how they made the smaller Book Concern building more livable. I like how close it is to Yerba Buena, but doesn’t seem convenient to public transit.

  12. When Baycrest built a slew of studio condos at 497 sq feet and I thought they were horrible, until the book concern, which really concerned me.
    It should be illegal to build units that small and call it habitable space. Its not the 1950’s, when everyone left their homes empty all day and went to work, a good portion of people today spend a lot of time working at home.
    Wherever you find one human being you will generally find another. People are funny that way. Put two human beings inside 332 sq feet for a month as their total living space and see what emerges.
    There is a horrid smell to cramped quarters that can’t be avoided. I look at the building a large brown stink bomb offering to the city of San Francisco.
    What’s next? Windows and access to sunlight and fresh air extra?
    How are these cramped quarters adding the quality of life in the city? Do these tiny living spaces really aid to improving the quality of life of the citizens of San Francisco? Or are they built as sleeping pods for people who live elsewhere? Do we want that? Pod people?
    -Typo Mary

  13. It beats leaving people sleep on the streets. Why don’t you cry about that issue kathleen? It seems much more important.

  14. Wow, you people must not get out much.
    Studios this size are not unusual at all in other cities – London, Paris, NY, Tokyo, Hong Kong – and they’re all very livable.
    I’ve even seen some of the NY ones on the HGTV design shows – you can do some amazing things in 330 sq ft – including people who are self-employed and work at home.
    If I were a confirmed batchelor, this would be perfect for me. My partner and I left a ~450 sq ft studio in the Mission after 2.5 years for a real one bedroom in Ashbury Heights only because he was going crazy with the lack of space.

  15. As Eric says these are pretty normal eleswhere in the world
    If the space is well designed, and the location is such that you can get out a lot then it is preferable to living with roommates (read: master tennant nazis) when one is starting out.
    So people in that arrangement are pretty much confined to their rooms and have to share bathrooms
    I’d love to see more rentals like this. I am certain that the next census will show fewer young people in SF than 2000
    I think there is demand

  16. I do not see a problem with the small space. I have been thinking of buying a travel trailer and hitting the road. I work from home, so I could. Still, it doesn’t seem reasonable so I am waiting till I retire.

  17. I’ll take a well designed small space over a larger but poorly designed Victorian era space every time! Having lived in Tokyo and New York, 300 sqft doesn’t scare me at all.

  18. Wow. People on here really sound like spoiled rich people. 332 square feet for a single person or even a young couple starting out is NOT that small and VERY, VERY, VERY common in most of the rest of the world – including many first world countries and cities. I would much rather have had this than being crammed into a three bedroom with two roommates for my first few years out of college. I agree with others though that this would be better used as rental housing.

  19. 330 square feet common for the rest of the world? Really? Can we see some stats on that?
    Anyway, as a relative value play, you can spend $200K on either a) a new closet in a box in Soma; or b) a fixer in Bayview with a yard and views.
    No one can predict the future. Over time, Bayview may gentrify and improve. And you can rebuild/renovate that fixer, in any way you want. 10-15 years from now, Bayview may still be Bayview, or it may be the next Glen Park. This? This will still be a closet in a box.

  20. Dude,
    I lived in a 20 square meter place in Amsterdam for a year, as well as a 22 square meter place in Buenos Aires for six months.
    If you need proof that it’s common in the rest of the world, visit Ikea or one of their websites for other countries. In Europe, it is very common for a young person starting out to live in this type place – remember that European cities had SRO type housing just as we did (and still do), only it wasn’t torn down or converted to homeless/druggie housing, but was kept up for use (and still built) by the young and childless.
    As I said before, this would be better built as rental housing, but there is a definite use and need for this size of housing – and a LOT more of it.

  21. This isn’t tokyo, paris, london, bangalore, or Urumchi, but it would be fun to try this.
    Maybe it’s not insane as condos — a pied a terre for the on-a-budget set? A corporate commuter might even like one of these. In the high 200’s it doesn’t sound like it pencils out vs. renting, but has anyone run the numbers?
    If it doesn’t work, they can always convert. No harm searching for Foolio’s “cubix rubes” first 🙂

  22. these make sense as a condo investment for rental if you snag a few under $250K.
    price $245K
    $45K down
    Monthly payment: 30 Years
    Interest rate: 5.800%
    Loan amount: $ 200,000.00
    $ 1,173.51 a month
    I think you could rent these out to students, circus clowns and/or midgets for $1000-1200/month
    However, you might have to sleep in your dresser drawer

  23. Some of you guys on here are really harsh. “Pitiful”? I don’t see how it’s pitiful that we’re building housing for people that DON’T have a >$70k/ salary, DON’T have pets or kids, and DON’T want to commute 45 minutes each way to their jobs.
    And Kathleen, “it should be illegal” to sell 300sf places? Puh-leeze. As others have said, check out other ‘top-shelf’ cities before you start spouting about what should be acceptable in SF.
    People in SF supposedly want to be green, not wasteful, and open to alternative lifestyles. A small place (efficient to heat, cool, and clean), most likely close to where the owner lives (efficient commute) and near mass transit (no need for a car), for somebody that has near the median salary for the city. This is anything other than “pitiful”.

  24. my friend in Paris (actually realatively well off attorney) lives in a 350 sq ft. studio and seems happy with it. It was definitely cramped when i visited, but maybe us americans need to get used to smaller spaces.
    Also, my dorm room for 3 yrs in college was 6.5 x 9 or

  25. No, London, Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and Paris are much different. The first four are world financial centers, and all five of those cities have a population of at least 7,000,000, not the pitiful 700,000 population of San Francisco.
    The alternative to places like this is not homelessness–it’s simply moving to a better, normal, more affordable city, like Los Angeles, San Diego, and so on.

  26. ^^^People can just move to more affordable places like LA, San Diego, etc – but people in London can’t move to more affordable places like Machester? People in Paris can’t move to more affordable places like Lyon? How about Tokyo? People can’t move to Osaka? Your argument makes no sense. People CAN always move someplace more affordable – the reason that places like this get built is that people would RATHER live in a small place in the city that they currently live in/would like to live in/work in/etc as opposed to moving hundreds of miles away to a new place.
    SF is smaller than those cities, sure. Why not compare to one of the hundreds of other European cities that also have very small housing options?

  27. How about we let the market decide? If no one buys these places until they drop to 50k, then clearly no one wants them. I think it is ridiculous (and oh so San Francisco) for some people on here to be asking for places this small to be made illegal.

  28. Hey dub dub,
    Depending on how much you pay to rent a place with roommates, this may make better sense than renting. Here are my assumptions:
    Purchase price: $300,000
    Downpayment: 25%
    Loan proceeds: $225,000
    Loan terms: 30-year fixed at 6.59%
    Tax bracket: 40%
    Given the above assumptions, your debt service would be $1,453 per month (appx $900 after-tax).
    Your property tax would be $275 per month ($165 after-tax). Oh yeah, you’ll also need to factor in HOA fees, say $200 per month. This isn’t tax deductible.
    Total cost: $1,928 per month pre-tax.
    After-tax: $1,265.
    A place to call your own: PRICELESS!!

  29. Yes, people might prefer a smaller place in the city than a larger place far away (especially when they have a high-paying Wall Street job!)
    but the $300,000 question here for San Francisco is, “How small?”

  30. The only comparable building I know is 195 7th Street – 32 condos all around 300SF. Recently the sales have been just under $300,000 though one is languishing for over two months. That building is now almost 20 years old and the rents are about $1,200 a month. No parking there, though – in fact that building isn’t even eligible for parking permits. I think the city needs more small units because I imagine there are people willing to sacrifice space for not having roommates.

  31. I think one person can live here fine as long as you don’t have “stuff” from living somewhere else larger. As other have mentioned, people live in hotels, dorm rooms etc. of this size or less with no problem. It’s all about expectations. Humans are quite adaptable. Also, anything for sale at this price is a breath of fresh air.

  32. If the rents are indeed around $1,200 at an older studio condo building (195 7th Street), that’s a better deal, in my humble opinion, than paying $1,928 a month pre-tax (plus a $75,000 down payment) for the next 30 years.

  33. I see no mention of an allotment of BMR units. Is it possible that all of these units are considered entry level and therefore no BMR requirement ? That could be a boon for the developer.
    On a different topic, one of my peeves are advertisements that list “from the high $X00s”. That’s not too bad when talking about the “high 800s” because 900K isn’t that much higher. But here we have $200K in a really big font with the qualifier “from the high” hidden in the graphic noise of the banner. So people see $200K, but the sign actually means they will pay 50% more than that. Deceptive.
    The next time I sell a car, I’ll advertise it “from the high $000Ks” and see what happens.

  34. For one building like this one, they should build a storage building next door where people would put their furniture. And you’d charge $600/month for that. And people would go into their storage once a week to stare at the furniture they could have used…

  35. Not to Belabor this point but in effect we already have many young people living in small spaces with master tenants (and in many cases feeling confined to their rooms)
    Lots of young people don’t even cook when they live in the city. You need a place for minimal possessions, to sleep, maybe a desk
    I would have loved this option over living with some of the freaks I was forced to live with over the early years
    I would love to see the planning code favor construction like this as rental increasing the supply of studios. I think there is a lot that could be done with common space and clever design (loft beds, hideaway desks etc.)
    And if I am wrong the market will let us know

  36. $1000/sq foot? Puh-lease.
    Posted by: bossmillion at July 25, 2008 9:28 AM
    Bossmillion made a point that no-one has discussed. While I concede smaller units typically have higher sqare footage costs, these ‘cubes’ are basically 330 sq. ft rather plain boxes with minimal finishes … at least as far as I can tell from the renderings. Most likely no Subzero Fridges or Viking ranges either. If units ‘start’ in the high 200’s, do they top out at [say] $350K for units with some sunlight? If so, that’s close to $1000 per sq. ft. If these sell, I imagine the developer makes off with some pretty healthy margins.

  37. “[furniture…] Thats the settled and suburbanites”
    @Zig — you obviously don’t know the pleasures of a large, comfy sofa (and I’m not talking about to sleep on) 🙂

  38. It’s cool to invite friends over and have everyone sit on your sole piece of furniture, a bed/couch/recliner/dining table…right guys?

  39. This is why you should never ever throw away the boxes you used during moving.
    Call it “foldable furniture”.

  40. Not only are moving boxes foldable furniture, the larger pieces can be affordable housing in San Francisco, since size does not really matter now.
    And why not? There’s probably many real estate agents in town willing to collect a 6% commission on a cardboard box.

  41. …and as natural resources become more scarce, cardboard will only go up! Do any of you realize how much cardboard boxes cost in world class cities like London and Singapore?!?

  42. Cardboard boxes are as close to “ultra green” as can be. Talk about small carbon footprint. (as long as you don’t burn your cardboard box for heat).

  43. I lived in a 225sq foot studio cut out of what was once a single-family Edwardian for a year and a half, at $800 a month, so this doesn’t sound like such a bad deal for somebody starting out in the city who wants a place of their own after living in a roomie situation for a while. It actually seems like more of the single starter condo development building I’ve been saying this city needs for a long time.

  44. Wow, what a very weird discussion.
    Let’s check back in with this one in a year and see what the market decided. I would imagine that the developer can go down to low 200’s or high 100’s and still cut a decent margin, so let’s see. Very little in the way of parking costs for the developer in this one and a smaller requirement for BMR units = potentially higher margins at equivalent price/sq foot levels.
    I’d like to see this type of building built all over the Bay Area. Time to build some housing affordable to recent college grads.

  45. Recent college grads usually don’t have that $75,000 for a down payment. Typically, they have over $25,000 in debts, instead.
    Of course, once recent college grads learn the San Francisco way of doing things, they’ll easily have $250,000 worth of debt before they know it.

  46. “I lived in a 225sq foot studio cut out of what was once a single-family Edwardian for a year and a half, at $800 a month so this doesn’t sound like such a bad deal”
    If these were only $800 a month then they’d look a lot better.

  47. Market rate affordable housing, what a great idea. We need ten more of these buildings. I bet there are whole families in Chinatown living in units this size.

  48. I live in a 500 square foot studio, right on the beach in Alameda. It’s designed well, I have the coolest murphy bed in the world (hides behind an 11 foot wall of books), and by rearranging one chair I can open up my full size dining room table and have a dinner party for 8, perfectly comfortably. To live in a 330 square foot space I’d have to give that up, but I could do it easily. I only have a dinner party once or twice a year anyway.
    I work from home and have no trouble with the space. It doesn’t smell (?) and it isn’t going to break the bank even if I do end up underwater in the next couple of months (which does seem likely). I am always astounded at people who say they “need” more space. No, you don’t. It’s funny that the people who “need” more space are also the ones who are convinced that you can’t find good housing for 30% of gross income in the Bay Area. You can. Mine’s 15%, and living small is not a sacrifice.
    The big house is just like the big SUV, a resource hog that ends up costing more and more over time.

  49. I personally don’t think that any size housing is unacceptable. From hotel room size studios to palatial multi M$$$$ mansions, there is something for everybody. The prices do seem a bit steep. Only time will tell how the buyers in this market will receive them. I do think that if this building was somewhere along the eastern Embarcadero with bay and bridge views, many would probably be pre-sold by now. Location, location, location.

  50. does any one have the actual sq. ft. details… other than just estimates that might clear up a lot of confusion. anywhere near 700-1000psf is goint to be be a joke just like what has already been said.

  51. The website has all the info now including floor plans, but I don’t see actual sq footage numbers.

  52. I have lived in New York, Hong Kong, Paris and London. I don’t want live in any of those cities. I chose to live in SF because I wanted to live in a more human scaled city.
    You can see the sky here.
    I dont want new buildings blocking out anymore sun, creating wind tunnels.
    I am so glad there are so many people who would be happy to live in 332 sq ft.
    Become astronauts. Go,colonize Mars.

  53. Discussion here is too much on (amount of) space and not on functionality. I think this project is right on target and will effectively appeal to a highly underserved market.
    Totally cool that it appears most units will have balconies — outdoor space counts for a lot.
    Downside is that they didn’t incorporate a stack unit W/D, meaning that they are going to live more like a college dorm than a condo. Shared laundry facilities are no fun — anyone spare a couple of quarters?

  54. Kathleen,
    Your original responses said that projects with units this small should be “made illegal” or eventually “smell”. Now you’ve decided that this is too tall. You’re sounding like a garden variety BANANA or NIMBY. Do you just want no new development? Paris and London are not human-scaled cities? Are you serious?

  55. “Become astronauts. Go,colonize Mars.”
    from the content of your messages, it sounds like you are already there

  56. I predict this development will sell faster than the other new projects coming to market, because it has a lower price point. (To be followed by other super small condo developments, due to financial success in a difficult market.) Size may not matter, but price does.
    Rents are still going up folks.

  57. People complain about SF not having enough affordable housing. Now there are attractive units with high-end finishes coming on the market. So affordable housing is coming for sale in the heart of SOMA, close to downtown, and freeways for commuting and most of you are posting comments about the size. SF is full of complainers…very rarely satisfied!
    BTW-there are similar sized units that have sold in the low-mid 300’s at the Lamnourne, Symphony Towers, & 901 Bush.
    Apparently actual home buyers are finding use for efficient urban living.

  58. I visited these units yesterday…. liked them very much. Very small; no parking except for car shares. Concrete floors and walls! This is what excites me about the place — it might be really soundproof, although I’d want to get more info and/or do some tests. The highest priced unit (not yet offered; supposedly they are only offering the first 5 floors, and holding off on the uppers until the lowers are sold) is $395K; has a very high ceiling, and is quite spectacular in a tiny place way. In general, though, I think the asking prices are about 1/3 too high. I’m going to wait and see how sales go.

  59. The nature, scale and character of cities and neighborhoods is constantly in flux. This project is a response to issues of population growth/density, affordability, zoning, and economic conditions. The project/product MAY work for some people, and not for others. My bet- People will stop being as obsessed with owning real estate, and turn to rentals/time-shares/fractionals. Why pay $300k for 300 SqFt that you will likely outgrow in 5 years on a fixed/flex mortgage, only to up-size when you make babies or make whoopee with all your new city-friends? And no- This won’t help solve homelessness, or social problems. Yes- Too much brown = pooopy eyes all around… BUT- building up, instead of out is a key factor in limiting urban sprawl. And, we all could do a little bit more, with a little bit less space.

  60. I am looking at Pac Heights condos now, which are actually a bit cheaper than the same sized SFH in Noe and I noticed that you can get a studio in Pac Heights for the price of one of these. Personally, I would way rather live in Pac Heights.

  61. I went back there, and learned that while the floors (and ceilings) are concrete, the walls are not… so, would definitely not be buying. They really are efficiencies rather than studios, as has been pointed out; being staged without beds in them! If you have a queen, non-foldout bed, there would be no room for any other furniture. I think these may end up selling in the low 200s.

  62. For those of you who continually talk about Europeans and the amount of space they live in: stop referencing them. This is America, more importantly it’s California. We don’t live that way. Enough with the talk about how much space the rest of the world needs.

  63. Yes, Meredith we live differently. We consume a disproportionate amount of limited resources. We create prosperity by mortgaging our future. We don’t need to learn from anyone else because we already know the best way to live.
    So let’s just pull the wool over our own eyes because we are better than the rest of the world. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Full speed ahead. The future’s gonna be great.
    Hurray for us !

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