74 New Montgomery

A plugged-in reader’s perspective on The Montgomery (74 New Montgomery) and its cuts:

I bought a 1-bedroom pre-opening in 2007…for over 100K more than the new pricing (although we did get about $35K in pre-paid HOA and upgrade credits plus the standard 3 yrs parking) … oh well.

The building, by the way, is quite nice, and I love the location … this is a second home for my wife and me so we plan to keep it long term but I’d hate to be someone who needs to re-sell right now.

The new starting prices from the sales office:

Studios starting from $383,000
Executive Studios starting from $462,000
One Bedrooms starting from $452,000
One Bedrooms with Den starting from $625,000
Two Bedrooms starting from $882,000
Two Bedrooms with Den starting from $1,350,000

And a few of their original price ranges from the first release in 2007:

Studios $379,000 to $540,000 (420-580 sqft)
Junior one bedrooms $598,000 to $655,000 (500-600 sqft)
One bedrooms $487,000 to $647,000 (600-750 sqft)
One bedrooms + den $745,000 to $850,000 (700-900 sqft)

And everybody’s favorite of which to be aware, “New 4.5% Broker Co-op” (for new contracts before 3/31/09).

The Montgomery (74 New Montgomery): Pricing And Reservations [SocketSite]

39 thoughts on “A Plugged-In Reader’s Perspective On The Montgomery And Its Cuts”
  1. Ouch…how are the one bedrooms starting below the executive studios?
    I wouldn’t be so excited about these prices…the units don’t include parking (they have some lease deal with a garage nearby).
    However, it’s a great location for true out-of-towners so you might not need the parking.

  2. Can someone give me a premium for parking in that area? 75-100k?
    I’d like to know so I can price it appropriately.

  3. 560 Mission has Monthly Parking for business users for $425 / Month..
    I don’t really know if you can use that as ‘residential parking’
    There is no street parking worth speaking of obviously as it’s all metered.

  4. We looked at this building as well. The furnishings and fixtures are nice. Layouts are OK. Units seem small and this is compounded by low ceilings at least in the units we saw. And the worse thing is leased parking in the parking garage behind the building. That was the killer for us. That said, the facade is beautiful and the roof deck is a nice feature.

  5. @ jesseep. If I was a buyer in the building, I’d value deeded parking at $100k. The location is great, right in front of YB Park, MOMA and FIDI. Parking will always be a premium in that area.
    From your prior post, you mentioned you didn’t need parking so this building might be right! This is a great building with great character. Dude mentioned the units at Blu that faces a blank wall and majority of units at Montgomery is the same. I have no problems facing a wall as long as there’s sunlight into the unit. Actually, I rather face a blank wall compared to a fishbowl like the units at the Palms.
    I might make another appointment to see the units again with the prices lowered. I would like one of those 2/2 with deeded parking.

  6. Mommy, what’s an executive studio?
    Why dear, executive studio is a good example of an oxymoron.

  7. I looked at this bldg seriously in 2007 and might have squandered my money there if the sales force wasn’t so incredibly arrogant at that time. The bldg initially had some very nice salespeople who got booted for Mark, which had a team a team of young girls sashaying around in faux-sophisticated matching black dresses, treating customers like s**t. I was ready to put down a multi-100K downpayment and could easily afford any unit in the bldg, but they wouldn’t bend on pricing (even as the market was starting to melt in late ’07) and were quite huffy when I walked away from the table…never a followup call, or an attempt to work with me at all.
    I looked some more and I think Blu, nearby, is a better value (although I didn’t buy there either–at the time they, too, weren’t flexible enough on pricing. Lesson learned folks??). Most of the Montgomery units don’t have much character. They’re generally on the small side, range hoods DO NOT vent outside (huge negative), and they have that awful, cheap resistance heat you find all over SF, so the place would never really be warm enough & elec bills would be sky high. Blu, only a couple of blocks away, has full central heat & air, the range hoods vent, the units tend to be larger, and there’s on-site parking.

  8. You can’t do more central locationwise.
    But still 800-ish/sf with no parking. Tsst Tsst.
    Not yet a good alternative to renting.

  9. Well, I’m not fond of this building at all. Yes, the location is central, but it’s also loud. New Montgomery is a major traffic corridor on weekends, funneling into the 280/101. The building is short and squat, with no views to speak of. And the alleys around this building are a homeless campground. So unrealistically overpriced, IMO, even after the reduction. I completely agree with sunnyvalesteve on all his points.
    And as I mentioned on the other thread, I’ve heard most buyers here are out of towners. They could have saved themselves hundreds of thousands by just staying at the Palace (which is next door) for their monthly SF outing. Whoops.

  10. I’ll agree with sunnvalesteve; I was looking for a second home, the central location was attractive, nice neighborhood with several buildings maintaining the era of 74, and my need for a car is nil. The building is nice, the units small, with really no views except on the east side of the building or higher up. The HOA’s are very high, and the only items you receive in return is doorman/conceierge, and a roof top deck which is nice but very exposed.
    The sales staff was a bunch of young cuties who were arrogant and ignorant. My parting shot was I’ll come back in a year when the units are cheaper, they felt they would be sold out. Is the Mark Group attitude similar at the other building they represent? If so, they better change with the market, cute and arrogant isn’t going to sell many units.

  11. Not sure if there have been any comments from residents but I’m the tipster … and I’ll be the first to admit we overpaid but we would have overpaid for any bldg at the time we bought.
    Everyone’s buy decision is different … I work in SF Monday-Friday at 3rd/Howard and but home in Sacramento (in a 3,600 sf house with all the bells and whistles that we could never afford here) from Fri night to Monday morning … my wife and toddler son spend one night mid week at the condo and occasionally we all stay there for the weekend (Fleet Week, Giants game, etc).
    Our unit is a 1 BR on the 7th floor on the alley side … it gets great natural light and is BY FAR the quietiest residential bldg I have ever stayed in in SF … I’ve stayed in probably 30 hotels in the city over the years and rented apts or rooms in Pac Heights, Mission Bay, GG Heights, etc and never had a good night’s sleep like I do here.
    Part of it is the fact I’m on the alley side, part is that the bldg walls are very thick and the original windows are excellent, and part is that they force in outside air that creates a slight white noise sound.
    sunnyvalesteve is a little off on the PGE bills … the unit is surprisingly warm (well-insulated from the thick walls) and in nearly a year my PGE bills have not yet topped $25 for a month (and I watch a lot of TV). I almost never have to turn on the wall heaters. I also think it has great character and while my unit is only 705 sf, it feels much bigger with 12′ ceilings in the living room and bedroom. I have a parking space at my office so I rent out the leased one @ Paramount garage that came with the unit for $300/mo (and there is another garage within a block that charges $300/mo).
    There is no wasted space in our unit, including a nice hall closet with W/D and plenty of storage space, the bedroom has a walk-in closet and the bathroom is out of proportion large. I easily fit in a dining table w/ 6 chairs, sofa, addtl liv room chair, coffee table, floor lamp, and entertainment cabinet in the live/dine area, and a queen bed w/ nightstand, floor lamp, and large dresser in the bedroom.
    Having said that, the unit we bought was the only one we wanted in the bldg (highest floor with a 1 BR, best layout in our opinion, quiet, great natural light, high ceilings, and in our price range).
    While they’re a little less than 50% sold from last I heard, the stack I bought in (2nd to 7th floors) completely sold out before the first move-in. I thought the 1 BR+den and the “exec studios” (they’re about the size of the 1 BRs but the sleeping area is on a raised platform in the middle of the unit so doesn’t technically qualify as 1 BR) were over-priced even by the Monty’s prices and the units on low floors blocked by the office bldg will need to be reduced more – they have terrible light.
    Our HOAs are $645/mo – high, I agree – but the only things not covered are elec (gas for the ranges included), TV and phone (TV by the way is DirecTV with built-in dual tuner for each unit so you can watch something while Tivo-ing something else). The concierges are all nice people and it’s not unusual to see quite a few residents just sitting in the lobby at 7 pm chatting with each other. The roof deck actually has a bit of a wow factor and fun to take friends up for a glass of wine (or BBQ, which we have yet to take advantage of).
    This bldg is a lot more comparable in character, price, finishes, etc to places like the Royal and from that perspective it is a relative value per sf … we also looked at tree tops at Infinity, 310 Townsend, Arterra, and re-sales at 199 New Montgomery, the Metropolitan, etc. and even without the deeded parking and higher HOAs we liked this bldg (or specifically, this unit and bldg) best. Side note, our occasional neighbor on the 7th floor is John Cleese (in fact he was there last night) … not exactly Bono or Al Gore but not bad.
    Anyway, if someone is looking for a place with character, location, nice finishes and can live with no car or paying $300/mo for leased parking (which is approx the monthly payment on a $50K loan) and paying an extra $100 or so or the full-time doorman style, it’s a great place to call home (or 2nd home).
    One other thing – based on what the developers paid for the bldg (I’ve seen the #s) and my guess at the construction costs to turn it a residential bldg and the mktg costs since, I think they are not much better than break-even at the newer prices. So will be interesting to see how low they will go.

  12. Thanks for that perspective SFMR.
    Great idea to have the great big weekend house in Sacramento and the small 1 bedroom in SF. Great price efficiency, and who needs all that space on the weekday when you are really just sleeping there!

  13. I used to work in Sac and there are lots of families with kids on our cul-de-sac which we prefer for our little guy so we kept the house there when I started working in SF in 2006. Our house in Sac has monogram appliances, gran slab counters, limestone floors, in-wall s/s, huge back yard w/ spa & outdoor kitchen etc and only 10 mins from downtown Sac but according to zillow is worth close to 100K less than the 705 sf condo in SF.
    The condo is a good enough size to sleep 4 when needed (BR & sleeper sofa) so it’s a great place to spend a weekend with my brother or mom/stepdad and we’ve let a few friends spend weekends there as well. Assuming we stick to the plan it’ll be a nice corporate rental (HOAs were modified to allow that) after I’ve left this job in a few yrs and we’ll use it for getaways when it’s not being rented.

  14. As I mentioned, it’s more similar in style and location to something like the Royal.
    I’ve walked by blu and seen the web site but not the units. At the new prices it seems reasonable by high-end condo standards given the Viking appl and 1-car parking … for about the same price as a lower-end unit at blu (low floor, light blocked by wall) I think you can get a decent 1BR w/ den at the Monty but just 3 yrs leased pkg compared to no-cost parking at blu.
    One rincon we did not like the location at all … the units we could afford would have been down by the freeway and for me there’s just no neighborhood. It sounds funny but with the Palace next door to the Monty and a Starbucks at street level there is just enough activity to make the Monty feel like it’s in a cool neighborhood.
    Infinity the only thing we could afford was a low tree top with bad light next to a bldg and I didn’t like the layout.
    The other bldg I liked was actually 310 Townsend but my wife is not a big fan of brick & timber … she was the real driver on buying at the Monty even though she usually only spends 1 nt/week there and I’m there 4 nights!
    If you do turn out to be interested in a condo at 74 NM you should definitely push them for some pre-paid HOAs and upgrade credits on top of the price reductions.

  15. SF Monty,
    Your posts are among the few that are interesting, infomational, and well worth reading.
    thanks for sharing.
    I am so tired of the long range forecasts that some people seem tireless on posting.

  16. “Well, I’m not fond of this building at all. Yes, the location is central, but it’s also loud. New Montgomery is a major traffic corridor on weekends, funneling into the 280/101. The building is short and squat, with no views to speak of. And the alleys around this building are a homeless campground. So unrealistically overpriced, IMO, even after the reduction. I completely agree with sunnyvalesteve on all his points.”
    I love how people seem to know everything about a building without having lived there, let alone possibly not having visited. We are a dual-location, dual income no kids couple who have a 1 bed, 1 bath unit at the Montgomery. Bought in September 2008 when they were starting to discount. Our price is still ok relative to recent discounts but we are planning on holding for 20+ years so it is not as much of an issue for us anyway. Could not be more convenient to where one of us work (the main reason we chose the location)as well as key SF attractions. 1 block from BART station which is perfect for us since we do not keep a car. Getting to the Montgomery from SFO is painless.
    The building is “short and squat” but also seismically reinforced with concrete shear walls to the tune of $70 million. Might not be bad to be in a “short and squat” reinforced building in during the next earthquake. As far as the noise, the thick concrete walls do a good job of attenuation plus we are far from the New Montgomery end. Not to mention noise is part of living downtown in a large city…if you want quiet move to Brentwood…
    I will agree with assessments of the sales staff. Very disappointed in their professionalism and sense of urgency.

  17. There is quite a bit going on here on the weekends now, as the SFMOMA, Yerba Buena and the Rincon Center are right around the corner. They are not right outside the front door, but less than two blocks away. There is lots of shopping on Market which is very close, too, including Crocker Galleria and the San Francisco Center.
    Thanks for the informative and interesting post SFMR.
    If I were looking for a condo, this is the kind of building I would be looking at, since I like this older style more than the new glass and steel towers.

  18. Re: the neighborhood and activity…
    I’ve lived in this neighborhood for the past 6 years, and the weekend activity level, though perhaps not as high as some of the purely residential areas, has dramatically increased since we’ve been living here.
    Used to be there were very few restaurants open on the weekends, there were several homeless living on Mission between 2nd and 3rd and in front of this building, and you could stand in the middle of the Mission/New Montgomery intersection on a weekend morning with no fear of getting hit by a car.
    Recently there’s noticeably more activity and fewer homeless in the immediate area, correlated directly with more businesses being opened, though I fear that we may see a lot of business closures coming. Kyo-Ya (Japanese Restaurant in the Palace next door) closed entirely for the month of February due to slow business. Stacy’s books at 2nd and Market closes forever in a few weeks, and I’m seeing a lot of lingering vacancies on Market street, too. If this persists, the homeless and the petty crime will quickly follow.
    Oh, and I can see a lot of office space that no longer has furniture in it from my window .
    It looks like the sales office for the old Pac Bell building condo conversion is preparing to open on Minna street, and I wonder when the building at Hawthorne and Howard will finish construction, and then when (if?) anybody will actually move in.

  19. Can someone tell me how this building compares to 1 Ecker? Both seem to have historical significance and no parking.
    I’m curious at the psf prices each is commanding in this market.
    SFMR: Your analysis was good, I’m going to keep everything in mind when I visit on Monday.

  20. I lived here briefly (2 months) while my apartment was undergoing renovations.
    I absolutely love the location – there is a lot going on at night and on the weekends, although it would be nice if more restaurants were open on Sundays.
    The concierge staff are fantastic – which for us was really the best thing about the building. We had a one bedroom apartment – quite nice finishes, nicely laid out but very small.
    The real problems here are noise, price and the sales staff. We considered buying something here, but we found the sales staff to be jaw-dropping: they really acted like they were doing you a favor by turning up and showing you their overpriced apartments.
    That leads to the second point: the prices were completely out of whack with reality. We had a temporary rental of a furnished 1 bedroom – total price per month of $2300. But the same unit – on a lower floor with even less natural light – was on offer for over 700K last year. I don’t need to walk anyone through the numbers here – they clearly don’t make sense.
    It does not surprise me that there are so many left to sell. I loved the location and could have dealt with some of the problems that the building presented. But the idea of simply burning money is not one of those things I can live with.
    And what is up with no real ventilation? The kitchens are nice but without real vents, they are useless.

  21. @ whorfin:
    “It looks like the sales office for the old Pac Bell building condo conversion is preparing to open on Minna street”
    where on Minna? i’ve been waiting anxiously for any more info on the Pac Bell building conversion. I live across the street at 199 New Montgomery, but it looks like all interior construction activity in the Pac Bell building stopped about 6 months ago.

  22. @nickargon: There’s glass doorway on Minna next to the Chipotle, with what look some unit layouts visible on some signage on an easel, and I thought (though could have been mistaken) that it said 140 New Montgomery.
    It does seem a bit early, but I’m not sure what else it could be.

  23. if they are open on Monday, I would like to pay them a visit too, except I would have to drag on my nanny and 2- and 4- year old with me. I am sure those “cute and arrogant” sales won’t like me.
    anyway, I have been back and forth on whether to buy a rental unit here in SOMA, thanks to ss.
    With all recent price cuts, the prices are finally reasonable comparing to other hood of the city, but i am still a little concerned as to how hard it would be to rent.
    I am sure those who enter at the current price points would be doing well in 5-10 yrs.

  24. I visited this building in late ’07/early ’08 looking at the 2/2. If I remember correctly, the price was very near, at or just over 1M. Although the location is very convenient and may appeal to some, many things turned me off to this building/development:
    Arrogant sales staff: check
    Ridiculously overpriced: check
    Lacking in amenities: check
    Very small units: check
    No parking: check
    High HOAs: check
    Considering all of the above, the HOA and leased parking wouldve been an add’l 1K a month. No thanks.

  25. @ whorfin: that’s actually the temporary lobby for 116 New Montgomery (The Rialto Building) – the floor plans inside are a preview of what the finished lobby will look like.

  26. We went into contract in July 2008 and subsequently pulled out even after being offered 3 years of HOA, 3 years of valet parking and $15,000 towards upgrades or closing costs. It all happened after we went home and revisited the $700/mo. HOA. Wow, $700/mo. for no HOA and the prospect of paying $300 per car (2) we’d have to secure parking for after the 3 year valet? We must have been smokin’ something. Thank goodness we pulled out. And those snooty agents said there would be NO CHANCE of price reductions!

  27. Just toured the new units here. After reading about the “snooty agents,” was curious whether that was case or not. Let me say definitely: UNBELIEVABLE. I’ve bought several new homes in my life, and NEVER have I been treated with such arrogance (was a female salesperson). Like mentioned in another post, it’s like you owe them something, and that they’re doing you this huge favor by showing you some units. No doubt in my mind that this is one significant reason why this building’s sales are not going well, other than the economy. I was so turned off that I will no longer consider buying a unit here.

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