Avalon at Mission Bay III (www.SocketSite.com)
With a grand opening last week, the first wave of the 260 Avalon At Mission Bay III apartments at 240 Berry are now officially rental inventory. Currently advertised asking rents (with “up to $3,000 off” the first month):
∙ Studios: $1,865 to $2,230
∙ One-bedrooms: $2,365 to $2,970
∙ Two-bedrooms: $2,950 to $4,480
A couple of features that caught our eye: ZipCars in the garage; a residents’ courtyard with outdoor bocce ball, theater, and Viking grills and ice machines; and an on-site recycling program that includes composting.
And if all goes as planned, Avalon At Mission Bay III will be the first LEED Certified rental building in San Francisco.
Avalon At Mission Bay Phase III (240 Berry): True To Design [SocketSite]
240 Berry: No Condos For You [SocketSite]

59 thoughts on “Avalon At Mission Bay III (240 Berry): Now Open And The Rents”
  1. Haha.. i can only describe their rent asking prices as delusional. A good 40% haircut would get the ball rolling.

  2. Anonr — one can easily afford these rents with all the money saved using zipcars and free ice.
    And the bocce ball (court ?) gives your parents something to do when they come visit to find out where their monthly check to you is going 🙂

  3. Anonr – do you live in the area?
    $2500 for a 1bdr in that area is pretty standard for new construction. I think you’ll be able to get a month rent free or a few months of parking maybe.
    I’m taking a tour of the building this week. I’ll let you know what they offer if anything.

  4. Rents are about in line w/ new construction – expect them to give “1st month free”, etc. To be honest, you would be better served by living in older construction – $2000/2br or $2800/3br.

  5. new construction, old construction, whatever. if you can get a spacious 1 bedroom in a nice 1920s apt building with lots of charm one block from GGPark for like $1700, why would anyone in their right mind pay $2500 for one in a soulless concrete block in nowhere-ville? if you care that much about being five minutes closer to the freeway and easy parking, you’ve already lost your soul, I suppose.

  6. why would anyone in their right mind pay $2500 for one in a soulless concrete block in nowhere-ville?
    1. In unit Washer Dryer.
    2. Gourmet Kitchen.
    3. Parking in the Unit.
    4. Everything looks new, not old and dingy.
    5. Social environment – lots of young people.
    6. Instantaneous maintenance.
    7. Noise issues from partying neighbors addressed promptly.
    The 1920s apartment building typically has none of these. If those things are important, you live here.

  7. I think a lot of people choose to live there (and pay the high rents) because of the proximity to CalTrain. If you’re commuting down to the peninsula or south bay every day, and already spending 2-3 hours of your day in the commute, it might be worth it to pay all that money to avoid tacking on another 60-90 minutes a day of MUNI just to get to and from CalTrain.

  8. I live in a $3000 2/2 near GG park. Garage, gas stove, laundry, yard, in good shape but not new, over 1500 sf.
    I can’t see giving that up for one of these units unless there were massive discounts.

  9. “Parking in the Unit” – would that be in the living room, or in the bedroom? :p
    Parking is not included in the quoted prices, I think that’s at least a couple hundred bucks a month extra. If the spaces are similar to the other Avalon buildings, bring your Crisco to squeeze your car in (and for you to squeeze in and out.)

  10. Other amenities at Avalon including:
    – bocce court
    – cinema
    – basketball court
    – pool table and game room
    – outdoor fire pit
    – 24hr security and doorman

  11. has there been a debate about the meaning of the word “soul” on this board, before it’s used casually? i remember a never-ending debate about what it meant for a car to have a soul on an automobile message board.

  12. Tipster, many units in the Marina have enclosed garage parking,(not sure what “in the unit” parking is however), new appliances, dishwashers,washer/dryer, and a social enviroment (lots of young people). 1bd’s in the Marina are about this price range but you also get a walkable neighborhood, “real” San Francisco (just couldn’t resist), Crissy Field and the Presidio, and the sound of foghorns instead of trains and freeway roar.

  13. …proximity to CalTrain.
    Yep, this is indeed a big deal. Getting to CalTrain any way other than walking really doesn’t work.

  14. I’ve got Valley-employed friends making the agonizing choice between A) an expensive pad with no character that’s close to Caltrain or B) a cheaper place in a more established neighborhood but having to deal with getting to Caltrain.
    Those who are avid cyclists usually bite the bullet, buy a folding bike, and move somewhere not close to Caltrain.

  15. In line with new construction… Argenta and Strata may have something to say about that. Tho, the price is not nearly as outrageous as what Argenta initially thought they could get. 1Br will come down towards $2000 soon, I suspect.

  16. I have a colleague who spends an hour on the L-Taravel Muni Metro train to get to work from somewhere near the zoo/ocean. I walk to work in 10 minutes. For me, it is worth the premium to save 1 hour and 40 minutes of my life from being stuck on a crowded MUNI train 200 or so days every year.

  17. The avalon hits the sweet spot for new transplant to the bay area – specifically young grads. It has a community of youngsters (not to be underestimated) and all the usual amenities. It has 2 large gyms and proximity to muni and caltrain. The rents in that area are in line with what’s being offered (which is different from what you can negotiate).
    As per the last couple of weeks rents for various complexes were (for 2/2 only):
    Strata: starting at around 3045
    Archstone: starting at around 2900
    Avalon: as stated in this article
    Bayside: starting at 2650
    Avalon Yerba Buena: starting at 2695
    New condos on 18th and 3rd: starting at 3000
    Additionally rents for condos rented by owners varies wildly from 2450 in the Baycrest building (really small apts) to 3400 and more in Beacon to 5000+ in the Infinity. These of course are more pegged as close to the inflated mortgage the owner has to pay.
    In essence there’s enough demand but at this point more supply that is depressing prices. If you had a choice you should wait out the “busy” summer period since this is the time most grads artificially increase demand for a couple of months.

  18. Ahhh, I love these Soma posts. It always ends up devolving into the “Soma sucks hard and you’d have to be crazy to live here but I work down in the south bay so I have to” arguments.
    Take this from someone who lived in Soma and did commute to the south bay. Soma sucks. My life improved tremendously after I moved into an old building in a far away neighborhood and just commuted to Caltrain (by motorcycle). You know, it really is nice living in an actual neighborhood instead of a hotel. Whoever said that the new places in Soma are filled with social young people are crazy. They’re tech workers for crissakes. You don’t get more anti-social than that. These places are just large hotels, not homes.
    Oh yeah and they’re still overpriced. $1650-1700 is what I’d expect to pay for something in Soma right now. We’re not at the $1350/1BR for new construction levels of 2003 yet, but we will be soon.

  19. Avalon is one of, if not the, largest rental owner/manager conpanies in the US. They have a fairly sophisticated program for rental pricing that I believe changes pricing weekly based on market conditions. Similar to how airlines price seats. I predict it will take a month or two for Avalon to find “market pricing”. If these prices hold then that’s good news for all the folks who own condo’s in the area that are having to rent them because they’re underwater. Bad news that you have to compete with 240 more units.

  20. I have a huge bocce court outside my back door. It’s called golden gate park.
    all those large development courtyards with their hotel-like “amenities” like bocce, the oh-so-in-the-moment outdoor fireplaces (gag!), and lounge chairs by the infinity pool seem so cheesy to me. I guess it’s just personal taste. But they also are all empty whenever I see them. If I was going to play bocce and hang out on a lawn, I would rather do it in a big grassy area of a public park where I can people watch and chill out with my feet in the grass and watch the world go by. As a potential tenant I would be far more attracted to those courtyards if they were garden plots that I could use to grow some herbs or tomatoes or something.

  21. changes pricing weekly based on market conditions
    Any trace of that? If that’s the case then it is definitely closer to a hotel, without room service. Do they do coupons too?
    Seriously, if you are in tech and not able to work remotely, you’ll be better off living down the peninsula. You’ll be wasting time and money on SOMA and the theoretical “life” you’re being sold will be sucked dry by the unending commutes. It takes a toll. I have a few friends who tried and they’re pretty happy in Mountain View or Sunnyvale. Plus the weather is much better in the SV.
    Otherwise, for people working in the City, SOMA is fine. Not the greatest (at least as long as the 6th/7th street nightmare still festers), but the good thing about SOMA is the central location and the ever increasing supply of restaurants and bars.

  22. I lived all over SF (sunset, richmond, north beach, marina). I would never live in an old-and-busted building in a bad weather neighborhood again. Downtown is sooo much better (walk to work, new buldings, and awesome weather).
    I’ve explored way more of the city than most people and frankly most of SF is a total dump (aside from the fantastic scenery). But the majority of the houses themselves are trash and could use a nice bulldozing.

  23. @ WTF – based on your comments this type of building is obviously not for you. At these prices you’d prefer other amenities or a large unit near a park next to some hippie buring incense all day long. To each his own.
    However, 1000s of people do find these amenities useful and a positive reason to live in a building like this. You aren’t right, you aren’t wrong, it is just a difference of opinion or personal preference. That being said, these rents are about what is being seen in this neigborhood for a comparable unit with similar amenities.
    FYI – this building is in Mission Bay not SOMA.

  24. 2bd 2ba, partial view, parking, in-buiding laundry, next to lafayatte aprk in Pac hts here for $2195.
    there are now a lot of 2bd2ba in great locations for under 2500.
    these will prob be all coporate rentals

  25. “Any trace of that? If that’s the case then it is definitely closer to a hotel, without room service. Do they do coupons too?”
    You haven’t followed Argenta pricing have you? They indeed change almost weekly. Started at $2800, down to $1800 a month ago, and now back up to $2000. No coupons, but some places offer free parking and/or 1-2 mo free.

  26. If I was going to play bocce and hang out on a lawn, I would rather do it in a big grassy area of a public park where I can people watch and chill out with my feet in the grass and watch the world go by.
    I totally agree. This is the funny thing about SOMA. SOMA-fans are often on here touting the “urban-ness” of the area as its big strong point and pooh-poohing other, more residential neighborhoods as “suburban.” But the whole purpose of the architecture and “conveniences” (everything you get for the absurdly high HOA fees in these places) is to withdraw the residents from actually having to interact with the public. That’s anti-urban. No need to go to the movie theater with others; I’m already paying extra for the private theater here. No need to go picnic in the park; I’m paying extra for a courtyard here.
    Maybe when people talk up how great and urban SOMA is, they’re actually just saying (nothing more than) that it’s convenient for getting to work (whether that’s walking to CalTrain or to the FiDi).

  27. I toured the building a few weeks ago. The interior is bland, but very clean as you’d expect from new construction. The city views are quite nice from the higher floors. The parking is cheap ($100 vs $250 in phase 1 and 2) and there are a variety of floor plans to choose from. The amenities are nice but unfortunately no pool or hot tub.
    The neighborhood is great, but the building is located directly across the street from the Cal Train station, so it’s a little noisy. I could hear the trains from a 9th floor unit even with the double pane window closed shut. There are also extra fees/expenses in addition to parking (garbage fee and required $100K liability insurance policy). I’m not sure how standard these extra fees are, but those are checks I would prefer not to cut every month.
    In the end, I decided to pass. Even with the move in special, I just didn’t feel like I was getting enough value for the price. There are far better 1 bedroom apartments in the $2,300 – $2,600 range in this market.

  28. Avalon and Archstone are so big that they give little, if any, credit for being a good tenant. I have a very good friend who rented from Archstone from August ’07 – Aug ’08. He works all the time so spent little time in the unit and is very quiet. Always on time with his rent. When his lease was coming due his options where to renew for another year at $400 more per month or go month-to-month at $500 more per month. They seemed to bet on the hassle of the move convincing most people to pay thousands more a year.
    As OneEyedMan pointed out, its all about the formulas with these large companies. As long as prospective tenants recognize that and don’t mind paying for the amenities – more power to them.

  29. Wow, the SS Ayatollahs are out in force!
    If the rents are high, they’ll have to come down. Some people LIKE living near caltrain, or in a new unit, etc. It’s called choice!
    And if you think Soma sucks/the rents are too high/who wants to live in a big boring beige box, then don’t!

  30. bocce ball, theater and Viking grills and ice machines
    …all eye-candy for the naive renters who fall for this kind of stuff all the time and end up paying a 200 or 300 $ premium for stuff that they will use once or twice during their lease.
    It has been my observation that “fluff” benefits like this are seldom used by the building occupants. I used to live in Opera Plaza up on Van Ness when I was living off my Grandma’s estate, and I rarely saw more than 2 or 3 people in the pool or the Gym when I used to work out / swim 3 x a week.

  31. why so much animosity towards people who prefer soma/mission bay? I dont get it, its not for everyone and neither are the more established neighborhoods. Ill invoke a theme of an old ‘Dude’ post about soma- Some people dont need a frat bar and some ancient Victorians to call a place home.

  32. That isn’t a neighborhood. Its housing next to freeways and expressways. The whole area around 3rd/4th and Townsend is geared towards driving. I’ve worked there for 3 years.
    As for the rents, they will probably come down – and if they did that would make up for the lack of “quality of life” there. Seriously, if you move there to work down south, move to the penninsula.

  33. new SOMA owner here. Some quick thoughts…
    1) I overpaid…ugh…I’m a knife catcher, I admit. Bought in 1/09 and seen other units I had had my eyes on fall a bit. Kinda wish I waited a bit and could’ve gotten a place at the Palms.
    2) HOA sucks…close to $450 and we ain’t got no fancy pool, bocce ball court or private theater.
    3) Surprisingly, my soul has shriveled up and die and many had predicted thanks to this “soulless” environment. I can still go to GG Park, Chrissy, etc…nothing in the HOA bylaws prevent me from going to those places :p I still go eat at my favorite haunts in Inner Sunset, Mission, etc… Back when I was renting in the Marina, then haight, then castro, I had to bike a long ass way to all my favorite haunts. Now I still bike a long ass way…no diff for me. Actually, now I’m slightly closer to Shalimar in the ‘loin than before, but that’s not really a positive:D Better yet, people are coming over to my place way more now…don’t know if it’s just the novelty of a new place…but so far my social life hasn’t suffered.
    4)The new Safeway isn’t half bad. I’m a bit far from it, but it’s conveniently located for when I get home off the train.
    5)Baseball games suck. Don’t know why people want to live next to the ballpark. 81 games a year with a sea of humanity blocking your every movement…blech…
    6)Soul and urban life is sometimes overrated. Commute and sleep is underrated. I cannot explain the bliss of waking up at 7:30 instead of 6:30. Who knew an extra hour of Conan at night and sleep in the morning would be so life altering. Sleep is so good, I realize now I should’ve just bought in palo alto. suburbia sucks…whatever…at least suburbanites are well rested. Too bad the m/f ratio in the valley is two guy to every guy.

  34. one more thing
    7) it’s a LOT quieter than any of my previous places. The location is loud thanks to the freeway and trains, but the double pane windows do the trick. None of my old places had windows that could even drown out drunk hipsters singing Jersey Boys tunes…”I love you babeeeeee, if it’s quite alriiiiiiight….”
    New and characterless is sometimes better.

  35. Everybody…go back to work. People live where we want to live for whatever. I’m not going to making fun of the guy living in outer Richmond (and takes 45 min to get to the freeway or work on a bad day). I’m not making fun of the Marina (lack of ethnic diversity). I’m not making fun of Sunset folks (pasty from the fog and lack of no sun). Just live where you want to live, and be happy.

  36. my point isn’t to diss Mission Bay or Soma. To each his own. I’m glad some people prefer to live in big concrete boxes near the train to silicon valley. More power to them. My point is that the extra rent they’re asking with the lure of “bocce courts, in-building theater, outdoor fire pits” and all that useless frill doesn’t remotely equate proportionately to the value you get from those frills. How many times a year is the average renter going to reserve and use the in-building screening room to watch a movie? A couple, if at all. How often to people go to the movies? If you’re an avid movie buff, maybe you go once a week. Considering it costs $3 (or less) to rent a movie an $10 to see one in the theater, that’s a heck of a lot movie watching it’ll take to make that extra rent worthwhile. Even a doorman. How often do you really need a doorman to sign for a package for you? Those extras are thrown in because they have to find a reason to justify the high rent they need to pull in to make the development pencil out, but those frills aren’t actually worth much if you think rationally about it for a minute.

  37. soma sucks, there are homeless people screaming and dying and falling out of trash cans. If the open drug use wasn’t enough to keep me out, it’s the transients and filth.
    It’s like the Middle Ages.

  38. Another benefit of living in Soma, besides not feeling compelled to pretend you enjoy dwelling in last century’s crumbling McMansion, is not being surrounded by pretentious, dim-witted douchebags leeching from trust funds to indulge their Peter Pan complexes. That, combined with a dearth of cliched and outmoded hippy burn-outs eulogizing the “real San Francisco,” might factor into the pricing matrices from whence these rents are derived. Just a guess, though.

  39. Is the Avalon 3 really considered Mission Bay? I always thought Mission Bay was the area accross the small bridge next to the ball park where the Strata and Giants parking lot are located.

  40. Uh, I actually know TWO trustafarians who live in Mission Bay. “Pretentious dim-witted” people don’t only live north of California. Still, great post Legacy Dude, especially calling Victorians “last century’s crumbling McMansions”.

  41. If you had a trust fund why would you waste the money in a place like Mission Bay….I think that is Dude’s point.

  42. DD – Avalon 3 is in the Mission Bay redevelopment area (which incorporated the area previously owned by Southern Pacific for railyards), and I believe the real estate maps also identify it as Mission Bay. However, it is a bit confusing – I think that alot of people think of Mission Bay as the area across Mission Creek from downtown, and this is one of those real estate/neighborhood distinctions that will work itself out over time.

  43. I had a year of Avalon when I first moved to SF. The kitchens were described as “gourmet” because that’s how the occupants would describe themselves. Because they had no real ventilation, it was impossible to cook without opening all windows. For these rents, I”m assuming they have hooded exhaust in every apartment.
    Avalon was not a good landlord. They were sales people and their employees were “community managers”. They failed to respond to noise problems (coming from the construction across the street), so a few of us in the building had to handle it. Not hard, but for the amount of money we were paying, I expected more.
    I left after one year because I couldn’t tolerate living in a building that was managed like a senior center (with “community manager” messages and an expectation of high turnover).
    I see lots of good reasons to live in SOMA, but Avalon is not one of them. I see no reason why this building would command a premium over others in the area – I’d look forward to hearing from those who tour the building whether I’m wrong about this.

  44. Trustafarians abound in the bay area, no doubt, but there seems to be a preponderance of them in the “established” neighborhoods. Along with a lot of bitter, old people who love to pontificate endlessly about how great the city was in year X, about what is and isn’t “real San Francisco” per their inflated sense of authority, and other similar dogmas that I generally don’t give a steaming deuce about.
    Like many of you, I’ve lived all over town, and would not want to live anywhere besides Soma at this point. Brand new buildings built to 21st century standards. Highrise views. Functional floorplans. Modern kitchens and bathrooms. Solid insulation against weather and noise. Building amenities (which I personally use regularly). And easy access to the older neighborhoods should I ever feel like a day at the museum. Can’t beat it, IMO. But to each his own.

  45. I guess one of the benefits of living somewhere with “soul” is that you get to cast judgement on where someone else chooses to live.
    If you can tell someone that they are “soulless” because they don’t live in Noe Valley, or the inner mission – they you are what is commonly referred to as an “asshole”

  46. For all those out there who talk about “having a soul” by NOT living in SOMA, try to expand your perspectives and realize that people that live there probably do so since they enjoy new buildings and the conveniences that come with it. Not everyone enjoys living in a converted 10-plex that has been around since WWII. Enjoy your neck of the city and stop trashing on mine.

  47. Legacy Dude…that was great.
    Ok, here is why I like SOMA/Mission Bay:
    1. It has achieved a density that allows for the conveniences of living in an urban setting. I can do my errands on foot. Safeway, Whole Foods, dry cleaning, library. I can walk to see a movie at either Century or Metreon in 10 minutes. I have a car that I park in an alley and only need to use about 3-4 times per month. My husband and I both can walk to work. If we want to get across town we can drive or we can get just about anywhere on a bus or train (N-Judah, T-, 30, 45, 10, etc.)
    2. It’s nice. The weather is great. I walk my dogs on the weekend either to the grassy areas on Embarcadero or to Mission Creek Park. It’s peaceful and beautiful. There are homeless people in the area, but I’ve actually found them to be less imposing in this part of town than in the mission or downtown. Proximity to ferry building and downtown shopping is great.
    3. I like living in a building that has enough insulation that I don’t hear my neighbors and keeps me warm.
    4. Food selection is pretty good but we are missing the smaller type restaurants and cafes. This is improving all the time though.
    I don’t think I’ve lost my soul….but if I want it back all I need are skinny jeans, oversized 80s sunglasses, and a fixie. And of course move to a “real SF” neighborhood.

  48. I don’t get Avalon’s pricing. I checked on their website and they have this unit for this price and that unit for that price. But when you call them up, they’re like oh those are not available anymore. But we have this…. Isn’t this tactic call Switch and Bait? Also check out apt review sites. Seems like Avalon tend to keep large amount of your deposits no matter how well you clean up your place when you move out. Potential renters beware. Just saying…..

  49. I don’t think I’ve lost my soul….but if I want it back all I need are skinny jeans, oversized 80s sunglasses, and a fixie. And of course move to a “real SF” neighborhood.

  50. I curently live in Cole Valley but I’m now thinking about moving to SOMA to get away from all the soulless, judgemental idiots who apparently live in The Real SF.
    If you waste 20 minutes of your life writing on SS explaining why your neighborhood rocks over all others, you’ve already lost.

  51. a weekend in dolores park or anywhere on valencia should be enough to convince you to get the hell out of dodge. hipsters suck ass!

  52. LEED certification for Avalon is a joke. The in-unit washer dryers there are top loading water, energy, and money hogs. They’re clearly only involved with LEED as a marketing gimmick.

  53. I have a co-worker who lives in one of the adjoining Avalon buildings and it makes me wince every time she says she lives in SOMA. That area right over Caltrain is a suburban hotel for lame wads who work in south bay. Full disclosure: I work in south bay too, but being a few blocks down 2nd street makes a world of difference. The area right over Caltrain is rightfully mission bay, complete with plastic-y buildings, cookie-cutter shops and gauche residents (they make huge haughty deal about living in the city, but are addicted to their cars and prepackaged food from safeway).

  54. I pity the fool who thinks living a few blocks down 2nd street puts them in a different area. You are the exactly the same as the people you are hating on. You are also living in what you call a suburban hotel. You too are a lame wad…get some gold chains and you can be cool like me (but I doubt it).
    Having a car is bad? I prefer a black van with red racing stripes…and prepackaged food from Safeway is how you get big and strong.
    Remember tamien, eat your veggies and drink your milk.

  55. Some of you miss the point, it is not about hating the Avalon, but about the Avalon charging a “San Francisco Premium” for an area that really does not have a lot of San Francisco ammenities. Is this the place you choose to immediatly take your out of town visiting friends to when they come to San Francisco? It reminds me of living in some outer ring housing tower 20 miles from the center of Paris, and paying the same price as someone’s apartment adjacent to the Palais Royal. Sure, your pad may have insulation, fire pits, and underground parking and a Paris post office address, but it is really not Paris and should not charge 1st arrondisement prices.

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