CFAH

A plugged-in Mark Choey tackles the query of what’s made the Infinity realatively “hot” recently (“it has been confirmed that it is currently the fastest selling project in the West actually if not the country right now”) and offers some perspective on the various stacks.

It’s not the floor plan[s] per se that makes the building so “hot,” it is the price relative to what you are getting. If you are just looking at floor plans, [the “2B” floor plan] is not as attractive as other 2BR floor plans in the tower especially the “signature” curved floor plan (called the “2A” floor plan), and I agree the living/dining area is smaller than most would like, however most of the smaller 2BR floor plans stack face the water to the south or the city to the north if you get high enough to clear the mid-rise buildings of course (around the 12th floor and above).

And combining the view with the lower prices for the smaller 2BR relative to the signature curve plan (approx 12-15% smaller in fact and therefore cheaper), you have high demand for the “E” and the “A’s.”

Actually, this smaller 2BR floor plan is currently the most popular one in Tower 2! All of the other “stacks” have much more availability for various reasons. Other popular stacks and floors are the low floor “B” stack, the low “D” stack (below 10) and then the very high “B” stack from 27-30th floors. Anything under 1.0M sold very well and still is.

And of course, they’re dealing. Cheers.
Confidentially Speaking About The Infinity [SocketSite]
∙ Infinity Floor Plans: The 2A | The 2B [the-infinity.com]
Infinity Sales Update: New Contracts Up But Driven By Discounts [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Thumbs down

    Mark C,
    I agree with most of the sentiments complimenting your thought out, well written response. However, I’m not sure I concur with your take.
    The 2/2s at Infinity, whether the ones with the “signature curve” or the convex shaped windows I think are probably a great fit for people/couples in their twenties. Nice building to have people over for drinks, chat on the couch, enjoy the views, then go out and party elsewhere. However, once most couples reach their mid-thirties they tend to be more inclined to entertain at home and less likely to want to go clubbing until 2am. With neither of the 2/2 units offering enough space to comfortably have another couple over for a sit down dinner, the utility of the units really comes into question. As for kids, these units are a non starter. However, the notable exception is for out of towners using this as a weekend pad, in which case it’s a great fit, regardless of age.
    In terms of workable floorplans and views I think there are numerous superior options at the Metropolitan, One Rincon and the Brannan. Room to entertain, room for young kids [to a point] and arguably superior views. Given that most of the buyers that can afford to shell out around $1m are mostly north of their mid thirties, the Infinity needs a lot of twenty somethings to support their 2/2s. Given that this pool is generally thin, even combined with the second home crowd, I think we will see further price attrition despite how much these have already fallen. Moreover, although they undoubtedly have the best location in South Beach, the appeal may be reduced by 5-10 years of Transbay construction right next door.
    LMNoP/Satchel has made a similar argument about one bedrooms in SOMA not raetaining their value as they are very much a short term solution as opposed to somewhere people will want to put down ‘roots’. I think a similar analogy can be drawn for the Infinity 2/2s given the constraints of their configurations.

  2. Posted by joerealtor

    Interesting demographic comment above from Thumbs down. I know Marc and I believe he lives in the Infinity tower I …with his wife and young child. Can you say walk the talk.

  3. Posted by jamie

    Here’s another 2 cents … there are people who have lived at BayCrest Towers since the mid-rise condo building at Main and Harrison opened in 1991. While there aren’t many families due to reasons I can’t start to imagine, there are a few … some who’ve raised their children to young adults while living at BayCrest year-round.
    I’m very curious to see the results of the 2010 Census for zip code 94105 when the information becomes available. Looking at the 2000 census, you’d think the RIncon Hill neighborhood was full of single men with masters degrees and $100,000+ per year jobs. Sounds like a marketers dream …The 2020 census will be even more interesting because hopefully by then, the 34% below market rate affordable housing pieces of the Transbay Redevelopment Area along Folsom will be built out.

  4. Posted by Mikey

    Moreover, although they undoubtedly have the best location in South Beach, the appeal may be reduced by 5-10 years of Transbay construction right next door.
    They are constructing a temporary terminal nearby–should be done pretty soon. The actual construction is blocks away (it will impact the Millenium far more). After the TBT is done, the temporary terminal will become a park, a long term plus.

  5. Posted by ex SF-er

    I would still worry about the “temporary” aspect of the temporary terminal.
    what happens if Transbay isn’t feasible (a high likelihood IMO)?
    Will they just raze what’s there and put the new terminal there? or is there any chance that they’d make the temporary terminal a little more lasting?

  6. Posted by curmudgeon

    Ex-SFer, I think it the grand vision of the Transbay Terminal completely falls apart, they will still build a bus station there. I don’t think there is much danger of the “temporary” terminal becoming permanent. As far as timing…schedules always have a way of slipping, so it could certainly stick around for longer than planned.

  7. Posted by surious

    I would be curious if Mark had some details on how fast the Infinity has sold to claim to be the “fastest selling community” in the West Coast? Does anyone know how many homes have sold in the 2nd tower?

  8. Posted by JustLooking

    The real question with regards to Infinity is: When is the restaurant (headed by former Boulevard staff) in the base of the building going to open?
    Any one have an inside-track on that?

  9. Posted by phatty

    “I would be curious if Mark had some details on how fast the Infinity has sold to claim to be the “fastest selling community” in the West Coast? Does anyone know how many homes have sold in the 2nd tower?”
    My apartment looks directly into the western side of Tower II, and it looks extremely empty. Of course, this is the least desirable side, but a bad sign nonetheless.

  10. Posted by chomes

    I have heard from several sources that they are selling about 10 condos per week – up from about 7 per week in April and about 3 per week in Feb/March.

  11. Posted by Thumbs down

    “Interesting demographic comment above from Thumbs down. I know Marc and I believe he lives in the Infinity tower I …with his wife and young child. Can you say walk the talk.”
    Joe – That’s a legitimate point if accurate. So, Mark C., is this the case? Is your PRIMARY residence in the Tower or treetops of Infinity I? If the tower, do you ever have couples or more than friend over for dinner? Assuming that’s the case, what’s the seating arrangement at dinner?

  12. Posted by sfosea

    I am an owner in Tower I at the Infinity and in one of the “signature curved” units. We are in our mid-thirties and while we dine out a fair amount I can tell you without reservation that we also have other couples over for dinner all of the time. There is no issue with having space for this. Granted there is not room for a table that would comfortably fit eight people and for someone who wants to have large sit-down meals this would not be the place for you. Also, keep in mind that the Tower II residences actually have a larger space where the dining table is supposed to go due to a minor, but very effective, redesign. We love our home here and so do out house guests from what I gather. We bought with the plan to stay a long time and make this our home.
    One other note. We can see the north and west faces of the building and there is a steady stream of people moving in slowly and flooring being put down on units.

  13. Posted by anon

    Thumbs down, why don’t you call Mark and get an invitation to his next dinner party if you are so interested in the way he positions his furniture?
    I heard an update on sales over at Infinity. 80% of the entire project is either in contract or closed. 1 of the midrise building is sold out. The other has a few left and Tower 2 sold/contract over 125 units. It’s true, they are averaging around 10 new contracts a week. Reason why T2 looks empty is because they can’t close them as fast as they are writing them. Once in contract, expect over a 7 week close.
    Not sure if this is true but someone told me they heard the units with no views are in higher demand compared to view units. Not sure if this is because non view units are cheaper or because people want just want to live there for the location.

  14. Posted by dimple door

    i have a different theory. seems the word is out about this tower for some reason. I had some visitors from out of the country that knew about the Infinity and wanted to take a look. Apparently the word is out that this is the building to own once the economy turns around.
    I don’t take much heart knowing that bunch of people from out of the area were trying to tell me this, but the fact that it is selling is interesting. Nonetheless, once interest rates spike that will present a bigger problem than anybody imagined as it will effectively price many people out of the market for any $600-700+ psf condos.

  15. Posted by r

    From my perch at Bridgview, I am noticing more lights at night, especially along the east facig side of T2.
    Jamie – I keep hearing that the bus ramps will come down in October. Fingers crossed…

  16. Posted by E. Walls

    I live in tower I of the infinity, face east and confirm the comment made by sfosea that there are a slow, but steady stream of people moving into tower II and that many other units are being upgraded. Very exicting to see this in this economic downturn!
    On a side note, most of the comments regarding SOMA RE are great and do provide intellegent insight for someone interested in buying. Subtract the bias that’s infused in many of the comments and SocketSite could be the premier RE blog in SF.

  17. Posted by Mark Choey

    Thumbs down – yes, I do live in the Tower and yes, it is my primary residence and yes, it’s a curved unit and yes, the dining room is smallish – we can only really fit a 42″ inch diameter circular (obviously) dining room table there – bottom line, that means 4-5 people MAX there. Most people either have a square or a circular table there….here’s a pic of ours. We chose a small round table so we can give my son more room to sit (think high-chair, etc), but you definitely get a larger table there.
    When we have large parties, we have to go buffet style! food laid out on the island and people just grab and sit somewhere else (couch, chair, table, etc.)
    Not the end of the world and just one of the trade-offs you have to live with living in this very unique floor plan. Most of my clients either love it or hate it. Love because it’s such a unique floor plan that is so different from the traditional square floor plan…. Hate because they can’t imagine how to decorate/arrange the furniture AND they feel they don’t have a “proper” dining room area.
    Other clients that want the proper dining room area have moved the island over to the left or the right to carve out a dining room so there are solutions, but ultimately, this floor plan is not for entertaining large dinner parties – that’s for sure.
    For those clients that absolutely need a large dining room (seating for 8 people), I advise them that this floor plan is not for them, but maybe the high-floor “A’s” with terrace could work for them
    http://the-infinity.com/images/floorplans/PDF/Infinity_D2D.pdf
    or perhaps the duplex/townhome floor plan
    http://the-infinity.com/images/floorplans/PDF/Infinity_D2L.pdf
    or pony-up for this one
    http://the-infinity.com/images/floorplans/PDF/Infinity_D3C.pdf
    asking prices 7.5-8.5M…
    or some other plan in the mid-rises (but all sold out right now, I might have a 3BR resale unit coming to market soon though so contact me if interested!).
    But if a large rectangular dining room is what you need, then this 2BR in the tower is not for you! You either have to get a 3BR and maybe knock down a wall to make the third BR a space that can be connected to the dining room (some people have thought of that and in fact, I just got back from a unit where they had combined two units together and used a BR from one unit as the dining room of the other).

  18. Posted by Outsider

    We closed escrow in April on a 1025 sf Plan J 1br “curve” unit and can state with certainty that Tower II is filling steadily, perhaps a bit faster than we had hoped as the elevators which used to be super fast now requires longer wait and the gym is more occupied than even as recent as 2 months ago. We also can no longer fly through the garage as there are now many more vehicles than when we first moved in. Two out of the four elevators are permanently tied up for people moving in to our dismay and to the delight of the developer. We had the option of moving the island before the hardwood went down but elected not to as the overhead light fixture would be off center. 48-51″ round table fits perfectly with 5 chairs albeit not arm chairs. We looked at all the new and older buildings and this one came up way on top because of location and killer price. Now we have been in for a couple of months we are even more glad we chose this place. We don’t know and care if the condo market moves up or down. We just know we bought the right place.

  19. Posted by soma sucks

    Mark Choey, do pathological liars ever feel guilty?
    You live in Tiburon, don’t you? Realtors!
    They feed off others emotions and take no accountability when the market goes sour.
    Welp, it’s the market! Forget that I suckered someone into overpaying!

  20. Posted by sfosea

    Please don’t let this string devolve into yet another personal attack stage. Far too much of Socketsite has already been spent on the topic of the value or destructiveness of realtors. If you wish to go down this path please go to another conversation that has already been derailed from the original purpose of the posts.

  21. Posted by Mark Choey

    “phatty” – sales in Tower II are averaging 10 a week as someone else posted too – they have been averaging this amount for the past 5 weeks if I remember correctly. Over 40% of Tower II (about 118 units) has now been sold or in contract.
    The sales center is reporting that they are the fastest selling project in the West (and possibly the US but they can’t confirm this). Although I don’t personally have hard data about how other projects are selling on the West coast but let’s think about it…it is by far and away #1 in SF and the Bay Area (San Jose would be the only other place with large new development projects), I hear that projects in LA are not selling well either, if you believe this, you can deduce that The Infinity is the fastest selling project in California and since there is no other city on the West coast (this includes Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix) with a project of this size and number of units nor with this kind of sales velocity (at least from what I hear), it is probably true that it is the fastest in the West.
    I however, cannot personally confirm it but it seems reasonable to me. As far as the US? Well, the other other places with projects large enough (Chicago, NYC, Florida), with what I’m anecdotally hearing about sales in those places, I would bet that the Infinity is indeed the fastest selling the US.

  22. Posted by gowiththeflow

    Dining at Boulevard about 3 months a go I was told by one of the servers that the new Infinity restaurant space was actually purchased vs. leased and has plans to open within the next year. The server was very exited about it.

  23. Posted by Mark Choey

    Thumbs Down
    Yeah, I’m not saying the signature curve (“2A”) is the perfect floor plan nor am I saying that other buildings don’t have better, more practical floor plans, I’m just saying that the “2A” floor plan is more desirable compared to the “2B” one in general.
    I do agree with you that both floor plans have livability issues and you can find better floor plans in other buildings for sure!

  24. Posted by BWS

    I don’t care where Mark lives. It could be Tiburon, Infinity or China.
    Realtors have 1 job. That’s to sell and sell themselves.
    I remember 2 years ago on this site. Mark was hyping Mission Bay, especially the condos on Berry. He said this area was the up and coming SOMA.
    Last year he said Mint Plaza was the place to be. With redevelopment, the Mint would evolve into the top condo projects in SF.
    Fast forward to this year and now Mark hypes up the Infinity as the best new development and 1 of the fastest development in the West.
    My question is not where Mark lives but what he sees in the future of condos in SF and where’s the best place to buy and live for the next 10 years.
    Seems like every year, he chooses a new hot building.
    I do like the Infinity and think its a great development.

  25. Posted by Mark Choey

    “I do agree with you that both floor plans have livability issues and you can find better floor plans in other buildings for sure!”
    allow me to comment on my comment, this came out wrong, what I mean to say is that this floor plan is not the most “livable” nor “practical” floor plan on earth, but it has other appeal to it including view maximization and just being such a unique and different floor plan, not “cookie-cutter” – I live in it and it’s personally my favorite 2BR floor plan that I’ve ever lived in.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    BWS
    Fair enough, I did hype all three of those areas at one time or another and who could argue? I think all three areas (Berry St, Mint Plaza, and The Infinity area) are cool places and will be great places to live in 10 years no question. When you have an area that goes through massive change like all three of these areas did and are still going through, it is hard to NOT feel the excitement, the anticipation and the vision for the area.
    I mean, look at this picture and vision for what is going to be at the Transbay Terminal…
    https://socketsite.com/Transbay%20Park%20Rendering.html
    how could someone not get excited about that picture?
    Could you blame anyone for hyping the Infinity as the best “new” development? How about Berry St or Mint? At the time, they were the best “new” developments in SF! I still think they will be even greater places in the future too.
    Is the job of a Realtor to sell property? Yes,…. sort of. But in reality our job is to represent and serve clients (buyers or sellers) and do the best possible job for them when they WANT to buy or when they WANT to sell. PART of our job is to give them advise as to whether now is a good time to buy or a good time to sell based on their individual situation and the situation in the building (e.g., other similar units for sale in the building, time of year, new development inventory, etc.)
    And although other agents on this site get killed in these message boards (ahem, e.g., Paul Hwang), and I might regret what I’m about to say given that he is my primary competition, but I have known Paul to advise his clients to walk away from deals or to advise them to NOT buy today and wait until later, or to negotiate very hard for his clients and advise his clients to NOT budge/give-in to a seller’s price – ultimately because he was trying to serve his client best above and beyond his own interests (i.e., commission check). I have never known him to get his buyer to overpay for a property or get his seller to “under-sell” his property just so he would earn his commission – so love him or hate his style and self-promotion tactics, I actually think he’s a very good agent who represents his clients very well.
    On the flip-side, I have seen other agents try to manipulate their clients to buy at a price that is knowingly too high or vice-versa, manipulating the seller to accept a low price just to make the deal happen and earn a commission… so I can see how you have this perspective BWS…. however, don’t put all Realtors in the same boat because I agree with Paul when he says, and I paraphrase… not all agents are the same.

  26. Posted by flaneur

    Subtract the bias that’s infused in many of the comments and SocketSite could be the premier RE blog in SF.
    If no negative bias is the criteria, then Socketsite is one of the worst real estate sites in SF. For a RE site totally free of any negative bias, check out: Paul Hwang

  27. Posted by Mark Choey

    BWS
    Since I’m on a roll here and up late in front of the computer, let me answer your other question
    “… what he sees in the future of condos in SF and where’s the best place to buy and live for the next 10 years.”
    My answer seems a little cliché, but I really see the future of condos in SF to be just like another dense urban environment on the right coast – Manhattan, a dense, rich, urban environment with a mixture of high-rise, mid-rise, low-rise condo and office buildings and chock full of activity (cool and not-so-cool restaurants, vibrant night-life, cultural activities, live music, slam poetry, superstar DJ performances, cool retail spaces, etc.) scattered throughout SOMA, South Beach, Mission Bay. It won’t be as dense as Manhattan but it will probably be something like Vancouver with a balance of high-rise and low-rise developments emphasizing a “balanced” density for lack of a better term.
    As far as the “best place to buy and live for the next 10 years” that’s a tough one. Define “best”? What do you mean by that? Everyone is different and has a different definition… do you mean best investment? Quietest? Most convenient? Most balanced? Do you mean, best neighborhood? Best condo building? Not sure and that could mean anything and as far as 10 years? Who knows. Anyone that can claim to tell you that with any level of confidence is not being truthful. For some people, it might be Tiburon, for others The Infinity and for others it just might be China! But seriously, it could be Noe, Pac Heights, Marin, or SOMA, Mission Bay, Mint Plaza, or the Infinity…
    Call me, I would be glad to help you. 😉

  28. Posted by jlasf

    2B or not 2B. That is the question.
    (Sorry, folks, couldn’t resist it.)

  29. Posted by jee ess

    Mark –
    That’s an interesting vision. Unfortunately, SoMa is being invented, not grown organically. “Cool retail spaces, live music, vibrant night-life” – these developments require attracting enterprising youth rather than soulless chains or fortune-rich megastars.
    Sure, there are a couple of really great restaurants in SoMa, which is a nice start, but none of the great Manhattan neighborhoods were built from Safeways, Paneras, and Coldstones.

  30. Posted by anon

    Mark-
    Not sure if I agree with your assessment about neighborhoods. The Mint is a closed restaurant away from being no man’s land. The idea of Mint was a great idea but the implementation is slow and possibly on its last leg. Besides BB, there’s no foot traffic on that strip and you usually see the homeless sitting on those pretty DWR orange chairs lined along the street. Not my idea of paying a premium to live there.
    Berry is another example of how Mission Bay will never be “cool neighborhood”. As jess ess mentioned, you can’t get cool with Panera, Starbucks, Coldstones and Quiznos. Plus, Berry is an overbuilt 1 way street with 10 massive condo projects with no street parking next to the freeway and along a creek.

  31. Posted by Paul Hwang

    flaneur,
    Sorry about that site, it’s my mom trying to help me out. She’s old school. Not my site.
    Thanks for the nice words Mark, I feel a warm fuzzy.
    Paul

  32. Posted by Thumbs down

    Paul – Glad to hear you mom is helping you out. Perhaps she can update you with the pricing trend data at the Infinity over the past two years, something several people have asked for but you have never posted a response?
    Mark – Thanks for being a stand up guy and at least addressing all of the questions posed in great detail. Props for that. However your most accurate statement was – “I do agree with you that both floor plans have livability issues and you can find better floor plans in other buildings for sure!” I appreciate the photo of your dining table, but it really underscores my point. It’s a really tight sqeeze fitting two couples at dinner around that configuration and I imagine that most thirty or fourty something buyers will want more room to enjoy their wine, cooking and company when shelling out around $1m for a condo. I have seen college dorms with more spacious dining room arrangements.
    “Also, keep in mind that the Tower II residences actually have a larger space where the dining table is supposed to go due to a minor, but very effective, redesign.”
    sfosea – Finally an acknowledgement of the living/dining room design defect in Tower I units that has been apparently changed for Tower II. So, how did they manage to fix the defect in Tower II? It’s harder to ‘create’ dining space once the walls are up. And what’s the remedy for those who bought in Tower I? A smiley face wishing them the very best of luck with their 2/2 resale?

  33. Posted by Paul Hwang

    flaneur,
    Fixed it. I’ve been occupied with http://www.skyboxrealty.com , I had forgotten about my Mom trying to help me out from 10 years ago at http://www.paulhwang.com. BLechhhhh, ugly site. Well you know moms trying to help out all the time.
    Thanks for the heads up and driving traffic to the site.
    I actually think Adam is doing a good job with Socketsite, the news is a little stale, but I guess not if you are not in the industry. I think I reported on Socketsite at the beginning of the year that the Infinity was “Hot! Hot! Hot!” and got flamed. By “Hot!” I meant they were selling a lot. Now it’s the end of June and Socketsite is posting about it.
    The part of Socketsite that is lame, is the childish posts of baseless and erroneous facts about people and the market.
    Y, I self promote. Like I said before, “That’s how we do it in America.”, but I guess,
    “That’s Real Estate.”
    [Adam’s Note: Actually it’s last December from our side:

    The pace of new contracts being written on that last 20% of available units in Infinity’s phase one has picked up steam recently which could be interpreted (and touted) as a sign of market strength.

    Of course there’s also our actuals in March – a month before your comment in April – after they started selling Tower Two. And your “hot, hot, hot” comment at “the begining of the year” was actually in May.
    But hey, who’s counting or keeping track.]

  34. Posted by Paul Hwang

    The pace of new contracts being written on that last 20% of available units in Infinity’s phase one has picked up steam recently which could be interpreted (and touted) as a sign of market strength.
    This statement really isn’t saying anything, I know because I am the king of saying something, but nothing. 🙂
    I think in my post, I provided actual numbers from my actual experience of representing buyers, not “my friends brother’s sister’s friend counted the number of different color locks on the floor.”
    Since Socketsite has an opion on the timelyness (my spelling sucks), I’d like to know Socketsite’s opinion on libel, when it is obviously not true. I suggest you remove the following post:
    “Come to Skybox! You might be so rich that you won’t mind the six-figure losses!”
    Yeah, that one doesn’t work for me either.
    Posted by: dch at June 18, 2009 6:37 PM

  35. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Thumbs down,
    Dude:
    1) I will not discuss my clients personal financial transactions with people that are not a party to the transaction, without their authorization.(And no, I’m not going to ask them if I can post it on Socketsite).
    2) The developers in San Francisco require that I keep the transactions confidential.
    If you want referrals I can provide them.
    Paul

  36. Posted by Damion

    Wow, don’t you love how talk of Infinity and One Rincon Hill always seems to end up with accusations of libel, manipulation and pathological lying?
    I can’t follow along with who lives where and why one stack is superior than another and all the details, but can I just say this — Paul, if your mom did your current website, can she do mine too? I love the big pretty pictures!
    And really, isn’t that half the fun of socketsite — links to big pretty real estate pictures?

  37. Posted by gowiththeflow

    It drives me crazy that people talk about stonecold, safeway, and borders in an Infinity post… that’s mission bay, and soma. Infinity is in a different world, different league – more like Southbeach, edge of FiDi. We have Boulevard, Ozumo, Chaya, Perry’s, Epic, Vitale, etc. Embarcadero shopping center and Union Square are only a few blocks away, ferry building farmers market, are an easy walk. I used to live in Mission bay and the only thing they have worth raving about is Philz, Limn and Bacaar (Spelling?). The environment is different by the Infinity, your not trapped in the ball crowd here, you have the waterfront across the street, I see many families/ little kids around, it’s easy to hop on a ferry and jet over to Tiburon for lunch and take a bike ride etc… I could go on. I have in fact lived in both neighborhoods and Mission Bay seemed like the suburbs to me,but not in a good way, it seemed lost, confused as to what it is trying to be. The Infinity area seems like a great downtown neighborhood with the benefit of being in one of the warmest areas, most sun, and by the water..city life with easy relaxed weekend living.

  38. Posted by sfosea

    I completely agree with GWTF’s last post. Love it here and can’t recall the last time I saw a Safeway, Stone Cold, Borders in the immediate locale. I might add to GWTF’s list. . . Town Hall, RN74, Salt House, and immediate access to Muni and Bart. I can continue the list if need be.

  39. Posted by K&L

    where do you go grocery shopping when you live at the infinity? and is it walkable?

  40. Posted by 93 til infinity

    …yah, you do your grocery shopping at Safeway. Then pick up a Philz coffee, and maybe a sandwich at Panera while you are there to build up strength for the big 10 minute walk back to Infinity.

  41. Posted by sfosea

    We do all our grocery shopping at Whole Foods, Ferry terminal and farmer’s market. All easily walked.

  42. Posted by JD

    I like coldstone and borders 🙂
    How can ya not like ice cream and discounted books, two of my most favorite things in the world!

  43. Posted by Mark Choey

    Jee ess
    “That’s an interesting vision. Unfortunately, SoMa is being invented, not grown organically. “Cool retail spaces, live music, vibrant night-life” – these developments require attracting enterprising youth rather than soulless chains or fortune-rich megastars.”
    Parts of SOMA are I agree – SOMA is huge, but the only parts of SOMA that are being invented like that are really the areas down by Mission Bay, parts of 4th Street and Folsom St and areas close to Market St. Other than that, the rest of SOMA is pretty much all grass-roots and organic with local musicians, galleries, and restauranters – think Heaven’s Dog, Temple, and all of the galleries in SOFI as just some prime examples off the top of my head not to mention the great food all up and down 4th and Brannan right by the Palms…K&L Wines, Bacar, etc.

  44. Posted by souls of mischief

    “93 til infinity”
    I love it 🙂

  45. Posted by gowiththeflow

    Rincon Market on Spear is about a block away, Whole Foods on 4th and Folsom is a quick walk, and typically the Farmers market – there are grocery stores in the Ferry building open pretty late each night. If you like Safeway you can also walk to or train to Safeway by the Embarcadero and you also have Bristol Farms in the Westfield Center bottom floor. Another option if you like to get out and drive a bit is Whole Foods Protrero where you can just jump in an Infinity only zip car parked a few floors below your unit. JD you can get better gelato, ice cream etc. at the Ferry building. You can also have Safeway or sim deliver your grocery to your door, and sim. with drugstore.com. Also the Infinity has great connections with chefs/company that deliver fresh, food cooked to your door for the week if you don’t like to cook.

  46. Posted by JD

    mmmmmm…..gelaaaato 🙂

  47. Posted by Mark Choey

    anon
    “Not sure if I agree with your assessment about neighborhoods. The Mint is a closed restaurant away from being no man’s land. The idea of Mint was a great idea but the implementation is slow and possibly on its last leg. Besides BB, there’s no foot traffic on that strip and you usually see the homeless sitting on those pretty DWR orange chairs lined along the street. Not my idea of paying a premium to live there.
    Berry is another example of how Mission Bay will never be “cool neighborhood”. As jess ess mentioned, you can’t get cool with Panera, Starbucks, Coldstones and Quiznos. Plus, Berry is an overbuilt 1 way street with 10 massive condo projects with no street parking next to the freeway and along a creek.”
    MINT: Yes, precariously close to being an empty alley if Chez Mama/Papa (can’t ever remember which one it is but it’s awesome) closes but you have to look at the vision of the place – once the SF MINT opens for business and the other 3 restaurant spots fill up, that’s going to be one happening place. The foot traffic will come. Urban transformation rarely happens overnight and Mint Plaza almost did – just 2 years ago, it was a hideous alleyway with a sketchy reputation. Now with Blue Bottle and Chez Mama/Papa anchored there, it’s destiny is near… don’t forget about Mezzanine too… Plus if they keep having cool public exhibits / events like this,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X85A1dCpzsI
    this place has legs.
    The Mint Lofts has a great following mainly because of The Martin Building Company’s reputation for uncompromising urban living design. Awesome stuff that will make the area very attractive to the urban hipsters for years to come.
    I agree BERRY St will never be “cool” in the same way that MINT is cool but it is “cool” in another way – the convenience and familiarity of a mall with it’s large franchises (Walgreens, UPS Store, Subway, Starbucks, Safeway, Panera Bread, Quizno’s, Wells Fargo’s, etc.) – you can’t argue that it still is a thriving and up-and-coming area that has its appeal with people, many people… just look at all of the residents that call that area home – from the thousand of rentals in the Avalon/Emerald projects to the hundreds of condos there, its best days are still ahead of it as more retail fills the street out which will then attract MORE residents and the cycle continues.
    Talk of submerging the Caltrain lines and building on top of them and the 4th Street subway, this area is also going to be completely different in 10 years.
    Hard to not be a cheerleader. You can’t look at just today but the future potential too.

  48. Posted by sfyoda

    Anytime I see Paul Hwang on an MLS listing, I completely ignore it. I would never do business with someone so uneducated. This guy’s posts on this site are utterly obnoxious. Libel on an message board. Hilarious. How about when he accused me of illegally practicing law because I posted a contract interpretation. He is the poster boy of inept real estate agents and proof that there should be more than a high school GED requirement to practice real estate.
    Mark – We get it. You’re pimping the Infinity because you own there and are down 20%. It’s a great building but the floor plans leave a lot to be desired. There is no room for a separate living and dining area in any of the units (except the penthouse). Unfortunately, this is far too common in SF now. The only one that could have offered enough space for large dining was the 2 level floor plan but the builder had to add that gimpy and useless room on the first floor. Had that wall been knocked out it would have actually been a desireable floor plan.

  49. Posted by gowiththeflow

    Some of the Treetop units have room for formal dining, not just the penthouses.

  50. Posted by Paul Hwang

    sfyoda,
    May the force be with you.
    Paul

  51. Posted by chuckie

    Paul wrote, “1) I will not discuss my clients personal financial transactions with people that are not a party to the transaction, without their authorization.(And no, I’m not going to ask them if I can post it on Socketsite).”
    Someone asked him to comment on pricing trends at Infinity in last couple of years and this is the response. Had the prices been going up, would this be his response?
    Of course, we saw the “Hot! HOT! HOT!” spams (and continue to see) from him, but does anyone remember “news flashes” from him when the sales had ground to a halt and everyone here was predicting price declines.
    He is a tool of the developers and gets paid to tout their properties. Everything he says here needs to be discounted in that light.
    Further, Paul wrote, “2) The developers in San Francisco require that I keep the transactions confidential.”
    Like I said, he is a tool of the developer (and a tout). Woe to anyone that “works” with him under the assumption that he is a “buyer’s” agent.

  52. Posted by Paul Hwang

    chuckie,
    Live long and prosper.
    Paul

  53. Posted by San FronziScheme

    there should be more than a high school GED requirement to practice real estate.
    I don’t see why. Nobody’s asking a car salesman to be also a mechanical engineer or even a car mechanic. Some could find unjust that RE agents with a basic education would make more than some college-educated workers but life isn’t fair in the first place…

  54. Posted by Mikey

    Since the thread has completely devolved anyway….
    The people bashing Paul don’t know him and have never worked with him. I have (as a seller) and he’s the ONLY agent I’d work with again. He’s a nice guy, knowledgeable, and honest. And no, I’m not his mother;)

  55. Posted by Tim C

    I concur with Mikey (as a buyer). He’s very knowledgeable and personable. Mark Choey was correct that Paul would advise his clients to walk away if he thought it was a bad deal for his clients. If you meet him and work with him, you’ll realize he has his clients best interest. It puzzles me how people on this site assume what type of person Paul is.

  56. Posted by Timmy

    I concur with Mikey (as a buyer). He’s very knowledgeable and personable. Mark Choey was correct that Paul would advise his clients to walk away if he thought it was a bad deal for his clients. If you meet him and work with him, you’ll realize he has his clients best interest. It puzzles me how people on this site assume what type of person Paul is.

  57. Posted by Thumbs down

    Paul – I have to fully agree with Chuckie. No-one has ever asked you to reveal private financial information about any of your clients and using this excuse is completely invalid and absurd. It is pretty simple to answer the question without giving away personal data. See the following example –
    “Clients that bought in 2006 & 2007 paid between $950,000 and $1.7m for floors 10-20 in Tower I with higher floors and superior views paying more. Those same units today are worth between $650,000 and $1.1m. Accordingly, on average, most buyers within these range of floors are down between 25-35% over the past 2-3 years.”
    See, no personal client info, yet the trend of pricing is revealed. Perhaps you don’t want to acknowledge that you facilitated some poor financial decisions at the Infinity? I think that may have more to do with your reluctance to answer the question.
    Mark C. – Nice to see someone backing up his/her rhethoric at the Mint and Berry Street, even though others may not fully concur. I think most people appreciate this versus pure grandstanding (Infinity is “hot, hot, hot”) and declining to answer questions when such recommendations are put to the test.

  58. Posted by James

    Could somebody please comment on options for a second parking spot in/near this building and how much they are going for?

  59. Posted by Mark Choey

    sfyoda
    Let’s set the record straight – I actually don’t own here, yes, I RENT. Scandalous! So, I’m not pimping the building because I own, I am pimping the building because I actually believe it’s the best place to buy for a lot of people.
    Now, before we all get up-in-arms about how hypocritical I am that I could represent buyers in a building I don’t even own in myself, well, let’s put it this way… it makes sense for some people to buy here and for others it does not. For us, we are not 100% sure if having young children (3-6 years old) in this high-rise is going to make sense for us – we are “testing” the concept – we are concerned about 2 things:
    1) the need for a backyard for our kids to run around in and
    2) the need to live near good schools. The verdict is still out for us.
    If you think you are going to be moving from a building in 2 years, you should not buy. In fact, in this market, you should not buy if you think you are going to sell in about 4-5 years – minimum and we MAY be leaving this building in that time frame.
    Having said that, we are looking for a 3BR and yes, we are looking in the Infinity and around the area. But we are also considering houses too as the lure of a backyard and being near good schools is stronger than I expected. Being from the east coast originally, I always thought I would live and raise my kids in a high-rise… I could never understand why families HAD to leave the city and go to the burbs… now I’m starting to understand why… but we are resisting and we are trying to make it work in the high-rise. Time will tell.
    Also, as a note, there are many families in the building with children of all ages – almost 20 families (probably) that I can think of. It works for them, but not for everybody and in my opinion is not an ideal place for families with older children (over 4)… but many people disagree with me as you can tell by the number of families that live in the building today.

  60. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Thumbs down,
    What reputable Real Estate Broker has done that on Socketsite?
    As for all the misguided information here, when the Infinity first opened (August 2006, I think) I didn’t sell any units after advising my clients on valuation.
    In fact I don’t think I did my first deal there until March 2007 on a 2br (albeit small) that was priced out as 1 br (The developer is not always efficient in pricing.).
    Sticking to your principles and doing what you said you were going to do is never invalid or absurd.
    Paul

  61. Posted by gowiththeflow

    I don’t think you can purchase a 2nd spot but many residents rent the ones they don’t use out and there are many garages around the building. Going rates from what I hear range from $375 – $450 per month.

  62. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Mark, Mike and Tim,
    Thanks for the support.
    Paul

  63. Posted by chuckie

    “What reputable Real Estate Broker has done that on Socketsite? ”
    And no Real Estate Broker has spammed and/or touted on this site as you have. You continue to spam, tout and shamelessly self-promote on the site without adding any value.
    IMO you profess to represent buyers, but in reality, as Mikey’s post shows and your own statements show, you work/tout for and get paid from sellers/developers.
    I would bet dollars to donuts that the buyers you have “assisted” have lost money and will continue to lose for a couple of years more.
    I have requested this before, and I will ask again- Write something of value to the readers,
    or buy an ad on the site.

  64. Posted by Mike

    @ Chuckie
    Don’t twist my words. I haven’t worked with Paul as a buyer, so I don’t know about that. But I would not hesitate to use him if I were to buy.
    I would bet dollars to donuts that the buyers you have “assisted” have lost money and will continue to lose for a couple of years more.
    To be fair, you could say that about just about ANY real estate broker who assisted in a purchase in the last 3 years. Why pick on Paul?
    Your obsession is unhealthy…

  65. Posted by Thumbs down

    “Sticking to your principles and doing what you said you were going to do is never invalid or absurd.”
    Paul – If your principles involve not being honest or transparent after making outlandish claims (Infinity is “hot, hot, hot”) then I suppose that speaks for itself.
    In terms of what other R.E. brokers have backed up their claims with data, fluj/anonn does it all the time. People may not agree with the apples that he has picked or the way that he spins the data, but he is willing to back up his perspective with actual sales data. Doing so adds value to Socketsite readers, whatever their perspective on the R.E. market. Simply grandstanding about how great a certain development is, and being unwilling to back up your lofty claims is pretty weak and makes you, quite frankly, not credible.
    In terms of veracity, just check out this thread. Mark C. was honest enough to admit that he actually rents at Infinity despite having recommended purchasing at the Infinity to other buyers. He went on to explain why that made sense for his particular situation and his reasons seemed plausible. Apparently a lack of transparency isn’t one of his “principles”.

  66. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Thumbs down,
    I think the label of “fastest selling development on the west coast.” constitutes “hot”. I don’t think it’s outlandish at all.
    Your posts are self evident as who is not being honest or transparent. Indeed the very idea is laughable coming from someone who posts anonymously (“transparent”: please!!!).
    We are talking about the Infinity here, and I am restrained by ethics and agreement to keep things confidential. Otherwise, I would provide the data to such a charming and reasonable person as yourself.
    Paul

  67. Posted by anon

    This is getting out of hands.
    Thumbs down is acting like a physco-path.
    It’s a beautiful day in a great city.
    The US Soccer team just beat the #1 Team
    The Warriors traded J Crawford.
    Isn’t that great news?

  68. Posted by chuckie

    Oh, my favorite gem from Paul from earlier this year is, “Many experts have predicted a flat to slightly downward trend for prices in 2009”.
    And zippo, zilch, nada from him to back up his statement.

  69. Posted by gowiththeflow

    I actually think this thread is helping Paul. I don’t use realtors for every purchase but if I were to use one I would not want to work with an agent that flaunted info on blogs about pricing where I bought, plan to sell or have sold. Way to stick to your guns Paul. Sure all the info would be great and at one point I wanted it too especially having bought at the Infinity sans realtor. I understand however that I should not expect the info for free, and waste your time un-paid without forming some type of business relationship. If I want the info no cost I can and should do what I did and go to the city and get it mysely or hire you.

  70. Posted by anon

    Speedy is back in the Bay!
    Maybe he’ll rent at Infinity?

  71. Posted by tipster

    I, tipster, will vouch for Paul. I know several people who have used him and the stories they tell are impressive as hell.
    I’m told his persona is entirely different from that which he uses here. Low key, not self-promotional, and shoots straight. Certainly doesn’t do that here, but that’s how he treats his clients. Couldn’t ask for a better realtor.
    It kills me to say all of that, because I trust almost no Realtor, and I dislike the persona he has on this forum, but everything I hear about him is universally positive. If I were buying in that area, I’d use him in a heartbeat.

  72. Posted by kanon

    I recently purchased a place in the Infinity from Mark and his group (climb) and would like to say that he is an excellent broker. I originally met with him over 1.5 years ago and I only recently purchased a place since I was in no hurry to move and wanted to see where the market was moving. He and his counterparts at Climb are honest and insightful. He definitely will find the best deal for you based on your parameters, e.g. price per sq/ft, view, specific layout, willingess to wait/gamble, estimated length of occupancy at address, primary or rental property, and will go over bidding/counter strategies with you in order to secure the best deal based on YOUR requirements and priorities. When I orignally toured Infinity 1.5 years ago I thought prices would drop (do your research and stop blaming realtors, are you likewise blaming your stockbroker for your fall in the market- they are only supposed to advise you – it’s your money and hence your decision) so I asked not to be contacted unless deals started coming down to the $X/sq ft. range. I was kept on the portal and was informed about deals in other buildings as well as Infinity. When my parameters were met: layout, $/sq ft Mark helped me a negotiate a fantastic deal and also walked me through a successful bid/counterbid strategy. Side note – although Mark is a great guy let’s remember he has an incentive to have a satisied customer base – referrals in this sluggish economy… and he also wants that resale listing… after all… he is a broker.

  73. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Thanks for the comments Tipster, I will give you $20 later.

  74. Posted by Vinny Chase

    What’s up with all the bashing on Paul?
    Point Blank, Paul is the Ari Gold of Real Estate. (For those who don’t know, tune into President Obama’s favorite show Entourage).
    The guy has his client’s back 100%. No doubt, he cares for his clients regardless of a sales check.
    Paul represented me and my wife at Infinity so I am speaking with experience and not from what I read on Socketsite. I think we were his first client, as mentioned above?
    We liked the guy so much we invited him to our wedding. It’s a shame what i’m reading on this site.

  75. Posted by jd

    I got to say, I know nothing about Paul or Mark, but I have been impressed by the way they have responded to the flying daggers with cool heads and good humor (mmmm, now I am thinking about ice cream again).

  76. Posted by Paul Hwang

    Ari Gold? uh oh…. better cut back on the sushi.

  77. Posted by nnona

    This thread has made me wonder what the benefit would be for a non-anonymous Realtor to adopt a blog persona that results in negative perceptions to be formed about said Realtor.
    It goes without saying that a blog persona can fall anywhere along the spectrum between “exactly like the poster in real life” to “nothing like the poster in real life”. However, I would think that the default perception people have about any given poster would be the former, which would seem to be detrimental (given the ease of Googling) to the Realtor that generates an amount of negative opinion against him/herself.
    I mean, people can have a negative opinion of “nnona” but this has no effect whatsoever on my livelihood or my life. Even a poster who seeks a certain type of approval by putting out certain (true, for assumption’s sake) details of their real lives only really risks hurt feelings or a bruised ego.
    I have no doubt that the above testimonials about Paul are true, but implicit in them is the idea that a negative perception has been formed about him that does not square with what he’s like in reality. But, the person most responsible for this negative perception is Paul himself.
    Is it a case of any name recognition is better than no name recognition? If not, what is the motivation as there does seem to be a definite downside to the practice?
    By the way, anyone have any real life testimonials about anonn/fluj? It would be hard to imagine that the real life version correlates exactly to the blog persona.
    @jd- Have you tried “La Copa Loca” (Capp and 22nd, I think)? Great gelato.

  78. Posted by jd

    Thanks, nnona. I will try La Copa Loca next time I am nearby! (And yes, both the blog persona and the real JD both love gelato.) 🙂

  79. Posted by SuckaFreeCity

    What a bunch of tarts–blogging about the persona of realtors. For God sake get a life. Youre only helping them promote themselves anyway.

  80. Posted by anon

    Michael Jackson died today.
    Let’s give this thread a rest.

  81. Posted by Robert

    Michael Jackson died today.
    Also on CNN, a boy is being eaten alive by lake bacteria. The ravished boy never got the chance to be in a singing troupe, or live with a little monkey, but I think the curved floor plans do allow for both Michael, the boy, and the monkey.
    You *can* entertain 8 people there. Tenants in the Infinity should consider Eileen Gray side tables, which can convert a couch or chairs into a dining/entertainment situation. Instead of thinking in terms of a large dining table, a small dining table and a few adjustable Gray tables are all you need.
    Guests can lounge, talk with each other, nibble from the tables, and laugh at the monkey, all with a beautiful view.

  82. Posted by Paul Hwang

    The Infinity High Level A floorplan completely reserved / sold out as of today. > Breaking News from Skybox >

  83. Posted by Mark Choey

    THANK YOU “kanon” – ummm, who are you? drop me an email… i’m racking my brain and can’t figure out who you are! email me! mark@climbsf.com

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