The Numbers Behind Perkins’ Millennium Penthouse PurchaseSeptember 22, 2009
Tom Perkins has gone public with his purchase of one of the top two Millennium Tower penthouse shells (“GPHA”). The buy by the numbers: 4,806 square feet; three bedrooms and three baths with 11-foot ceilings; a 700 square foot terrace; monthly dues of $1,709; and a $9.35 million purchase price for the raw space.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
They landed the whale. Nice catch. Somewhere, GL must be killing himself.
Would love to see it. I’ll bring adult beverages if someone wants to invite me over.
Any idea of the overall sales/rental figures so far?
I just read in a several months old Business Times that they are starting to rent/lease some of the units. Desperation?
[Editor’s Note: When we broke the news in May: The Straight Scoop: Millennium To Offer Select Rentals.]
as a previous owner of four seasons and st regis…i can assure you that the figures put out by the developer can be misleading. this project is in trouble in the sense of trying to move these condos at those prices. they timed it wrong and the only way of escape is to rent them out and quietly lower the prices as they did with four seasons after 9/11. the hoa dues will go up to around 2000/month once the developer stops subsidizing them. also, as in the four seasons..the developer quietly bought some of the units to keep the avg price high. once these units fill up which i suspect will take decades, the facilities will be so crowded. in the four seasons and st regis…nearly 75% of us were part-timers. this is different with the tower project. SOO…wait and you will see big drops in a few years…IF you buy and don’t care about your investment…then buy it or better yet, buy st regis/ four seasons and get the true full service residence. the tower is NOT comparable to four seasons and st regis full service hotel residences so take that in consideration in your price offer. DO NOT believe what the developer puts out people. sit and wait and you will see prices drop. i suspect in 2010 late or 2011. confirm if the sold units were really bought by individuals not someone connected to Mill’ Partners. we enjoyed the properties and Mill’Partners do a good job but now they are facing a diff economy. SF…is NOT the City is use to be….the only thing left in the City is eating places and the natural beauty but all the quality entertainment has left, the streets are filthy and it gets boring after living there after a year or so. Sorry but you left the City go and while Willy Brown who lives in St Regis…enjoys his unit…the mass deals with the filth.
While I think George’s post is a bit of a downer, I am a little let down by how freaking dirty it is here. Something is going wrong. I was born and raised here and the city was cleaner and friendlier when there were a bunch of artists and hippies living here and the normal person could afford to buy a modest place to live. Shouldn’t all of the growth SF experienced to bring us fancy places such as this garner positive improvement in the City? Sorry to be off topic, but you kinda have to wonder WTF, right?
I agree with George. I’d add that the City as a business center is gone too which added a vibrancy and a stable medium level job base.
I don’t know where the saturation point is for condos like this. Especially given so many are part time dwellers in the City.
A foggy summer combined with the filty streets can make the City seem boring or let’s put it as not as inviting as one may have imagined.
I walked past macy’s the other day – first time in a long, long time – and the street level ambiance has taken a real hit. Dirty streets around Macy’s, seedy looking individuals everywhere, closed stores with stroefronts falling into disrepair.
it’s like the emperor has no clothes. You can put up these pricey condos, but unless you choose to stay within the building all the time, once you hit the street there is a disconnect.
“Shouldn’t all of the growth SF experienced to bring us fancy places such as this garner positive improvement in the City?”
As long as District Elections allow losers like Daly to win with a handful of votes, you’ll continue to see San Francisco decline. Daly may be termed out, but there are plenty of self-proclaimed idiot progressives that are ready to take his place (like David Campos, butthead surpreme)
One reason the City is dirtier than it used to be is that we “clean” it using those fancy French golf-cart thingies. They don’t actually clean much; they just push the dirt around, after moistening it, of course.
By the way, I’ve seen those same machines used in Paris. There, of course, they’re not seen as the be-all and end-all of street cleaning.
There is no sense of community in San Francisco, in terms of a “this is my home” type community. The city has become almost a place of permanent transience, where it is impossible to put down roots. You would have to be rich, and I don’t mean ~200k/yr, to consider making SF your permanent home for your family. Not a lot of people are rich, certainly not the majority who live in the city.
It’s not a mystery why it’s so dirty here, why all of the politics are geared around hot button in-the-moment issues, why there is so much talk but little action, why all of the residential development is geared towards these condo boxes. This city is like an amusement park, you visit for a while, but you can’t stay forever.
I’m continually amazed how the filth and decline keeps spreading to unexpected areas. Saturday night I went to a movie in West Portal and was treated to a mattress dumped in front of Starbucks, littered streets, a surprising number of empty storefronts and couple whacked out panhandlers. It seems like most of SF has just come unraveled.
Check out the Marina, it’s clean there! We don’t have the Transbay Terminal as our next door neighbor.
I love this stuff.
Natives who fight to keep everyone new out and anything new from being built then wonder why prices go through the roof forcing out all the fun and exceptional people who make SF special.
Natives through fauxgressive supervisors champion legislation restricting what kind of stores can move in where – increasing the cost of doing business and again forcing more businesses elsewhere.
Is it really surprising to anyone that lives here that we have this situation? When taking an ideological stand is more important than actually accomplishing something? Where preserving 50 year old library shelves is more valuable than clean streets.
For a supposedly educated and worldly city, we sure are a bunch of close minded, stupid people.
I’d add that the City as a business center is gone too which added a vibrancy and a stable medium level job base.
What in the world makes you draw this conclusion? Does SF have fewer jobs than 20 years ago? No. Does it have fewer jobs than 40 years ago? No. Does it have a lower percentage of overall Bay Area jobs than either of those times? Sure – because most of the population growth in the Bay Area has been outside the city for the past, you know, 50 years. Do we really want ALL jobs to be in SF with people commuting in and out every day?
Is this the same SS that I visit ever so often and find most here that place SF on throne? WOW! I thought I entered the wrong site for a second there. People, SF has always been a dirty City with tons of crime but it has been pushed far under some virtual rug for a long, long time… Let’s face it head-on and stop the bashing of Oakland and the East Bay as if SF is so much better. Just this past weekend, I reluctantly visited Union Square/SF Centre the other day with my wife and 2-year old who asked me from his stroller, “Dad why are there so many people lying on the ground?” I did what a good Dad does and answered, “They are resting my son.”
“Check out the Marina, it’s clean there! We don’t have the Transbay Terminal as our next door neighbor.”
Yeah, but then you need to deal with the Marina ex-fratboy d-bags. No thanks!
“They are resting my son”, or “They’re resting son”?
Yeah, I was wondering when the Real SF Glee Club would interject to counter all the negativity above. Probably because this is a thread about the Millennium and, by extension, Soma, so nobody is bothering to read. Were this a Noe Valley thread, for example, I’m sure there would already be 15 posts about how Noe Valley is a World Class City with proximity to Innovation Mecca and we’re all so rich here.
How many more posts til we see the obligatory “If you don’t like it, move!” refrain?
Nice catch sparky-b 🙂
SFhighrise – I’ve lived in the Marina for 13 years now and I’ve successfully avoided the “Marina ex-frat boys” of which you speak. It’s not that difficult, really. In doing so, I’ve discovered low-key, enjoyable places to spend my free time and met a lot of great people who live in this nabe.
He got a better deal than whom ever bought GPHB for 11MM.
All my neighbors in the marina are old italians who’ve lived there forever, great people who watch out for each other. Really.
We see the frat clowns on Chestnut with the ridiculous blond prada bimbos, but i’ll take that over what I see every morning walking through the Transbay Terminal on the way to work.
“It seems like most of SF has just come unraveled.”
I don’t know… Rent any of the ‘Dirty Harry’ movies. They’re all shot on location here. The city looked pretty run down in the 70s and 80s.
I’m curious to know if the following comp. the future of this building
301 Mission Street #23C San Francisco 94105 5/13/2009 $875,500
(from SF gate sold homes database)
Note that 31C was sold for 2.4M.
Why was 23C so cheap?
A couple of points. The Marina was fine until the latest earthquake in “89, then it changed. I’m born and raised, for the most part in the City – MV in the 70s – as well as my Grandma and Mother in SF. I agree it is worse than ever. I lived in the Marina since my 1st week out of school, I saved my money, too many yrs ago, and it was nice. Some older folks and some transplants. I had 7 frat guys and 2 other friends than I went to school with stay in my house for one night in Nob Hill. It was rather tame. All have families, from SF,Oahu to Dallas. I check out this site everyday, love real estate, but the comments are way too general. BTW, we were at the Toronado, Hobson’s Choice, and the Hyde Out and took the bus. People are people, judging is a waste of time.
One more comment – my dad, who past away about 5 yrs. ago, knew Perkins and said he was a very nice guy. Years ago, but nevertheless.
* stares wildly, hair askew *
Sorry, the Internet gets me all excited.
Bob – You are tripping to state that the natives strive to keep everything out. The people I know that are from here are more than open to have people move here. We all came here one time or another, right? I would argue that the transplants could be just as likely to vote for the crazeballs that represent us (I know I didn’t)in an effort to do what they are told is “right” for the guy that accosts you as you walk by. It isn’t an elitist thing to say SF is dirtier now than I can ever remember. It is what it is. I don’t want to leave but may have to if it gets much worse for the sake of my kids. If Gavin gets elected governor , the rest of the state can have some of the same dirt too I guess. Taxes drive the earners out and we won’t be left with much here but the views…Not sure Kurt Brown is saying above…
Brian just sounds like a bitter whiner…all cities have good and bad points..ever venture over to Noe Valley?? a great neighborhood, friendly, safe, mix of families, kids, older folks, gay people…a great urban mix. and NV has a strong sense of community..neighbors know each other..lots of community activities…
yea, sometimes the streets are a bit dirty..doesn’t make us a 3rd world country…and, by the way? we get mattresses dumped on the corners now and then. it’s disgusting. guess who does it? LAZY people who live here. government wont fixt that.. it takes people who just respect the city.
Are you Kurt Brown of kurtbrown.com or of kurtRbrown.com ? or neither?
The politicians give the people what the people want. Frank Jordon lost a lot of votes with his matrix program for the homeless and that sticks in any mayor’s mind: don’t push too hard or you get tossed out. That and taking a shower with some disc jockeys, of course.
I think Gavin did what he could in the context of a bunch of nuts that vote in this town. When you are a politician, you balance the possible with the desired. He stopped giving the homeless an incentive to move here. That was probably all he could do. The citizens just refuse to allow the politicians to toss the homeless out. I think the homeless are here to stay.
The homeless can stab little kids on the buses and the people make nary a peep. But if a politician tries to move a homeless camp out of GG park, look out! So the politicians learn real quick what’s possible and what’s not. The problem isn’t the politicians, it’s the people who elect them. That isn’t going to change. Either you get used to it or life will always be difficult in SF.
bradley – 301 Main St. #23C is a small one bedroom unit. At the 31st floor there are fewer and larger units and 31C is a 2 floor two-bedroom unit with two large terraces, thus the major price difference.
” The citizens just refuse to allow the politicians to toss the homeless out.”
For as smart as San Franciscans like to think they are, they sure like to be hoodwinked by the Poverty Pimps that influence most of city politics. There’s a whole ecosystem of non-profits, unions and developers that are striving to keep money (our tax money, in case you didn’t know) flowing to them while delivering nothing of value.
Meanwhile all these folks live elsewhere (yeah, I’m talking about people like Randy Shaw, who lives in Berkeley, yet does all his work at THC in SF). Or the senile Jake McGoldrick, who thank God is no longer a supe.
Almost makes you wish for an earthquake to clear the roaches from the city.
Although I agree that much of the city seems seedier than in times past, I also think that there has been some phenomenal changes for the better.
I took a stroll from Nob Hill to Rincon Hill 3 days ago. the Nob is just as cute as it’s always been. Union Square seemed pretty vibrant to me. But the big noticeable change is walking along some of SOMA. I walked from Nob Hill all the way down 1st and under the Greyhound terminal and it was gross and disgusting, but it was walkable. I didn’t feel threatened or anything. this is a marked improvement. (yeah, 1st street is still digusting and gross though).
I walked from Nob down 4th to the Whole foods on 4th st as well. the parts near Market were improved IMO. the parts near the highway still leave a lot to be desired of course.
I walked down 3rd to the W hotel, and IMO that area has seen incredible improvement over the years.
I walked all over South Beach, and although it’s pretty dead over there, it also is very walkable with a lot of newly planted trees (Bravo).
other areas are worse. i think that Mission itself is worse than it used to be, especially around 15th to 19th for example.
Noe is just as ugly as it has ever been, although people persist in trying to convince me otherwise. at least it is safe.
in sum, SF has always been pretty dirty and ugly on the street scape. I think that some of the areas are getting better in overall quality despite the persistent dirt/waste/smells etc…
the area around Millenium is still pretty terrible. We walked by it on Sunday and laughed that anybody who could afford to live there would live there. sure it’s safer, but ack it leaves a lot to be desired.
Hard to believe that Tom Perkins paid less per square foot for his exceptional space at the Millenium that ‘G’ paid for his place at the Infinity. ‘G’ better look out for the flames from the fire sale happening at the units down below. That’s hot!
this is probably off-topic. but in regard to SF past and present (better or worse). i stumbled across some truly amazing photos of the western addition (70s/80s)…
the western addition is way better.
noearch, how is that whining? The topic was/is why things are so dirty and/or in disrepair, and I was just saying it has a lot to do with the transient attitude of the people who live here.
Everybody has different memories, but
There was WAY more graffiti all over San Francisco in the late 80s and early 90s.
There were more gangster thug types around the city that time as well. Geneva Towers, etc
@sparky, I’m not either of those Kurt Browns, altho all us SF Kurt Browns are often assumed to be each other. I have no personal URL, no Vodka, nor a giant “K” emblazoned on my grossly ornate golden head board. 😉
Why dont you get the read the story before you comment… You are talking about the Infinity and we are all talking about the Millennium.
@ brian: sure comes off whining to me..and very negative in a broad general way…
In my opinion, SF is not the way you describe it..I don’t see that “transient” attitude at all. let’s see, I’ve lived in my house now for 25 years, our neighbors 31 years, the older lady down the street (who just moved into a nursing home) lived in her little NV cottage for 58 years…I could go on and on..
the worst offenders to trash and general dis-respect to the city comes from new neighbors, youngish hipster types who think it’s ok to dump their old mattresses or computers or tvs on the street corner and let someone else deal with their trash. they’re the ones with the transient, could-care-less attitude.
Following “Ex’s” lead, I think it’s a great idea to list all the things that are better about SF now than when we first moved here. For me (a relative newbie at eight years, formerly from San Jose for seven years, then all over the country before that)…
o Union Square (foot traffic from all over the globe, Emporio Rulli, Christmas windows and decorations)
o MUNI (still sucks, but the signage is a bit improved, the color scheme is nicer, the Hybrid busses are newer, quieter, and cleaner, and they clean the underground stations better)
o Less dirt in some areas (the neighborhood CBDs have made a positive impact in many places)
o The Ferry Building and the Embarcadero (the restoration and the destruction of the freeway restored this entire location and brought it back from the dead)
o AT&T Park (versus Candlestick — no comparison)
o The slow but sure revitalization of SOMA and Mission Bay
o There’s enough cabs now
o Zip Car
o High-rise residential in SOMA (not to buy, or to live in, but just nice to know it’s there, and it’s pretty to look at from a distance, even tho some of it looks like a Sharper Image air cleaner, it’s better than empty lots and abandoned industrial wasteland).
o We’re not giving homeless people monthly cash stipends anymore.
It’s a real city with all the attendant problems, but it’s still crazy and vibrant, and its residents care about it passionately and talk about it endlessly. Witness this site, for example.
OK, back to my nap.
o far better bike facilities : Valencia and Market St. lanes and numbered bike route system, etc. etc.
o more frequent and faster CalTrain service. (Still embarrassingly inadequate compared to first world countries though)
o Belgian ale flows from more taps
o ramshackle tiny houses now worth $1M
oh wait, scratch that last one.
more better things now:
-more trees,more curbside plantings.
-tree lined Octavia Blvd.
-no more raised Embarcadero freeway…look at the fabulous views and pedestrian walkway that now exists on the waterfront.
-beautiful palm trees in the median on upper market
-24th st. about to get a Whole Foods. yay!!
It really depends on where you live in SF. I used to live in my parents’ house in Presidio Heights on Jackson. The roads were clean everything was just so. All the neighbors were nice. Every Halloween we hire police to patrol the neighborhood. Everyone just split the bill. No qualms. The Laurel Village stores were always clean and everyone is courteous. I’m on my own now and live in Duboce Triangle. Let’s just say the streets are dirty to say the least…. The weather is nicer though…
*JAW DROP* I love you Perkins! Can I be your friend? You are such a true baller…can I have your yacht?
Pretty funny to watch the same old bitter negative crowd complaining about everything. Take your Prozac guys.
Crime is far less than in the 70’s, the murder rate is 1/3 of what it was. This fact doesn’t stop old timers from trying to tell you that it used to be safer then. I guess nostalgia is like that, the natural human desire to paint everything in sepia tones.
The City is much safer, cleaner and more vibrant than when I moved to the Bay Area in 1989, no doubt about it. By any statistical measure: jobs, average real incomes, crime rates, school graduation rates, Muni on-time rates, etc, The City has improved tremendously. There *are* more homeless. If this is the one thing that you care most about, then San Francisco will probably always disappoint.
It has always been a city full on transients as well and this does make it a bit harder to set down roots. But many neighborhoods are full of people who have been here forever, Noe is not the only one. Pick one you like and get to know your neighbors, you might be surprised.
I agree with NVJ, having also moved here about 20 years ago. San Francisco is much cleaner and safer now. And I have to disagree with ex-SFer: the Mission is in much better shape and is much safer now than it was 20 years ago.
Yay. Happy thread! 🙂
I forgot one:
o Lot’s more wires underground, specifically Dolores street, with the new street lamps, looks great. I make a point to bring visitors into the city from 280 up Dolores now.
The way to fix things is to get rid of district elections. It takes more votes to win a high school popularity contest than it take to be a SF supe these days. Get rid of them.
The majority of the city should decide on the fate of the city, not the special interests of the few that it takes to win a district election.
See Chris “the fake” Daly, aka Mr. Fairfield!
My list of favorite improvements not listed already:
o Tearing down the Central Freeway, which transformed Hayes Valley
o The new ballpark
o All the new museums: the de Young, the SFMOMA, the Academy of Sciences, the new Asian Art museum
o China Basin
o The new Hope IV projects all over town. Tearing down Geneva Towers was the best thing we did in that part of town.
o The new Central Library
o All the Farmer’s Markets
o All the great new food places, too many to mention
Am I the only person annoyed by people highjacking a post about Millennium? Let’s try to keep to the relevant subject. Take your side discussions about the merits of living in San Francisco to another post or another site all together. This was supposed to be a conversation about the Millennium
Second all of NVJ’s points except one. IMO the homeless problem was much worse from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. Many parts of Golden Gate Park were little more than a permanent homeless encampment/cesspool. Union Square, the Financial District, Civic Center, and the Haight have plenty of homeless now, but a fraction of what there was 15 years ago. I agree with others that the homeless are till tolerated and coddled by the pols far more than they should be, but for whatever the reason, the sheer numbers are not what they used to be (or I suppose they’ve just all shifted to some neighborhood I never see — I doubt it, but that would be fine with me in any event).
My read is that there was so much gentrification during the dot-com years that many neighborhoods that used to tolerate the homeless crowd simply no longer do so, and so they move on. Care Not Cash also helped. The prisons are also housing far more of the extreme mentally ill population that used to roam the streets. Federal zero-tolerance policies in the projects adopted in the 90s also helped — thankfully we have a Supremacy Clause and local pols had no say in those policies and could not water them down.
“Am I the only person annoyed by people highjacking a post about Millennium? Let’s try to keep to the relevant subject. Take your side discussions about the merits of living in San Francisco to another post or another site all together. This was supposed to be a conversation about the Millennium”
No, soma resident, you are not alone. I find it extremely annoying when people post to share with the world what personally annoys them.
Now, what was it you had to contribute about the Millennium?
oh good…the relevance police are out again…I’m so scared.
when did you become appointed as the ruler of the internet?
I find it very annoying that you (soma resident and oneeyedman) are here complaining about off topic comments.
^^ My previous post was an attempt at sarcasm directed toward soma resident. Pointing out that people posting about what annoys them is probably less relavent and more off-topic than the posts they’re bitching about. I personally enjoy watching how some of these threads evolve. IMHO, it’s part of what makes SS a great site. As far as being ruler of the internet, all I can say is this:
In regione caecorum rex est luscus
All these posts are relevant. Tom Perkins is reading this thread to make sure he did the right thing. We are very important here.
* blindly follows OneEyedMan, drinking his Milkshake of Dispair *
I dispair the lack of an edit feature to correct embarrassing spelling mistakes. Sigh. Oy, that’s off topic.
I think the Millennium is just peachy!
Spelling mistake? Oh, you meant to say: We are very impotent here.
Somewhat on topic – Can anyone figure out who purchased Maltese Falcon from TP? Despite being “ruler of the internet” I have been unable to find an answer to this question.
For those not as hip as KB, dispair
Those old photos of San Francisco are totally fabulous! Thanks for posting the link.
You people hate SF so much yet waste your time coming on to real estate blogs to tell people?
Clearly, you don’t believe it OR you’re so pathetic that you do this for fun.
Going waaaayyyyyyy back to an earlier post from Bradley asking why 23C in the Millennium was so much cheaper than 31C it is because they are two completely different floor plans in different “phases” of the project. 23C is only 833 square feet and is in the “Residences” and 31C is 2170 sq. feet. and is in the Grand Residences (you can find this info on their website). The Grand Residences have higher quality finishes. I don’t think 23C came with deeded parking either.
For all you haters out there, I live in the building and love just about everything about it. I am a long term (20 year) SF resident that decided that I was ready to “simplify” my living experience and so far this building has not disappointed me. I looked at almost all of the downtown SF high rises and the only other building that I liked as well was The Brannan, but the amenities there do not compare. The St. Regis has no views and the Four Seasons is at an even higher price point which didn’t compute for me.
The biggest drawbacks to the neighborhood are the lack of good grocery stores within walking distance and an eerie quiet on the weekends. It is a short walk to the Embarcadero and Union Square though and there is no shortage of great restaurants nearby, so these complaints are trivial to me anyway.
Maybe it is the Great Recession that has everyone on this site in such a foul mood. I don’t recall a thread that had this much vitreol directed at San Francisco in it.
involving Millennium…i did not say that the project is bad..to the contrary….the views are great for the most part but again…IF you purchase this property with the intention of getting back your investment…BIG MISTAKE….it is known on locally here in SF and with the world of investment money coming from mainly Asia..they want an international name like Four Seasons or St Regis..remember we have owned numerous “named” hotel residences so i am speaking from experience. Millennium is very nice but it is NO Four Seasons or St Regis…they will not hold their prices. Also, IF it does fill up with owners and renters…expect huge crowds for all your services..whereas St Regis and more so Four Season is mostly part-time owners like we were. However, if you bought Millennium as a home without regard to investment..wonderful and enjoy it. Again..your dues will go up once the developer stops subsidizing them to around low end 1900-2000 month. MIll’ Partners will keep it going nicely assuming they don’t fall into financial problems. They will move those units in a year or so with lower prices discreetly. I know their patterns. They need the cash.
Regarding SF…it is a beautiful City with its Bay and neighborhoods but it has lost so much QUALITY entertainment, quality stores and so much of its class. When we lived in Four Seasons..most of us were part-timers and Residents’ of other Cities..we had something to compare it to and SF lost. IT is boring after you finished with the eating places and visiting the few shopping areas. The entertainment is gone along with many quality stores. I am sorry people if you do not want to see reality but visit other Cities and you will see what we mean.
So..about Millennium…nice bldg and good services but price wise…it is a guaranteed loss along with Infinity,etc. The prices are going down in the Four Seasons and St Regis as well but many sellers especially Four Seasons do not have to sell. WE sold because the City got boring. We now have a property in NY and Chicago. The buyer at St Regis is more price conscious due to their age whereas Four Season buyer is older with more wealth. Again we lived in both so we got to know many of our neighbors. I did like ST Regis since it was more private which is why Willie Brown and Gore both have properties there.
You are right about lack of stores in the Millennium area and it will take awhile before you see something there but i promise you one thing people…we will never go back to the old days of the last 15 years in Calif..its over and the fraud is over to so the days of this type of spending are over. The State/Local/Fed are all broke and many of us with cash are saying NO to many purchases regarding investments,however, if you buy to have a home than this is different but people will be more price conscious. Its over and never will return with what they called the Happy Days. Good luck to you owners in Mill’ be happy, enjoy the views.
George, your complaint about SF boils down to “The entertainment is gone along with many quality stores.” Can you give any examples of the entertainment and quality stores that used to be here but no longer are? I spend a fair amount of time in both NY and Chicago, and I agree with the broader point that SF does not compare with the world class offerings those cities have. But SF is much prettier in many ways and offers an awful lot for a city of its relatively small size — indeed, offers more now than at any time in the past 25 years IMO. I would understand your post more if you provided some specifics of what, exactly, you feel SF now lacks in the way of entertainment and shopping that it used to have.
I think what George is writing about is not that the views aren’t pretty, or the hills and bay are not unique, but that luxury second home buyers are looking for a certain type of urban atmosphere. Right now, a Millennium buyer could also be thinking of other cities since the prices at Millennium do make one pause and consider New York, Chicago, or even Wilshire in Beverly Hills. Does anyone really think this location is comparable to Central Park West, Michigan Avenue or Wilshire? I would rather have a smaller unit in a better location in Manhattan, than a Millennium unit with my own private wine storage locker. Actually, I would rather have a luxury unit north of California with a possibility of better views of the bay than this penthouse. The new Ritz Carlton residences on Michigan Avenue in Chicago are located between the Peninsula Hotel, Neiman Marcus and Cartier, with no bus station across the street, and double the square footage for the same price, which street would you rather walk out the door on to?
I get George’s point about the Millennium and how the type of target buyer who might be interested in a place like that would rather be in NY or Chicago. However a second point he focused on was that SF used to be attractive for this type of buyer but no longer is — but his reasons why he feels that way were quite vague, just generalized references to unspecified quality entertainment and stores having disappeared. I’m just curious about any specifics he has to offer because my sense of SF’s development over the last 20 years is the exact opposite. I’ve seen a lot of low-end attractions disappear (which is a problem, but a different problem from his point) — cheap housing, cheap experimental art space, cheap space for non-profits, cheap restaurants, cheap retail — but I’ve seen an improvement in the types of attractions he seems to be interested in, such as museums, opera/symphony/ballet, high-end restaurants.
Other than the name, what is it that the St. Regis and the Four Seasons offer in amenities that The Millennium does not? You also make a point that you “know how MP operates” and I am curious where you get your information. It is annoying on this site that everyone has an opinion and doesn’t bother to back it up with facts or the source of their information. Everyone just “knows”.
The argument about the lack of brand associated with the project was something I thought about, and is actually factored into the pricing of the units. I have an unobstructed bridge view on a high floor that I got for under $1,200 sq foot. Not cheap, but compared to the St. Regis, it was about 20% less ($1,500 sq ft) and the St. Regis offered only partial water views and much higher (unsubsidized I hear you say) HOAs.
I lived in New York, and $1,200 per sq foot does not buy a water or a park view in a luxury building. Maybe it does in Chicago.
I can’t predict the ultimate outcome of the investment I made, but based on the sluggish sales in the building I would say that you may end up being right. On a relative basis, however, I still think I got a better deal than I was possible at the St. Regis or the Four Seasons and I will lose less than had I bought in one of the name buildings (hey, small victories).
as far as purchasing housing in general having both a consumption and investment side to it, these types of properties have a heavier weight on the consumption side, so the buyers should approach it as such.
They are arresting my son.
I hope you can bail him out soon.
Well, I guess it falls to me to bring up the fact that the very same Tom Perkins mentioned as the buyer here wrote a highly provocative letter to the editor published at the Wall Street Journal earlier this week basically saying that asking wealthy people like him to pay higher taxes is like genocidal anti-Semitic rioting orchestrated by Hitler:
I think we can all agree that Tom Perkins is a very successful businessman and co-founder of one of the most important VC firms in the world and perhaps has great taste in residential real estate.
But, no, there is no “parallel of fascist Nazi Germany” to current progressive thought in S.F. in general or the Occupy movement. And only someone insane would think there is.
But in this country, we have a culture which encourages us to idolize the rich and believe that the rich have reached their status because they are simply smarter than the rest of us. Letters like this one are evidence that one can become materially successful and still hold highly odious views and subscribe to plainly repugnant values.
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