Purchased for $800,000 in December 2006, Odeon (181 O’Farrell) #508 was taken back by the bank. It’s been listed at $601,400, a sale at which would represent a 25 percent drop in value over the past three years.

Also on the market in the Odeon, #307 which was purchased for $780,000 in March 2007, has been on the market for the past 185 days, and hasn’t moved at $699,000 (a 10 percent drop). And #505 which was purchased for $894,500 in February 2007, has been on the market for the past 56 days, and hasn’t moved at $760,000 (a 15 percent drop).

And then there’s the penthouse (#513) which was purchased for $2,000,000 in March 2007. An attempt to sell it off as a fractional over the past two years failed and it’s been the market as a whole for the past 172 days. Originally asking $2,349,000, it’s been three months at $2,099,000 with an owner that “says make an offer!!”

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by pwb

    These are nice units in a great building in a unique location but I think it’s going to take some time for San Franciscans to feel comfortable living in such an active, non-residential neighborhood. Probably overpriced when they came out and underpriced now. But, yes, the value has dropped.

  2. Posted by anon2

    Some of the listings show parking? I thought this building did not have parking. If the parking is “leased” and from a structure two blocks away, why would that be included in a MLS listing?
    Either a building has on site parking or it does not! Carrying luggage or groceries from your car on a late night in the rain though THESE streets is not my idea of “urban living”. It also can be rather unsafe now that San Francisco is listed as being more dangerous per captita than Detroit and most other American cities.
    [Editor’s Note: A Parking Space (And MLS) Pet Peeve.]

  3. Posted by asiagoSF

    anon2, that’s why this isn’t moving: there aren’t a lot of potential buyers for a $2m residence without parking. Makes you think… what were they thinking?

  4. Posted by diemos

    “what were they thinking?”
    you mean back in 2004, when this project was conceived? They were thinking that there would be people rioting in the streets, killing each other for the opportunity to pay anything for a dwelling in SF … and they were right.
    Of course the people who bought the units thought that SF real estate would appreciate 20% per year for the rest of time … and they were wrong.

  5. Posted by diemos

    Boss, why is this picture and the one from the previous post so different? The facade in this picture doesn’t make it seem like the 5 floor can accommodate 13 units.

  6. Posted by recurious

    I agree with the above comments that this is a poor location for a residence. However it’s an excellent location for small office space. Do city ordinances discourage maintenance as office space, or was it the developers decision.

  7. Posted by West Portal

    The previous SS posting photo shows the Powell St side of the building. The new post shows the O’Farrel side of teh buildin. From photo 5 on unit #508, this unit’s view looks across Powell at the roofs of DSW and Lori’s diner.

  8. Posted by curmudgeon

    Anon2, SF dangerous? Show me statistics, I have a very hard time believing that. This would be a great location to live if you’re into being in the middle of everything. You’re even close to a grocery store (Bristol Farms). You hardly need a car except to cross a bridge….

  9. Posted by jaja

    True. But most likely people who owns a $2M condo would have a car. And probably would like to have an easier access to their cars than walking couple blocks.
    For $2M, you can get something pretty nice in Noe Valley or pretty much everywhere in SF with parking right under with good neighbor feel. No point of buying it here unless you have a need to access Barney’s New York within few blocks of your home.
    And why is HOA so high with basically no amenities?

  10. Posted by Dan

    That article ranking cities by danger included risk of dying in a natural disaster, in a car accident, at the workplace, etc. It also compared metropolitan areas, so it included Oakland and Richmond for SF and Detroit’s suburbs for Detroit. In the survey, the risk from violent crime was higher in the Detroit MSA, but the risk of dying from a natural disaster was higher in the SF MSA. (No earthquakes in Detroit.)
    In other words, it was another Forbes meaningless composite ranking. It has no bearing on the comparative crime risk living in this SF condo vs living in Detroit.

  11. Posted by Debtpocalypse

    Of course the people who bought the units thought that SF real estate would appreciate 20% per year for the rest of time … and they were wrong.
    Even if it “only” appreciated 20% per year for the duration of a 30-year mortgage, rather than for the rest of time, the $2 million property in question would appreciate to…
    (Wait for it)

  12. Posted by J

    Can’t stand those brain-dead Forbes top 10 lists. How about top 10 magazine CEOs who fail to get elected president?

  13. Posted by radar

    Related to the properties with no parking and those willing to pay for it,…..think 1001 California St. on the top of Nob Hill as well as a couple of other buildings located there.
    Units sell for millions and yet, have only leased parking nearby. It is probably all about location in this instance of the Odean. While I think it is a fine urban local… doesn’t have the cache’ of Nob Hill.
    I’m sure there is nearby parking for the Odeon and in time, these will sell also.

  14. Posted by tipster

    “You’re even close to a grocery store (Bristol Farms).”
    It’s not a grocery store, it’s a 7-11 on a grand scale. Think insanely high prices with limited selection, and nothing is ever on sale. Talk about throwing money away.

  15. Posted by curmudgeon

    Tipster, you are so goddamn negative all the time. Bristol Farms may be expensive, but it is indeed a grocery store. For fuller service you can walk a couple of blocks to Whole Foods and take a cab back. Or take the N Judah to Safeway in Mission Bay. Or eat out every night…. This location is incredibly central and convenient, and for those who like that, it would be very feasible. (no comment on the price..I wouldn’t pay 2 million either…)

  16. Posted by timeisnow

    When i used to do visual merchandising for Macys right across the street I made a comment on “why would you ever want to live right there?” This particular block is just so filthy, noisy, ugh. Sometimes working on jobs at the store as late as 3/4 in the morning….it becomes a wonderful place for crack heads and crazies to scream and yell throughout the night.
    Not to mention the smog from the traffic.
    The only way you could deal with this is if you used it as a vacation home for a weekend of christmas shopping so you can be “right in the thick of it”
    definitely not for me. but might be nice for others.

  17. Posted by Mole Man

    Police maps show Nob Hill is unusually safe, but crime can be found in the Tenderloin which is just an easy stroll away just like pretty much everything else.

  18. Posted by stucco-sux

    Between HOA and parking, you are talking almost $1k/mo on top of property taxes and mortgage. Or about $4500/month. For that you can get a nice $800,000 home with a yard in an ok neighborhood. Just sayin.

  19. Posted by EBGuy

    As they say, every picture tells a story… Anybody think that place next door, 165 O’Farrell, has a story to tell?
    A NOD on April 14, 2009, a lawsuit by a subcontractor against Dean Alac Construction (sound familiar and the owners), and a lawsuit involving the dissolution of Union Square Investments, LLC (the owner). American Karma indeed…

  20. Posted by jlasf

    If you’re an executive who works near Union Square/Market Street, this seems like a viable option: walk to work; near stores, theaters, and restaurants; and no traffic in the morning. The options: Ritz-Carlton tower, Four Seasons, St. Regis. I once had an office on Maiden Lane and might have considered this. So, perhaps, not as ill-conceived as some seem to think. Might be a good long-term investment at a 25% drop in cost. (And, Tipster, Bristol Farms has a great bakery. 7-11 can’t even manage a decent croissant.)

  21. Posted by sunnyvalesteve

    Which one of these units was the one where the guy committed suicide a few years back?

  22. Posted by OneEyedMan

    “Between HOA and parking, you are talking almost $1k/mo on top of property taxes and mortgage.”
    How is $658 almost $1k ? And if comparing this to SFH is how we want to spend our time why not include what you can get in Bakersfield for this kind of money?
    In this building you walk out your door directly into a vibrant urban setting. If groceries are your primary concern, many of us who choose to dwell in shoeboxes in the sky use – they come right to your door. As for Bristol Farms: it is a real grocery store. I bought a can of kidney beans and a box of dog biscuits (not for the same recipe) there just last night.

  23. Posted by anonandon

    “How is $658 almost $1k ?”
    Because the $658 does not include renting a parking space. (about 350 a month)

  24. Posted by OneEyedMan

    You’re right – It’s $858 with $250 leased parking. Must have got something in my eye.

  25. Posted by curmudgeon

    I think that if you were to choose this lifestyle, doing the shared car thing (ZipCar or CityCarShare) would be the way to go. For as much as you’d ever need a car, car share (and renting for longer trips) would be much more cost effective than owning a car and renting a space.
    Of course that limits the pool of interested buyers, but it also “should” make it more affordable to someone who can live with these constraints.
    But it is false to assume that you MUST spend $350 a month on top of your HOA’s.

  26. Posted by The Dude

    Anyone know what’s up with the building directly to the left of The Odeon? It’s an eye sore and has been abandoned forever.

  27. Posted by tipster

    Didn’t mean to dis Bristol Farms as a store. However, the place is so hideously overpriced that I assume most residents nearby treat it as a 7-11, a place you go to between shopping trips to Safeway.

  28. Posted by EBGuy

    Anyone know what’s up with the building directly to the left of The Odeon? It’s an eye sore and has been abandoned forever.
    See my post at 11:49am. Short summary: owner (bought in 1998) forms LLC with ‘developer’ (managing member in the LLC) in 2004. Equity extraction occurs. And then lawsuits, one which alleges $8.5million has not been accounted for…

  29. Posted by lolcat_94123

    That bedroom in the penthouse is badass.

  30. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    If you are going to live here in the $2M condo, just take a cab wherever you need to go. Why bother with the hassle of a car at all, when you are so centrally located?
    I can see keeping one nearby for trips to Tahoe, but you wouldn’t even want to use it most days.

  31. Posted by John

    I’m really confused by the photos in the MLS as well. Is this a small red brick building or a big white building on a corner?

  32. Posted by curmudgeon

    all the same building. Entrance is in the red “building” to distinguish it from the retail frontage on Powell. (H&M is on the first floor, I believe).

  33. Posted by deshard

    Okay…let’s get some stuff straight here, especially for timeisnow at 10:04am for he/she knows not of what they speak.
    I live in the Odeon and first and foremost, the neighborhood is surprisingly quiet. If there’s a siren, well, of course, there’s no escaping that, but in the two years we’ve owned our unit, we’ve yet to hear a single screaming “crackhead or crazy”.
    “Filthy and dirty”?, the area is as clean, if not cleaner, than any other part of the city. Why? Our block is part of the Union Square Merchants Association and they do a fantastic job of keeping the blocks surrounding Union Square pristine. Sure, every now and then someone will topple a garbage container on trash night, but it’s cleaned up quickly.
    I agree, Bristol Farms is more of a huge gourmet pricey convenience store…I’m not sure how they survive. But, it’s four blocks and ten minutes to Whole Foods or like another poster stated, a quick Muni ride to the Safeway either in Mission Bay or the Castro.
    I don’t pay for parking anymore ($300 at Ellis-O’Farrell) because since I hardly use my car, I’ve parked it at a friend’s house in the East Bay and take BART to his place on those rare occasions that I need it, and when I do, it’s $6 from 6pm-8am in the garage. I walk and public trans-it practically everywhere.
    Has my unit lost significant value? Yes. And I’m dealing with that like everyone else and realize it’s not the unit that I bought, but the timing that’s the problem and that’s my fault and I didn’t buy it with the anticipation of monster appreciation in a short period of time.
    The $2m penthouse is the only unit out of 29 that’s priced that high. Everything else is in the $600-800k range.
    Is the Odeon for everyone? Of course not, but I like the idea of urban living and for someone who’s always wanted to live in NYC, Union Square and Nob Hill are the closest SF has to offer.
    Again, I regret my timing, not my choice.

  34. Posted by EBGuy

    Don’t worry, the owner of the penthouse is a property developer. This should end well…

  35. Posted by radar

    deshard……………well put and thank you for the ‘first hand experience’ of living at the Odeon. So often, everyone here gets so caught up with all the escalating negative …like a Muni, all girl fist fight…….that it takes a person who lives the reality to tell it like it is.
    The Odeon is a cool building in a convenient urban location and anyone who bought property in the last 2 years has more than likely suffered a loss in value and I personally feel bad for them.

  36. Posted by Morgan

    deshard…. thank you for your perspective… how much does it cost you per month to live there (mortgage + property tax + hoa)? and why are hoa fees as high as they are?

  37. Posted by fogfan

    Thank you deshard for sharing your experiences. I know the majority of commenters have expressed negative opinions about the Odeon and its units, but I actually like the location. It definitely allows you the opportunity to be in the thick of things as they say.
    The only negative downside is a lack of car space. But as others have said, with proper planning I could eliminate the need for it in the area. Maybe park it out in the avenues with friends and then pick it up when I need it.
    And if the rumored Target opens at 4th and Mission, I’d be golden!!

  38. Posted by SocketSite

    After 27 days on the market at $925,000, Odeon (181 O’Farrell) #514 was just reduced 16% to $775,000.

  39. Posted by SocketSite

    And perhaps for good measure, a half-day after its reduction to $775,000, the list price for 181 O’Farrell #514 was just reduced another $25,000 to $750,000.

  40. Posted by NC

    What Target on 4th and Mission and Lowe’s on Bayshore…BYE BYE Daly City and Colma!
    Now I can buy at the Odeon!

  41. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 181 O’Farrell #508 has been reduced to $571,300.

  42. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 181 O’Farrell #508 has been reduced to $542,700. Once again, purchased for $800,000 in December 2006.

  43. Posted by tipster

    32% off! Wow!!! Do I hear 40%?
    And it’s approaching $500psft!!! If it sells for at least 3% under (or they get 6% FHA cash back), you’re looking at psft in the 400s!! Fantastic!

  44. Posted by wow

    I heard the retaining wall got into issues these past 2 years 😉

  45. Posted by tipster

    32% off! Wow!!! Do I hear 35%?
    And it’s approaching $500psft!!! If it sells for at least 3% under (or they get 6% FHA cash back), you’re looking at psft in the 400s!! Fantastic!

  46. Posted by EBGuy

    To follow up on my posts on November 16, 2009 at 11:49 AM and 4:41 PM regarding the building next door at 165 O’Farrell. I mentioned Equity extraction occurs. And then lawsuits, one which alleges $8.5million has not been accounted for…
    It appears some of that equity extraction may have been used to purchase 311 Marina Blvd for $3.69million in mid-2007. The loan, courtesy of WaMu, was for $2.583million. A NOTS was filed on October 19.

  47. Posted by EBGuy

    Unit 508 sold for $530k on Feb. 10, one third off it 2006 sale price.
    [Editor’s Note: Oh My At 34 Percent Under A 2006 Value At Odeon: 181 O’Farrell #508.]

  48. Posted by tipster

    OMG – Disaster!

  49. Posted by EBGuy

    A little bit more on the building next door — 165 O’Farrell. One of the owners (have you heard of a company called Hotmail?) is suing East-West Bank for allowing the property to be encumbered (to the tune of over $6 million) by the other LLC member, who had no authority to do so, per the LLC operating agreement. Here are the original members of Union Square Investments, LLC, in better times: People say when Bhatia enters a room he owns it. “I call him the Hindu Robot,” says Naveen Singha, Bhatia’s friend, mentor and proud owner of the third-ever Hotmail address. “He is persistent, focused, disciplined. He’s a superior human being.” See my posts above for a summary of Bahatia’s suit against Singha.
    And I can’t resist, a photo with “G”.

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