829 Folsom (www.SocketSite.com)
While the old sales team had around ten of the units in contract at one point last year, they weren’t able to get any of the 69 condos at 829 Folsom closed. And on the first of January a new sales and marketing team took over.
Prices were dropped around 25 percent at the end of January (although the cuts haven’t yet been widely publicized), and twelve of the units are now in contract (including seven units that were in contract last year and are being rewritten to reflect the new prices).
The sale team is targeting mid-April for closings with the goal of having 30 percent (21 units) of the building in contract by that time. The lowest priced unit in the building is now an “M” studio without parking at $372,500, one-bedrooms with parking now start at $482,500, and two-bedrooms with parking are now priced from $699,000.
Full Disclosure: The new sales and marketing company for 829 Folsom advertises on SocketSite and provided sales data at our request but did not provide any consideration for this post.
829 Folsom: Starting From $550,000 $485,000 $399,000 $365,000 [SocketSite]
829 Folsom Street: New Details, Online Registration, And Timing [SocketSite 5/08]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by joh

    The bedrooms in the 1BR units are tiny. You can’t even comfortably fit a queen size bed in them. Even a full size bed would seem a bit tight.
    Plus, the 1BR units only have 1 bathroom, which oddly enough, is in the bedroom. Which means that guests will have to go through the bedroom, squeezing between the wall and the bed just go through the already tight bedroom just to get the the bathroom.
    I suppose if one is okay with a twin size bed, and having guests go through the bedroom just to go potty, then a 1BR at 829 Folsom might be okay.
    The HOAs are a bit pricey considering the lack of amenities.

  2. Posted by killbotkondo

    Try touring the building again, joh. Not all 1-beds at 829 are set up like that.

  3. Posted by condoshopper

    372K for the cheapest condo, which means it’s the smallest and worst location within the building, without parking, for 372K, and this is after a 25% price cut? just wow…

  4. Posted by Live Smart

    Saw an ad for Cubix 2.0 with prices starting at $179K for a studio. Looks like another round of deep developers/bank-owned cuts.

  5. Posted by Anon E. Mouse

    Is the sales staff going to put shill comments on SocketSite again? I’ve noticed that their comments in previous threads center around the amount of detail they claim goes into this building (note that Oct 19 responses on the 1st thread linked above and “Lauren”‘s response on the 2nd thread).
    Looked at these and can’t quite figure out the appeal for the price.

  6. Posted by anon

    This reduction means trouble for Blu. Same style building, same location, same buyers.

  7. Posted by Mole Man

    Blu is way classier and better built and has a better location and wikked kewl art out front.

  8. Posted by Agent415

    You guys…
    Comparing this to Blu is redunkulous…
    Two totally different products. Seriously, Socketsite readers do this a lot. Folks, The Palms is not Infinity, Cintrino is not SOMA Grand, 829 Folsom is not Blu.
    Good lord, lol

  9. Posted by diemos

    “Two totally different products.”
    Yes they are, once you take for granted and ignore all the ways in which they are the same.
    What project am I talking about when I say, “A condo building in San Francisco?”

  10. Posted by anon

    Well almost the same.
    Location is a little better at 829 Folsom compared to Blu. It’s almost across the street from Yerba Buena Park and doesn’t get backed up with traffic.
    829 Folsom has deeded parking and not using a stacker system. Also, 829 Folsom has a rooftop deck compared to zero amenities at Blu.
    Both are ugly from the outside but at least majority of 829 Folsom has a view compared to looking at office workers during the day.
    I must admit that the floorplans are better at Blu.
    Agent415, check it out before you start sending your clients to Blu

  11. Posted by yao

    why isn’t there a link to the project site?
    http://www.829folsom.com/

  12. Posted by Louis

    If these posts are collectively more or less corrent then this project is selling for $800 per sq ft. this is an 8 floor structure on folsom, 4th and 5th, across the street from the salvation army.
    i understand the units are small and this impacts the per sf costs, but this is equivalent to the mid/upper floors – $$ / psf – of tower 2 infinity — so the market has really moved up since the post – lehman blowout , etc.
    lets see if these units close.

  13. Posted by SFRE

    I have visited 829 Folsom, trying to make myself like the building, but I can’t. Last week I was there (after there price reductions), and here is what I found:
    1. The floor plans are tiny and feel cramped, in every plan I visited, there was not a place to put a small kitchen table. When I mentioned this to the agent, she said “Yes, we noticed that as well”, and suggested that a kitchen table is unnecessary.
    2. The placement of the island in the kitchens is akward, also eating up valuable space. She said the building will move it or remove it for you, but then you lose the electric to the island. Removing the island still didn’t open up the space enough for a table.
    3. The two plans that I thought were the most functional, but not nearly as functional as the “E” plan at Blu (though that is not the best either), where the K & J plans. However, when you look at the J & K plans, here is the problem:
    K Plan 8th floor: 934 sq ft: Price $777k which is $834 per sq ft. This plan is comparable to the small Blu “E” plan in terms of size, but feels way more cramped. At that price as well, its just way to expensive (these plans were going for mid-800s before the price reduction).
    J Plan 7th floor: 883 sq ft: Price $757k which is $857 per sq ft. Again way too cramped and for that price it is ridiculous.
    I also looked at the “L” Plan, listed at 1,161 sq ft, looks like a good size on paper, however, upon entering this floor plan, you will notice that there is a huge hallway [about 15 x 5] which eats up into the space, which the agent said could be a ‘gallery’ for my pictures. I mean come on, really? (she later admitted it was a waste of space). And then there is a huge pantry behind the kitchen, at least 9×9, which was awkward, which meant the room sizes (excluding the hallway and pantry) where the same exact size as the “J” and “K” plans, and still no room for even a two person dining table. The “L” plan was listed at $830k for the 7th floor, which when you stand up, clears Shipley Square, and allowed you to see some views behind the Shipley Square HVAC units.
    And there in lies the problem. I like the location, and want to like the building, but can’t, because of the layout of the space. I have seem some spaces that were 900 sq ft, that seem very large, and I have seen some spaces that were 1,200 sq ft that seemed small because of layout. The units at 829 Folsom at around 900 sq ft, seem like 700 sq ft. When you consider the pricing, it is absurd.
    PS: The courtyard is also very claustrophobic, and most of the units face the courtyard, which units only being able to clear Shipley Square on the 7th floor. The rest of the interior units either stare at each other or the Shipley Square siding.
    PPS: I was told they were firm on pricing at this level.
    A much better alternative would be nearly anything else in that area. If you have time drag yourself over to 829 Folsom and see for yourself!

  14. Posted by joh

    Try touring the building again, joh. Not all 1-beds at 829 are set up like that.
    I just looked over the floorplans on their website, and you’re right. My bad. I now recall seeing those units with a bathroom entry in the main living area, and if I recall correctly, many of these units faced the gloomy courtyard.
    I also remember seeing a 2br+den, which was more like a 1br+2dens. As you can see, the “bedroom” next to the entry is very den-like, in that there are no windows:
    http://www.829folsom.com/Portals/74701/images/floorplan/fp_master_C.jpg
    I thought that for a room to be legally called a bedroom, there had to be at least one window. Can anybody shed any light on this?

  15. Posted by insidesfre

    I like 829 Folsom for its location and nice finishes. Was there with a client a couple weeks ago, and we actually did like the two-bedroom units in the $500,000s. Biggest drawback is the high HOA dues amount. Most people in the $500,000-$700,000 range can’t afford more than $450/mo. You are paying for 24-hr door attendance, which some buyers don’t value.

  16. Posted by walkman

    Comparing any two condo developments may be a little subjective….but I’m dammed if I am going to pay a few 100k extra for “kewl art out front” and the view of a wall a few feet outside my window.
    I agree that 829 has a few short comings, but all the units have nice finishes, and there’s quite a few nice layouts.
    Blu’s prices on the other hand are way too high…and for those reasons I think they will undoubtly loose opportunities to 829, One Hawthorne etc.

  17. Posted by noearch

    and….Noe is not Pacific Heights.

  18. Posted by noearch

    gotta admit, the floor plans are the WORST I have ever seen..seriously flawed design. Am I correct in seeing that the 2 bed plan C has NO WINDOWS in one of the bedrooms? This is not code compliant nor legal, nor even acceptable.
    I wish the architects would respond to these terrible units.

  19. Posted by SFRE

    @noearch: Nice to see we can agree on something. The 2nd bedroom in the plans you are looking at, are not actually (i.e. legally) a 2nd bedroom, its a den. The developer will offer to enclose it in glass, but its still not a bedroom, but unfortunately they are marketing it as such. In my mind, the worst absolute layout in all the newer building I have seen in SF. The layouts look better than in person due to the “mis-sizing” of the pieces of furniture (if you saw the same schematic as myself). But I have literally been in the building 4 times, each time hoping, each time leaving disappointed.
    @insidesfre: You are not spending $100k extra at Blu for the same thing, in fact, pricing is similar, but the layouts more functional at Blu (even the lowly “E” plan, which I am not a big fan of)

  20. Posted by noearch

    Yes, perhaps.
    But the developer should be chided or criticized for marketing a windowless room as a bedroom and showing a bed in the floor plan. That simply is disingenuous and tawdry.
    These are indeed the worst floor plans I have ever seen. There are good architects out there with talent. Then there are the architects who designed this piece of crap.

  21. Posted by RSVP

    SFRE wrote – PPS: I was told they were firm on pricing at this level.
    I hope you took that line they gave you with a grain of salt and a margarita.

  22. Posted by noearch

    Real estate pricing is NEVER firm…..when someone finally wants to really sell, or NEEDS to sell..the price will be what the buyer offers. pretty simple,huh?

  23. Posted by EBGuy

    The architect is MulvannyG2. The builder is suing the developers, as well as the structural engineers for designing a structural slab with excessive deflection (which, I’m assuming, has been remedied — damages will be proven at trial).

  24. Posted by RSVP

    EBGuy – if this development is currently in litigation, I don’t see how buyers could get lenders to finance their purchase.
    Now about that firm pricing line…

  25. Posted by EBGuy

    I don’t see how buyers could get lenders to finance their purchase.
    From what I can tell, everybody decided to remove the liens (see Oct. 16 at SF Recorder’s website) from the building (at a certain point, you increase your chance of getting paid if the developer can actually sell the units) and duke it out in court (numerous subs and suppliers as well as the main building contractor have outstanding suits against each other and the developer). IANAL or developer, just speculation on my part from piecing together the public record.

  26. Posted by SFRE

    I never said that I believed they wouldn’t negotiate, I was just relaying what they said. I fully understanding that everything in real estate, as in life, is negotiable.
    The problem with negotiation, is finding something in 829 Folsom TO negotiate. Not one floor plan was worth the effort. Maybe the Penthouse, or the one using with the huge patio, but everything else was worth only 60% of the asking price.

  27. Posted by sfredeveloper

    trust me. this building isn’t closing any escrows anytime soon. the buyers in contract will end up canceling. the market will continue to fall. the seller will foreclose on 829. it’s the perfect storm. there have been many buildings in this same situation. why would this one be unique?
    the gc and the developer seem to be going round and round. nothing is going to get resolved.

  28. Posted by ConcernedBuyer

    Does anyone know more about the “structural slab with excessive deflection” issue? The lawsuit and documents are public per the link above.
    I’ve read up on how slab and foundation deflection can be addressed moving forward, but wasn’t clear on how serious the damage already done could be.

  29. Posted by lovesf

    i wonder if all of you people ever get sick of acting like you know everything… let me guess, most of you are renters.
    [Editor’s Note: Unfortunately we can’t speak to the breakdown of those who comment, but we do know that the majority of our readers already own. And with respect to those lowly “renters,” the majority have the means and are looking to buy (which is why they tend to plug in).]

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