CFAH

1160 Mission #1508
The tips started rolling in last week as Soma Grand residents received word that the sales banners on the side of the building were coming down (“you will now be able to enjoy your views!”) and the last of the elevators was un-permanently-padded.
And as of yesterday, only one new unit remained available and the list price for 1160 Mission #1508 was reduced by another $40,000. Now asking $899,000 but noting “BRING OFFER” for the 1,201 square foot two-bedroom former model unit with city views.
Keep in mind Unit #1708 sold for $900,000 this past November while #1208 sold for $840,000 in December (both 1,201 square feet as well).
And cheers to all involved. It’s hard to believe it’s been three years.
∙ Listing: 1160 Mission #1508 (2/2) 1,201 sqft – $899,000 [MLS]
The Soma Grand: The SocketSite Straight Scoop [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by somagrandrenter

    Does this mean that the units will start going up in value, now that the supply of new ones is exhausted – or is this just a “bring on the resales” milestone? Not that it is an awesomely desirable area (other than hastings), but are there any other condo developments around civic center bart?

  2. Posted by Shza

    I can’t believe people paid nearly a million dollars for a small apartment in the tenderloin. Almost makes that $2M pricetag for the nice-ish SFR in the inner mission look like a good value.

  3. Posted by SFRE

    @somagrandrenter: Units will not go up in value just because its sold out. If anything you could argue that value will go down, because a price premium is paid for new buildings.

  4. Posted by SomaSoldier

    I hope the values will rise over time–I live here, in an 08 unit. It is highly dependent on how quickly the neighborhood improves. There are a *lot* of properties in progress, partially occupied, on hold, or waiting for ideas within just a few blocks of us. To name a few, Trinity Place, City Place, Crescent Heights, 50 United Nations Plaza, and, say–Market Street between 5th and 10th! The worst aspects of living here are the blight, filth, and noise; the best are being walking distance from mass transit, restaurants, shopping, the arts, and nightlife, living in a sunny part of town, and the views (from some units).
    I have already begun to notice the subtle change on my almost daily walk from the front door to Civic Center station–Mission and 8th streets have much more people now, and noticeably fewer street dwellers, simply by having people move into the new Trinity Place tower next door.
    P.S. Note that the photo is of the top floor 2308 (fabulous), not 1508. All 08 units have some city skyline views, even on the 5th floor. However, the biggest difference is how the view of the bay increases as you rise, and the light from the north-facing windows becomes brighter as the shadows from other buildings lessen.

  5. Posted by rocco

    I doubt the building is “sold out”. Most likely some units have been turned over to the project’s initial investors in lieu of cash.

  6. Posted by SFRE

    “…blight, filth, and noise…”
    Why would anyone want to live there are the prices they sold for? Most areas within SF are convenient, so that I don’t believe that reason. There are much better properties in South Beach/SOMA that are close by that are much safer, especially at night.

  7. Posted by Ryan

    I hope all of you who live in Chris Daly’s district get your act together and get in a moderate supervisor. I’ll guarantee that you will see an improvement in property value with a supervisor who does not hate police and “gentrification”.
    http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/26497364.html

  8. Posted by SomaSoldier

    We moved here for the walking-distance convenience, meaning less car/MUNI/cab dependence. We used to live in Diamond Heights in a single-family home, in a neighborhood that is probably almost the opposite of SoMa. SomaGrand was also significantly less costly than almost every other development in the area at the time: Infinity, ORH, Arterra, Palms, 188 King, etc.
    Most inner city areas are going to have a certain amount of noise, that is just the cost of density. But our city’s filth and blight can be addressed by city government, it just hasn’t been nearly as effective as it should be. I sense significant change in City Hall will happen within the next few years: we will gain a new mayor, a new supervisor, and the changing demographics of District 9, namely SoMa, South Beach, and Mission Bay, are shifting the priorities of residents and business owners.

  9. Posted by SFRE

    @somasoldier: The key word is “at the time” it cost significantly less. I imagine now, if you had the original amount you paid, you can get a similar unit in a one of the developments you mentioned.
    And if you are hoping that the city government will address the filth and blight, then you are sadly mistaken. When have they done anything for tax paying residents?! Its almost laughable that people keep on saying ‘in the future’…where do they expect the people in the area who cause the filth/blight/crime to go – the Marina??!!
    There is a much better chance the area gets worse before it gets better. And at that time there will be better developments on the market.

  10. Posted by EBGuy

    Somasoldier, Best new Socketsite handle; thanks for the first person field updates. These are the times that try men’s souls…

  11. Posted by SFMichael

    @SFRE “I imagine now, if you had the original amount you paid, you can get a similar unit in a one of the developments you mentioned.”
    Probably true, but since they probably would have gotten less for selling their last place if they sold now, then vs. now is pretty much a wash.

  12. Posted by SomaSoldier

    May I suggest to those who spout only criticism and negativity that they balance their opinions with some solutions?
    Living in this city has brought me closer to individuals and organizations (like Central Market CBD) that, in conjunction with city government, can and do make a difference. In a suburban environment it is much easier to stay in your home and not get involved. That was most of my life before SoMa, and indeed, before SF.
    I was at the panel events sponsored by Socket Site around the time of our purchase at SomaGrand. Listening to the discussions really made me want to be part of what seemed like a larger movement of improving blighted central areas in the City. We could well have moved to a quiet, gentile neighborhood, but there’s nothing like having a view front and center to some of the City’s worst problems to motivate one to participation and action, not just commenting from the sidelines.

  13. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “…there’s nothing like having a view front and center to some of the City’s worst problems to motivate one to participation and action…”
    This is exactly the effect that turns neighborhoods around. Inject some “normal” residents into the midst of squalor and they will put pressure on the city to enforce the laws that will improve the area.
    The big question though is the critical mass required to bring permanent change.

  14. Posted by new2SF

    @somasoldier: ok, that’s all well and good. congrats on your move to a more central, urban part of the city.
    Positive and negative comments here are part of the SS dialogue, and always have been. I enjoy listening to both sides.
    In all fairness, I would be careful not to “push” your agenda for how you and your family live, too far, as the way to “motivate one to participate and action..” A lot of people here tend to think myopically: “live just like I do, it’s the best way”.
    We choose to live in a single family house in Noe Valley with a sunny back yard and deck. By no means does that indicate that we are also not involved in the larger community.

  15. Posted by Federal-Building-Worker

    I work in the Federal Building next to Soma Grand. I would have loved to buy there (easiest commute ever!) but couldn’t afford it..
    Anyway, I can flat out tell you the immediate area has improved since SOMA Grand filled up and Heavan’s Dog came in. Trinity Plaza is upgrading it further (amazing what a brightly lit building will do). It will be interesting to see how things play out when Trininty Plaza fills up – apparently a grocery store/coffee shop???
    Point is, it’s better than it was 2 years ago. Oh, and it’s also technically not the Tenderloin. We still have our fair share of nutjobs walking around the area, and in my place of work!! It will never be super chic, but I guess it’s not supposed to be.
    Just my thoughts.

  16. Posted by andyc

    “We could well have moved to a quiet, gentile neighborhood…”
    SomaSoldier, thanks sincerely for your thoughtful posts. I know you meant genteel. Please don’t take me for the grammar police – God knows I make typos all day long – but this gave me a well-needed laugh during a lunch break. I appreciate it!

  17. Posted by J

    “I know you meant genteel.”
    oy.
    “but since they probably would have gotten less for selling their last place if they sold now, then vs. now is pretty much a wash.”
    No, now they’ll be perpetually paying higher property taxes. And you don’t have to buy right after selling. Renting remains an option until the time is right.

  18. Posted by SFRE

    I guess its personal opion. I wouldn’t spend that kind of cash to be up-close to the cities problems. The blocks between 5th and 8th (especially 6th) are some of the more disturbing neighborhoods.
    You can drop people in there, and that does not necessarily mean the problems will be solved. There is a ton of support services in that area, and those will never be relocated.
    The key for me is safety. Walking around the SOMA Grand at 10:30pm is kind of scary, but if you are willing to wait it out in the “hopes” of it getting better, then you really are a soldier (or maybe “pawn”).

  19. Posted by new2SF

    for god’s sake SFRE: you are just one walking bunch of hysteria on what’s wrong with everything in this great city.
    Do you EVER have anything good to say? I’ve been seeing your comments around here lately, and you are just one big old grouch.

  20. Posted by SFRE

    I’m sorry I don’t have much to say that is positive when it comes to property in that area or SF property in general.
    I do believe that pricing will stabilize around this level (within a 5% band), so I guess that is good news. But aside from that, what is there to be positive about when it comes to SF real estate, especially when you have a city government that is pro-homeless and anti-renter/owner, and when the government itself is so corrupt (see Jamie’s post on Rincon Hill fees).
    I enjoy SF. Its a good city for many reasons, most notably the climate and the somewhat diverse population.
    Its funny, I was in Chicago yesterday, I’m in LA today for business. I’m not a fan of LA, but Chicago is such a beautiful city, especially its architecture…puts Stanley Saitowitz to shame.

  21. Posted by A.T.

    Hey, here’s a place that just sold at its peak 2007 price! (if you’re dyslexic — if not, kiss $200,000+ goodbye)
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/235-Berry-St-94158/unit-714/home/12278076

  22. Posted by new2SF

    Yea, right.
    You ever seen the vast amounts of public housing and gun violence in Chicago?
    Just wondering when you’re moving there, so we don’t have to put up with your hateful rants here all the time. You contribute nothing.

  23. Posted by SFRE

    Speaking of hate…you seem to be the poster child.
    If hating is your occupation, I got a full time job for you.
    @AT: I saw that one…It went within a week, and there is another unit in there that is $50k more expensive, and not as nice..that has a while to drop too. The particular case of 914 was that it was an elderly woman that moved out here to be close to her daughter. She didn’t like it out here, so decided to move back to Philly.

  24. Posted by new2SF

    some advice sfre: start contributing some meaningful, positive comments here once in while.
    Stop whining about the homeless and dis-advantaged.
    This city has a place for everyone…..well, mostly everyone.

  25. Posted by SomaSoldier

    Oy, indeed. Apologies to all: yes, I meant “genteel” and not “(G)entile”. Would have been better to at least write “gentle”, but I digress.
    I also have absolutely no agenda (and one was not even implied) on how others choose to be or not be involved with their communities, wherever they live. Three cheers to anyone who does, though!
    Other places to watch in our neighborhood: The Old Mint (as it becomes a city museum), Hibernia Bank, Hugo Hotel. The list is long and is constantly changing. I like the drama of observing and ruminating on how the skyline and cityscape is evolving, which is more exciting and interesting to me than reading a good novel (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

  26. Posted by SFRE

    new2SF translation: “Diverse opinions are not welcomed. Unless you agree with the SF group think, you are considered ‘mean’ or your comments are not considered as valued as anyone elses”.
    Just what I would have expected.
    “Opinions not welcomed, unless they are aligned with mine.”. You may be new to SF, and congratulations – you fit perfectly.

  27. Posted by Minnarrez

    Thanks for your opinions, SomaSoldier. Did you know about the Alleyway Improvement Program? Soon, the alleyways between Mission, 6th, 7th, and Folsom should feel safer, improving property values and desirability. Good to see another motivated neighbor on SS.

  28. Posted by Rillion

    SFRE – Yeah they have no right to think you are being mean when you call someone a “pawn” err, I mean you are just expressing a different opinion.

  29. Posted by anonn

    SFRE, how is it that you find this city to be anti-renter?

  30. Posted by SFRE

    @Rillion: “Pawn” in the sense of chess. Pawns are usually the first to go move out on the board. I was trying to make the analogy to being the first to try to gentrify the neighborhood on a large scale basis.

  31. Posted by SFRE

    Anti-renter from the perspective that the housing market (both owning/renting) is so manipulated, prices for both can be viewed as inflated. The more the city/gov’t interferes in housing the worse it all gets.
    Additionally, I was referring to the numerous policies related to BMR housing, homeless housing, rent-controlled places, etc., that reduces the number of lower priced rentals.

  32. Posted by Rillion

    Well those are the same pawns that are viewed as expendable bait to be moved into dangerous territory and sacrificed for the greater good of the nobility, so still not a nice thing to call someone. Try pioneer next time if you want to avoid the negative aspects of the pawn analogy.

  33. Posted by SFRE

    @Rillion: I see your point, I didn’t mean it that way, however. I will use pioneer or explorer next time.

  34. Posted by Rillion

    ohh…explorer I like that. Especially for new neighborhoods that are being created that used to be primarily industrial areas. Otherwise you get the whole Columbus effect of someone “discovering” a new neighborhood that has existed for years. For example I wouldn’t really consider the early wave of Mission gentrifiers as Mission Explorers. Think it is an apt term for a lot of Soma though as while it did have previous residents it wasn’t really a neighborhood (the lack of grocery stores being exhibit one that regard).

  35. Posted by new2SF

    you’re still mean spirited and elitist in everything you say.

  36. Posted by SFRE

    @new2SF: “Whhhaaaahhhh…you don’t agree…whahhh….you are mean”.
    Why the personal attacks. We have a different opinion, its not the end of the world. Life would be much more boring if everybody thought the same.

  37. Posted by new2SF

    Because you are are one of the most consistently negative, if not the MOST, negative commenter here regarding urban housing for lower income, seniors, disabled and other disadvantaged people in this city.
    that’s why.

  38. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    SFRE wrote:

    …I was referring to the numerous policies related to BMR housing, homeless housing, rent-controlled places, etc., that reduces the number of lower priced rentals.

    How so?
    If the number of existing rentals available on the market during a short multi-year period is held constant (is someone out there destroying existing rental units that we don’t know about?), and municipal policies are causing new units, devoted to the needs of people who can’t pay high market rates, to come onto the market, then the total supply of rental units is increasing, which should reduce the overall price level. Which should be a good thing for renters.

  39. Posted by RSVP

    I know that this may sound like a stretch but –
    To me, it’s like the SOMA China Basin/Mission Creek area builders are explorers and their buyers are pioneers. These “new” areas are being “discovered” like when the West was won. It was romantacized in movies like “How the West was won” and “Westward Ho Wagon Train”.
    As developers move in and start tearing down vacant buildings or renovating old warehouses to build skyscrapers and lofts, the homeless are there. This is similar to what the first wagon train pioneers discovered – the area they wanted to settle in was already occupied by Indian tribes.
    SOMA and the China Basin area had been home to industrial waterfront industries and warehouses. As these areas went into economic decline for decades after the war,they became available for redevelopment.
    One development doesn’t clean up an area. It will take dozens of new residential and business developments to make a significant and noticeable change.
    Twenty years ago I wrode Cal Train from the Peninsula to the end of line on Townsend for the first time. When I got off, I looked around and got right back on the train. There was nothing there. It was ugly, desolate scary. What a difference 20 years makes.
    I think the same thing will happen (hopefully it won’t take 20 years) to these when they hit their critical mass.

  40. Posted by RSVP

    @rocco – I think that surprisingly most of the units are sold at Soma Grand to real buyers who are still on title, according to the county assessor.
    A year and a half ago Soma Grand took off their rose color glasses and decided that they were going to step up to the plate and face the economic downfall instead of pretending that it didn’t exist or dreaming that it would recover sooner than later.
    That is when they started cutting prices, then were willing to negotiate the prices even lower if a savvy buyer or their agent pressed for it. They also paid two years HOA monthly dues and two years of monthly storage fees to sweeten some of the deals. I know this first hand as a buyers’ agent. This sales decision moved a lot of condos.
    I don’t know what other developments in the area are currently offering. What I mean by that is that I haven’t sat down at the negotiating table. I know what they tell you. That can be quite different what you can negotiate during the real deal. If these other developments aren’t willing to sweeten their deals with price and other incentives they will be sorry in the long run.
    This is still an evolving area that isn’t, nor will ever be, Pacific Heights. I believe that buyers who bought in these edgier areas did so because of price and neighborhood. Pacific Heights would not be their cup of tea, yet.
    Every development has a couple of $1,000,000+ condos in their mix, some more than others. Soma Grand is no different. But the majority of Soma Grand condos are in the $400,000s-$800,000 price range.

  41. Posted by joh

    I used to think it would be cool to live in the central waterfront area, just so I could watch it evolve. Surely it’s not “explorer” or “pioneer” territory, since it has a long history of residents, followed by a wave of gentrification when lofts were built earlier this century. But it would still been kinda neat.
    I’ve figured that area would have eventually been developed with more density, followed by retail and open space. Rehabbing some of the old, brick waterfront buildings with shops and restaurants might have made it a destination as well. But this will never happen, due to the Eastern Neighborhood plans designating certain areas as PDR, which I suppose has it’s own benefits.

  42. Posted by NewBuyer

    Whenever I think about Soma Grand, it makes me want to laugh until I cough up my lungs and die of de-lung-ification…
    Here’s why:
    1) In San Francisco, there is no such thing as “up and coming” in the short and medium term. It takes forever for districts to greatly change, because the city artificially restricts their improvement. Thanks Supes! Do you really think that Soma or the Tendernob will ever fully gentrify? Maybe in 20 years at the soonest. Probably never. DO NOT EVER FALL FOR THE “UP AND COMING” LINE THAT REALTORS THROW OUT.
    2) Why on Earth would anybody live in Soma other than shorter commutes to the Peninsula? Seriously, it looks just like any other vanilla city in America. There is no charm whatsoever. This is not a matter of opinion. The fact is that it really doesn’t distinguish itself from the newer parts of any other city in America…
    3) Soma is for middle class yuppies. Are you a yuppy? Are you a Manager or Director at a software company in Redwood City who is about 33 and married to a woman in PR who is looking at changing her career to be something more oriented towards the common good? Then go live in Soma.
    4) Cool shiny new modern condos turn into unattractive dull passe dated condos in two decades. Always happens. You have to buy pre-WW2 if you want a timeless always-appreciating look.
    Cheers!
    NewBuyer

  43. Posted by lol

    newbuyer,
    Noe, BH, GP are 3 areas among others that DID gentrify from a working class status. The difference is the city has a lot of leverage over the market in SOMA and the TL with empty lots, conversions, SROs. They don’t have the same leverage in SFR areas where most deals are done on an indiviual level.

  44. Posted by OneEyedMan

    Things will change in some of these areas as development occurs. At SG it went from 1 developer doing what was in their best interest to 370 voting citizens (assuming 1-1/2 res per unit) looking out for their personal best interests and protection of their investment. The developer could certainly contribute to a Supervisors campaign war chest, but wouldn’t a candidate rather have the 370 votes?

  45. Posted by anonn

    Do you really think that Soma or the Tendernob will ever fully gentrify
    Are you serious with that? You mean “Tenderloin,” not “Tendernob.” And parts of SOMA have gentrified greatly. The problem with mid-Market and the Tenderloin is primarily SROs. Will they go away anytime soon, in this town? No chance. Said the realtor.

  46. Posted by Agent415

    @NewBuyer – Oh guy…. you must have lived in this city for about 5 years max. Anybody who has been here, who is native (like myself), has seen SOMA changed dramatically ini 10 years.
    Those areas will never fully gentrify – duh. But to say there isn’t room for continued improvement is just dumb

  47. Posted by J

    “room for continued improvement”
    That is actually not a positive attribute…
    There is “room for continued improvement” in Hunters Point for many decades.
    There is not much “room for continued improvement” in Sea Cliff…

  48. Posted by anonn

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, eh J?

  49. Posted by Agent415

    @J – Yeah… and that’s why Sea Cliff is $3.2 Million for a standard size home that needs everything, and SOMA Grand is about $675K for a 1000+ sq ft 2BD/2BA condo with views.
    Jesus man. This whole thread is ridiculous. The point is SOMA Grand’s hood will never be Sea Cliff, but has and will likely continue to improve. Attempted to comparisons to Hunters Point are just boring. SOMA Grand is 5-7 minute walk to BART, Westfield, Union Square, Metreon, etc. Hunter’s Point is a 15 minute car trip.

  50. Posted by J

    Alright just don’t get caught up in the marketing jargon so much that you think “room for improvement” is a selling point. If you really want to sway someone, tell them the hood has “potential”.

  51. Posted by wheelchairgirl

    I’m boggled at the folks who seem to think that Rincon and South Beach are better value for money than the Soma Grand. I looked at both, and on the low-end (all I can afford) most of the other new buildings available were much noisier – many of those lovely “bay view” places are right next to the bridge traffic overpasses, or the noise of CalTrain and the rail yards. SoMa at least tends to quiet down after bar-closing time, unlike the roads or railyards. And if you did live in Rincon, street safety wouldn’t matter, because there is nowhere to go in walking distance anyway! People in SoMa care about sidewalk safety because there is *actually a reason* to walk somewhere.

  52. Posted by J

    Yeah, those rail yards can be heard all throughout Mission Bay…
    Doesn’t sound like you looked to closely at South Beach at all.
    Knife catching on a budget seems like a bad strategy, but that’s just me.

  53. Posted by clin_sf

    I worked at the Soma Grand front desk for over a year and now work in many other condo buildings in the city. Based on what I have seen at other buildings, I believe that the Soma Grand is a much better building than many other similar in SF.
    At the Soma Grand you have:
    Peets coffee at the lobby
    Joie de Vivre concierge + security
    Housekeeping
    All this for an HOA lower than other buildings who dont offer serviceslose to the ones at the Soma Grand.
    The building itself is also nicer and better built.
    The residents are also nicer than many others!!!

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