1844 Market Street: 5/27/11 (www.SocketSite.com)

As we wrote this past October:

As we first reported a week ago, builder Joe Cassidy’s 113-unit mixed-use project at 1844 Market Street was headed for a foreclosure sale on the courthouse steps next week with an estimated $12,329,428.48 owed.

And while a plugged-in reader noted that a lawsuit over a reneged loan agreement was to blame and forecast the property would not be lost to the bank, it’s a plugged-in tipster that reports that Cassidy has just filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition for the entity which owns the 1844 Market Street property (“Upper Market Place, LLC”).

The filing claims eight creditors, the largest of which is East West Bank with $12,330,254 owed. Cassidy’s own Granite Construction & Demolition company is also listed as a creditor with $112,500 owed.

The non-performing note has been bought by MacFarlane Partners who has taken title. And according to the San Francisco Business Times, they’re shooting for a quick re-start
and summer 2013 opening.

1844 Market: Design

51 thoughts on “1844 Market Street: Let’s Get Ready To <strike>Rumble</strike> Build!”
  1. I feel bad for the 1910 shingled family home on Waller street on the backside of this project.
    http://goo.gl/fNtkc that is streetview from google.
    Anyone know what the backside of this development look like? Is it more scaled on the back to fit the residential neighborhood on Waller? I sure hope so. Waller is a great street there. Would be nice to have a nice transition from the giant red flat back of the LGBT center to that cute shingled house that is over a hundred years old
    This is the old backside http://goo.gl/G9GWG
    if you spin around in Bing maps you can see what the backside of the old building that used to be there looked like. It was low. About two stories high. Hope that side of the new project is low. But looking at the front I kinda doubt it.

  2. Thank god they are going to get moving again. It is just a fetid malarial swamp with the current pit.
    I imagine no payments have been made on the crane rental for a long time, and I’ve wondered why it’s still there. But I also suspect there is no other demand for it right now and the crane company is happy storing it for free.

  3. A.T. I’ve assumed the same about the crane. But I’ve also wondered if it isn’t a little bit of an earthquake risk….it seems like a liability to me to “store” a crane in a busy neighborhood. If for some reason it fell over (and granted, I assume it would take a big one)I would not want to live nearby.
    Glad to see this finally get started. Although I have to admit, it is bittersweet to see MacFarlane rise from the ashes. After his role “advising” Calpers, he deserved bankruptcy himself.
    I’m guessing he STILL owns that space on top of the St. Regis?
    [Editor’s Note: That he does. And with respect to the crane, according to one source it had been erected to establish a claim.]

  4. It is good to know that Castro is embracing higher density than the rest of the neighborhoods – probably because, by far, gays are all around much more urban than other demographics in this city

  5. @sf…. Is the resident population of the Castro still majority gay? It has certainly decreased in the last 15 years IMHO.
    You would have not believed what Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons were like in the Castro over 20 years ago. It was like the Castro Street Fair every weekend, especially during the Summer.
    I am glad after over 20 years this site is FINALLY getting built upon.

  6. @anon
    20 years ago I was 8 years old- don’t taunt me with stories of the gay fantasy hunk explosion that I hear so much about. :p

  7. I don’t view Market and Octavia as Castro.
    To me it’s in the bleh where Hayes valley meets Civic Center, a perfectly charmless stretch imho.
    Anyways, pleased things are moving ahead. Victor Macfarlane has more money than god so this will happen.

  8. “was headed for a foreclosure sale on the courthouse steps next week with an estimated $12,329,428.48 owed”. That’s one heck of an estimate…

  9. Not sure the gay population was ever the majority in the Castro, to be honest. I don’t think the info from the 2010 census on same sex couples is available yet…that’s a proxy to track gay population, but it will definitely show the population going down in the Castro. But that’s not unique, gay ghettos are thinning out everywhere except for retirement havens (Palm Springs, Ft. Lauderdale).
    This location may not technically be the Castro, but it’s certainly Castro adjacent, and very gay…there’s the Gay Community Center next door obviously, and two gay bars (Martuni and Rebel) just down the street across Octavia. And not so charmless, there’s actually alot going on.

  10. We are not embracing higher density.
    It is being thrust upon us.
    SF’s biggest industry is tourism, it must be true I read it in a newspaper.
    When SF finishes building all these ugly boxes, and replaces local stores with great big boxes evertwhere, there will be no reason to visit SF. We will look like Anytown USA.
    Keep the high density East of Van Ness.

  11. While I don’t know for sure, my guess would be that places such as Manhattan and Tokyo have higher density and an OK tourist industry.

  12. People chose different cities for different reasons. peole do not come to SF for a London, New York or Tokyo experience. They come for a San Francisco Experience.

  13. Kathleen
    where are you from? I am a native SFer and I embrace high density housing along traffic corridors. Fellow native that I know also feel that these locations are ideal for a large density housing project. You seem to have a very narrow-minded view of what you consider proper for available in-fill housing sites.

  14. “When SF finishes building all these ugly boxes, and replaces local stores with great big boxes evertwhere, there will be no reason to visit SF. We will look like Anytown USA.
    Keep the high density East of Van Ness. ”
    This comment is not at all internally consistent. Most of the tourism in San Francisco is east of Van Ness (Fisherman’s Wharf, Embarcadero, North Beach, Lombard, Chinatown, Nob Hill, etc.) or not on the 7×7 (Alcatraz, Angel Island, GGB/Headlands) excluding non-buildable places such as Golden Gate Park or the Presidio or places that could never be torn down like the Painted Ladies of Alamo Square or the Gold Coast.
    The high density area you identified is where tourists want to be, so how would building major corridors in SF to higher density take away the tourists?

  15. As a local we all embrace high density housing as long its not near me. Lets face we all know high density is just code for ghetto. And we don’t want no ghetto near us.

  16. “Lets face we all know high density is just code for ghetto.”
    Right, because Tokyo and Manhattan are full of ghetto.
    The ghettos in San Francisco are RIGHT HERE already. Think about all the housing projects in single-family home neighborhoods — Potrero, Mission, the part of Western Addition that realtors call Lower Pac Heights, etc.

  17. Here we go with the density is not SF gossip.
    The skyline IS San Francisco! It defines the city- it is on postcards, on commercials, in TV, in movies. People come here because of the skyline, tourists do not come here to visit Noe Valley and West of Twin Peaks.

  18. So are people under the impression that the luxury, luxe and super luxury condos in towers such as Millenium and One Rincon Hill somehow don’t count as “high density” and that therefore all high density development must be “ghetto”? Curious.

  19. San Francisco is the densest city west of the Mississippi, increasing density makes it more unique, not less.
    I live West of Van Ness, and I embrace density, want more density, and want it on my block and the nearby blocks.

  20. I know one thing is we are never going to get better transit until we have more density but it might get worse before it gets better.
    This idea of SF being too-unique-to-grow is nonsense to me. There were farms in San Francisco when my grandfather was a kid and his grandparents lived in what was a rural area on San Bruno Ave. THINGS ALWAYS CHANGE here. Why should that stop now?

  21. Because Zig, everyone wants the city to stay exactly the same way it was the moment they first set foot in it. You know that. 😉

  22. Turin
    Just my two cents but visiting my relatives in the Mission and Noe Valley and seeing the water front and places like Hayes Valley SF was in so many ways a much harsher, uglier and rougher city back then (mid 1980’s).
    I do have to say though the Excelsior, where my half bro lived looks like shit these days but they can’t all be winners.
    In my lifetime at least the city has never looked better.

  23. “I bet the tourists from New York, London and Tokyo will stop coming to SF once the last “Earthquake Shack” is replaced with higher density.”
    As I’ve suggested before, what we should really do is turn 1-4 earthquake shacks into museums (and demolish all the rest). Then the tourists will flock to these museums and say, “wow, look at this rundown d piece of [expletive deleted by sfrenegade] people had to live in when SF got flattened and burned during the Big One.” Frankly my dear, no one gives a damn about earthquake shacks, other than NIMBYs.
    Of course, my other suggestion was to put all these museum-type artifacts like earthquake shacks and historically significant bookshelves in the inland East Bay where there is cheap land to house them. :p

  24. “They come for a San Francisco Experience” — another thing we would have to do is find a way to keep the homeless here, but we already do a good job of that by subsidizing them so heavily. Tourists love watching and snapping pictures of our wacky street people. It’s part of the San Francisco Experience.

  25. When my relatives visited from Minnesota they were extremely impressed by all the holes in the ground and undeveloped lots. That really represented San Francisco well. It’s what they came to see. They’d probably never come back if that ever changed.

  26. I’m with you, Zig. The constant evolution is good for the city and overall it looks much better than it did in the 70’s (my earliest reference point). Densification in areas served by transit is good, as is improvement of that transit of course. While I’m not very impressed with this particular piece of architecture, this is a good location for higher density.

  27. I left Manhattan and came to SF so that I could feel sun on my face when I walk down the street. SF is already a very densely populated city, with nightmare traffic and parking and an inadequate transit system. Nobody asked my opinion or anyone else’s when they decided to start making it denser. They are going to ruin the quality of life in this city.

  28. @DeniseB
    It’s not the homelessness. It’s not the litter. It’s not the rotten sewage smell due to a decaying sewer system. It’s not the potholes. It’s not the inept public transit system. It’s not the design by committee system of building generic boxes. It’s 8 story buildings that are ruining the quality of life in the city, period.

  29. San Francisco’s population density is about 5% more than it was in 1950. The reason SF seems more crowded now is that there are more commuters (and their cars) now than decades ago. Other than a few underdeveloped areas– Rincon Hill/Transbay, Mission Bay, Hunter’s Point, Parkmerced, and perhaps Treasure Island, population density in the future won’t change much either.

  30. ^Dan,
    While I agree with your point, it’s not just commuters that make it “feel” more crowded, it’s that household sizes have shrunk considerably, so a similar population density now means more adults than in the past. And adults are more likely to do things that other adults do, like, well, drive.

  31. You can build more towers, but what I see happening is that homes and apartments have LESS people living in them on a per residence basis than 50 years ago. As San Francisco continues to become more of a childless adult community mainly populated by professionals sometimes living in pairs, many times alone, the density of the city will decrease even with new buildings.
    HOW do you explain the greater city population decades ago with far less “density” of residential construction?
    DeniseB brings up an interesting point, which is the constant howls for more density will not cure the urban ills of San Francisco. SF’s comment about the sewers speaks to a broken government unwilling to plan for more density. (Let’s not even talk about MUNI!)
    In my part of the Marina District over the last three decaades I have watched the children playing on streets vanish, and the larger homes that had three generations living in them now being occupied by only one or two people. Will “density” cure this trend? I think not!

  32. The Marina now has one of the lowest percentage of children of any zip in SF, about the same percentage as 94114. The fewest children are in the Embarcadero to South Beach area. Children in SF are concentrated in the southern half of the city.
    But families with children have been leaving SF for the suburbs since the post-WWII era, and young childless people have been flocking to SF since the 1960’s.
    If one looks at pictures of the city circa 1950, one sees streets like Mission and Market packed with pedestrians. And most of the buildings in SF have been around for many decades. I’ve lived in SF for 20 years, and don’t see much change in traffic or the general density of the city.

  33. HOW do you explain the greater city population decades ago with far less “density” of residential construction?
    The city is at an all-time high in population, just verified by the latest census.

  34. The previous peak in the city’s population was in 1950. From 1950-1995, the city’s population declined, as families with children moved to the suburbs, and few additional homes were built, and then started to edge up with younger single people, LGBT folks, Asian immigrants. From 1995-2000, there was a surge of young, single folks during the dot-com era, many of whom moved away during the bust of 2001-2003. Since 2003, there has been an increase in population, with a new influx of people especially 2 groups: singles and childless couples in new housing in Mission Bay, Rincon Hill, and the Embarcadero areas, and immigrant families in the southern part of the city. In other established residential areas, population was fairly stable from 2000-2010, though with some demographic shifts (whites replacing Latinos in the Mission, while the Latino population increased citywide, and the continued surge in Asian immigrants everywhere in the city). Overall, the population now is higher than it’s ever been, though not that much greater than prior peaks in 1950 and in 2000.

  35. Dan,
    Per the 1950 census, there were 265,726 housing units in SF.
    Per the 2010 census, there were 376,942 housing units.
    So…from 1950 to 2010 we have added more than 110,000 housing units (most of which were NOT built in the last ten years – we only added a net of about 30,000 housing units from 2000-2010), while only adding 30,000 to the population. That’s a significant number of additional households.
    There are some other things to keep in mind – prop 13 and rent control have driven up the number of vacant units, from just over 7,000 in the 1950 census to more than 30,000 today, but we’re still looking at a net of 94,000 (!!!) additional inhabited units from 1950 to 2010 (a small percentage of that is probably larger units in 1950 being split into smaller units, but not most of it, as residential construction activity was quite active from the 50’s through the early 80’s) .

  36. @anon, and your point is? If there are 100,000 more housing units than 1950, it is still very possible to have a smaller population in San Francisco today if those units are occupied in a different way. The decrease in the population of children in this city is probably a huge factor in the over-all population count.
    I live as a single person in a 3bedroom house in the Marina. It is very possible that in 1950, four people lived in my house, if not more? Is your point that the increase in housing units means there are more people living in the city than decades past?
    (Thanks to @Dan, I had not made my seen your post when I was making my original comment regarding population and density in the Marina. Thanks especially for your info regarding my observation on the reduced number of children living in 94123)

  37. Um, Dan and I were having a conversation about how even though the population may not be that much higher now than in the past, the population of *ADULTS* is significantly higher now than in the past, so that’s part of the reason that things like traffic could be worse than in the past.
    Not sure why you felt I was disagreeing with anything that you said.

  38. @anon, apologies. I condused you with “anon94123 checker” who needs to do a little more checking.
    On a larger point, I do think the whole boosterism for density and greater population is interesting in that I imagine, many would change their opinion if it were on their own street. The city’s most desirable neighborhoods which for the most part are north of California street, have seen the least amount of change. The question becomes, what are buyers in San Francisco REALLY searching for? Are they intersted in a car-free Manhattan/Chicago lifestyle, or do they dream of a home with a back yard and auto garage in Presidio Heights or Cow Hollow? Streets in the north part of the Marina have not changed in more than 50 years and command very high prices. I believe that deep down, most San Franciscans love this city because it is not Manhattan or Chicago. It is easy for me to say that towers like One Rincon Hill do not bother me because I do not have to look at it every day since my view is of the Bay, GG Bridge and hills of Marin.

  39. ^No worries, anon94123.
    On your question, I would very much prefer a Manhattan lifestyle (not sure why you threw Chicago in there, it’s been easier for me to live without a car in SF than it was in Chicago), combined with the weather in SF. The current density is good enough for me to live without a car, it just means a few more cabs than I would prefer.
    So I’ll pretty much always be pushing for significantly more density, because this is the only city in the US with decent density + good weather. If there were any other city where that combo could be a remote possibility within my lifetime, I’d go there.
    I’m not really sure why you think that high prices in places like the Marina means that people don’t want higher density there. Do you have examples of places in SF where higher density housing(non low-income) was built and prices fell or the area became less desirable? I sure can’t think of any.

  40. It is true that many people in established residential neighborhoods like the Marina and Noe Valley don’t want more density in their neighborhoods, but that is not where most new housing is being built. Most of the units are being built in formerly industrial and commercial zones. The exception is Parkmerced, where there has been opposition from existing residents.

  41. @anon, I guess my poorly made point was that I believe there are still many San Franciscans who are not really wanting a true urban car-free lifestyle. (I am not talking about myself btw) I listen to people at parties talk about how they hate Los Angeles, etc., and then complain about their 60 minute drive to work, the wait for a parking space at Whole Foods on California, and the stop signs along Marina Blvd. In Bernal and Noe, there are many private bus riders spending up to 90 minutes a day on the freeways as passengers to southbay employers, and then on weekends bringing out the car to drive around “the city”.
    So, my concern, is that unlike 3 decades ago, where families who lived in the Marina walked to the hardware store they owned on Chestnut, or to the market or movies, NOW you have a whole differnt type of resident user in the most desirable neighborhoods. I believe many of the recent buyers in 94123, Noe Valley, etc. are using the city as a suburb, with as much weekend car use as any soccer mom in Danville.
    If only BART had gone up Van Ness and under Lombard (the ugliest blvd. in the city IMHO) maybe the north side of San Francisco would have grown in a different way. Almost none of my neighbors work in the city. I would say about 70% of my neighbors drive to workplaces at least 20 miles away.

  42. The non-performing note has been bought by MacFarlane Partners who has taken title.
    So does this mean Cassidy gave the new lender who bought the note a deed in lieu of foreclosure?

  43. Not likely, MacFarlane may have cut a deal discounting the notes, plus paid Cassidy some money. Deed-in-lieu carries some risks so MacFarlane must have gone through escrow to get clean title.

  44. @anon 94123
    Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, and Nob Hill have a plethora of residential towers, perhaps the most dense cluster of high rises outside of the financial district, yet have the highest property values.
    The neighborhoods with the lowest property values are also the least dense- Bayview, Sunset as a few examples.
    Your point does not coincide with logic or reality.

  45. Towers? My comment was about San Francisco being used as a bedroom suburb by many HOME BUYERS (NOT RENTERS), and the increased use of cars by these buyers. I was reflecting on changes to the northern residential part of the Marina, that has changed to being a very car intensive, parking competitive, automobile commuting population. As I mentioned above, most of my neighbors now DRIVE over 20 miles to work. We have a long way to go in making this a car-free urban area, that’s all.
    As for towers, build as many as you want.

  46. @anon94123,
    You may be right, but I think it’s probably just a situation of you noticing something more than it actually exists. The census numbers don’t show an increase in car commuting for the city as a whole over the past 10-20 years. In fact, percentage-wise car commuting is down slightly, though mostly that’s because of an increase in bike commuting.
    There is definitely an adjustment in jobs/people going on though, and I think you’ll see a slow but steady increase in the folks that want to drive living in the areas that you mention – because it’s much easier to own a car there. If we adjusted to allowing more density in those areas, we’d see more non-car driving folks move in, but as it is, you’re probably right that new folks with cars are likely self-selecting to move to that area over other areas that are more difficult to own a car in.

  47. There are a great deal many more bikes on the road in SF nowadays than even five years ago. It’s a fact.

  48. As I mentioned above, most of my neighbors now DRIVE over 20 miles to work. We have a long way to go in making this a car-free urban area, that’s all.
    Perhaps if the city was slightly less anti-business there would be more jobs in the city for your neighbors to walk/bike/MUNI to instead of having to drive 20 miles outside of the city to go to work.

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