Purchased as new for $2.2 million in early 2008, right as the Great Recession was picking up steam, the two-bedroom, two-bath Ritz-Carlton Residences unit #2101 at 690 Market Street quietly resold at the end of 2014 with a $2.125 million contract price.

Boasting “expansive windows to capture stunning city views, an open floor plan with an upscale chef’s kitchen equipped with granite countertops, custom cabinetry, and Viking SS appliances,” not to mention “custom window coverings and upgrades throughout,” the 1,515-square-foot unit returned to the market listed for $2.29 million this past May, a sale at which would have represented total appreciation of 7.8 percent for the upscale condo over the past four years on an apples-to-apples, versus “median price,” basis.

And having been reduced to $1.9 million in June, and then to $1.885 million in August, the list price for 690 Market Street #2101 has just been dropped to $1.8 million, which is roughly 15 percent less than the unit fetched in 2014.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Dave

    Doesn’t bode too well for the new tower opening above the Mexican Museum just a stone’s throw away. To be managed, IIRC, by the same folks who manage this building. Irrational exuberance is over and the sky-high prices developer’s of the new tower expected to get for their units will be sky high but likely not quite as high as some had hoped.

  2. Posted by D

    Anyone know what the monthly costs are on this unit?

    • Posted by SocketSite

      The current HOA dues are $2,900 a month, up from $2,600 in 2014.

      • Posted by Kyle S.

        Yet Realtor.com reports them as $0…

      • Posted by Brisket

        “Association Fee Includes: Water, Garbage, Cable TV, Ext Bldg Maintenance, Door Person, Homeowners Insurance” . Not a lot of amenities for that kind of scratch, unless having a doorman is a big thing for you.

        • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

          Wherever you read that apparently left out the “Dedicated Residences Concierge located at the private 12th‑floor Lounge with terrace overlooking Market Street” as well as the 24‑hour fitness center, Private Boardroom and 24‑hour business center that the general website for Ritz-Carlton Residences San Francisco makes a point of highlighting. And yes, if having that is not a big thing for you, then the HOA dues will seem steep compared to comparable units in a normal condo building.

          • Posted by Brisket

            Well those are indeed better amenities for your money. The quote above is from the sales listing – odd they would leave out the fitness center, etc. if they are included.

        • Posted by BTinSF

          Having a doorman may not seem a big thing for you but probably you haven’t lived in a building of this sort with no control over who comes and goes, who rapes or robs you in the halls and who breaks into your unit. “Doormen” in downtown buildings these days aren’t about opening the door for you–they are security guards and in SF they are essential. Aside from living in a building with 24/7 security for which I am greatful, I once served on a jury for a case in which a building management was sued for not preventing the sort of crime I described above.

  3. Posted by tipster

    For investment purposes, I bought the identical unit above this one, and the identical unit below this one.

    Now, let me explain why this downturn is strictly limited to condos on the 21st floor of every building in town, and why MY units have increased in value tremendously. I mean, just look at the median since this unit was bought in 2008, it’s 65% higher! Yeah, baby! Those 21st floor units are a dime a dozen.

    • Posted by EBGuy

      Time flys… Looks like a 2 bedroom/2bath 21 day fractional resale has fallen from a 2008 low of ask of $240k to a current ask of $208k. And let’s not forget, maintenance fees have increased to $18k/year — that’s $857 per night.

  4. Posted by Frisco

    Wow, looks like 20% of the square footage is hallways. Both bedrooms even have their own mini-hallways!

    • Posted by BobN

      I approve of the one for the master. It lets you leave your bedmate to snooze undisturbed while you get ready in the morning.

      • Posted by SFMichael

        I was wondering why the other bedroom’s closet didn’t open into its hallway too. It seems like such an obvious thing.

        Everything else aside on this unit, I think this is a fairly good floor plan. As others have mentioned, for the price a few more windows would be nice, but all in all I think this is a good use of the footprint.

  5. Posted by Amewsed

    The kitchen and bath looked dated already with the cabinets, granite counter tops, and back splashes. Quartz was probably not used much a decade ago. Maybe should have gone with marble prefab slabs for more timeless durability. Add crown molding to the top of the kitchen cabinets. Change the light fixtures, redo the bath, and replace carpeting.

    Can’t change the high HOAs so must put in accoutrements that appeal to this level of sellers/buyers. Otherwise it is a race to the bottom in terms of sale prices, and probably pissing off other condo owners from setting low comps.

  6. Posted by Footie

    Um those finishes were chosen in 2008?

    • Posted by Outoftown

      Um, what is wrong with the finishes? Looks like the average home build in Fresno around 2014 – selling for $350-400K for about 3000 sf back then – actually resells higher today. Ok, so they may not be the finishes you expect if you fork out 2 million.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      While not our style, the finish quality is well above average for circa 2007/2008 construction (and we’d be willing to wager that most new homes in Fresno weren’t outfitted with a full suite of Viking appliances, custom cabinetry and the same quality of hardware throughout).

      • Posted by Outoftown

        Correct, Viking appliances would not be included and crown molding not included throughout – the cabinetry, hardware, counter tops, baseboard & flooring looks almost identical to common tract homes, and there would be more recessed lighting, fire sprinklers less visible. (perhaps not average, that can be a bit hard to determine)

        • Posted by SocketSite

          And while many of the finishes might “[look] almost identical to common tract homes,” which were trying to emulate the higher-end look, we’d once again be willing to wager that the actual quality of the finishes, from the faucets to the pulls, aren’t the same. A $30 faucet can “look almost identical” to a $300 model, but it won’t feel, function or wear the same.

          • Posted by Outoftown

            Your $30 faucet goes into a $250K Fresno home, and even in my 5 bathroom home $300 faucets is a cheap replacement. I would have to take a tour of this condo to assess the quality of the cabinetry to see that it has the easy close hardware where I don’t smack my fingers 🙂
            A high-end home here would usually have such features along with the Viking appliances, better flooring, nicer lighting etc. much of which is of course is a matter of taste. You will add 2-3 hundred thousand to the price but still be safely below a million (and your HOA fees be negligible if you live in a gated community.)

          • Posted by Amewsed

            Actually, do a quick google search online for this building, 690 Market St., SF, and you will see a few other units currently on the market with a lot of pictures. I saw a couple of units on different floors, with different floor plans but the same identical look (cabinets, different color but same grade of granite, similar lighting) done around the same time. Then there were some high-end modern units that recently sold within the past two years.

            If I recall correctly, the pricier level of granite at that time was blue pearl and emerald pearl (basically black with shimmery undertones of pearl.

            Sure, an IKEA faucet can look like a hansgrohe faucet. Even within the hansgrohe suite of products, there is still entry level vs. top of line. I usually pick the ones five star hotels use for price, durability, and function. After all, they are in the daily business of selling “homes away from homes.”

          • Posted by Outoftown

            My run of the mill home has Moen faucets – good quality with lifetime warranty and I like the designs – they run in the $150 to $350 range depending on the purpose (shower, kitchen, bathroom sink)

        • Posted by Frisco

          Speaking of crown moulding, why is it set away from the wall? I hope/dread that it contains some kind of ultra-sexy luxury downlighting.

          • Posted by Amewsed

            If that is the case, they should have left some room at the top of the molding as well for LED strips up lighting. You can buy high density foam crown molding with space at the top to put LED lights for a cheap and easy alternative version to cove ceiling lights. Obviously wood molding is preferable but for some condos with concrete walls, it may be appropriate.

          • Posted by Sam Walters

            It’s to hide the drapery hardware, if you were inclined to have drapes.

  7. Posted by UnlivableCity

    SF is still wildly affordable relative to incomes for upmarket customers – compared to NY. Long (10 yr) term these condos will hit $2m easily. But for real appreciation it’s still all about single family in the top neighborhoods, esp. district 9 & 8

  8. Posted by MyOddCommentHandle

    It’s really a nice space but seems laid out for pied-a-terre for someone at that level. A+ location if you’re in town for business and simply require own [bathroom] and a place to leave a set of your stuff.

  9. Posted by SF CRE

    Only three rooms have windows for $2M…umm no thanks.

    • Posted by Brian M

      Do you really want windows in your bathroom?

      • Posted by Sam Walters

        Hell yes… I’ve got a bathroom window in my SF pied-a-terre condo and l love it. Light, fresh air and moisture dissipation are more than a luxury. Actually i have large windows on 3 sides of the unit and love that it’s flooded with sunlight. Better yet, I paid cash for it in 2011 and it has tripled in value since then

      • Posted by Amewsed

        Yes, for me it is an absolute must. All wet areas (kitchen and baths) should be well ventilated and have plenty of natural sunlight during the day. Moisture and mildew are not friends.

  10. Posted by Keenplanner

    These new tower units are so generic. Those in the historic part of the building are much better.

    • Posted by Sam Walters

      The historic part of building is so nice. Thank Zeus they got rid of that nasty 1960’s sheet metal that used to cover the facade.

  11. Posted by Richard Kuo

    This property has never been a good investment due to:

    A. Presence of non-homeowner / timeshare traffic
    B. Exorbitant HOA fees
    C. Mello-Roos fees

    The so-called amenities in this building are quite lacking and pared down compared to larger scale residential developments in South Beach.

  12. Posted by Chris

    Regardless of the quality of the finishes, the look is now dated. I would have assumed the unit was built in the 1990’s if did not already know the construction date. The kitchen and bathrooms need to remodeled in a more contemporary style. Also, the staging is not well done. The furniture is too specific in taste and the unit appears cluttered.

  13. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The list price for 690 Market Street #2101 has just been reduced to $1.725 million, a sale at which would now represent an 18.8 percent decline in value since the fourth quarter of 2014 on an apples-to-apples basis.

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