When the two-bedroom, two-bath unit #504 in the Rowan building at 338 Potrero, which “exemplifies modern living,” traded for 11.9 percent less than its purchase price in the fourth quarter of 2017 last month, the two-bedroom, two-bath unit one floor below (#404) was in contract but hadn’t yet closed escrow.

And the re-sale of 338 Potrero #404, an “almost new residence [with] state of the art finishes” and “views of the city framed by floor to ceiling windows,” has now closed escrow with a contract price of $900,000, down 14.2 percent from its purchase price of $1,049,00 in October of 2017 on an apples-to-apples basis.

But hey, it’s “just one (more) data point” and the Bay Area index for condo values was up 4.3 percent over the same period of time.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by UnlivableCity

    Its a great building. Which is why it sold higher than a COVID slump resale. I would point out the plans for a truly ugly 9 story block on Florida on the other side of the park. So talk that for much of the year it will cast shade all the way across Bryant and onto the Franklin Square Park playground. Also the massive (even by SF standards) Muni yard redevelopment coming up just a block away. That area is going to be a loud dusty mess for years to come.

    • Posted by Noe Resident

      “Which is why it sold higher than a COVID slump resale.”

      Not sure what you are referring to, but the unit sold for 15% lower, not higher. Great building, but crammed units in a not so great neighborhood. And I use the term “neighborhood” loosely here.

      • Posted by two beers

        “And I use the term “neighborhood” loosely here.”

        If only light-industrial neighborhoods submitted more readily to gentrification. The nerve of these plots of land to withstand progress!

        In the grand tradition of condescendingly dubbing luxury lofts after the buildings they have usurped (eg, “IronWorks,” “The Brewery,” “The Factory,” etc), this misbegotten and misplaced crapfest should (with suitably pompous intonation) be called, “The Do-It-Yourself Car Wash.”

        “Welcome to your new home at The Do-It-Yourself Car Wash! You will love living here with all our great amenities, including your next-door McDonalds! (carwash not included in amenities).

        They could hire a displaced metalworker to fabricate a huge sign visible form the freeway. Put it on the roof and light it up with Kliegs. Wear that gentrification with pride!

        • Posted by Panhandle Pro

          Perhaps you can move beyond the gentrification commentary and recognize that light industrial areas are not desirable for humans at a more fundamental level. Loud noises, air pollution, soil pollution, unsafe roads due to large trucks, and lack of greenery are common tenets of light industrial areas. Humans don’t like any of these things. That’s why rentals / condos / homes sell for less in these areas.

          • Posted by two beers

            So, don’t gentrify these areas then, okay?

          • Posted by Zyzzx Road

            Oh right, living next to all 4 major grocery stores (Gus’s, Wholefoods, TJs, and Safeway), Tartine Manufactory, Heath Ceramics, and 2 blocks from 2 parks is really awful! 🙂

        • Posted by That Guy

          In the coming class war, I want you right next to me, brother.

          Viva la revolution!

          • Posted by two beers

            If you think a class war is “coming” and isn’t the status quo, we’re probably not on the same team. Dosvidanya, tovarishch. .

      • Posted by UnlivableCity

        They sold for really good and in my opinion elevated prices before COVID – considering the location. Its because the building is really unique and foretells the direction of the neighborhood. Considering that this is a COVID SLUMP we’re in, its still a good price.

        • Posted by Noe Resident

          “its still a good price”

          The owners who lost more than $200K (including selling costs) would beg to differ

          Also, I am guessing the building is now less unique, that the one that was in 2017?

  2. Posted by L'Urbanista_SF

    It must be amazing living adjacent to a McDonald’s drive thru AND a petrol station.

    • Posted by L'Suburbanista

      Yeah, it’s called *gasp* urban living.

      • Posted by L'Urbanista_SF

        There is nothing urban about drive thru fast food.

  3. Posted by Emely

    I am in that neighborhood multiple times a week frequently walking in and around square roughly formed by Harrison/15th/Potrero/20th.

    The blocks around the Rowan can be grim. For a while people were leaving bags of urine on the sidewalk outside the Muni yard; it is a frequent sight to have people pacing along that block of 16th in various states, yelling; just across Potrero into the Design District you have some fluidly placed but omnipresent tent camps; street garbage and refuse is constant (I walk dogs, watching for food is a must). It’s very much a microclimate type of neighborhood, and that’s simply one of the worst spots.

    Franklin Square is great and the opening of the athletic field may help but the mood and condition of everything from 17th to 15th varies on a week by week basis, and there are not many little locally owned shops, cafes, or storefronts to help anchor any neighborhood feel or level things out.

    As a base of operations where you spend your time in your unit and then drive elsewhere it’s fine, but I can see passing on paying an SF premium if that’s your plan.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      This area has got progressively worse over the last few years. Given the current status of things (Covid’s impact on struggling people, Chesa Boudin), it’s hard to see it improving anytime soon.

      • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

        Things will get better just as soon as folks like you and Jose Monar stop with the posting to sites like this one, Facebook and Nextdoor and start organizing, collecting money and running a serious candidate to challenge the district attorney of San Francisco on a platform of public safety, neighborhood security and public order.

        Anger is not the same thing as motivation to improve things.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          I spent years organizing, supporting political candidates, attending rallies, etc. I’m retired from all that now.

          But you are absolutely correct that the way to change going forward is to elect different people.

  4. Posted by Jose Monar

    Nice Building but rough neighborhood. I’m surprised it didn’t go for less. I lived in Portrero Hill years ago. The shopping center and McDonald’s next door are nice but they have lots of homeless and it can be a dangerous area.

  5. Posted by maurice

    Lovely building, in an up and coming neighborhood, but on a VERY unappealing block. That block (and neighbors on both sides) should be called out in every story on this building.

  6. Posted by Scott F

    Nice building on the outside but weird floor plan with flimsy sliding doors that provide zero sound insulation. And, yes, while very walkable, the auto-oriented immediate surroundings make the first 2 or 3 minutes of that walk unlikely to rejuvenate or inspire. Not surprised this one is struggling to hold its value. It certainly has nothing to do with the quixotic, revanchist attempts of some of the moneyed class to blame everything on our DA, who I continue to proudly support.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      If you don’t think that the increasing level of street crime has an effect on property values, then we will have to disagree.

  7. Posted by cleverpunhere

    99% of the so-called “apples to apples” sales highlighted here sold brand new and were then resold in a very short period of time. I continue to think this is not “apples to apples” because people value new units more than slightly used units, and the common areas are generally not nearly as nice three years in as they are when brand new, either.

  8. Posted by Karl

    Based upon the last years pricing for the Sunnydale public housing re-build, it now cost an average of $890,000 to produce one unit** of “affordable” housing — not including the cost of land.

    So $900,000 for a 2-bedroom/2-bath unit with a view sounds pretty darn good!

    ** P.S. and that’s based upon an average of 40% 1-bed/1-bath, 40% 2-bed/1-bath and 20% 3-bed/2-bath units sizes.

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