The sleek 653-square-foot unit #507 in the Rowan building at 338 Potrero Avenue features a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows with a Juliette balcony and city views; modern finishes and upgrades; and an efficient layout with an office/den space and dual entrances to the bathroom.

And having been purchased for $813,000 in October of 2017, the one-bedroom-plus unit has just been listed for “$695,000,” a sale at which would represent a 14.5 percent drop in value for the unit since fourth quarter of 2017 on an apples-to-apples basis, or above which would be “over asking!”, while the “San Francisco” index for condo values is up 17.5 percent over the same period of time.

If you think you know the market for modern condos on the edge of the Mission and Potrero Hill, now’s the time to tell.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Footie

    Pretty misleading to show a balcony on the floor plan when there isn’t one.

    • Posted by Notcom

      Why do you say there isn’t one ?? It appears that all the units in the building open onto terraces.

      • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

        I think there is a balcony but it’s pretty shallow. As the piece states, they are “Juliet” balconies, suitable for stepping out for some air or placing a few plants, but not really big enough for furniture (that’s my recollection from driving past the building many times.)

        So I think the floor plan maybe overstates the depth of the balcony, but perhaps I’m wrong about that. And maybe you could fit some limited seating out there but it might be tough to move past it. If the floor plan is correct, the depth of the balcony is about doorway-width, maybe 32″?

        • Posted by Tom

          I looked at multiple units in this building. Can confirm that the floor plan is not to scale and overstates the depth of the balcony. A Juliet balcony is better than no balcony at all though!

        • Posted by Notcom

          I agree: from interior shots (on other sites) and street views, it seems like the depth is about the same as the bracing…so maybe 18″??
          But for an industry that often laughs at semantics, I think this one got it right: it’s described as a balcony, not a deck.

  2. Posted by Raymond Zablotny

    Too white. Very boring.

  3. Posted by Dan

    Seems SocketSite has been focusing so much on stories that suggest property market is softening, which may truly be the case. And I understand these actual condos/properties did experience price drops that definitely made interesting stories to read, with real financial losses to the owners, etc. But I am wondering why they don’t equally portray properties elsewhere with significant gains (above asking price) in recent sales, especially in the Piedmont/Oakland Hills/Montclair area. Prices there are just crazy with multiple bids and $1m+ above asking price in many cases. I wonder why these stories aren’t captured on this site.

    • Posted by SFian

      As long as I’ve been on this site (years) the narrative has either been “softening market” or “prices are too high”. Objective reporting is a thing of the past I guess.

    • Posted by Kevin

      @socketsite, I do think Dan has a point. It would be interesting to read about explosion of East Bay real estate prices since Covid started. Both Oakland hills and Berkeley have seen prices going up gangbusters in the past year and a half if not two. This has even spill to Lamorinda Area where over bidding asking used to be rare but now the norm.

  4. Posted by DAA

    It gets mentioned every time but it really can’t be overstated what an unfortunate intersection in which this building is located. I just don’t see anything that could make living on that block more pleasant happening in the next decade.

    Btw, I’ve always wondered what is that giant garage structure next to McDonalds? Is that part of the Buddhist Center’s parking lot?

    • Posted by SFRealist

      You are right, and this area seems to be deteriorating. The street scene was never great, but over the last few years it has gotten worse.

      • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

        Is there any neighborhood in SF where things are getting better? It’s gotten worse everywhere in the past five years. I don’t want to polarize the conversation so I will stop there. But things need to change.

        • Posted by Ohlone Californio

          Yes, there are many.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            [(s)he said, without naming a single one…]

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            yup, I know stuff

          • Posted by Ohlone Californio

            j/k, Outer Sunset, Inner Parkside, Outer Parkside, Precita Park, Dogpatch, Mission Terrace … I could go on.

        • Posted by DAA

          Big picture issues like homelessness, unaffordability, etc. I agree the situation is worsening and it’s effecting most of us.

          I mean local level things like planting trees, road diets, revitalizing parks, expanding sidewalks, housing density adding foot traffic, things that make your block more livable—many areas have improved in this regard, mine included. But when I look at the street in question—2 gas stations, McDonald’s (with drive through), empty parking lot, a BUSY parking lot that cuts the block in half, a warehouse, and 4 lanes of traffic on all sides? I just don’t see any of that changing anytime soon.

          I actually like the building design. Maybe one day that gas station (possible) and McDonald’s (not likely) will be housing and the beautification effort they made on the southern end of Potrero will come down to 16th, but probably not this decade.

          • Posted by Daniel

            The usual talking points. Frankly, you can keep you street diet. The issue, as in many other parts of town, is a desolate drug scene in the area. Yeah, lets widen sidewalks so dealers have more space to set up shop. /s

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Also the Safeway plaza/block on 16th. I’ve been going there occasionally for years. It has gotten worse and is an absolute disaster now.

        • Posted by jimbo

          every neighborhood has gotten worse over the past 3 years in my opinion. there are definitely ones that have improved over a 10 yr period, but the last 3 have been sh*t

  5. Posted by Sierrajeff

    OK here’s my negative 2 cents [and whatever happened to the “cent” sign on the keyboard?!]…

    There’s nothing “efficient’ about a linear kitchen layout. Constant back-and-forth from sink to stove to fridge; if there are two people, you’re constantly having to dodge each other; and no counter / island behind to turn and put things on. Ironically it looks like they could have done an “L” shaped kitchen on the right. And there’s also nothing “efficient” about having access to the sole bath be via either the bedroom or the office. I’m sure SocketSite was just repeating the realtor’s description – perhaps with a tinge of irony in mind – or at least I’d like to think so…

    • Posted by Willow

      Couldn’t disagree more with your assessment. This is a really efficient use of 653 SF. It’s perfect for a single person or couple who cook infrequently. The Den space is a real bonus…

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        I didn’t say the den space wasn’t great. But move the kitchen to the right wall, then put an omnibus hall stub to get (severable) access to the den, bath, and bedroom).

        There’s nothing efficient about a linear kitchen. Say you want to get things from the fridge – you have to go down and stand in front of the fridge to open it, get your stuff, then either shut the door or move around the open door to set things down on a counter. If the fridge were at a 90 degree angle (such as if the kitchen were on the right wall), you can move from the stove or sink to the fridge without having to turn again to face the fridge, and on taking things out you can set them to the side without having to close the fridge door or maneuver around it.

        Or to put it in terms of design geometry – you can’t have a 2-dimensional work triangle…

        • Posted by haighter

          No one is buying this place with plans to cook gourmet meals for ten. This kitchen is perfectly serviceable to do basic cooking, and it’s optimized to take as little space as possible. Those counters will likely see more takeout containers than cutting boards, anyway.

        • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

          Sierrajeff, when the real estate agents and other assorted “shills” such as haighter and Willow, including the developer for this building use the word “efficient” to describe the layout, they mean it in the sense that it provides the buyer with the sense that they are getting something functional, without regard for whether or not it functions in practice. The actual utility the owner derives from living in the unit isn’t the point and they don’t care, if they were honest.

          So once you properly understand that, you’ll understand that this unit “efficiently” transfers the maximum amount of money from the buyer to the seller, especially when it was initially sold from the developer to the first buyer. That’s what is “efficient” here.

    • Posted by Never In Doubt

      ¢, is option-4 on a Mac.

      I assume it’s something similar on Windows.

      • Posted by Call_Me_Ishmael

        One of the most useful comments in this post, in IMHO

  6. Posted by shiver_me_timbers

    I had a broker try to sell me a small 2/2 in this building last year. If memory serves, she indicated it could had for just under $1M. She told me it was a good deal because the developer sold it at a higher price when it originally came to market. Irrational exuberance, perhaps? I didn’t see the value. Sandwiched between McD’s and a gas station, the view from the unit overlooked an auto repair shop. No thanks.

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