CFAH

Purchased for $1.4 million near the top of the previous market cycle in the fourth quarter of 2007 and then upgraded with a new kitchen, custom cabinetry, lighting and other designer finishes in 2008, the upgraded 2,000-sqaure-foot, two-bedroom loft #502 in the converted Hales Warehouse building at 2 Mint Plaza resold for $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2011.

Having returned to the market listed for $1.995 million in January of 2020, a sale at which would have represented average annual appreciation of 5.0 percent per year for the designer condo since the first quarter of 2011, the list price for 2 Mint Plaza #502, which comes with a parking space in the building’s garage, was reduced to $1.895 million in February of 2020, to $1.795 million that April, to $1.695 million that October, and then to $1.595 million this past March prior to being removed from the MLS in July.

Last week, 2 Mint Plaza #502 was relisted for “$1.2 million” on the MLS, a sale above which would be considered to be “over asking” according to all industry stats and aggregate reports but is intended as the starting bid for a “Luxury Live Auction,” with “preemptive offers” and all proposed “financing options” welcomed as well. If you think you know the market for high-end lofts in San Francisco, now’s the the time to tell. Keep in mind that the frequently misreported index for “San Francisco” condo values is up 130 percent over the same period of time.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by two beers

    b-b-but the neighborhood/layout/columns/ductwork/finishes, etc! All of which were somehow not a detriment to the previous higher prices. Remember when this block was the glittering crown jewel of the west, instead of the epicenter of misery, suffering, and poverty? Me neither.

    • Posted by steve

      data point of one, but as someone who has thought about a SOMA pied-à-terre in this price range off and off for the past 10 years, I can say that my optimism about this particular neighborhood improving has disappeared. that it isn’t a “glittering crown jewel” is a complete City failure

      • Posted by two beers

        How is endemic poverty the City’s fault? Poverty is the direct result of national economic and social polices (which policies, btw, were the direct cause of the asset bubbles to begin with). The City can and should do more, but at best all it can do is put a band-aid™ on a systemic national issue

        • Posted by michael

          You’d have to be an idiot, or completely unfamiliar with the pathology of SF’s streets to believe “poverty” is the problem here. We don’t have a “poverty” problem. We have a mental-illness-intertwined-with-drug-addiction problem. And when you mis-diagnose the problem (as one would be inclined to do if one were an un-reconstructed neo-Marxist like two beers to whom “Class Struggle” is the answer, regardless of the question), you’ll never find the solution.

          • Posted by two beers

            You flatter me. Just so I’m sure I understand you, you’re saying that the stresses of poverty and social marginalization are not common precursors to mental illness and drug addiction, is that right? Obviously poverty isn’t the only cause of mental illness and drug addiction, as many of our elected officials regularly demonstrate, but eliminate poverty, and you dramatically reduce most social ills. I submit that the ruling class and its professional-managerial class factota don’t actually desire to eliminate poverty, as that would diminish their own power and raison d’etre. They just want the poverty elsewhere where it won’t bruise their own property values.

          • Posted by Backtotheburbs

            You just need to step back a little … ask the harder questions of what kind of people are coming out of our grand social experiment? Extremely powerful designer opiates created by the the big pharma of our grand capitalism (multiple lawsuits now) . Teens addicted and mentally ill from predatory social media and apps (multiple lawsuits now). Guns as a solution to personal problems and human interaction (multiple lawsuits now). Compounded housing crises with hundreds of thousands living on the streets, including the fully employed, college students, retireesand so on.

            There is more … it all reads like sci fi dystopia yet it’s our reality.

            And while containment of all these heavy issues may have worked for a time, that time is long gone. There is no way now to pay our resource ourselves without major societal shifts. Including educating minds like yours… as you can see, this may take a long time and not guaranteed.

          • Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

            Mental illness and addiction are common throughout time and geography, and they don’t cause homelessness. The presence of crazy addicts on every porch is the result of local, state, and national policy to eradicate their habitats. The only way to solve the acute problem is the rebuild the housing in which such people formerly lived, so we can move them indoors and get them treatment. You can’t treat a homeless drug addict; they have to be housed first.

        • Posted by tfourier

          You do know that the SoMa neighborhood has had “endemic poverty” since at least the 1890’s. When the move of better off folk to the Mission started. It was the neighbored of slum housing, rooming houses, cheap residential hotels, sailors hostels, flop houses, industrial plants and lots and lots of saloons and bars.

          If you had been around in the 1980’s before the Moscone Center redevelopment ripped the heart totally out of that part of SoMa you would have seen an area little different from the 1930’s. Even in the early / mid 1990’s large parts of SoMa as far as Mission Creek would have been very recognizable to Mayor Christopher. Who was born and raised in SoMa in the early 1900’s

          So whats the traditional socioeconomic demographics of SoMa the last 130 plus years got to do with recent “asset bubbles”?

          You really have n’t lived in the City very long, have you? If you had you might have picked up a bit of its history.

          • Posted by two beers

            Having read Martin Eden even before moving to SF many years ago, I’m not entirely ignorant of SOMA’s history, hence “endemic poverty” and “[it] has never not been a literal block from literal skid row,” (the latter which isn’t technically accurate, as there was no poverty here until the Europeans imported it).

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            oh good grief – nice to see the “noble savage at one with nature” trope is still alive, even in progressive circles

          • Posted by two beers

            It has nothing to do with the “noble savage” trope, but rather with the actual definition of “wealth.” I’d recommend reading The Dawn of Everything

    • Posted by Chris

      It doesn’t take a lot of “buts” or melodrama to figure out the price differential. (1) Interest rates are significantly higher now than in 2011, which depresses the housing market, not just in SF, but nationwide, and (2) buyers’ expectations of what the neighborhood would turn out to be have shifted. The higher price was set when the neighborhood appeared on the upswing, and so a buyer in it for the relatively long-game could anticipate the value increasing. Time has shown the neighborhood’s state has not only failed to improve, but it has probably worsened. So, the price drops accordingly.

      • Posted by two beers

        The gentrification didn’t take! Not fair! Why don’t the poors just go somewhere else and let us have our perpetually skyrocketing real estate values that we deserve in peace? (shakes fist at the poors)

        • Posted by lasertag

          Rather than call them “poors” how about use a more accurate description? It’s an open air drug scene.

          • Posted by Backtotheburbs

            But surely there are also more affluent drug users? Given the volume of the US drug trade it is surely not just down and out people living on the street accounting for over 100B$ of sales circa 2013? Clearly illegal drugs are not a problem for you, but rather poor drug users, am I right?

        • Posted by Chris

          Who is crying about gentrification “not taking?” I am just stating why the prices went down—and high interest rates also play a big part, as I noted. Sugar, your performance art is occasionally mildly amusing, but you need new material.

        • Posted by jenofla

          I’m not sure I would conflate the Tenderloin scene with “the poors.” I know people who I think fall under the definition of poor based on income levels, unemployed, on disability, chronic health problems (including mental illness and addiction recovery), minimum-wage earners, and/or illegals living one family to a room…and not one of them feel comfortable on Market street or in the Tenderloin. I mean, it really is rock bottom there. If you’re there, you’re gone past the help of friends and families and (US) government agencies. It’s pretty intense; it’s not just “poor.”

      • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

        Interest rates are significantly higher now than in 2011, but this unit sat on the market between January and April of 2020 when a buyer could have pretty easily obtained a 30-year mortgage at < 3.3 percent which buoyed housing markets nationwide.

        In addition to unit #304, which is a 1 bedroom income-restricted BMR, there are three other units (307, 401 and 704) currently on sale in this building, so there will probably be some (negative price appreciation) comps appearing in spite of the “Luxury Live Auction” gambit being attempted for #502, which may support your second explanation.

    • Posted by jimbo

      to be honest, that neighborhood is dangerous and has gone downhill. im not saying thats why the price is down, but how many people would be willing to live there?

      • Posted by two beers

        The “plaza” has never not been a literal block from literal skid row.

        • Posted by BobN

          There was a lot more optimism that the area would improve back in 2008.

          • Posted by Backtotheburbs

            alas, we just have too many poor people to realize that optimism …

          • Posted by jimbo

            it is worse than it was then. it was much safer to walk around the neighborhood then. it wasnt great by any means, but the amount of open air fentanyl use and dealing along with the crime that supports that habit has skyrocketed

          • Posted by BobN

            Tell me about it. I used to enjoy walking from Alamo Sq to the ferry building and back. When I was doing cardiac rehab last year, I tried it one day — it’s a great walk for rehab because it’s almost entirely flat. I got as far as Sixth and turned around. I gave up at the fifth in-use crack pipe, second fist fight, and first naked body on the sidewalk.

        • Posted by Fact

          6th and Mission isn’t far.

  2. Posted by MetroBob

    I witnessed someone be stabbed on my walk to work this AM. One of our co workers was assaulted in the lobby of our FiDi last week. He was a senior VP and our company will be announcing this week our plans to pull out of SF. SF is eternally doomed

    • Posted by two beers

      “SF is eternally doomed”

      A “clean,” well-dressed, seemingly sober, middle-aged white man stabbed a (presumably) working class patron outside the Delirium in the Mission last night. The perp did not look unlike a facilitator of real estate transactions. The Valencia corridor is getting a bit stabby lately. It’s getting scary weird without the calming influence of Arinell’s..

  3. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Not one photo featuring windows? The photo gallery makes it look like a basement bunker.

  4. Posted by unlivablecity

    There’s just nobody buying that stuff right now. Better to rent it out until the market recovers. But there are deals. This place will sell for well under $1000 per sq foot apparently, which is a very attractive price.

  5. Posted by Rick Reynolds

    It looks like an office break room.

    • Posted by two beers

      Thank you for playing Realtor Roulette!

  6. Posted by redseca2

    The architecture firm I worked for was located at 5th and Market for many years. I was there from 1993 until we moved in 2013. I could never conceive any reason to live at this location. It used to be the edge of the Tenderloin made temporarily safe each day by a mass infusion of retail shoppers. But it doesn’t even have that anymore.

    • Posted by two beers

      “It used to be the edge of the Tenderloin”

      It has never not been the edge of the ‘loin.

      • Posted by Fact

        Its proximal to 6th Street corridor that has skid row element.

  7. Posted by civ-e

    what are the pros and cons and other factors in deciding to do these “luxury live auctions”?

  8. Posted by Fact

    5th and Mission. Edgey location. Last to benefit from boom. First to get hit by downturn.

  9. Posted by sf

    How many historic conference attendees at nearby Moscone center have canceled these past years because of the dangerous and undesirable street life nearby? Maybe this is starting to have an effect on the housing market?

    • Posted by thattechguy

      Too many.

      The city needs to get their act together and be hard on crime, clean up the city and make it attractive for tech companies to come back. (Who are we kidding…) Tax benefits just need to happen to pull business back – remove special taxes on executives, (Zynga moved to San Mateo for this reason alone) tech employee taxes etc. There is a reason many companies are moving out of Downtown/FiDI to just outside the city and scaling down. (including us)

      You don’t get much value in SF any more.

      • Posted by Fact

        Zynga offices are in SoMa, but point taken.

        • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

          Zynga moved their HQ to San Mateo and has reportedly vacated its offices in Soma.

          • Posted by Fact

            As per TheRealDeal, 19% zynga office staff remain in SF. Will the last zynga employee in SF please turn off the lights.

        • Posted by thattechguy

          Every tech company, literally has scaled back their office space or is moving out. I can name a lot more than Zynga. (Slack, Airbnb, Twitter etc.)

          All the “go away tech” dreams are being fulfilled… and look what’s happened to the city: many restaurants and small businesses are permanently gone. Tents, homeless and crime has drastically increased. They need to simply reverse to trend and make it desirable to entice people to come back.

          Someone needs to pay for those $6 cappuccinos!

          • Posted by two beers

            “Someone needs to pay for those $6 cappuccinos!”

            If rents weren’t jacked so high due to the now-ended mass inflow of 22 y.o. style sheet coders, cafe owners would be paying their baristas less, so coffee drinks (and everything else in the hospitality biz) would cost less.

            The problem wasn’t entirely with “tech” itself; rather, the problem was that the people who make policy in SF decided that the city would cater exclusively to a narrow class, age, and marital status demographic, effectively scuttling a diverse and skilled working family class base that would ensure resilience during economic downturns.

            Now the city is hosed, and it’s its own damned fault for turning its back on the working class families that built this city and made it great.

          • Posted by jimbo

            2beers, i was in the southeast this summer (3 states). the price of cappuccino is roughly the same despite $250K homes

      • Posted by Daniel

        “get”. Mind, a lot of ppl will say don’t let the door hit you. The bigger issue though is with people investing and putting, just to see everything vanish in an bottomless pit of squalor and corruption.

  10. Posted by SFPiddler

    Some people have a lot of assets and are just done with SF. Sell it & move on, and any lumps taken in the process are not going to move the needle that much in the grand scheme of things.

  11. Posted by geekgrrl

    Don’t forget the $1,843/month HOA dues and $400 parking fee – not clear if the parking fee is annual or monthly.

  12. Posted by Jimmy The Landlord

    I’ve asked my real estate agent to offer these [people] $800,000 in cash for this dump. It’s horribly dated and the location is terrible (it’s in a crime ridden city that people can’t wait to leave). Even at that price, with the exorbitant HOA and parking costs, it would be a financial loser unless I could rent it for $10,000/mo but I am willing to do the sellers a favor and help them unload this albatross.

    • Posted by sparky-b

      you’re truly an angel. Doing the lords work

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