2555 Union Living

Quietly purchased for $9.75 million in March of 2015, which was nearly 23 percent more than the home had fetched in 2012, despite the “short term hold” and it having been “used” between, the modern Cow Hollow home at 2555 Union Street returned to the market priced at $14.2 million in October of 2020, a sale at which would have represented total appreciation of 45.6 percent from 2015 to 2020, just slightly above the 39 percent increase in the widely misreported Case-Shiller Index for “San Francisco” over the same period of time.

2555 Union Kitchen

Gutted and remodeled by Sheinholtz Associates in the 1990’s and then rebuilt in concrete, steel, aluminum and glass by Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects in 2006, 2555 Union Street measures roughly 6,000 square feet across four floors, with a showpiece stainless Bulthaup kitchen at the heart of the home, which opens to the dining room, family room and terrace behind.

2555 Union Family

Having failed to sell in 2020, 2555 Union was relisted anew for $12.6 million in October of 2021, then again for $12.3 million last year, and then again for $10.2 million last month, a sale at which would now be considered to be “at asking,” and without any reductions, according to all industry stats and aggregate reports.

A sale “at asking” would also represent net appreciation of just 4.6 percent for the high-end home since the first quarter of 2015, while the Case-Shiller Index for “San Francisco,” which has already dropped nearly 20 percent over the past ten months, is “still up 58 percent!” over the same period of time.

If you think you know the market for high-end homes in established San Francisco neighborhoods, now’s the time to tell.

29 thoughts on “Modern $10 Million Cow Hollow Home in Contract”
  1. This is a trophy home that attracts billionaires many of whom pay all cash and are somewhat immune to mortgage interest rates. The Bay Area has the second largest concentration of billionaires in the US second to New York metro. We’re going through tough time now with negative media narratives yet The City just announced grant program called “Vacant to Vibrant” to help retail tenants, arts organizations and commercial property owners activate vacant Downtown space. We have many many creative minds here to rekindle civic pride. My family moved here with our hearts not our heads from New York in 1996 knowing full well how expensive it is here yet you get big return on your money in terms of networking, opportunities, culture, commerce & creativity.

    1. One great way to “activate vacant Downtown space” would be to do what is done when rents are rising: find out what “the market will bear, iow lower the rent until a tenant is found.

    2. AFA culture : the Bay Area is now down to 3 sports teams. How many does NY have? LA? Chicago? Bay Area/ SF cultural significance is dwindling rapidly.

          1. If you don’t think soccer or hockey are major sports, then it says something indeed about how in touch you are. It’s time to update your cultural references.

      1. What nonsense.

        Was LA’s “cultural significance” reduced when it had 0 NFL teams for 20 years?

        1. LA has had world class championship baseball and basketball teams for decades (more titles and championships than any Bay Area teams). And previously home to the Raiders, which the Bay also lost. And now 2 NFL teams, one winning a Super Bowl last year.

          1. The Dodgers are world class in a Covid-shortened season. Otherwise, you’re looking at 1988. . . The Oakland A’s have the same number of championships since then. . .

          2. You talk about decades in LA and yet somehow miss (or refuse to credit) that just in the past 13 years without the As and the Raiders, the Giants had 3 World Series wins, the Warriors earned 4 NBA championships, and the 49ers have been to 2 Super Bowls.

          3. Boston has “only” three major sports teams (one of them in the ‘burbs, like the 49ers), and it’s a world-class city.

            In fact personally, I could care less about whether a city has major league sports, when I’m looking at the overall appeal and livability of that city.

          4. What culture does SF and Bay Area have that LA doesn’t have 10x more, with much better weather? And an international airport that can actually go places non-stop.

          5. LA and SF are different places. Not better or worse than each other, but they are very different. If you like LA, you might not like SF, and vice versa.

    3. Billionaires are entirely immune to mortgage interest rates on their sub-$10m personal properties, but not at all immune to interest rates more generally (including to the broader impact that rising interest rates have on asset values more generally). Love SF, but that doesn’t mean that all of these properties are worth what they were worth during the height of an asset bubble.

      Maybe I’ll be completely wrong, but I doubt it. Around the corner, 2611 Filbert is relisting for 5% more than it sold for after a bidding war last fall….maybe they “know” the market better (or maybe they just don’t want to lose money after paying a brokers’ fee…after all, I want a pony too).

    4. The only person who’d think this was a “trophy home” for a billionaire is someone who’s never seen a trophy home for a billionaire.

  2. Hey SS, what do you mean by the comment “If you think you know the market for high-end homes in established San Francisco neighborhoods, now’s the time to tell”. Like are you saying that reader should get in touch with the people involved? I know you post it about different times that people get rinsed in the market, but I’ve never seen that phrase used like that anywhere else and I still don’t really get what it means.

    1. Jerry: it means that readers who think they know what the subject property should sell for should post a comment in the thread telling us what they think that selling price is, prior to the actual closing price being disclosed.

  3. I have talked to both downtown brokers and building owners who have vacant space they are trying to fill…for zero rent…and they still can’t attract a desirable user. It’s a myth that all you have to do is lower the rent and the vacant commercial space will fill up.

    1. Another retail tenant, Anthropologie, bailing out of union square. All those billionaires in SF cant keep the doors open.

    2. Well, I am sure everyone would love to hear what downtown brokers and building owners who have vacant space to fill would agree is “a desirable user” before we agree that lowering the rent doesn’t work.

      If what you’re saying is true and the downtown brokers and building owners you’ve been talking to are correct, then there would be no need for The City to spend the “about $700,000” that’s been allocated to operate the just announced grant program called “Vacant to Vibrant” mentioned earlier in this thread by Robert Heller during the same time period The City is projecting a $728 million deficit over the next two fiscal years, largely due to lower property, business and real estate transfer taxes.

      1. “Well, I am sure everyone would love to hear what downtown brokers and building owners who have vacant space to fill would agree is “a desirable user” before we agree that lowering the rent doesn’t work.”

        Landlord seeks $1B+cap multinational corp to occupy millions of sq ft of vacant office space for free (excluding triple net). Local merchants, artisans, and PDR uses need not apply.

  4. Very simple…a desirable user is someone who will keep the doors open regular business hours, have activity on the ground floor (not an office, not a bank), who will enliven the street, have attractive or interesting window displays, who will be seen as a resource to be used by prospective upper floor office tenants, and is complementary to other uses in the neighborhood.

    In other words, desirable to a broker and building owner is exactly the same thing that is desirable to other struggling businesses and properties in the neighborhood and the citizenry who would use those businesses and properties.

  5. If you buy this home, be sure to budget for a full-time household staff member just to keep all of that stainless steel polished and fingerprint-free. That looks like an unending job, kind of like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. By the time you finish at one end, you need to start over at the other.

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