Having been successfully entitled for a modern five-story, 31-unit building to rise up to 56 feet in height on the 12,500-square-foot Duboce Triangle site last year, the former furniture warehouse turned art gallery and designer loft at 67-69 Belcher Street is now back on the market and listed for $7.6 million rather than preparing to break ground.

Quietly acquired for $4.9 million in June of 2021, prior to being entitled for the bonus-sized development to rise above the 40-foot height limit for the parcel as zoned, the 67-69 Belcher Street site fetched $9.35 million in March of 2016, having been priced at $12.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. We’ll keep you posted an plugged-in.

23 thoughts on “Approved Duboce Triangle Development! (Listed for Sale)”
  1. Is short term tenant in place, or has structure been demolished? Any disclosed enviro clean up issues? Would proposed white brick exterior start to look dirty and gray over time?

      1. The same architecture firm, Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Inc., designed both 603 Tennessee St. and this one, 69 Belcher St.. In residential architecture it’s not at all uncommon for architects to plagiarize themselves or recycle their own work (depending on your point of view).
        While I agree that this and the Tennessee St. building are both offensively ugly, at least his firm isn’t planning on inflicting any more Brutalist cast concrete columbariums on us in the near future.

  2. While it’s tempting to see, promote or editorialize an opportunity to fulfill the state’s mandate to permit 82,000 new homes by 2031 by forcing the Board of Supervisors to acquiesce to the will of the local developer community, politically repress existing S.F. residents by omitting opportunities for public participation in the planning process and allowing buildings to go without necessary seismic safety upgrades or fire safety features, all in the name of “building our way out of the housing crisis”, the listing of this entitled property implies that building new housing still makes absolutely no economic sense for the vast majority of San Francisco’s potential new housing sites due to recent demand destruction stemming from job losses in the highest-paying sector of the local economy, a marked surplus of luxury units priced well out of the financial reach of the vast majority of other local workers and knock-on effects of declining rents and home values.

    1. Politically repress SF Residents…. LOL LOL

      That’s a good one. A city filled with a very vocal and demanding citizenry empowered to waylay virtually anything just by complying about the size of a door knob or the color of a window frame…. HA HA HA

      1. You’re talking about how things were in the past. I’m talking about the state of things now and going forward.

        In case you haven’t been keeping up with current events, rules around discretionary review have been changed to developers benefit for certain projects, the timelines to be able to challenge a development proposal have been tightened up over the past couple of years, and just earlier this month, Senator Scott Wiener added to his barrage of bills at the State level over the past five years with Senate Bill 1227, allowing developers to sidestep CEQA challenges.

        Of course, the point is that all of this new repression isn’t going to get new housing built if developers continue to get projects entitled and them flip them on the market instead of breaking ground.

    2. Well I sure am glad that we won’t have any additional unaffordable luxury units… Just an 8000 square foot custom home.

      I mean, I think it looks really cool (and I sure am glad they didn’t demolish it and then abandon the project, which would’ve been a tragedy), but let’s not kid ourselves about which future is more “luxury”.

    1. This geometry could be an interesting juxtaposition in a postwar industrial district, but not at this scale on this residential street. It’s like the loudly patterned boxer shorts that no one else needs to see when the cavalier owner bends over.

      Why doesn’t the city require renderings from the north and south showing this structure in the context of the scale and composition of the existing buildings on both sides of the street for the entire length of the block in the winter then the trees are without leaves?

    2. To me, 603 Tenn. has at least a certain richness, something that challenges the eye a little like Escher. And it doesn’t rattle the senses quite as much when viewed in person at street level, in context of its surroundings.

      No hope for this one however, I’m afraid, it’s a interesting as looking at the profile of a care tire.

    1. It’s not buyers that are shunning it, it’s builders – construction and borrowing costs are very high, rents and sales prices are down, and projects that may have made financial sense when they were put together a couple of years ago no longer “pencil out.” There are almost no new construction starts happening in SF on market rate projects.

      I keep expecting to see the project up the street at 55 Belcher go on the market. It was designed and entitled by the now-embattled Sia Consulting, whose founder and a key employee pled guilty to conspiracy charges earlier this year and will be sentenced, maybe to prison, in April. I’m not sure they actually owned the site but I’ve been surprised it hasn’t hit the market as an entitled project and property for sale. Doesn’t seem likely that it’s going to get built by Sia.

      For those developers who have spent millions to acquire a property, design a new project, and then take it through the labyrinth of entitlement, it’s a tough time, as many projects no longer make financial sense. That leaves those developers holding the bag and, in many cases, they are desperate to get rid of it.

      1. That’s all a reasonable explanation. As to your last ‘graph, what I don’t understand is why the investors who purchased the property during the Summer of 2021 (likely on a highly leveraged basis, and when interest rates where near generational lows) assume that in exchange for all the backbreaking, hand callus-causing work in the hot, hot sun of getting the project entitled and for an ultimate building with a higher height than as zoned they earned a 43 percent increase (assuming it trades at the current $7.6 million listing price) in property value?

        Every time an entitled project gets flipped, so much potential profit gets taken out by the flipping party it increases the delay in actual building, because the new owner can just say “well, the project no longer “pencils out.” And then they sit on the property until rents or sales prices for condos goes up to a level where actually completing the housing will make a lender satisfied. So the entitled property flipping itself contributes meaningfully to gentrification and the perpetuation of S.F.’s affordable housing crisis.

  3. This comment feed, like many others on this site, is disheartening in the rather bleak and elitist way that is a glistening example of the New San Francisco ethos. While, I am an immigrant to the city (though my father is a fifth generation native born san francisco), i have lived here for fifteen years now. And as a millennial, i have never known a time when SF was not the textbook example of unattainably high real estate prices. But i distinctly recall a time when this city’s populous had at least some genuine concern of the lower class’s basic welfare. Though, these days, the aristocracy appears to have entirely abandoned any such practice. And any semiconscious soul living in a modern capitalist democracy would know that the rich don’t commit to much concern for the poor. But there are two blaring ironies in the current positioning of the have’s and the have-not’s:

    The first being, that thought regarding the availability of affordable housing here has almost entirely vanished, at a time when there are literally tens high thousands of unhoused San Franciscians battling to literally survive on the streets of our city. And those lucky enough to afford residency here have no end to the complaints about having to see tents on their sidewalks, and their sheer terror around the decay, crime and perceived threat to their comfortable existence that the unhoused bring. But how is it with all of this chaos on the street and fear impacting the real estate rates due to encampments, broken car windows, and open air drug use, that the bourgeois have completely uncoupled the concepts of housing affordability and homelessness? If a lack of affordable housing, is impacting the real profit margins, and homelessness pushing out brick-and-mortar retail commerce, how can developers, and those wealthy enough to buy here not follow logic to the obvious conclusion that we must develop at least some place for those who have been priced right out onto the sidewalk. I mean, this is not a novel phenomenon. Ask Karl Marx. Or look into almost any given era of recorded human civilization. The poor, who are usually the majority of any population, and who usually perform all of the labor, and menial tasks, require places to live indoors. Its inevitable. Though, for the past several years, aided by Mayor Breed’s “pro-buisness” policies, any discussion about where the poor are supposed to live had almost entirely vanished. Even the YIMBYS are hoping to develop in-law units to list them for the hugely inflated SF market-rates. Have the high price of SF’s property rates become so enticing that even the consideration for the majority of resident’s access to basic housing needs evaporated entirely?

    The other irony is that many of those who have had the privilege to buy into property here, did so at a time when the market was much more accessible. Both in availability, and price. Many of these (okay! i am just gonna say it….) Boomers, who own their homes here, got to buy in at a time when a home was 1/10th of the cost today, and income rates were significantly higher relatively. Just as many of the (saying it…) white, wealthy, baby-boomers also had the luck to attend college at a time when tuition was also pittance compared to today. And the unearned privilege of generational wealth bestowed upon them by horrific policies such as redlining. And when they moved here jn the 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s many of them did so both for the opportunity inherent to this magnificent city, and for the relative accessability and acceptance of the birthplace of free love. And now that time has progressed to benefit their investments, via housing market gains, and the deliberate stagnation of wage-growth, any thoughts about the next wave of earners (potential investors) went the way of the 8-track and the laser disk. The same unfortunate direction that the acceptance, and inclusivity that pulled the boomers generation here with promises of rent control and free love has gone. Does the bonkers level of wealth required to live here necessarily cause someone to become hostile and bitter to anyone who was not privileged enough to buy in when cost was high, and prices low?? Or maybe the two recent tech booms have imported a new class of people who became incredibly wealthy with such little effort so rapidly that they simply lack any concept of struggling to pay the rent. Many of them were earning salaries of $175k at 23 years old in their first full time job. Something that took their parents much longer to accomplish. Ultimately this is a matter of caste. And, while caste is not also, nothing new; this idea that completely ignoring the housing needs of the majority of a population for the sake of market gains, and personal profits is not something i am really familiar with. The wealthy have chosen to totally forsake the poor by pretending that there is no reason for their consideration whatsoever. And as long as developers, and investors, and policy makers, and the few people who can fund a venture into real estate, continue to avoid discussing making housing available to those in a lower tax bracket, and narrow their focus on their trending distaste for brutalist columns and white stucco, that there will never be any issue with their dying city, decaying society or their precariously delicate panoramic bay view profit margins. To call this practice delusional would be an understatement. perhaps derangement is a more apt descriptor.

    Either way, your discussions have totally validated the theory that the bourgeois have completely lost sight the intersectionality of real estate profits, the increasing wealth gap, and the health of a functioning society. And in that blindness they cannot (choose not) to see that they are profiting their system directly into assured self destruction. That way leads only to violent bloody revolution. Go and ask Marie Antoinette. And while she never really told the poor to eat cake, I have seen it written on the streets of San Francisco, “let them smoke fent…”

    1. I think eventually the government will take a crack at building affordable housing again, but perhaps in a way so that it essentially runs at at breakeven aka perhaps 20% off market rate. That should help the middle class quite a bit.

      It’s a worldwide problem, not an SF problem. NYC is too expensive for the working poor, and that’s why they don’t live in Manhattan (SF), they live in Hayward. Same for Paris (they live in the exurbs).

      There has been a 50 year trend of under building housing and everyone has now woken up to it. We have already hit rock bottom and are working our way back up. The massive amount of pro-construction legislation that has passed in CA is a great example.

    2. Proletariat, welcome to socketsite. Here’s a taste of common sentiment around here among those in the S.F. real estate “game” which I am posting to give you a sense of how they’d answer your question about “how can [they] not follow logic to the obvious conclusion that we must develop at least some place for those who have been priced right out…” (if they deigned to read your entire comment):

      If you’re not willing to overpay for the privilege of SF cost of living, there is decent quality of life in places such as santa rosa for example, that would still allow access to SF. Maybe that’s triggering for some because it violates their personal sense of fairness.
      — Posted by ‘Fact’ January 7, 2024 at 12:29 pm

      Also, when it comes to the homeless, most of those in the S.F. real estate “game” that comment here simply deny that the homeless are San Franciscans and they relocated here after already being homeless in order to take advantage of City services. Their preferred solution seems to be to advocate for relocating the homeless out of The City.

    3. Railing against reality is certainly satisfying on some level, but effectiveness is dramatically reduced with assumptions about motivation that are, at least, not entirely accurate and veer into mischaracterization. Specific policy proposals would be more useful than an expression of bitterness at other’s good fortune.

      I certainly qualify as one of the “bourgeois” that you rail against, yet I do care about affordable housing and believe that a vibrant city requires a diverse population. I want to help make SF better for all who live here. So how should “developers, and investors, and policy makers” make “housing available to those in a lower tax bracket?”

      What percentage of BMR in a project maximizes the number of BMR units? Which government entity should provide how much housing subsidy? What are the qualifications for that subsidy and what is the process? Should we relax environmental regulations and reform zoning and streamline the permitting process? What are the unintended consequences of doing so?

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