A Mission Address: the New Status Symbol?

The Quad identified by Jennifer Rosdail

Capp Street has long been known for prostitution. Now, it will also be known for the street where a single family home sold for $3.5 million – $125,000 under its listing price, but still possibly the highest price ever for a place east of Mission Street.

The sale of 507 Capp St. took place in the fall. Today, realtors said, the five-bedroom, six-bath house, which sold  in 2012 for $1.275 million before extensive renovation, would probably go for more.

The Mission – and in particular a radius around 20th  and Valencia streets –  is  the epicenter of a new market that  Jennifer Rosdail, an agent with the Paragon Real Estate Group, describes in a blog post as “The Quad.”

Rosdail said in an interview that  the  area – edgier than Noe Valley –  was moving up sharply in value because of the weather, its walkability and the grit, but one of her clients suggested an alternative reason: status.  He told her that it was about “having an address at the center of the universe.”

Mark Zuckerberg, after all, is nearby just west of Guerrero and well within The Quad.

For some, buying in the Mission “might be the thing that tells the other guys you are really all that,” Rosdail said. On her blog she added, it at least puts “you at the center of the party.”

In terms of other sales, she pointed to 837 South Van Ness, a double lot that listed for $1.395 million and sold for $1.9 million in the fall.  It last sold in 2004 for $244,000 and remains a fixer-up.

Rosdail describes the quad  on her blog  as cutting across real estate districts running from “from 17th & Market to Market & Valencia to 25th & Shotwell to 25th & Church and back again”

“Quadsters are young – under 40 anyway.  They like to hang in the sun with their friends.  They work very hard  – mostly in high tech – and make a lot of money,” she writes adding, “since they work on “campuses,” and are the millennial version of the Cow Hollow “Triangle” dwellers of the 70s and 80s, the name “The Quad” seems a good fit.”

Quadsters like the mix, she writes, of “lux and grit” which is a good description of the 500 block of Capp Street. It includes the Tenant’s Union at 558 Capp St. and low income apartment complexes as well as the Community Music Center at 544 Capp St.  and the former home of the conceptual artist David Ireland at 500 Capp St.


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  1. John

    Amazing. I actually went to see this building when it was up for sale in late 1997. I was interested because it was unusually large for a SFH.

    I cannot recall the asking price but my budget back then was about half a million so it was certainly no more than that. I thought it was cheap but someone snapped it up before I could offer. At the time it was ground zero for hookers and that put off a lot of buyers, making it a bargain.

    Whoever beat me out scored a ten bagger. Hmmmf.

  2. marcos

    Used to be that between 14th and 18th and Folsom and Guerrero was known as “The Devil’s Quadrangle” when I first moved here.

    • John

      The Mission is too large to comfortably be one neighborhood with a single feel like, say, cole Valley does.

      There are a number of different ways to sub-divide the Mission into logical areas. Clearly the former industrial areas to the east have a very different feel to them than the leafy, sloping hills of the west. While the busy flatlands in the central area are different again.

      Realtors already have several designations for different parts of the Mission. But i like the concept being presented here i.e. that there is rhomboid core of prosperity that is driving the New Mission.

      • JZ

        Get over yourself.

      • marcos

        No refutation to my recollection of the Devil’s Quadrangle, just the usual thread hijack.

        • John

          I can neither confirm nor deny your categorization but I found the topic of the article more interesting and relevant, hence my lack of a response to you.

          • marcos

            Then shut the fuck up, troll.

          • John

            marcos, a little control of anger might really help you. If all you have to say in a comment is an abusive attack on another commentator, it is time for a pause and a breath.

            Your comment applied to 14th to 18th streets and the property in question is south of 20th St.

          • marcos

            You are confusing disgust with anger.

          • John

            No matter. when you lapse into an emotional over-reaction, you have lost the fight.

            He who loses control, loses the battle.

          • marcos

            If I could puke through the keyboard, over the wire, and out from your screen, I’d just as soon…

          • John

            It’s not clear to me why you would want your lack of self-control and bad temper to become such public knowledge.

            Why not instead try commenting on the substance of the article? In this case, that is the market-beating sale of 507 Capp and the emergence of a vibrant new district in the heart of the New Mission.

          • marcos

            You inspire projectile vomiting.

          • John

            If you allow yourself to be played like a fiddle, then I’m happy to conduct.

          • marcos

            You really should change your alias to the Spanish word “asco.”

          • missionista

            Marcos, you’re really not helping your case. You’re coming off as a real jerk with nothing worth saying, despite the interesting comment you started out with. I lived at 19th and Valencia in the 90’s and never heard of the Devil’s Quadrangle, so I’m glad you enlightened me. Everything else you wrote makes me think that you made up the Devil’s Quadrangle thing.

          • marcos

            Missionista, I’m not making a case. I made a statement of what I heard when I first moved here in the late 1980s and the resident troll latched on.

            I really don’t care if anyone agrees or disagrees with my statement, I have no investment in convincing people. I was simply sharing a memory.

  3. Mark

    It feels like dumb luck to me. I bought in this neighborhood because – at the time – it was all I could afford. Now, similar places are selling for more than triple the price I paid.

    Another interesting fact is that my neighbors and I routinely get unsolicited purchase offers. Just this week, I recieved a letter from a realtor. Eventually I will bite.

  4. Born and raised in the Mission. Lived by 19th & Mission 37 +. I am white and left for a few years. Right away I knew something was different when I went home. The Mission my Mom & Dad were also born and raised in was no more. On our block alone my neighbors were, Irish, Mexican, India, Chile, Vietnamese, Puerto Rican and many other ethnicities. Gone are the people who all were in the same boat and really cared for each other. I love the redesign of Mission Playground and Dolores but now it feels Noe Valley has slid over the hill and has taken over the Mission. My Mission, are days on end at Nickel pool, concerts at Dolores, Carnival & Cinco De Mayo Parades, Sweet bread after Mass at St. Peter’s. Upside not a big gang presence around 19th and Mission. The times are a changing.

  5. Ben

    The so-called “edge” is basically drunks, junkies and homeless passed out on the sidewalks. Thanks to SF General, this won’t ever change.

    The gang problem seems to have thankfully cooled way down.

  6. ds

    It’s surprising to me what isn’t included in the “quad” – the 20th street corridor east of Mission has transformed quite a bit in recent years (Flour & Water, Trick Dog, Central Kitchen). Plus Local Cellar on Florida, Local Mission Market on Harrison and 22nd. The epicenter may be around 20th and Valencia, but the radius expands out much further.

    • poor.ass.millionaire

      Yup, the 20th st corridor & 24th st, aka inner mission, is the new quad, aka the new new mission.

    • landline

      That part of 20th Street is within the boundaries of the titled area invented by the real estate broker in her marketing attempt at neighborhood differentiation and higher prices. Thankfully, my apartment falls outside the boundaries.

      Did you know that the South Bronx is now SoBro?

      • John

        Lydia talked about the 20th Street transformation in a recent piece titled “The Hub”.

        It makes sense that that street has upgraded since it is mid-way between the 16th and 24th arteries, and provides services for people for whom four blocks is a long walk.

        And it dovetails neatly with the “Quad” area talked about here.

      • marcos

        I heard that there was a proposal to rename the area to the northeast of this quad, where the MIssion, SOma and POtrero come together as MiSoPo.

      • poor.ass.millionaire

        But the hip part of 20th is further to the east. “The quad” cuts off at so van ness. You gotta go closer to harrison for $5 lattes and $14 sandwiches. What’s at 20/SVN? Mr pickle $6 sandos? Not so hip…bro.

  7. Blexxxch

    Hahahahaha. They like the grit! Hahaha. They don’t like the grit. Let’s be real. They talk about “Cleaning up the Mission” all the time. Now it’s “Cleaning up the Plaza” at 16th street. Grit is some detached idea that will somehow give them street cred without actually facing the issues – crime, poverty, homelessness, gangs…

  8. Michael Andrade

    “Quadsters are under forty”. She failed to mention they’re also all white and all dress alike. I’m in deep mourning over the death of the Mission.

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