Alright alright, so the big trend is obviously that this city is mind bogglingly expensive, and yes, you already knew that. But have you seen the most recent Pricenomics update on which neighborhood is blowing up the fastest? It is not, in fact, the Mission. When increase in median rent is measured from 2011, the Mission’s rents increased third most after Civic Center and Bernal Heights, with a median one-bedroom price of $3,610 a month. Note, that’s most dramatic increase in median rent, not actually the most expensive rent.
When rent cost increase is measured from last year, the Mission sits way down in 20th place, which I guess means that the neighborhood was already blown up by last year, which I’m sure will surprise just about nobody.
What might surprise you is that West Portal’s rents actually decreased (What? That happens?) from 2011 to 2015 by about 2 percent. Even crazier: In the last year, rents have dropped in the Castro, Bayview, Excelsior, Bernal Heights, Hayes Valley and West Portal, if just by a few percent.
In terms of sales, there’s one silver lining to this absurdly hot housing market, and that is city funding. The city collects a transfer tax, and this week the Assessor Recorder reported that, while the number of total filings in the last fiscal year has decreased, the dollar amount of transfer tax collected is at an all-time high of about $314 million. About 64 percent of those funds go to the city’s general fund, and roughly 34 percent goes to education funding. Since the city’s extremely short on teachers due to the fact that the school district can’t pay teachers a living wage, a boost in education money is probably a good thing.
Finally, in what may not be a trend but does qualify as another telling example of how twisted things have gotten in this housing market, Buzzfeed reports that tech workers are now moving into a local senior home. That’s right, for $2,000 a month, newcomers who have landed San Francisco jobs are now moving into roughly 300 square-foot studios at the Vincentian Villa on Mission street, which was bought by an L.A. based company last year. 60 percent of the units there remain Section 8 and reserved for the elderly, but the rest are now market rate studios. Full story, including fun jokes about multigenerational bridge games and arthritis, here.
Oh, and you probably heard that San Francisco was recently named the best food city in America by Bon Appetit Magazine, and that Al’s Place on Valencia and 25th was named the best new restaurant in the whole country. So the restaurant boom is certainly working out for some — though Plin is shifting gears and the Slow Club is closing — and there are, of course, more restaurants on the way, because apparently you can’t have too many of those. Or you can, and the ambitious new restaurateurs just haven’t realized it yet.
At the northwest corner of 16th and Valencia, for example, the large green corner building is being renovated and a worker on site told us it was going to become a restaurant, though style and flavor are as yet unclear.
On Mission between 20th and 21st, an application is in to turn the ground floor space from retail use into something called Lotus Restaurant. More details on that as they come in.
Speaking of Mission Street. A little while ago we put out an update, and then another, on the building destroyed by a fire on Mission and 22nd streets. But of course there were two buildings on Mission that suffered a big fire recently.
The former Big House building, the one that burned down between 22nd and 23rd in September of last year, is now completely demolished, but a property manager there told me the family that owns the lot is still deciding what to do with it and may take their time.
Next door, the former New Mission City store has also been shut down since the fire, and owner Jeff Thiebaut said he’s just waiting on his permits to go through for reconstruction. He said the building has been in his family since the late 1920s and that he intends to keep it exactly as it was — no condos, no building up, just a restoration.