Developments in Development is a “weekly” column recapping real estate, business, planning, zoning and construction news.
Yes, San Francisco now has the dubious honor of being named the fourth-most congested city in the world and has terrible roads, but at least it’s also apparently the best city to live in car-free. That might have something to do with the source of that evaluation being a realty company averaging the city’s “walk scores” …but no, I’m all about silver linings this week.
And yeah, half of a SRO room in the Tenderloin costs $800 a month, but you don’t really need space to live your Silicon Valley Dream with this “Unicorn Startup Simulator” that SFist was kind enough to highlight. Work out all your schadenfreude kinks while you’re at it and decide to kill or spare reporters who write mean things about your startup.
Let’s go back to that $800 half-room for a second. According to one estimate, that’s not even a bad deal, because the average rent for a room (a room, not a one-bedroom apartment) in San Francisco is now close to $2,000.
That is so expletive-worthy that I’m actually inclined not to believe it, especially given another calculation, also noted in the first story, that indicates median rent for a room is about $1300. Still ludicrous, but not as surprising. There’s also the fact that the $2,000 a month figure comes from simply taking the rent prices of multi-bedroom units on the market and dividing by the number of bedrooms, which doesn’t factor in those rooms for rent in apartments with a master tenant who has been in place for a while. Those kinds of rooms must still be out there. Right? Right??
I put that to the test and yeah, it seems my (non-scientific) Craigslist experiment confirms the bleak outlook. You want something for $1,000 or less? Well, it’s gonna be in the Western fringes of the city and you definitely will not have a kitchen. In this one, cooking isn’t even allowed. Or you could sleep on a cot in the corner of a SoMa shared apartment. Spring for $200 a month more and your options look a little less bleak, with one option even in the Mission!
Real rooms with access to a real kitchen, in the Mission District, are going for closer to $1,500 a month and easily up to $1,800 a month, especially once you factor in utilities. At that point, why not rent a studio? Those are starting to become available for something like $1800, $1,900 a month in parts of town, and at least there you could potentially move in with a significant other, spouse, or like, even a cat. And, not like it needs saying at this point, but just imagine being a family of three who just got the boot and is looking for a place.
Enough about renting. Let’s talk about selling.
The developers of a project on Cesar Chavez street near Guerrero are apparently pulling out, putting their site up for sale even after going through the entitlement process. This is the development that neighbors complained about at a community meeting in August last year. The developers are looking to offload the site, permitted as it is, for $8 million. That, Socketsite calculates, puts the per-unit cost to build this place at about $333,000 per door.
Remember when SocketSite reported that the Baha’í temple on Valencia near the freeway was up for sale? We were never able to reach anyone there to figure out what was going on. Now, it turns out, the neighboring building, which currently houses the furniture store Stuff, is for sale too. The lot is zoned to go up to 50 feet, but with what happened at that other end of that block, more height there might not fly.