| February 2012
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By Corrie M. Anders
Condos ranging in price from $900,000 to $1.6 million went on sale last month at the new Luxe complex at 208 28th St. The site was once the home of the “Blue Church.”
Single-family home buyers were joined by some heavy-hitter apartment investors in a flurry of real estate activity in Noe Valley during the final two months of last year.
¥ Homebuyers purchased 20 houses during November and December—matching the sales pace of 2010.
¥ A developer put the finishing touches on a six-unit luxury condominium complex, built on the site of the infamous “Blue Church.”
¥ Investors paid $12.1 million for a 40-unit apartment building on Cesar Chavez Street that offers sweeping views of downtown San Francisco and the East Bay.
A Busy November
The real estate market traditionally slows during the winter holiday season. And 2011 was no exception.
But home shoppers who wanted to live in Noe Valley created a “brisk” demand for both houses and condominiums, said Randall Kostick, general manager of Zephyr Real Estate, which supplies monthly sales data to the Voice.
Eighteen single-family homes closed escrow in November and two in December, according to Zephyr. That compared to 21 sales during the same period in 2010 and 19 transactions during the last two months of 2009.
The unusually high number of sales in November most likely was a statistical anomaly. Kostick said sales bunched up as some transactions rolled into November from October and others that would have closed escrow in December did so more quickly than is customary.
Eleven of the 18 single-family homes cost more than $1 million, and one dwelling sold for more than $2 million. Nine of the properties sold for more than the asking price, Kostick noted.
Buyers paid $2,133,000 in November for the most expensive property, a six-bedroom, six-bath home with three-car parking and 3,150 square feet of space. It is located in the 900 block of Dolores Street, between 22nd and 23rd streets.
In December, the highest-priced property was a large home in the 1300 block of Guerrero Street between 25th and 26th streets. The $1,650,000 sales price included four bedrooms and 3.5 baths, in 3,750 square feet of space.
Condo shoppers closed escrow on 15 units during November and December, a drop from the 22 sales recorded for the same period in 2010.
The priciest unit in November, with three bedrooms and 3.5 baths, cost $1,340,000. The 2,228-square-foot condo is located in the 500 block of Diamond Street between 22nd and 23rd streets.
Buyers in December paid $869,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bath unit in the 200 block of 29th Street between Church and Dolores streets.
Blue Church a Fading Memory
The sales launch last month of the Luxe condo complex marked the end of a five-year quest to develop the corner at Church and 28th streets. The spot was once occupied by a movie theater (the Lux) and later by the Church of San Francisco, known for its royal-blue paint job.
“We are excited about it,” said Keely Ferguson, a real estate agent with Vanguard Properties, the firm selling the condos. “It’s been a long haul.”
The complex features three two-bedroom condos and three townhouses, a courtyard with a fireplace and kitchen, eight-car parking, and ground-floor commercial space. The building’s modern facade is painted yellow, white, and rust, and a more subdued shade of blue.
The two-bedroom units are priced at around $900,000, while the town homes carry price tags of $1.3 million to $1.6 million, said Ferguson.
Ferguson said there had been widespread interest in the property since late last year, as construction neared completion.
“It’s hard to find modern construction in a traditional neighborhood,” she explained. “There are people who want modern living but don’t want to live in a high-rise in SoMa.”
Plans to develop the site began in 2006 as a partnership between the church and Oakland-based J. Branch Developments, Inc. The partnership perished in a contentious court battle between the Rev. Joesiah Bell—the church’s social activist pastor—and developer James Branch. The church and a small band of followers were evicted in 2009 and Branch began construction last year.
Woodmont Cos. of Belmont purchased this 40-unit apartment building at 4130-40 Cesar Chavez St. for $12.1 million in December. Photos by Corrie M. Anders
Homes for High-Tech Workers
The Dec. 8 purchase of 4130-40 Cesar Chavez St. was the latest Noe Valley deal for Woodmont Companies, a partnership based in Belmont. In July, the partnership also bought a 27-unit apartment building on Alvarado Street and a 45-unit complex on Clipper Street.
The location was a prime factor in the decision to purchase the property, said Greg Galli, the group’s managing partner.
“First, it’s Noe Valley, and it’s sitting on a hillside where every unit has stunning views of downtown. On top of that, you’ve got the tech thing going on even bigger than I imagined,” said Galli, referring to the large percentage of high-tech and bio-tech workers who reside in the neighborhood.
The Lembi family, a high-flying concern that owned thousands of apartments throughout San Francisco but collapsed in the 2008-09 real estate crash, once held the Cesar Chavez Street property. Klingbeil Capital Management purchased the property from the Lembi portfolio two years ago, then sold it to Woodmont in December.
Noe Valley Home Sales*
Low Price ($)
High Price ($)
Average Price ($)
Average Days on Market
Sale Price as % of List Price
2- to 4-unit buildings
*‑ ‑Sales include all Noe Valley home sales completed during the month. Noe Valley in this survey is defined as the area bordered by Grand View, 22nd, Guerrero, and 30th streets. The Voice thanks Zephyr Real Estate (www.zephyrsf.com) for providing the sales data. NVV 2/2012
Noe Valley Rents**
No. in Sample
$1,400 – $2,500
$1,675 / mo.
$1,130 / mo.
$1,495 / mo.
$1,695 – $2,850
$2,222 / mo.
$1,983 / mo.
$2,200 / mo.
$2,100 – $6,000
$3,525 / mo.
$3,415 / mo.
$2,745 / mo.
$3,300 – $9,000
$5,222 / mo.
$4,517 / mo.
$3,972 / mo.
$4,200 – $5,250
$4,725 / mo.
$10,000 / mo.
$6,142 / mo.
** ‑This survey is based on a sample of 49 Noe Valley apartment listings appearing on Craigslist.org from Jan. 9 to 20, 2012. NVV 2/2012