Eco-Luxe Guitar House Newly Listed for $25 Million in Marin

Sitting on an 11-acre hilltop parcel upon which Bill Graham’s last home once sat at 800 Corte Madera Avenue in Marin, the so-called ‘Guitar House’ compound took over five years to complete and includes a nearly 10,000 square foot main house in addition to a two-bedroom guest home, staff quarters and a pool-side cabana.

800 Corte Madera Ave - Dining
800 Corte Madera Ave - Kitchen
800 Corte Madera Ave -Living
800 Corte Madera Ave - Master Bedroom
800 Corte Madera Ave - Master Bath
800 Corte Madera Ave - Pool and Cabana

Designed by Inverness architect Sim Van der Ryn and built for Michael Klein, the founder of Novato-based Modulus Guitars and board member of the Rain Forest Action Network, the “eco-luxe” home, which was “built with utmost respect for the environment,” features rammed earth construction, energy efficient systems and recycled building materials, including debris reclaimed from the demolition of Graham’s former home.

But with the two curving entry staircases “made of recycled stone from villages in central China” and bronze-clad windows from Italy, we’ll let you debate the home’s net eco impact.

In addition to grand master suite, amenities of the main home include a fitness center, racquetball court, and a professional-grade music studio and home theater.

800 Corte Madera Ave - Music Studio
800 Corte Madera Ave - Theater

Purchased from Klien in 2011 for $19.5 million, the rather spectacular compound quietly returned to the market last year priced at $29 million, a price which has now been reduced to $25 million and listed anew.

800 Corte Madera Ave - Terrace
800 Corte Madera Ave - Upper Terrace

And yes, there are views.

A Peek into the Future Look and Feel of Candlestick Point

Among the very first parcels to be developed on Candlestick Point, Block 9A – which will be located between the future 8th and 9th Streets along a newly extended Harney Way, across from the anchoring Candlestick Center Commercial District – is intended to set the “sense of place” within the Candlestick Point development.

Candlestick Point Block 9A Rendering - Harney and 9th
Candlestick Point Block 9A Rendering - 9th Street

And as designed by LPAS Architecture + Design, 124 condominiums and a 111-car garage will rise up to 80 feet in height across the site, with a mid-block pedestrian paseo lined by 3 to 4 story townhomes.

Candlestick Point Block 9A Rendering - Midblock Break
Candlestick Point Block 9A Rendering - 8th Street

Across the paseo, a 370-foot-tall tower would rise on the southern half of Block 9 fronting 9th Street (while to the east a 420-foot-tall tower is slated to rise along 7th Street). And 15,000 square feet of retail space would front Harney, between 8th and 9th.

Candlestick Point Block 9A Rendering - 8th and Harney
Candlestick Point Block 9A Rendering - Harney Way

If the plans are approved, construction of Block 9A is currently slated to commence in the Fall of 2018 and the units would be ready for occupancy by the end of 2019.

And while the overall redevelopment of Candlestick and Hunters Point will take another two to three decades to complete, the redevelopment will yield over 12,000 new or rebuilt homes, around 1,500 of which should completed over the next five years.


San Francisco Has 124,847 Street Trees and a Webpage for Each

A year-long inventory and mapping of every street tree in San Francisco has been completed.

And based on the EveryTreeSF census, which identified the exact location, species and current condition of every tree, not including those on private property or in public parks, there are exactly 124,847 street trees in San Francisco as of this morning, which is over 20,000 more than previously estimated.

The census also identified potential planting locations for another 39,688 trees, locations which the City intends to start planning this summer and continue to fill over the next twenty years in order to grow San Francisco’s urban forest.

And yes, every single street tree in San Francisco now has its own webpage and wall upon which the public can upload a photo and comment as well, such as for this Victorian box or this Ginkgo (RIP).


Supersized North Oakland Development Closer to Reality

The refined designs for a 25-story tower to rise up to 260 feet in height at 532 Turquoise Street, across from the MacArthur BART Station in North Oakland, will be presented to Oakland’s Planning Commission on January 18.

As designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) for Boston Properties, the proposed MacArthur Transit Village “Parcel B” tower includes 402 apartments, of which 45 would be offered at below market rates, over a podium garage for 260 cars and 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail/restaurant space.

Originally approved for an 80-foot-tall building with 150 apartments to rise on the Parcel B site, which is principally zoned for development up to 90 feet in height, Boston Properties supersized the proposed project shortly after being approved as the new development partner for the parcel this past summer.

If Oakland’s Planning Commission recommends amending the MacArthur Transit Village’s Master Plan to allow for the increased height, which the City’s Planning Department is recommending it does, it will then be up to Oakland’s City Council to give the final okay for the supersized project.

Pace of Existing Home Sales in the U.S. Nears a Ten-Year High

Having ticked up 2.0 percent in October, the seasonally adjusted pace of existing-home sales in the U.S. inched up another 0.7 percent in November to an annual rate of 5.61 million sales, the strongest pace since a 5.79 million pace in February 2007 and 15.4 percent higher versus the same time last year.

In addition, the median resale price for the existing homes that traded hands in November ($234,900) ticked up a percent ($2,700) from the month before and is running 7 percent higher versus the same time last year ($219,100) while the inventory of homes on the market dropped 8 percent to 1.85 million and is running 9 percent lower on a year-over-year basis as opposed to 42 percent higher in San Francisco.

The pace of existing-home sales in the West actually slipped 1.6 percent in November but remains 19 percent higher versus the same time last year.


The Devilish Details behind the Academy of Art’s $60 Million Deal

The Academy of Art University has tentatively agreed to the terms of a “$60 million settlement” with the City of San Francisco to resolve allegations that the institution has systematically schemed to violate state and local laws in its acquisition and use of real estate holdings in San Francisco over the years.

As we first reported earlier this year, over 80 percent of the University’s 40 properties in San Francisco are operating illegally, including nine buildings and over 250 units of housing which are ineligible to be permitted or even legalized for student use without legislative amendments to San Francisco’s existing Planning Code, 160 of which the AAU has illegally converted from affordable housing into dorms for its students.

Per the terms of the proposed settlement, the AAU will pay $20 million in penalties and fees, $7 million of which is earmarked to fund the City’s Small Sites Program which provides loans for the purchase and maintenance of small rent-controlled buildings at risk of being emptied via the Ellis Act.

The other $40 million of the settlement is the estimated value of 160 apartments that the academy will have to provide at below market rates to households earning up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income for a period of 66 years.

The 160 affordable apartments are to be comprised of 80 existing units at 1055 Pine Street, units which are currently student occupied and will need to be emptied and renovated within 18 months, and 80 new units to be built within six years on the underdeveloped 1069/71 Pine Street parcel next door, upon which a one-story gym currently sits as pictured above.

The proposed settlement also includes an agreement that the academy will withdraw its requests to legalize its illegal uses of its building at 2340 Stockton, 2295 Taylor and 700 Montgomery Street; an injunction covering any other properties the academy may use in the future to ensure compliance with the Planning Code; and a consent judgment allowing the court to enforce all aspects of the settlement.

And if approved and ratified, the Academy of Art University would be given a clean bill of health with respect to all city land-use rules, according to the City Attorney’s Office.


Telegraph Hill’s Hillside Is on the Market Touting Possibilities

1235 Sansome Street Site

A 120-foot-wide chunk of the Telegraph Hill hillside fronting Sansome Street, below the homes at the end of Alta above, is now on the market for $1.4 million and is being positioned as an “opportunity of a lifetime,” with rough renderings for either a 9,000-square-foot private estate or a 13-unit development to be built on the slope.

1235 Sutter Street Rendering - Estate
1235 Sutter Street Rendering - Multi-Unit

Believe it or not, the 1235 Sansome Street site, which was once part of the quarry from which stone for San Francisco’s City Hall was harvested, is technically zoned for development up to 84-feet in height.

As casually noted by the agent, any development of the three-parcel site, which sits within the boundaries of the Waterfront Historic District and is under the purview of the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Association, “will require some engineering of the hillside as is normally required by [the City] for sloped lots.”

And yes, the owner of the site has met with the City to discuss the potential development of the parcel at least once before, back in November 2007, near the last top of the market.


Plans for Nothing to Rise on This Prime Hayes Valley Parcel

Plans to raze the former Jews for Jesus building at 80/84 Page Street are in the works. And as proposed, and rather ironically, nothing will rise upon the Hayes Valley parcel which extends to 79 Lily Street.

Instead, the French American International School intends erect a chain link fence around the site and convert the parcel into an outdoor playground for its students, the use of which would primarily occur during school hours but with some after school and weekend programs expected as well.

84 Page Plan Elevation
84 Page Plan

The site, which is a block away from the French American School’s proposed 320-foot tower, is zoned for development up to 50 feet in height.


Cleaned Out of the Tenderloin for New Apartments to Rise

The Unique Cleaners building at 820 Post Street was purchased for $1,528,000 this past August. The rent was soon raised. The laundry is now out of business. And plans to raze the building for an eight-story development have been drawn.

As designed by Elevation Architects, the proposed project would yield 12 apartments over a 1,200 square foot commercial space on the ground floor.

While zoned for development up to 80 feet in height, the existing structure upon the site was identified as a potential historic resource back in 1978. But with only the cornice of the building’s original façade remaining, it was deemed to be ineligible for the National Register in 1991.


Grand Berkeley Mansion Purchased for $418 per Foot

The 8,600 square foot Berkeley mansion at 2840 Claremont Boulevard hit the market in the June listed at $5.45 million, or roughly $634 per square foot, a price which led some to expect a bidding war.

Built around 1912 for Paul O. Tietzen, a southern California banker with ties to the oil industry, the home was designed by Charles Edward Hodges and William Garden Mitchell and has been billed as “one of the grandest houses in Claremont Court (and likely in all of Berkeley)” by the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association.

2840 Claremont Boulevard Foyer
2840 Claremont Boulevard Dining
2840 Claremont Boulevard Dining2
2840 Claremont Boulevard Foyer2
2840 Claremont Boulevard Living
2840 Claremont Boulevard Breakfast Nook
2840 Claremont Boulevard Kitchen
2840 Claremont Boulevard Library
2840 Claremont Boulevard Stairs
2840 Claremont Boulevard Bedroom
2840 Claremont Boulevard Bathroom

And after six months on the market, the sale of 2840 Claremont Boulevard has just closed escrow for $3.6 million or roughly $418 per square foot, a sale which will be considered to be within 10 percent of asking according to all industry stats and MLS-based reports as the list price was reduced to $3.995 million at the end of September, the fourth reduction overall.