Developer kicks off sales in Transbay district.


San Francisco’s luxury tower designed by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA.

For a new 56-story tower at 488 Folsom St. in San Francisco, executives at Related California knew they had to bring something special to the market. The building, known as the Avery, will house condos and apartments in the Transbay, a new high-rise district peppered with some of the city’s tallest buildings. This week, the developer is launching sales of the 118 condos that comprise the upper 24 floors of the tower with prices starting from just under $2 million for a one-bedroom and just under $4 million for a three-bedroom. The homes range in size from 900 to 2,200 square feet with prices averaging roughly $2,000 per square foot.

“The most important selling point and feature is not only the location in this new and evolving neighborhood, but also the architectural prestige and views,” said Gino Canori, executive vice president and chief development officer at Related California. The condos will range from one- to three-bedrooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the bay, the Bay Bridge and city skyline. The homes feature spa-inspired master bathrooms, oak flooring, marble kitchen counters and Miele appliances. Amenities include valet parking available at all hours, a gym, 60-foot indoor lap pool, business center, media room, entertainment kitchen, formal dining room and outdoor terrace. The 618-foot-tall building is the first San Francisco tower designed by internationally known Rem Koolhaas’ Office of Metropolitan Architecture. “The Avery was shaped by its surroundings and spectacular views,” said Shohei Shigematsu, partner and director at OMA. “With The Avery, we were given the opportunity to make our mark on the city’s iconic skyline and to become an integral part of this special place with the tower’s bold visual design.”

The goal, Canori said, was to bring a unique look to distinguish the tower among its neighboring highrises such as the recently opened Salesforce Tower, San Francisco’s tallest building and 181 Fremont, an office and condo tower that recently started welcoming residents. “We’re excited to bring this level of architecture to the San Francisco skyline and the elevated lifestyle of vertical living,” Canori said. Buyers in the Avery will move in early next year. The building will house a total of 548 homes including the condos and a mix of market-rate and income-restricted apartments that will also be ready for residents in early 2019. Related partnered with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. on the income-restricted homes.

Webcor is the Meanwhile, condo inventory in San Francisco dropped by 32 percent during the past year, according to condo marketing and research Polaris Pacific, even though some new developments have entered the market including 99 Rausch, 815 Tennessee in Dogpatch and the Alexandria. The city’s hot employment market is still attracting new, high-earning residents who are creating more demand for the region’s housing, said Garrett Frakes, managing partner of Polaris Pacific. “Condominium inventory is lagging and will continue to lag given current land and construction costs, as well as the Bay Area’s time-consuming approval process,” he said.

That said, some condo developments are selling faster than others depending on their neighborhood, Frakes said. Lynn Bell, director of new development and broker at residential brokerage Climb, said the rapid purchase of new units combined with little new inventory is making it even tougher for those looking to buy. “Developers continue to struggle with rapidly increasing construction and labor costs layered into an already very long and difficult entitlement process,” she said, explaining why so few new buildings are opening. Projects planned in the Transbay district will add more than 6 million square feet of commercial space and 4,400 homes including the condos in Jay Paul Co.’s 181 Fremont, apartments at Hines’ 33 Tehama, and Essex Property Trust’s 545 apartments at 500 Folsom St. The office space is already filling up with thousands of workers at a time when housing is increasingly hard to find in San Francisco. “We only have a 118 units,” Canori said. “We expect our buyers to be the working professionals or executives, some empty nesters and some pied-a-terre buyers who want a place in the city with walkability that is close to jobs, fine dining, world-class shopping and sporting venues.”

Read it at San Francisco Business Times

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