Silicon Valley has the highest housing costs in the U.S.

Report says both incomes and costs soaring in the state’s tech capitol.

It’s the best of time and the worst of times in Silicon Valley, at least according to Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a regional think-tank that issued its annual Silicon Valley Index last week.

The 2019 index, a “comprehensive report based on indicators that measure the strength of our economy and the health of our community,” describes the Valley as materially successful but fundamentally anxious, as new wealth puts additional stress on those most vulnerable.

The report defines Silicon Valley as a broad region encompassing parts of Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda Counties, ranging from Daly City to Union City to Gilroy to Scotts Valley.

The index includes some data from San Francisco for context but does not include the city as part of its larger regional definition. Most of the data covers 2017, with some references to 2018 as well.

 

Read more at Curbed SF 

 

 

Oakland A’s meet opposition over plans for new waterfront ballpark

Plans for a new Oakland A’s ballpark at Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland have run into opposition that could throw up roadblocks for the project.

Last week, a coalition that includes Save The Bay sent a letter to the state legislature listing concerns from environmental, business and labor organizations about the stadium project.

In the letter, Save The Bay Executive Director David Lewis said East Bay lawmakers are considering introducing a bill that could fast-track the project through regulatory exemptions. That would lessen the project’s accountability to environmental laws designed to protect public health, public lands and vulnerable wildlife.

The coalition said it is opposed to any measures that would reduce San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission oversight for the project, remove State Lands Commission-enacted public trust protections, undercut hazardous materials restrictions or seek a way around California Environmental Quality Act obligations for the project.

The A’s said they had no plans to ask state lawmakers to fast-track the process, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Save The Bay is not the only one arguing against the plans for the stadium.

The bar pilots association said the lights from the stadium will be blinding for those navigating container ships to the port, and those ships could hit kayakers going after stray balls, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, which represents some of the port’s tenants, said the hotel and housing included in the plan would increase traffic and compete with trucks around the port.

Oakland has suffered the loss of sports teams, including the Golden State Warriors, who are slated to be in their new Chase Center in San Francisco for the 2019-2020 season, and the Raiders, who are moving to Las Vegas and still haven’t settled on where they will play next season before that move.

 

Read more at Bisnow Oakland

 

Developers claim co-living suites earn more per square foot than regular apartment rentals

Co-living developers in New York and Washington, D.C. report strong demand from renters.

Hundreds of co-living suites are renting quickly at ALTA LIC, a new high-rise apartment building in Long Island City, Queens.

“We are now about four months ahead of our expected pace,” says Christopher Bledsoe, co-founder and CEO of Ollie, the company managing the ALTA’s co-living apartments.

Companies like Ollie are proving that there is plenty of renter demand for co-living arrangements. The co-living spaces at ALTA are now earning more dollars per sq. ft. than the new conventional apartments in the same building. Other operators of co-living properties also report strong results at their projects.

“We can only speak to performance of our OSLO properties… and they have been exceptional,” says Martin Ditto, CEO of Ditto, a company that operates three fully-occupied co-living properties in the Washington, D.C. metro area, and is now planning to open a fourth.

Strong rents prove demand for co-living

“Co-living” is a living arrangement in which the residents share some aspects of their living spaces with each other. It’s not as radical as it sounds—for Ollie and Ditto’s OLSO brand, co-living typically takes the form of multi-bedroom apartments shared by roommates. For years, the student housing industry has also been building suites that students share as roommates.

“Our product type is a natural evolution of the student housing model,” says Ollie’s Bledsoe.

ALTA LIC opened in May 2018 with 466 apartments. Of those, Ollie is operating 169 as furnished co-living suites with a total of 422 bedrooms. According to Bledsoe, it’s the largest purpose-built co-living property in the United States.

After less than a year in operation, 73 percent of these units are occupied, with renters paying from $1,260 to about $2,200 per month for a bedroom. The higher priced units may be larger, have better view, private entrances off the hallway or their own, un-shared bathrooms.

The cost of a bedroom also includes wireless Internet service and weekly housekeeping services, including bed linen, towels and toilet paper, along with shampoo and hand soap from Malin & Goetz. “It is the convenience of hotel living,” says Bledsoe.

The units are sized for efficiency and come furnished with custom furniture designed by Ollie to make the best use of small spaces. “For us a 535-square-foot studio is a two-bedroom micro-suit… a 750-square-foot one or two-bedroom is a three-bedroom suite,” says Bledsoe.

These co-living suites earn an average of 44 percent more income in rent per sq. ft. than the more conventional 297 luxury apartments at the 43-story tower, according to Bledsoe. The net operating income from these units is also 30 percent higher per sq. ft., even with the extra cost of co-living amenities like the housekeeping service.

 

Read more at National Real Estate Investor

Stanford Shopping Center wants to tear down a Macy’s store to make room for luxury retailers

The Macy’s Men’s store at Stanford Shopping Center could soon be replaced by retail heavyweights.

Simon Malls, the mall’s operator, proposed tearing down and replacing the 94,337-square-foot building with a Restoration Hardware and a Bashford luxury retailer, the Palo Alto Daily Post reports.

The men’s department store would be then merged into the shopping center’s main Macy’s store, Simon Malls Spokeswoman Solana Tanabe told the post.

A three-story, 43,581-square-foot Restoration Hardware store would reportedly take over the direct location, with a one-story 28,000-square-foot The Wilkes Bashford shop built on the nearby parking lot between Sand Hill Road and Pistache Place. Simon Malls is also looking to construct two 3,506-square-foot buildings as part of the plans.

Simon Property Group bought the mall from Stanford University back in 2003 for $333 million, though it still leases the land from the university. The surrounding region —  which includes Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside and Atherton — is prime for luxury stores, with Stanford’s median home value estimate is just of $3 million, according to Zillow.

Restoration Hardware reportedly will be designing its building to include a rooftop restaurant and garden, as well as second-floor terraces. Simon Malls also has an alcohol permit in the works.

 

Read more at San Francisco Business Times

 

Fremont City Council balks at stronger renter protections, opts for ‘minor tweaks’ to rent review law

Majority of council feels one-year old rent review program is doing well.

In the first year of Fremont’s rent review program, nearly half of those who sought help with rent increases saw them lowered, but some renters and city council members still don’t think the program goes far enough to help tenants.

The update on the program was presented by staff at the recent Fremont City Council meeting, where the council subsequently voted to make some minor tweaks to its rent review ordinance, but backed off of strengthening discrimination and retaliation protections for renters.

Councilwoman Jenny Kassan and Councilman Vinnie Bacon said they would have preferred to beef up those protections, and look at adopting rent control in the city, but the other five members of the council chose the status quo.

The city’s review ordinance is intended to help landlords and renters mediate disputes over rent increases. The council adopted the ordinance in fall 2017, and the program went into effect in 2018.

 

Read more at East Bay Times

 

 

Lucca Ravioli building asks $1.45M

Famed Valencia Street cornerstone for sale in triple-building package.

The building that for nearly a century housed Lucca Ravioli Company on Valencia Street is, as anticipated, up for sale. It’s part of a three-building package along with the two related buildings, all stuffed with a price tag of more than $8.28 million.

According to to the official history of Lucca Ravioli, the Italian goods store opened its 1100 Valencia Street locale in 1925 (18 years younger than the circa-1907 building it occupies), a family owned-institution that has endured through booms, busts, world wars, depressions, and the ever-changing character of the Mission District.

But as Eater SF reported in January, the neighborhood received shocking news that Lucca Ravioli will sell its last batch of tagliarini on April 20.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, no one will take over the family business once 50-year proprietor Michael Feno retires. The sale of the off-the-market building will certainly finance quite a retirement in today’s market.

1100-1118 Valencia St. is presented for sale by Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams of NAI Northern California. Click here for more details on this listing.

 

Read more at Curbed SF

 

 

 

Multifamily owners jump in the short-term rental game

When Harold Wu moved from Toronto to Baltimore for a new job, the first thing on his to-do list was to get a place to live.

As he embarked on his apartment search, the T Rowe Price senior vice president of procurement decided to book a hotel in Baltimore for a week in September.

“I looked at the usual suspects: Hilton, Marriott, Brookshire Suites, Residence Inn and so on. Then I stumbled upon WhyHotel on the internet.”

WhyHotel operates temporary hotels within multifamily buildings during a lease-up phase of a new apartment building.

Wu liked the idea of having a place with a full kitchen for the week as a home base. He never thought he’d actually end up living in that very apartment complex.

His weeklong experience at 225 Calvert ended up being the ultimate try-before-you-buy. As he looked around at other apartments — he shopped 36 in total — he found himself appreciating his temporary digs more and more. He liked the amenities, the closet space, the lockers for packages and the security. The ultimate test was of the soundproofing, and it passed.

“I wanted to see if this was a cheap renovation. You don’t hear your neighbor.”

The short-term stay aspect of the property made him nervous at first.

“Frankly, I was concerned that they had a hotel on multiple floors. I didn’t want to have a transient population walking around in my building if I were living there.”

But he has embraced it. He ended up signing a lease for a one-bedroom instead of two — he no longer has to host guests, as he has a hotel directly in his building now.

Other than seeing people with luggage around the elevator banks, Wu said he barely notices his short-term neighbors. Other apartment dwellers haven’t reported the same experiences, citing disturbances and crowded amenity spaces with the temporary guests.

Short-term rentals may not be widely accepted as a viable long-term option for a multifamily owner. Subleasing is generally not accepted, and short-term visitors can be disruptive to residents and create potential liability issues, market experts say.

 

Read more at Bisnow

 

 

Jordan Geller on SFGate: Want to be the owner of Lucca Ravioli Co.?

 

Jordan Geller of NAI Northern California talks to SFGate.com on the sale of the iconic Lucca Ravioli location: “The family will of course review offers with the hope to find buyers who will respect the current feeling and history of the property….”

After nearly a century, San Francisco’s well-loved Lucca’s Ravioli Company on a busy Valencia Street corner will close, and the property–all total, three buildings–is for sale at $8.285 million.

….

Lucca’s is a San Francisco institution…Michael Feno has made the store part of his daily life for over 50 years.

….

After trying to figure out a way to keep the business in the family, Feno has decided, with mixed emotions, to put the storefront and adjacent company-owned buildings up for sale.

….

The Lucca’s storefront and mixed-use structure is only one part of this package. Also for sale are associated buildings at 1102-1110 and 1114-1118 Valencia Street.

These buildings were formerly part of the Lucca Ravioli Company’s production and operations. Now, they could be just about anything: This portion of Mission District land is zoned as NCT, which stands for Neighborhood Commercial Transit district zoning.

….

Listing agents Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams indicated that Lucca’s last day of operation will be Easter of this year.

It’s hard not to want to know now what will become of the store, but Michael Feno doesn’t want to control its future. “The family will of course review offers with the hope to find buyers who will respect the current feeling and history of the property,” Geller told SFGate. “But he has no plans to limit or put conditions on the sale.”

Perhaps after almost 100 years, the family feels, finally, ready to let go.

1100-1118 Valencia St. is presented for sale by Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams of NAI Northern California. Click here for more details on this listing.

Read the full article on SFGate.com

 

With Square move on horizon, fintechs discover Oakland

Square’s expansion into Uptown Station underscores what fintech entrepreneurs have been saying for some time: Oakland is hot and only getting hotter.

Square’s new lease taking all of Oakland’s Uptown Station signals the growing popularity of the East Bay’s largest city for fintechs and other startups.

Fintech entrepreneurs say Square moving into the city in such a big way — the payments company plans to start moving in about 2,000 employees beginning later this year — means a lot more energy and talent will be drawn into Oakland.

Square’s move represents a tripling of Oakland’s fintech workforce, which the city estimates to be just under 1,000 people.

“We have a small but growing tech sector in Oakland,” said Marisa Raya, economic development specialist for the city of Oakland.

 

 

Read more at San Francisco Business Times

 

Lucca Ravioli Co. slated to close as old San Francisco family divests its real estate holdings

Pair of buildings that host beloved deli, seven housing units, readying for sale.

“It’s very important that the marketing photos make the units look good,” tenants told in letter.

The building on the corner of 22nd and Valencia Streets that houses Lucca Ravioli Co., the last commercial outpost of the Feno family, which has done business in San Francisco for nearly 100 years, appears to be readying for sale.

No, not the parking lot next door that already sold for around $3 million in October — the actual building where the ravioli magic has happened since 1925.

That’s not all: The six-unit apartment building next door at 1102-1106 Valencia, which the Feno family also owns, is apparently up for sale, too.

Residential tenants of both buildings received a letter in mid-December stating that representatives of the commercial real-estate firm NAI Northern California — along with Lucca’s owner, Michael Feno — would walk through their apartments for inspections and photos. Their places, the letter said, must be “clean without personal belongings strewn about.”

“These are marketing photos,” the letter reads. “It’s very important that the marketing photos make the units look good.”

The letter adds: “To help incentivize the tenants, we would like to offer those that do a gift-card.”

Of course, this raises questions over whether these tenants will be shooed out of their places to raise the value of the buildings. Tenants, who declined to be interviewed for this piece, are discussing their options.

A Lucca employee confirmed that the deli will close in spring 2019.

1100-1118 Valencia St. is presented for sale by Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams of NAI Northern California. Click here for more details on this listing.

Read more at Mission Local