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Updated: 2017-02-28T09:11:41-08:00


New Stanley Saitowitz-designed SoMa residences launch sales


Oh Stanley! Gleaming white and contemporary to the hilt, the new residential structure at 259 Clara Street, conceived by San Francisco starchitect Stanley Saitowitz, just started accepting offers this week. A treat for any fans of cohesive minimalism, the building features eight units spread out over five stories. The glassy white facade will polarize some, but most will agree that it’s good to have more housing come to the South of Market arrondissement. Gorgeous. Units range from from $999,999 to $1,299,000. Unit #401: Unit #302: Residences on Clara [BuzzBuzzHome] 259 Clara Street [Pacific Union] Stanley Saitowitz [site] [...]

New Homes in SF from the Low $600,000s



Variety of Floorplans | 1 to 3 Bedroom | Approx. 611 sq. ft. - 1,437 sq. ft.*
Luxury Wood Flooring, Caesartone Countertops, Bosch Appliances, & More*
Starting from the Low $600,000s*

Amazing photos of Central Subway beneath Chinatown


Enormous transit project pushes on The 1.7-mile, $1.5 billion-plus Central Subway project is reportedly 65 percent done and ahead of schedule, according to CBS SF, who note that the expensive expansion of the city’s light T Third Street Muni line is operating 12 hours a day, six days a week. Most of that labor would remain hidden from the curious eyes of the public if not for the work of SFMTA photographer Robert Pierce, who began shooting the subway project six years ago. In January, Pierce told Curbed SF that he was working to upload a backlog of dramatic new photos to the Central Subway Flickr account, and sure enough in the weeks that followed new images poured in, many of them focusing on labor around and beneath the incoming Chinatown station at Stockton and Washington. Pierce, originally from Oregon, moved to the Tenderloin during the original dot-com boom. He’s also created several timelapse videos of the subway work. Subway Construction Making Headway [CBS] Subway Films [Pierce] Incredible Central Subway Photos [Curbed SF] Chinatown Station [Flickr] [...]

Striking Oakland Firehouse brick loft asks $649,000



Too hot

Built in 1895, the Oakland Firehouse on 59th Street was seismically retrofitted and transformed into six condo units in the mid 1990s. Today, one of those prized units returns to the market for a comparatively scorching price.


Featuring one bed, one bath, two floors, and 1,460 square feet, unit #4 stands out with gorgeous original brickwork. It also comes with maple hardwood floors, an office space, and a clever ladder accent that leads to the roof.

HOA dues come to $402/month. Asking is $649,000.


Could heavy rains really trigger earthquakes?


Gives new meaning to the term “earthquake weather” On top of everything else, California’s recent slew of huge rainstorms may have primed the state’s faults for a major earthquake, or so claims an article by science journalism site the Conversation. Here’s how it supposedly works: Water pressure in the fault zone is important in controlling when a geological fault slips. Fault zones invariably contain groundwater, and if the pressure of this water increases, the fault may become “unclamped.” The two sides are then free to slip past each other, causing an earthquake. The article cites a one-two punch of storms and earthquakes in Germany and Switzerland in 2002. But readers are also reminded that there are only “possible connections” between the phenomena, that the “effect is likely to be subtle,” and such findings would be “controversial.” So, is there really any chance that recent floods have in effect lubricated Bay Area fault lines? No one at the US Geological Survey was immediately available for comment. [Update: Art McGarr, a geophysicists in Menlo Park, told Curbed SF that he’s “very skeptical that heavy rainfall has influenced earthquake activity.” McGarr acknowledges that quake researchers often analyze seemingly unlikely phenomena as possible tremor enablers. “In recent years we’ve considered whether the sun and the moon can cause deformations in the earth,” he says by way of example. “But rainfall is a different story. It’s measured very routinely almost everywhere and it has been for hundreds of years. I cannot rule out the possibility that tiny quakes below our detection threshold could be influenced,” he adds, but beyond that he’s unpersuaded.] Seismologists long ago debunked the popular myth of “earthquake weather,” but the conventional belief was always that arid days are prime for tremors. USGS The Cyprus structure in 1989. “The common misconception that earthquakes occur during hot and dry weather dates to the ancient Greeks,” says the California Department of Conservancy. “Earthquakes take place miles underground, and can happen at any time in any weather.” Still, the Conversation notes that quakes triggered by surface activity, such as digging and hydraulic boring, are a well-established phenomena. In 2008, the magazine New Scientist cited studies that seem to take it for granted that rain may lead to quakes, only haggling about the scale of the effect: It was already known that rainfall could cause tremors, but the amount of water needed is much more than previously thought, says Steve Miller, a geologist at the University of Bonn, Germany. [...] Some experts have suggested that although the rainfall was heavy, the fact that rain could trigger an earthquake at all suggests that it takes extremely little to produce a tremor. They concluded that the Earth’s crust in a delicate balance, teetering on the edge of a slight shake-up at any moment. In 2011, the University of Miami concurred in the pages of National Geographic: Analysis revealed that Taiwan's large earthquakes [...] were five times more likely to occur within four years after storms than if the storms had had no effect. The weight of the water itself does not trigger the earthquake—rather, it's the ensuing erosion from landslides. California researchers found a similar phenomena in the Himalayas. The data was presented at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union here in San Francisco. But potentially triggering an earthquake is not the same thing as causing one. Earthquakes happen for the same reason they always have—mounting pressure from the movements of the earth’s crust. Heavy rainfall isn’t causing that, as seismologists noted when Earth magazine reported on this same research. Rather, it could, if anything, speed it up a bit. Then again, maybe not. USGS’s Dr. Malcolm Johnston maintains: Very large low-pressure c[...]

Sea Ranch home by Charles Moore asks $2.8 million


Wood you? As winter makes an exit, it’s time to start thinking about your springtime pipe dreams. How about this 1971 Charles Moore gem in Sea Ranch? Featured in the New York Times and Dwell Magazine, it’s the perfect fodder for real estate daydream material. Coming in at three beds, four and a half baths, and 2,442 square feet, the home at 37711 Breaker Reach Road (now called the Owings Perdue House) features asymmetrical building shapes with an interior plan boasting multiple levels, rich wood accents, angles, and steel beams. It’s what one should think of when one thinks of Sea Ranch, a community envisioned 51 years ago by landscape designer Lawrence Halprin. The bathroom features bookshelves galore, which is a bathtub lover’s dream. And the wood paneling throughout (from the floor to the ceiling) is downright gorgeous. Dwell has more on this special house has been kept intact throughout the years, with its original intention still preserved. The current homeowners, Alison Owings and Jonathan Perdue, purchased the residence in 2000 and have maintained the original wood paneling, tile flooring, and countertops, down to the painted chessboard under a banquette cushion in the living room. The only modifications have been the addition of two interior doors for warmth and privacy. "We work assiduously to keep the house in excellent condition, considering ourselves more stewards than owners," says Owings. "We knew in an instant that the house was spectacularly well-thought out and well-designed. I gave my husband a thumbs up sign behind the realtor’s back." Noted architect Charles Moore is also known for his award-winning Kresge College design at UC Santa Cruz. HOAs come to $206/month. Asking is $2,875,000. Photos by Paul Kozal, via Pacific Union 37711 Breaker Reach Road [Pacific Union] Settle in the Celebrated Sea Ranch For Under $2.9M [Dwell Magazine] The landscape architect who helped invent modern city parks [Curbed] [...]

Apple Park construction rushes to conclusion in drone video



$5 billion facility set to open in April

With last week’s big announcement that Apple Park (as the company has finally officially christened it) is set to open to staff in April, observers might have expected the latest batch of regular, monthly drone footage to show a structure on the trembling verge of completion.

And in many ways it does, as many longtime projects like the hillside tunnels and towering parking garages have long since been finished. But from the looks of things today, the headquarters still needs a bit of work to finish in the four to eight weeks left before moving day.

South Bay videographer Matthew Roberts took his Phantom drone out for another regular Apple picking expedition this weekend, revealing contractors still hard at work constructing the interior of the building’s massive lobby, still affixing solar panels to its roof, and completing the massive landscaping.

As the name suggests, Apple Park involves a large and expensive greening process in addition to the building construction itself. There are roughly 7,700 trees to plant, for example, selected to be drought-resistant and provide food for the campus cafeteria.

A network of paths, lawns, and fields remain to be planted and constructed. It’s not clear whether or not all or most of this terrain needs to be in place before the company begins moving in, a process that should take months to complete.

In the meantime, here’s what will probably be one of the last aerial construction updates on the long, longstanding project.

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Here’s San Francisco City Hall lit up like the transgender flag


In pink, white, and light blue In the tradition of illuminating its facade to call attention to people, causes, and world champions, San Francisco City Hall lit up in the colors of the transgender flag over the weekend. From Friday to Sunday, it shone pink, white, and light blue. This was in response to President Trump revoking protections for transgender students last week. City Hall has been changing its colors for years, but the current lighting system is not only easier and cheaper to execute, it also offers more color options. San Francisco Chronicle reports: “The new system has been in place for about 18 months, installed to celebrate the 100th birthday of City Hall and paid for with $2.5 million in private donations and city funds. The 220 exterior light fixtures — each weighing 70 pounds — now have LED bulbs, making them more environmentally friendly. They no longer require gels but instead are programed using a computer system in the basement of City Hall. Now, they can be turned on with the flip of a switch.” It used to cost the city $5,000 each time the lights were changed since it required city workers, who had to climb out onto ledges and balconies, to install colored gels on each light fixture. In addition to lighting up the Civic Center structure in support of the transgender community, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee tweeted a photo of the flag with the following message: "#SFCityHall stands proudly in solidarity with all transgender youth. #ProtectTransYouth." A post shared by Sheri (@sheriberianne) on Feb 26, 2017 at 10:30pm PST San Francisco lights up orange in honor of Giants [Curbed SF] SF City Hall lights to display transgender flag colors starting Friday [Curbed SF] Here's SF City Hall Illuminated Purple in Memory of Prince [Curbed SF] Trump just made it official: transgender students no longer have an ally in the White House [Vox] High-tech light system lets SF City Hall cover entire spectrum [San Francisco Chronicle] [...]

Virgin releases details on new San Francisco hotel



It will come with a rooftop bar and dining options

In June, Curbed SF reported that mega-brand Virgin would open a hotel in San Francisco’s South of Market, near the upcoming Central Subway station at Fourth and Folsom. Today the mega-brand revealed new details about the hotel.

A few highlights will include:

  • 196 suites and master suites
  • Several dining and cocktail bars, including the brand’s flagship, The Commons Club
  • A coffee shop
  • A rooftop bar.

It will be interesting to see if a rooftop bar will be popular in the chilly and windy area along Fourth Street, but anything is possible.

Virgin opened its first U.S. hotel in Chicago in 2015. The company’s San Francisco property is expected to open the summer of 2017.

The London-based company is one of several noted world-famous hotel brands coming the the city. Most notably, the iconic hotel Waldorf Astoria will build its first-ever San Francisco property (designed by Foster + Partners in partnership with San Francisco-based Heller Manus Architects), right in the heart of the impending Transbay Center.

(image) Rendering courtesy of Virgin Hotels.
What the hotel’s rooftop bar will look like.

SF Bayfront Condo in San Mateo



Tidelands by The New Home Company | Move-In Ready Home!*
Unit 112 | $1,178,060 | 1,329 Sq. Ft. | 2 Bedrooms + 2 Baths*
Views of San Francisco Bay & City, Hardwood Flooring, White*
Shaker Cabinets, Upgraded Bathroom Tile & Surrounds, and More*