By Meghan Hall
Owning a home in San Francisco has become an increasingly daunting task, as the City’s booming economy and rapid addition of jobs has only exacerbated an already tight residential market. Few homes sell in the city sell for less than $1 million, meaning that condominiums provide for the bulk of San Francisco’s middle-market inventory. Developers are taking advantage of condominium’s growing place in the market with new projects such as one that San Francisco-based JS Sullivan Development LLC has proposed for 2030 Polk Street.
The real estate development and construction firm plans to demolish the Jug Shop — an independently run liquor store — and construct a six-story mixed-use building with 43 condominiums totaling 58,091 square feet over an additional 6,487 square feet of space divided into three commercial tenant spaces. 21 parking spaces for the residential units are also included in the plans.
In the City’s preliminary comments on the project, it encouraged JS Sullivan to include additional housing, particularly affordable housing, on the site. City documents state that the project could achieve a density of up to 55 units on the site if JS Sullivan opts to make use of the state’s density bonus law. If JS Sullivan chooses to provide on-site affordable housing, they are granted relief from density and height limits.
2030 Polk St. sits in between the Nob and Russian Hills neighborhoods, two of the oldest and most densely populated districts in the city. The site is also less than a block from State Route 101 and several city bus stops. Numerous retailers and restaurants, such as House of Prime Rib, CrossFit Golden State and CVS Pharmacy are located nearby. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are located further up Polk, where the street intersects with Pine St.
The majority of Polk St. itself is comprised of mixed-use buildings with dwelling units located above ground floor commercial spaces. The City seeks to maintain the neighborhood’s small-scale development while at the same time maximizing housing density in an effort to combat San Francisco’s housing crisis. According to Compass’ San Francisco Early Autumn Market Report, the median condo price has climbed four percent since the third quarter of 2017, while the median home price jumped up 15 percent. Median sales prices in the Nob and Russian Hill neighborhoods are some of the most expensive in the City; the median price for a two-bedroom condo is between $1.530 million and $1.625 million.
For some developers, the increasing sales prices of condominiums in the area make it an ideal time for developers to begin site repositioning. On average, condominiums within the City of San Francisco have sold above asking price since the Spring of 2013, according to Compass’ report. As of the fall of 2018, condos within the City of San Francisco were going for three percent above asking price, indicating strong demand. However, condominiums are still significantly cheaper than single family homes within the city, meaning that added middle-price inventory could allow new buyers to enter the market.
As of this writing, JS Sullivan Development LLC did not return a request for comment.