By Meghan Hall
For-sale residential housing within the city of San Francisco can be hard to come by. As demand for buyable residences continues to increase in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, one project is serendipitously coming online. Foster City, Calif.-based Z&L Properties is gearing up for the debut of “The Oak,” a 109-unit condominium complex at the confluence of the Hayes Valley and South of Market neighborhoods.
“The Oak is a reflection of what people cherish about being at home – the center of our universe over the last year – as well as what we need from our surrounding community,” said Sandra Eaton, West Coast Regional Director for Compass Development Marketing Group. “It’s the perfect combination of a variety of distinct, more private spaces within, and a vibrant neighborhood just outside, waiting to be shared.”
Designed by Handel Architects, the project is located at 55 Oak Street. The premise of The Oak, according to the development team, was to create an “oasis of elegance” that can function as a work, play and home space. The development consists mostly of one bedroom units. However, studios, two-bedrooms and one, larger three-bedroom residence are also part of the unit mix. The residences will be situated in two towers connected by a glass sky bridge. Joining dual roof gardens offering entertainment space, an outdoor kitchen and firepits are also available to residents.
“The two landscaped roof decks are really significant,” explained Compass’ Senior Director of Developments, Matt Dietsch. “They really extend one’s living space…Just being up there you really have the feeling that you are very much a part of the city’s energy.”
Additional amenities include a ground floor fitness center and Zen Garden. The project’s lobby and residential lounge also looks onto the Zen Garden and has a mid-century modern aesthetic with warm, classic furniture accented with gold and jewel tones. Individual units feature operable floor to ceiling windows, juliet balconies and natural toned design features with black and white accents. Other finishes include wide plank oak floors, espresso cabinets and Frosty Carrina Caesarstone countertops.
“The units are really in the sweet spot of where we see them selling,” said Dietsch. “The unit mix was largely based on our experience with this buyer type and within this market.”
Many of the units are intended to cater to younger workers looking to break into San Francisco’s competitive housing market, and those working within the immediate vicinity of the development. Dietsch noted that many potential buyers are priced out of the market simply due to factors such as property taxes, while others on the waterfront allocate to the one percent. Pricing for units within The Oak begin in the $600,000s, with the priciest units ranging up to more than $2 million.
Z&L Properties and Compass are beginning to launch an interest list for the development but have already been seeing a lot of interest due to the sheer demand. Compass’ first quarter 2021 New Development Market Insight report, sales volume in San Francisco increased 42.6 percent year-over-year, with more than 500 sales recorded. Condominium units priced below $1 million saw the biggest year-over-year increase in sales volume, seeing a 115.6 percent jump year-over-year. More than 200 closings in the price range were recorded.
The average sales price year-over-year was down by about 6.9 percent; however, a 2.2 percent increase over the previous quarter suggests that values may rise in response to demand. Dietsch noted that for now, indicators in the market were relatively positive and the lack of affordable for-sale product is expected to bode well for the development.
“I think that answer is really in the market,” said Dietsch when asked about condominium fundamentals. “There’s such demand, now more than ever. I don’t think the timing could have worked out any better as the city and the neighborhoods start to come back to life.”