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March 25, 2010

Artani Back in Action on Van Ness


Over on the Van Ness corridor, The Artani is treading the residential sales waters again after a disappointing attempt at selling the units last year. Many of the units were rented temporarily, and those renters are being offered a shot at purchasing their units. Otherwise, a majority of the 20 one bedrooms, twelve 1BR+den/2BAs, and 20 2BR/2BAs are waiting for buyers.

I attended The Artani’s launch party last night (a lively affair) and toured a few of the models. The last time I was there, I rode up in a construction elevator with a bunch of workers, and had to navigate the very much work-in-progress building. So it was interesting to see the finished product. They’ve done a nice job with the floor plans and finishes, featuring CaesarStone counters, Italian tile backsplashes and baths, Bosch or Viking appliances and distressed wood floors.

The 1BR/1BA units are priced from the high $400,000s, and the 1BR+den/2BA condos start in the mid $500,000s. The 2BR/2BA are priced from the high $600,000s. HOAs dues range from the high $300s to the mid $400s. Each unit gets a parking space, and everyone has access to the loungey roof deck.

Here are a couple shots of a typical kitchen and bath:

I saw unit 405, a 1BR/1BA listed at $499,000. It faced south, and the main outlook was a roof with duct and other equipment, as well as other buildings. Unit 306 was a large 2BR/2BA corner home with all the bells and whistles. The living/kitchen areas faced Van Ness, which is busy, but in an odd way, was kind of appealing. If you’re a Type A personality who likes a lot of activity surrounding you, #306 could be a good fit. Though this one is not available, it’s representative of a larger unit on that side of the property.

Unit 402 ($549,000) was a 1BR/1BA that faced the small street on the north side of the property, affording a nice view into the windows of the apartments across the way. The window on the property line that faces west had a nice downtown view, but due to building codes was required to be many inches thick. This leads to a somewhat distorted view, like looking through a magnifying glass. (I thought it was me, at first, feeling the effects of the signature Artani cocktail.)

Overall, I think the Artani is priced competitively for a luxury building located on Van Ness. The biggest hurdle for the sales team will be to overcome the hesitancy on the part of buyers to live on Van Ness, an area that is between neighborhoods, has a bit of a homeless issue and is noisy from all the traffic. Some buyers looking for two-bedroom condos might sooner gravitate toward LindenHayes, which has a superior location and finishes (but much higher price points). In the end, I think The Artani offers pretty good value.

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