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February 9, 2010

Citrino Condos Make A Comeback


The building at 566 South Van Ness between 16th and 17th Streets in the Mission known as The Citrino is making a minor comeback in the current market. Citrino completed construction back in 2007 and went on the market in July of that year at a time when the credit crisis hit the media in a big way. Things didn’t get much better after that.

Though the developer did sell 22 of the 32 condos, an ownership change then took place, and future sales were put on hold. Seven of the condos that remained were rented, and three were left vacant. One bedrooms had sold in 2008 from the low $400,000s to the low $500,000s, and the two bedrooms sold from the high $500,000s all the way up to the mid $700,000s.

New ownership is now in place, and it’s looking to sell off units as tenants’ leases expire. And two of the three vacant, top-floor units are already on their way to being sold. The pair of 2BR/2BAs with about 932 square feet and one-car parking came on the market at the very end of January and were listed at very competitive prices of $569,000-$579,000. They went into contract within days of coming on the market. The last top-floor condo is currently available for $569,000.

Citrino’s finishes are high-end, with Scavolini kitchens, Bertazoni ranges, Fisher Paykel dishwashers, CaesarStone countertops, and gas fireplaces:
There are nice outdoor spaces and a cool roof deck. HOA dues are in the $330 range. Probably the biggest downside is the block on which Citrino is located. Though it’s around the corner from the 16th and Mission BART station and about four blocks from the Valencia corridor, Citrino is opposite a rundown gas station, adjacent to the South Van Ness car wash/gas station at 16th, and a few doors down from a temporary occupancy hotel that breeds a lot of characters. Buyers have to decide if the nicely done units and the convenient location outweigh the sketchy street locale.

Returning to market after a hiatus is a strategy that’s picking up speed in the new development segment. The Artani at 818 Van Ness is getting ready to unleash a bunch of units it pulled from the market after an unsuccessful sales attempt last year, and 829 Folsom is also resuming sales after a marketing team change. In all cases, prices are lower than when the buildings first started selling in 2008-2009. I’m sensing some good opportunities for buyers who are ready to jump into the mix and get new-construction homes for reasonable prices.

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