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October 9, 2009

“Outskirt Luxury” Trend Takes Over Mission


Yes, I’m coining a new term for a trend that seems to be hitting its stride this year—developers constructing high-end, luxury units in areas that lie just beyond the heart of where everyone wants to be.

In this case, it’s the Mission, and there are two projects currently on the market in the Outskirt Luxury category. The first is 1495 Valencia, an eight-unit production located on the more lonely stretch of Valencia, between 25th & 26th Streets. Your finishes, appliances & accoutrements: CaesarStone counter tops; vertical grain douglas fir; Bertazzoni range; Broan-Elite hood; Bosch dishwasher; Dacor microdrawer; Cifial faucets; centralized audio system wiring. Your neighbors: The Salvation Army, St. Luke’s (scheduled for a massive renovation), a funeral home, and a busy stretch of Cesar Chavez.

1495 Valencia is a two-building development. The modern structure houses six two- to three-bedroom, two-level townhomes and a roof terrace. The adjacent property has a Victorian facade and is being sold as two units (heading for a “fast track” condo conversion). But all will be part of the same HOA. (I’m curious as to how that will be structured, as mixing condos & TICs in the same HOA is a new one for me.)

Prices in the modern building range from $739,000 for a 2BR/2.5BA (the smallest unit) to $999,000 for a 3BR/3BA. The two TICs will be priced between $779,000-$889,000. The six units in the modern building come with two-car deeded, stacked parking.

And over at Union, on Bryant between 19th and 20th, a much larger development has just come on the market. The hole in the ground that existed for the past decade has now been filled with two buildings on the lot. One houses 53 townhomes and flats, and the other is a brick-and-timber style property that will feature 23 lofts.

Union is another property that’s several blocks east of the Valencia corridor, and on the border of Potrero. But it’s a good ten blocks to Valencia, and much further to the heart of Potrero. These aren’t necessarily walks you want to take home late at night.

In any event, Union presents itself well, with spacious, two- and three-bedroom homes ranging from the high $600,000s to the $800,000s. And there are Carrera marble counter tops, Burmese walnut floors, bathroom tiles by Ann Sacks, and huge showers and tubs.

So if you build luxury properties in outskirt areas, will the buyers come? Developers are obviously hoping the high-end finishes and spacious units will mitigate the somewhat less-than-desirable locations. I’ve toured both Union and 1495 Valencia, and have been impressed by their quality and well-appointed natures. But it remains to be seen whether buyers with this level of purchasing power will agree to live in less-central sections of the ever-popular Mission.

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