Nina, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

Which area is the best investment for the next five years-- SOMA, or Potrero Hill, or Mission Bay?

Asked by Nina, San Francisco, CA Thu Dec 6, 2007

I'm looking to buy a condo very soon and while I like the neighborhood feel of north Potrero, I wonder if the neighborhood POTENTIAL in SOMA or Mission Bay would be a smarter bet.

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Mark Choey’s answer
Good question however, I think Mission Bay has the greatest potential in my opinion. Mission Bay (especially Berry St) as you know is very up-and-coming with construction projects still happening. Once the construction is done and dust clears you will what appears to be a very attractive and brand new, modern community near perhaps the most convenient transportation hub in all of San Francisco - 4th and King. There you see the Caltrain terminus, the start of 280, a very nearby 101, good East Bay access, the N-Judah ending there, many many bus lines, the new 3rd Street Rail and the future Central Subway line.

New retail stores have just opened including Panera Bread, Philz coffee, 2 new floors of commercial space atop the China Basin Building, new tennis and basketball courts on Berry St, the 1st branch of the SF Public Library on 4th and Berry St.

235 Berry, Park Terrace are finishing up sales (12 and 20+ left respectively) - Arterra is around 50% at this point. So you could also make the argument that there could be a lot of competing condos and not enough demand for them - but I think in 5 years there will be enough jobs created in that area to make it the best investment for the next 5 years.

In 5 years, South Mission Bay will see a large influx of new companies and jobs and North Mission Bay will benefit the most from this.

You can make the argument that since Potrero Hill will have very few new condo projects in the next 5 years that a constrained supply would make it the best investment - however, I don't see much change in the area to warrant a dramatic change in demand for Potrero Hill condos as there could be for Mission Bay for example.

SOMA is just too big of an area to discuss - certain areas in SOMA could be good and others not so good - it just depends where in SOMA you are referring to? Closer to the financial district (south financial district) could be a good area and closer to what we call "Mid-Market" or near SOMA Grand, Mint Plaza, etc. could be a good investment in the next 5 years as well.

But I think the BEST investment would be Mission Bay and specifically NORTH Mission Bay centered around Berry St.

Hope this helps!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2007
I wish I could tell what would unfold over the next five years, Nina, my stock portfolio would look a lot healthier!
What I do know is that our charming residential neighborhoods, like North Potrero, are a significant asset to the City, people enjoy community, and it takes years to redevelop neighborhoods, even with focused development and City Hall's help. Yerba Buena took about 15 years, South Beach about 8 years since the ball park was opened -- only now are there neighbors walking around the 'hood and shopping on weekends, and we've been waiting years for Mid-Market to heat up. In terms of future potential, I'm a little more partial to Rincon Hill, with the prospect of the Transbay Terminal project, and proximity next to the financial district and bordered by the bay. But there won't be a Farley's in Rincon Hill!
While it's anyone's guess what the potential of these neighborhoods will be, and when, whatever you buy go for a reasonable hoa, and parking! I think you should start a pool on this Nina, not that I'm endorsing gambling :) Let us know what you decide and why!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2007
Hi Nina:
I think the smarter option is Potrero Hill. You're likely to still get a condo that will always be in demand for resale purposes because of the the desireability (location near freeways), views, Whole Foods being in the neighborhood, etc. What we are seeing now is there is such an abundance of conds in SOMA, Mission Bay, etc, prices are being reduced and they are staying on the market longer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
If this a poll...I vote SOMA for the reasons there somewhere is "upside potential" my $.02.

Panera bread? Plz....sorry, couldn't restrain myself LOL

Good Luck with your final decision Nina!!! You are fortunate to have the opportunity to choose!!!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2007
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